Orphan: First Kill will hit theaters and on Paramount+ on August 19, 2022.
Orphan: First Kill by William Brent Bell is a mind-bending prequel on paper that defies its conceptual odds. Writers David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick and David Coggeshall crack a code in Alex Mace’s story that somehow undermines expectations, despite revealing the plot in 2009’s Orphan. An escaped Estonian mental institution, a con man who steps in, her ruse as a missing girl now found – it’s all backstory carried over in Jaume Collet-Serra’s frenzied thriller. Not only that, but the alleged orphan’s chameleon trick has already been revealed in Esther’s identity. How could Bell recreate all that tension and ambiguity when we already know what’s happening? Smart and shocking, the answer is simple: he doesn’t.
Orphan: First Kill turns the clock back on Esther, despite actress Isabelle Fuhrman aging more than a decade and recounting the beginnings of the European convict in Connecticut. By pretending to be the lost daughter of Allen (Rossif Sutherland) and Tricia Albright (Julia Stiles), the middle-aged patient with a growth disorder takes on her role as a beloved child. It’s the same concept of Orphan, which gives us a sense of familiarity that gets knocked over quite aggressively, maybe halfway through Orphan: First Kill. A perfect family is manipulated by a criminal who passes as elementary school age as we watch in disbelief – but Bell’s production has more than one villainous trick up its sleeve. The American dream shatters again, but in a prequel that dissociates as hard as screen prodigy Gunnar (Matthew Finlan) pushes his fake sister away.