It’s been 13 years, but we still can’t forget the shocking ending of Orphan (2009). The psychological horror film starring Isabelle Fuhrman in the titular role certainly left an impression with its disturbing plot twist that revealed (spoiler alert!) her character as an adult sociopath masquerading as a nine-year-old named Esther, and murdering anyone — including her adoptive family — who stood in her way. A movie prequel titled Orphan: First Kill was announced in 2020, and the wait is almost over — it will officially premiere on August 19.
The film is presented by Paramount Pictures and focuses on Esther’s first victims: A wealthy family whose daughter is missing. She impersonates their lost child to trick them into adopting her, and then begins to wreak havoc on their lives. Fuhrman reprises her role as Esther/Leena Klammer, while Rossif Sutherland and Julia Stiles star as her (terribly unlucky) adoptive parents.
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As Fuhrman is now 25 years old, a combination of makeup magic, forced perspective shots, and two child actors as body doubles were used to make her look more convincing as her character. She was only 12 when she acted in the first Orphan film alongside Vera Farmiga and Peter Sarsgaard. The movie received mixed reviews, including some criticism about its negative portrayal of adoption, but gained a cult following. Fuhrman’s chilling performance was also widely lauded.
The film is directed by William Brent Bell, known for his work on other horror flicks such as Stay Alive (2006) and The Boy (2016), and is scripted by David Coggershall, whose writing credits include Scream: The TV Series and The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia. Its story is written by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick and Alex Mace, who were behind the script and story for the original Orphan movie respectively.
The movie releases August 19 in theatres and on Paramount+.
View the trailer for Orphan: First Kill, which dropped yesterday.
(Main and featured image: Paramount Pictures/ IMDB)