Director : William Brent Bell
Platform : BookMyShow
Orphan: First Kill shows us the origin story of the killer, Ester, with a plot involving more brutal murders and more challenges for the invincible Ester. This prequel easily outshines the 2009 twisted psychological horror original and sets a standard for how a prequel should be made.
While a group of critics and audience state that they know the story’s end, which in turn, ruins the experience of the movie. I very well disagree. In fact, I found Orphan: First Kill more entertaining as it captures the essence of the original but also adds equally compelling elements to the story.
The problem I had with the original movie was that the villain, Ester, herself had a complete monopoly to dictate what happens with the family she lived with. Ester remained unchallenged and continued to gaslight and create miscommunication between the family members leading to their gruesome end. Here, on the contrary, the power equations change and we get to see equally powerful characters who challenge her.
The new family consists of strong characters who put an immediate impact on us. I found myself more invested in these characters than that of the original. For example, Ester’s elder brother is a teenager who is a fencing champion. He proves to be an interesting character choice.
At first, I did think it is going to be a similar story with more kills where she is adopted by a family and soon destroys them. However, to my surprise the story takes a different course.
Though the plot twist in the original is one of the best twists in horror, the prequel also gives a punch in the stomach with its well thought out twist. Here too, the cinematography is filled with grey and white palettes of winter landscapes and old fashioned surroundings.
I personally don’t like stories involving gaslighting and family being broken apart from miscommunication. After Orphan and The Hand that Rocks the Cradle, I seem to be disinterested in this psychological horror trope where a villainous character keeps on plotting against the family and the family is just dumb enough (not finding anything suspicious until the very end). Orphan’s prequel unknowingly or knowingly improves upon this issue.
Orphan: First Kill did get me out of the underwhelming new horror release slump. And this prequel, for sure, doesn’t seem unnecessary. One more thing – though initially I was apprehensive of the CGI, as Ester in the trailer did look old; but after watching the movie, her face and body proportion did seem normal. Or maybe we are acclimated to her older looking face?
How about you, was ‘Orphan: First Kill’ was a worthy or an unnecessary prequel according to you?
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An Indian reviewer who writes about horror and thriller movies/series. If not movies, he likes to pick up a mystery book to read. Some of his favourite movies/series include Stranger Things, Elite (S1-3), Train to Busan, Andhadhun, Strangers: Prey at Night.