Even if one is willing to generously overlook all the implausible details stripping William Brent Bell’s belated prequel to Jaume Collet-Serra’s horror-hit Orphan of all credibility whatsoever, it’s just impossible to forgive the blatant missteps of the preposterous plot scrambled together by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick and Alex Mace. Both did a better job in 2009 with the first part which, while never particularly original, at least delivered minimal suspense and one effective reveal: titular villain Esther (played again by an enjoyably camp-conscious Isabelle Fuhrman) is an adult psychopath posing as a child to commit her crimes.
The one preceding the events chronicled in the previous part are the subject of this schlocky shocker which pairs predictable jump scares with equally underwhelming kills. Bell lackluster direction is oddly attuned to a script more intend on spoiling chills than generating them. Esther’s murderous mission is clear from the start, her would-be mother Tricia’s (Julia Stiles) and brother Gunnar’s (Matthew Finlan) secret is just blurted out and a pleasingly a pathological family constellation never allowed to develop. Instead of building psychological atmosphere, Bell lazily grabs for the light switch. But that won’t hide the cheap look of this movie mess.
- OT: Orphan: First Kill
- Director: William Brent Bell
- Screenplay: David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, Alex Mace, David Coggeshall
- Country: USA
- Year: 2022
- Running Time: 99 min.
- Cast: Isabelle Fuhrman, Julia Stiles, Rossif Sutherland, Hiro Kanagawa, Matthew Finlan, Samantha Walkes, David Brown, Lauren Cochrane, Rooj Ali, Kristen Sawatzky, Jeff Strome, Andrea del Campo, Alec Carlos, Alicia Johnston, Liam Stewart-Kanigan, Jade Michael
- Release date: 08.09.2022
- Image © StudioCanal