The Orphan: First Murder review: The perfect prequel to a horror classic

The Orphan: First Murder by William Brent Bell, immediately makes two things clear. The first is that what makes Esther (Isabelle Fuhrman) a ruthless and cruel killer is not the story she carries. At the other extreme, it the origins of the character’s behavior are unsettling in their simplicity. He wants to hurt because he feeds an adult drive for violent gratification. Nothing more.
This is what the Albrights, the family who will have to face the horror that the horror movie suggests, will soon discover. The misfortune that torments its members will be the way in which Esther attacks them. A parcel of sexual jealousy, violence and fear which will end with a bloody scenario.

You might think it’s another version of the hit first production, but it’s actually about something deeper. The Orphan: First Murder explores Esther as a psychopath who learned her power was angry recklessness. No feelings, no prospects other than becoming a predator with the face of a child, the character is more fearsome than ever.

Especially since Isabelle Fuhrman takes over the role she played at the age of eleven and the staging offers a neat tone of continuity. Curiously, this horror movie doesn’t use any digital effects, but thoughtful camerawork to create its atmosphere. So, once again, Esther is a terrifying creature under the cloak of her innocence.

The Orphan: First Murder

Unlike so many other plots that tell the central story of violent characters, The Orphan: First Murder avoids the temptation to justify or humanize. Rather, it focuses on the possibility that Esther’s evil is a natural occurrence. This premise might seem trivial if David Coggeshall’s screenplay were less adept at showing what underlies the psychology of the story. One based on the possibility that everything told in the first film is just the direct consequence of the first. A methodical killer needs a place to repeat his mistakes, and that’s precisely what the prequel explores.

Once upon a time there was terror under a mask of naivety.

Unlike so many other plots that tell the central story of violent characters, the horror film avoids the temptation to justify or humanize. Rather, it focuses on the possibility that Esther’s evil is a natural occurrence. This premise might seem trivial if David Coggeshall’s screenplay were less adept at showing what underlies the psychology of the story. One based on the possibility that everything told in the first film is just the direct consequence of the first. A methodical killer needs a place to repeat his mistakes, and that’s precisely what the prequel explores.

The Orphan: First Murder crosses all the points mentioned by its predecessor. So it’s clear that his character’s behavior is the result of more than a fortuitous incident with bloody consequences. An essential element to understand why this production differs from so many others of the same genre. It is not an exploration of Esther’s sufferings, although they are mentioned. Circumstances that surrounded her, parents that abandoned her, or even the tipping point that turned her into a soulless creature.

Instead, the story makes smart choices about the context surrounding a criminal. How did Esther engineer a macabre trick that fooled an entire family? The answer is obvious: she had done it before. But the assassin portrayed in the 2022 film is far clumsier in his handling than he will be in the future. The plot harnesses the idea of ​​an evil personality in the making, to support the dense complexity that defines it.

The Orphan: First Kill Seeking the Center of Horror

The Orphan: First Murder
The director takes up the disturbing idea of ​​the first film and goes back to understand, from a distance, the evolution of Esther. This implies that the film gives some contextual explanations about him. But its effectiveness does not depend on this. On the contrary, the conflict focuses more on illustrating the circumstance that it has built for itself. That the fearsome killer capable of stealthily and treacherously tearing a family apart is the result of his determination to survive.

Does this mean that Esther’s evil power arises from abandonment or from pain? The Orphan: First Murder does not fall into pity in order to explore his character. It’s actually a clever reflection on cruelty, turned into a well-measured weapon. Just as he uses his hypopituitarism to exploit the innocence of others, the character manipulates the weakness of others to his advantage.

It’s a sinister exchange that transforms the character into a powerful figure hiding under a false identity. But the horror movie doesn’t just feature the malevolence of a grown woman pretending to be a child. There’s also a well-constructed journey about fear, domination, and ultimately inner darkness as a form of power.

All terrifying endings in The Orphan: First Murder

As the story progresses, it’s clear the director doesn’t want the mystery to be watered down. So he avoids repeating the obvious – how dangerous Esther is – and instead focuses on the possibility of spontaneous ferocity. About the choices she will make, the mistakes she will make and, ultimately, her improbable triumph. The fact that the actress resumes her character allows the plot to make conscious decisions about how to tell its past and future. The story unfolds in time, but it’s essentially the same dilemma: what made Esther what she is?
The Orphan: First Murder
From the escape from the psychiatric center in Estonia mentioned in the first film, to a new family who must face an unexpected horror. The Orphan: First Murder takes a considerable risk by reproducing the formula that made the original production famous. But the premise, which featured a preposterous duality in the 2009 film, is far more complex in the new version. The killer is presented as a mystery that is gradually being cleared up. In the dimensions of perversity that surprise because they complement each other.

However, instead of providing exaggerated explanations for its twisted main figure, the script shows her when she could still feel the fear. The point that differentiates it from its future version. A layer of interest in understanding that his evil behavior is one of his many facets.

Cracks in a mask that make her even more fearsome and brutal. Finally, an open door to what will come next, when she learns all that she is capable of accomplishing. Esther will return and the result of this return is already part of the history of cinema. But understanding why she acted that way is her prequel’s greatest accomplishment.

The Orphan: First Murder review: The perfect prequel to a horror classic