ORPHAN: FIRST KILL is a good version of a usually under-appreciated popular art form: the knowingly-trashy-but-not-too-winky-about-it horror-thriller. I’m surprised and happy to see it getting as much love as it is, and hopefully that’s not setting expectations too high. I think it could kinda be like a 21st century version of the STEPFATHER trilogy. Though both started with the loose inspiration of real life crimes, the ORPHAN premise has the advantage of seeming much more absurd from the beginning, and therefore more ripe for escalation. I haven’t seen anyone arguing that it’s exploitative (in a bad way) to continue the adventures of Esther nee Leena (Isabelle Furhman, THE HUNGER GAMES), the (spoiler for ORPHAN part 1) dangerous escaped mental patient who pretends to be an innocent little girl.
I probly didn’t need that spoiler warning. By now anybody who knows what ORPHAN is knows that wild plot twist: the adopted little girl who’s been terrorizing Vera Farmiga and making everybody think she’s crazy and abusive turns out to be a woman in her 30s with a rare hormonal disorder and a false identity. What makes this prequel so unlikely and so delightfully audacious is that Fuhrman originally played the character when she was around 12, and instead of recasting they brought her back at the age of 24, using Hobbitvision (forced perspective and body doubles) to make her look small. I honestly found it easy to forget, but just knowing they went through the trouble for this movie gives it an extra kick. (read the rest of this shit…)