2009’s horror hit ‘Orphan’ was a hugely entertaining shocker where a husband and wife adopt a 9 year old Esther (Isabelle Fuhrman) who’s far from the sweet innocent child she appears to be and the bodies soon pile up and it’s for that reason none of our team will ever babysit our Editors twin boys Adolf and Damien, the sort of kids that other kids dress up as at Halloween (‘You’re fired!’ – Ed). Orphan First Kill is a belated sequel that picks up several years later where the evil Esther is now in an Estonian psychiatric facility where its revealed that she is a 31 year old woman but suffers from a rare variation of dwarfism that sees her never age and in that respect we wonder if the same condition is suffered by Cher.
Older and wiser but still as malevolent Esther orchestrates an escape and gets herself to America where she assumes the identity of the missing daughter of wealthy parents Tricia & Allen Albright (Julia Stiles & Rossif Sutherland). At first the parents are delighted to have their long lost daughter back despite the fact she now speaks with an east European accent and to counteract the carnage that will inevitably follow Esther also has developed an ability to play the piano as well as being of an artistic bent with that greatly pleases her father himself a painter who specializes in painting pictures where UV light reveals that the pictures aren’t all that they seem – the analogy with Esther is obvious. Like Jimmy Saville’s hobby she is an adult in a child’s body so it’s not long before suspicion’s are raised and Esther has to go to increasing extremes to conceal her real identity.
As conniving and duplicitous as Esther is it’s a missed opportunity not to have cast Boris Johnson as her long lost brother and she is now forced into ever more extreme methods of covering her tracks. Now all of this might sound standard horror fare but there’s the most audacious twist that comes completely from leftfield and spins the film in a wholly unexpected direction that puts in doubt just how this might end.
Isabelle Fuhrman was only eleven years old when she starred as Esther in the first film and has returned to the role at 25 years of age but still looks young enough with the help of clever make up and a little bit of CGI trickery to be convincing enough in way that Jeanette Krankie never could. With enough kills to satisfy gore hounds and a twisted if implausible storyline that pulls you in Orphan First Kill is a hugely enjoyable piece of hokum .
Watch the Orphan First Kill trailer HERE