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‘Orphan: First Kill’ Review | A Fantastic, Demented, Gothic, Camp, Thriller

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Orphan: First Kill is a fantastic Demented Gothic Camp Thriller showcasing Esther’s terrifying Return from Signature Entertainment UK. This thrilling prequel to the original is nail-biting, nerve-racking & had me on the edge of my seat. Isabelle Fuhrman returns as the master manipulator 

After orchestrating a brilliant escape from an Estonian psychiatric facility, Esther travels to America by impersonating the missing daughter of a wealthy family. Yet, an unexpected twist arises that pits her against a mother who will protect her family from the murderous “child” at any cost. 

Isabelle Fuhrman as “Esther” in Orphan: First Kill from Paramount Players, eOne, and Dark Castle Entertainment.

The first “Orphan” movie was released back in 2009 and instantly became a cult classic for fans of the horror genre. The film directed by Jaume Collet-Serra starred 10-year-old Isabelle Fuhrman as Esther, an orphan adopted by a couple desperate to expand their family. However Esther begins to make things rough and the iconic twist is that the young girl suffered from Hypopituitarism, a disorder that caused her to stop growing, making her look like a child even though she is, in fact, a murderous adult woman in her 30s. She feels like a freak and this truly leans into her psychosis, which has inevitably led her to go mad and become destructive. Esther is hyper-intelligent and is able to pit people against one another. 

The screenplay for the film’s prequel was written by David Coggeshall from a story by producers Alex Mace and David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick. They’ve put Esther in a new set of circumstances which help the narrative and will truly lead the audience to think they’re getting something they’ve witnessed before, however, the filmmakers pull the rug from underneath and show an origin like no other as we witness a tense beginning inside the Saarne Institute in Estonia where Esther is residing as a patient. It’s an intense start to the film as suspicion builds because we watch Esther devise her plan to impersonate a Connecticut couple’s missing child, who had disappeared four years ago. 

Once the creative team solved the story, especially the all-important twist. Director William Brent Bell was brought on board to direct the film and he brings Esther’s psyche visually to life. 

Orphan: First Kill also sees the return of Isabelle Fuhrman reprising her role as the titular character. The actress, now 25 years old still possesses her youth and it’s a testament to the filmmakers for crafting this illusion so that the audience is convinced that Fuhrman is thirteen years younger. Special makeup effects artists collaborated with the actress and other departments. They relied on old-school Hollywood techniques such as contacts, makeup, and raising tables on apple boxes, and the cast wore very high heels to alter the perspective. Fuhrman also had to undergo a transformation to act more childlike, a lot of that came from the fantastic young body doubles and bringing back the dialect she has painstakingly studied for the first film. Some things which are to be questioned about Esther will be answered but once the twist happens, Orphan: First Kills becomes a different movie. 

We’re also introduced to the wealthy, suburban Albright family- Tricia, Allen, and their son Gunnar- had a tragedy of unspeakable magnitude as their youngest daughter, Esther, disappeared four years ago and we witness the reflect this incident has had on each of them. The Matriarch, Tricia Albright is played by Julia Stiles who shines in the role as she brings such depth and personality. The movie showcases the uneasy reconnection with her mysteriously returned daughter and I absolutely loved Esther and Tricia’s complex relationship as it truly created tension. 

Passing herself off as the real Esther, she uses the same manipulative techniques that she’ll eventually use on Vera Farmiga. We see her gaslight Tricia, awkwardly seduce the father Allen( Rossif Sutherland) and threaten her new sibling Gunner (Matthew Finlan). However, she underestimates the dynamic she’s conned her way into. 

Orphan: First Kill fully embraces its self-awareness and dials up the madness as it injects energy and plenty of camp unhinged moments that are certainly entertaining.

Signature Entertainment presents Orphan: First Kill exclusively in Cinemas from Friday 19th August 

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HORROR

The Boogeyman | Official Trailer | 20th Century Studios

The Boogeyman is an upcoming American supernatural horror film directed by Rob Savage from a screenplay by Scott Beck, Bryan Woods and Mark Heyman, based on the 1973 short story of the same name by Stephen King.

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Genre:

Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Release Date:

June 2, 2023

Director:

Rob Savage

Cast:

Chris Messina, Sophie Thatcher, David Distmalchian

Plot Summary:

The Boogeyman is an upcoming American supernatural horror film directed by Rob Savage from a screenplay by Scott Beck, Bryan Woods and Mark Heyman, based on the 1973 short story of the same name by Stephen King.

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Entertainment

Olivia Cooke to Play a Nun in Horror Film ‘Visitation’

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Horror has been one of the most profitable genres in recent years due to its low cost to produce scary pics while constantly drawing in audiences. Pair that theory with a fresh star like one from HBO’s House of the Dragon and you might have a hit on your hands. That’s exactly what director Nicolas Pesce (The Grudge, Eyes of My Mother) aims to do with his latest horror film as Deadline is reporting that Olivia Cooke (House of the Dragon, Ready Player One) will lead Visitation

Visitation will follow a 14-year-old girl named Maria who is sent away to live with nuns while her mother is dying of an illness, however, her stay at the monastery quickly takes an eerie turn as one of her caretakers starts to be enamored with her for all the wrong reasons. Cooke is set to play a nun who is central to the story, but further character details are under wraps for now. Cooke will be joined in the film by other cast members Isla Johnston, Alfie Allen, Penelope Wilton and Stephen Rea.

Cooke is best known for her role as Alicent Hightower in the new hit HBO fantasy/drama House of the Dragon. She has also appeared in supporting roles for indies such as Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and Sound of Metal as well as supporting roles in blockbusters such as Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One. Cooke will next appear in the thriller, Mother’s Milk alongside Hilary Swank and Jack Reynor. Alfie Allen is also no stranger to the Game of Thrones universe as he starred as Theon Greyjoy in the HBO series. He most recently appeared in the MGM+ show SAS Rogue Heroes. While Johnston played the younger version of Beth Harmon in Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit and Rea most recently appeared alongside Emily Blunt in the Amazon series, The English but is best known for his Oscar-nominated role in 1992’s The Crying Game.

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HORROR

Renfield | Official Trailer | Universal Pictures

Dracula’s henchman and inmate at the lunatic asylum.

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Genre:

Comedy, Fantasy, Horror

Release Date:

April 14, 2023

Director:

Chris McKay

Cast:

Nicolas Cage, Nicholas Hoult, Awkwafina

Plot Summary:

Dracula’s henchman and inmate at the lunatic asylum.

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