Esther will again be frightening us with her presence in less than a month. What happened to her first family?
Orphan (2009)’s Esther may have perished in that swampy lake, but her mysterious upbringing continues to plague us. On July 13, 2022, Paramount released the official trailer for Orphan’s prequel, Orphan: First Kill (2022), and the expected release date. The film will be available in select theaters, digital on-demand, and Paramount+ on August 19, 2022.
Orphan’s original story centers on Kate (Vera Farmiga) and John (Peter Sarsgaard), the parents of Daniel (Jimmy Bennett) and Max (Aryana Engineer). The family has recently suffered the tragic loss of their newborn baby, Jessica. That is how they find Esther (Isabelle Fuhrman), a 9-year-old Russian orphan. Esther likes to paint, is exceptionally polite, and always happens to be present when something terrible happens. As the film progresses, a more menacing side of Esther shifts into the light, forcing us all to watch with bated breath as she takes us on a journey of absolute horrors.
Director William Brent Bell, known for his work on Stay Alive (2006) and The Devil Inside (2012), will hopefully lead us through Esther’s dark past with the same apprehension and discomfort in the upcoming film. Furman is known for her terrifying portrayal of Esther when she was 12 years old and will reprise her role in the much-anticipated prequel. Surprisingly without heavy makeup or CGI, Fuhrman, now 25, will play 9-year-old Esther.
In January, Fuhrman told The Hollywood Reporter, “I love the challenge of being able to play a kid because that’s never historically been done in cinema.” She discussed how upon further research, she found that “an adult has never reprised the role that they played as a child.” She said, “We didn’t use special effects, we didn’t use any crazy makeup tricks. And I think that’s what makes the movie work, is because you really can’t figure out how I look like a [9-year-old], but I do. And it’s really creepy.”
Julia Stiles and Rossif Sutherland star alongside Fuhrman in this deception-infused psychological horror story, and the talented David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick (The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It), David Coggeshall (Lore, Prey), and Alex Mace (Orphan) wrote the screenplay.
I’m excited to see how the prequel will play out. The trailer features a shockingly child-like Fuhrman once again drumming up terror at every turn. I am optimistic that both her and original writer Mace will do this prequel the justice it deserves.