Criticism: Criticism of “Orphan: The Origin” (“Orphan: First Kill”), by William Brent Bell

Conventional prequel to the acclaimed horror hit released back in 2009.

The orphan: The origin (Orphan: First Kill, United States/2022). Direction: William Brent Bell. Cast: Isabelle Fuhrman, Julia Stiles, Rossif Sutherland, Hiro Kanagawa, and Matthew Finlan. Screenplay: David Coggeshall. Music: Brett Detar. Photography: Karim Hussain. Editing: Josh Ethier. Distributor: Diamond Films. Suitable for over 16 years. Copies: 171.

In 2009 it was released in theaters around the world The orphan, a film directed by Jaume Collet-Serra with Vera Farmiga, Peter Sarsgaard and the evil girl played by Isabelle Fuhrman that became a surprising success with critics and audiences. However, 13 years passed until the arrival of this prequel in which -of the original cast- only Fuhrman reappears (today 25! years old in real life and whose face, therefore, is conveniently retouched with visual effects).

Far from the findings of the bizarre and at the same time elegant original film, The orphan: The origin It is a film that is as impeccable in its billing as it is conventional in its proposal. The starting point is unlikely (although we know that this is not a problem within the horror genre) with a prologue set in Estonia in 2007. There we meet the protagonist, Leena, admitted to a neuropsychiatric hospital and turned into “the most dangerous” of the place. The truth is that behind that look of an innocent girl with two tied pigtails, a 31-year-old woman is really hiding (there is a medical justification for that age mismatch) with obvious psychopathic traits and a facility for the slasher a-la-Freddy Krueger.

The concrete thing is that at 20 minutes we will have the adult girl Leena posing as Esther, the missing daughter of the Albright rich couple made up of mom Tricia (Julia Stiles) and dad Allen (Rossif Sutherland). Tricia and Esther return by private plane and settle in the family mansion in the town of Darien, Connecticut, along with Gunnar (Matthew Finlan), the couple’s eldest son. After the initial emotion for the unexpected reunion (the Albrights had not heard from Esther for four years) and the fascination generated by the skills of the “little” as a plastic artist and pianist, suspicions, confrontations and twists will begin. that we will not advance.

William Brent Bell, veteran horror film director, handles everything in a mediocre way that doesn’t irritate but doesn’t shock either. There are a lot of night scenes, and parties, and snowy landscapes, and fire, and -of course- blood. The iconography is there, the blows of effect too, but the truth is that we went from the remarkable and original film of 2009 to the discreet and predictable second installment in this 2022. Will they continue to “revive” the franchise?

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