Orphan: The First Murder Reviews in, See What Critics Are Saying about the Horror Prequel


It’s been 13 years since Isabelle Furman first wowed viewers with this wild twist in “Orphan,” so it’s no surprise that we were all surprised to learn that the actress will reprise the role in the prequel “Orphan: The First Murder.” Curiosity about how they’re going to pull it off, in addition to the incendiary first trailer for “Orphan: The First Murder,” really caused some excitement about this sequel to the 2009 cult classic. And if you need more information, we are here to provide, as the critics have viewed the film and their reviews are already ready.

The action of “Orphan: The First Murder” takes place before the events of the original film, apparently after Esther (Isabel Furman) escapes from an Estonian orphanage, steals the identity of a young girl and is adopted by Trisha (Julia Stiles) and Allen (Rossif). Sutherland). It’s safe to say that they have no idea what they’re doing, but let’s let the critics tell us what we, the audience, can expect, starting with the review of “Orphan: The First Murder” from CinemaBlend. Eric Eisenberg rates the film 2.5 stars out of 5, saying that the prequel takes too long to go through a repeat of the first film, but still gives another huge twist. He says:

The weaknesses in the first two acts of “Orphans: The First Murder” are especially regrettable, because this is a rare horror film that ends much better than it begins, and the beginning is really unsettling. The revelation of the third act isn’t as big as “that nine-year-old kid you adopted is actually a 33-year-old psychopathic killer,” but it’s also not the development you expect… and that’s all I can say. it’s in this place without spoilers. This is the kind of twist that, under other circumstances, might make you revisit the entire movie in search of clues that you may have missed the first time, but in this case your time is probably better spent watching something else.

Lena Wilson of The Wrap likes how this prequel draws on the mannered aspect of the tone of the original. It is impossible to take such an absurd story seriously, and Orphan: First Kill plays it perfectly. This film is asking to be watched in a noisy theater or with a company at a sleepover party, says the critic:

To fully explain the charms of Orphan: First Kill, spoilers will be required, but know that there are many of these charms, at least if you have the necessary sick sense of humor. This movie can hardly be called scary — every murder can be seen from a mile away — but it is undoubtedly a horror. This transgressive, ghoulish material makes the genre fantastic, and “The First Murder” gives the main character a final chapter that matches her quirkiness.

Vanessa Mackie of Mary Sue agrees with the above assessment, calling “Orphan: The First Murder” a “mannered, bloody delight.” While viewers may wonder if knowing the ending of the original movie will spoil the fun, this critic says not to worry because he finds ways to keep the story fresh.:

It may seem similar to the plot of the first movie, but without spoiling too much about the plot twist, I’ll say that “Orphan: The First Murder” does a great job of finding fresh horror and new ground for Esther’s story. I wasn’t sure at all how events would develop at the end, which is always a sign of good horror.

Jared Mobarak of The Film Stage, however, gives the film a dismal A-plus, and while acknowledging the director’s efforts for the hoops he jumped through to make Isabel Furman still look like a child, the efforts were distracting in this “inconsequential, shaky” prequel. From the review:

Pay tribute to director William Brent Bell: he tries his best to give the impression that Furman is a child compared to her colleagues in the film, regardless of the circumstances. Nevertheless, “Orphan: The First Murder” can hardly be called an attractive film. The number of cuts needed to keep the scale and movement in tandem, ensuring that we see Esther’s face as often as possible, creates a lot of shaky action. Add to this that most of the film seems to be vignetted with fog, and the cost of production drops sharply to the level of a soap opera.

Matt Donato of IGN rates the film a “good” 7 out of 10, saying that the prequel justifies its existence by challenging expectations regarding the rules that prequels should follow. The critic says:

As soon as Orphan: First Kill starts working, its domestic wildness and audacious viciousness will turn into an intoxicating fragrance. Bell honors the anarchy behind which the Orphan’s story stands, and does it to the rhythm of his own maniac. Rarely can anyone assume that this is a prequel, and that’s why it will win over Orphan fans who may have once scoffed at the very idea – let them laugh, and then prove them wrong. Orphan: First Kill is a damn amazing and unstoppable experience.

If you want to dive into a new story about an orphan 13 years later, you can do it starting on Friday, August 19. “Orphan: The First Murder” is released simultaneously in some cinemas, on video on demand and in streaming mode for Paramount+ subscribers. Also be sure to check out our 2022 movie release schedule to find out what other movies are coming to theaters soon.


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