ORPHAN: FIRST KILL is a new horror prequel set prior to the events in the 2009 movie Orphan. The story takes place just before the events of that one. Isabelle Fuhrman still plays the title role. Read our Orphan: First Kill movie review here!

ORPHAN: FIRST KILL is a new horror movie that is directly connected to the storyline of Orphan (2009). This is a prequel where the storyline takes place just before the events of the previous movie.

It really isn’t necessary to have watched the 2009 movie to enjoy this one. However, there are elements of the story (especially then ending) that leads directly into that movie. Also, you’ll be even more amazed that the same actor is able to repeat this role. She really is quite brilliant – and scary as all hell.

We’ve included a recap by the YouTube channel “Movie Recaps” here!

Continue reading our Orphan: First Kill movie review below.

Isabelle Fuhrman stars again

Incredibly enough, Isabelle Fuhrman still plays the title role. A role where she has to look like she’s only 9 years old despite being in her 30s. In real life, Isabelle Fuhrman is still only in her mid-20s (born in 1997), so she is really working at both ends of her real age.

Oh yes, Isabelle Fuhrman is still playing a woman in her 30s pretending to be a 9-year-old. Since starring in Orphan, Isabelle Fuhrman has also played her own real age in movies like The Hunger Games and, more recently, Escape Room 2: Tournament of Champions and The Last Thing Mary Saw (2021).

The character she plays is named Esther, but this obviously isn’t her real name. In the 2009 movie, we got some background info on her. And in this new prequel, we begin exactly where we found out “Esther” came from; A psychiatric hospital.

In fact, the story begins on the night when she escaped from that place. After that, she ends up in a foster family where another life event of Esther’s will occur. Also one that was briefly mentioned in the previous movie.

Orphan: First Kill (2022) – Review | Horror Prequel

Julia Stiles shines

Also starring in Orphan: First Kill is Julia Stiles (the original Dexter series), who is absolutely amazing. Since horror darling, Vera Farmiga, starred in the original movie, they needed to create an amazing character and find an actor who could pull off playing her.

With Julia Stiles, they hit the jackpot here!

There are several twists and turns in Orphan: First Kill and the main one comes fairly early on. It changes both the dynamic and storyline in thrilling ways. This makes for a more psychological horror movie (with lots of thriller and some action elements), which transforms it into a very different kind of movie.

In terms of the adoptive mom, the character played by Julie Stiles is much better written than the one for Vera Farmiga. It’s just that Vera Farmiga is so awesome that you may have forgotten that fact – if you have watched the 2009 movie, of course.

Watch ORPHAN: FIRST KILL in theaters or on Paramount+

Orphan: First Kill was directed by William Brent Bell who already has quite a few big horror titles to his name already. From The Devil Inside (2012) to the doll horror movie The Boy (2016). The original 2009 movie was directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, who also directed the shark horror movie The Shallows (2016).

This time, the screenplay was written by David Coggeshall, who has written on the Scream TV series and an episode of the Lore anthology. Of course, based on a story by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick & Alex Mace (the writers of the 2009 movie).

If you liked the original Orphan movie, then you have to check out this prequel. There’s even more to “Esther” and her first experiences of being adopted. Including great twists that were actually quite reminiscent of a true-crime documentary. Real-life is always crazier than fiction!

ORPHAN: FIRST KILL will premiere in US & UK theaters on August 19, 2022. In the US it will also be out on Paramount+.


Director: William Brent Bell
Writers: David Coggeshall (screenplay), David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick & Alex Mace (story)
Cast: Isabelle Fuhrman, Julia Stiles, Rossif Sutherland, Hiro Kanagawa, Matthew Finlan, Samantha Walkes, Dave Brown


Esther’s terrifying saga continues in this thrilling prequel to the original and shocking horror hit Orphan. Esther’s (Isabelle Fuhrman, Orphan) secret may be out but this time around there’s more to this psychotic young girl than meets the eye. Escaping from the psychiatric facility that housed her, Esther hides in plain sight by assuming the identity of a missing American child whose mother (Julia Stiles, Dexter) is matriarch to one of the wealthiest families in the United States. Will Esther’s thirst for blood destroy the strong family ties or will she discover that even a mother will cross the line to protect her family?

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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