by Rob DiCristino
Orphan: First Kill (Dir. William Brent Bell)
Spoilers for Orphan ahead:
Let’s think for a minute. What was good about 2009’s Orphan? There was director Jaume Collet-Serra, who helmed some of the decade’s best genre schlock — including Run All Night and The Shallows — before being absorbed into the Disney machine with last year’s tepid Jungle Cruise. There was the radiant Vera Farmiga, of course, taking her first steps into the horror genre before cementing herself as an icon with Bates Motel and the Conjuring series. Isabelle Fuhrman was certainly captivating as the bad seed orphan Esther, but her performance largely outclassed the character, whose psychological traumas were more engaging in theory than in practice. In truth, the most interesting thing about Orphan was that its twist — that the adolescent Esther, killed at the end of the film, was actually an adult woman with a pituitary disorder that stunted her growth — opened the door for prequels that could chronicle her early misadventures while retaining Fuhrman, whose aging could be more easily masked in that context. Not a bad strategy, as strategies go.
Orphan: First Kill comes to US theaters and VOD on August 19th.
Fall (Dir. Scott Mann)
Fall is in US theaters now.