Esther is back in Orphan: First Kill, with the first trailer revealing the original star’s de-aged appearance for the prequel.
The 2009 horror – directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, starred Isabelle Fuhrman as Esther, a nine-year-old Russian girl adopted by a family following the tragic stillbirth of their third child.
It doesn’t exactly sound like the foundation of a box office smash, but Orphan proved to be a sleeper hit, grossing just shy of $80 million from a $20 million budget.
For a certain generation, it’s one of the iconic horror movies of the late noughties. Is it because it’s amazing? Orphan certainly has its fans, but its legacy is indebted to one thing above all else: its jaw-dropping twist.
Orphan: First Kill trailer shows de-aged Isabelle Fuhrman as Esther
In Orphan, it was revealed that Esther wasn’t a nine-year-old – she was actually a 33-year-old woman named Leena Klammer, born in Estonia.
In the new trailer for Orphan: First Kill, an origin story for Esther, we see Fuhrman reprising the role with the help of a few de-aging tricks.
Initially, she appears to reunite with her mother (played by Julia Stiles) before going back to their home, after seemingly going missing. However, those around her start to suspect something is wrong with Esther, before all hell breaks loose. The trailer ends with her walking around a home engulfed in flames, so you get the gist.
Orphan First Kill plot: What’s it about?
An official synopsis reads: “Following an escape from an Estonian psychiatric facility, Leena comes to America by impersonating the missing daughter of a wealthy Connecticut family.
“But Leena’s new life as ‘Esther’ comes with an unexpected wrinkle and pits her against a mother who will protect her family at any cost.”
Fuhrman was only 12 when Orphan first hit cinemas. Now aged 24, the star was excited to return to the role, and the filmmakers didn’t use any CGI to de-age her. Instead, it was mostly a combination of practical effects and smart lighting and camera angles.
She told The Hollywood Reporter: “To reprise a role that you literally did as a kid as an adult has never been done before. It’s kind of impossible. And we did it. We didn’t use special effects, we didn’t use any crazy makeup tricks.
“I think that’s what makes the movie work, is because you really can’t figure out how I look like a [nine-year-old], but I do. And it’s really creepy.”
Orphan: First Kill hits cinemas in the UK exclusively on August 19 courtesy of Signature, while it’s out in cinemas and on Paramount+ that same day in the US.