A prequel to a horror film was released this month as “Orphan: first Kill” (2022) a prequel to “Orphan” (2009) centers on the character Esther as she attempts to survive in a wealthy household while impersonating their lost daughter. This movie is not the first but the most recent introduction of horror movies prequels that seems to present a possible future for horror films and how horror prequels can be done right.
Previous horror movie prequels often carried a reputation of not being as good as their original counterpart, often missing the point surrounding why the movie is so horrifying, how the mystery plays a role within horror, or, the fundamental aspects that made the original film enjoyable in the first place. Not only does a prequel movie have to deal with these factors, but they have to worry about building anticipation in new scenes and creating the fear of the unknown for something that the audience already has information about due to it being a prequel.
“Orphan: First Kill” is a movie that I would consider to be equal or greater to the original. The movie emulates the plot twist of the original that dramatically changes the film direction, and acknowledges the information that the audience already knows before watching. As well, the movie understands why the audience is there to watch the film in the first place, for Esther.
The movie really encapsulates the perfect horror prequel as it had a set course of where the movie is leading toward while providing the audience with a new and entertaining experience that respects the original film.
The flick opens up a door of opportunity for possible horror prequels that center around the slasher and their backstory such as “Pearl” a prequel to the film “X” (2022) that is set to release in theaters on Sept. 16 that centers on the character Pearl, the slasher of the original, as a coming-of-age story.
Hopefully, the success of “Orphan: First Kill” and “Pearl” will spark a revival of horror prequel surrounding slashers such as Freddy Krueger from “A Nightmare on Elm Street” series, Charles Lee Ray from “Child’s play” series, and Pamela Voorhees from “Friday the 13th” series.