Horror movie

The True History of the Horror Movie, Explained

In 2009, Orphan was released, telling the story of a couple who adopt a nine-year-old girl who turns out not to be the person she originally claimed to be. The film is a weird watch that received mixed reviews from critics, but has since become a cult classic and is currently admired as a unique psychological horror film. Isabelle Fuhrman plays Esther, and her performance is a highlight of the film. This year, the franchise is set to return with Orphan: first murder, a prequel that will explore Esther’s origins, just in time for Halloween. Fuhrman will reprise her role as Esther, and the film will deploy creative techniques to make the 25-year-old actress look youthful again.

What many people may know is that the plot of Orphan is based on a true story. The real case of Indeed, Barbora Skrlová inspired the events of the film, and the real case is just as chilling as the film itself. Also, a similar case was reported shortly after the film’s release, and with the upcoming Orphan prequel film, this could possibly be explored in more detail in the next film.

Related: Orphan: First Killing Star Julia Stiles Shocked by Esther’s Return

Barbora Skrlova case


esther orphan
Pictures from Warner Bros.

The case which is widely accepted as the truth behind the inspiration for the Orphan the movie is the case of Barbora Skrlová. The story became a national news event that received widespread coverage after a 13-year-old boy named ‘Adam’, who was adopted from Norway, disappeared. It was later revealed that it was actually a 33-year-old Czech woman, known as Skrlová. The woman was a criminal who had committed crimes in the Czech Republic when she came to live with her two sisters and their two children. Her sister suffered from a serious mental illness which made her a target for Skrlová’s manipulation.

Once she realized she could manipulate the family, she began fabricating stories of children breaking the rules for which she applied increasingly extreme forms of punishment. She finally managed to convince the family to lock the children in the basement and deprive them of food. As the situation had become so serious, neighbors noticed and eventually reported the crime. It was then that she was able to escape and posed as a 13-year-old boy who had been reported missing. After running away, she was able to impersonate the boy for a time, before she was eventually discovered. This ultimately led to his capture. It is easy to see the parallels between this story and the story of Orphan.

Natalia Grace case


orphan 2
Warner Bros.

After Orphan was published, a unique case was discovered, which people speculated may have been influenced by the events that were shown in the film. In Indiana, a couple named Kristine and Michael Barrett, who had previously raised several children with special needs, were subjected to similar events that were shown on screen. They adopted a six-year-old Ukrainian girl named Natalia Grace, who suffered from a rare form of dwarfism that made it difficult for her to walk. She had already been living in the United States for 2 years before being taken into care, however, the previous family let her go for undisclosed reasons.

Soon after she was taken into care, the family began noticing Natalia’s strange behavior. There were reports that she would threaten the family – and there was even an incident where she tried to pour bleach into their morning coffee. Eventually, Kristine suspected that Natalia wasn’t actually a child, a suspicion fueled by her advanced vocabulary and lack of interest in toys. They were able to legally change his age to 22 after their claims were backed up by medical reports (however, these were later refuted). The parents were later charged with negligence. After the incident, Kristine still maintains that the child pretended to be an adult the whole time, but her husband admitted that she was a child and that Kristine convinced him to lie about her age. It has since been widely speculated that the couple’s actions may have been influenced by the events of Orphan.

Related: 8 Movies That Feature “Evil” Kids

Orphan’s planned prequel movie


orphan 3
Warner Bros.

Orphan came out in 2009, so it’s been a long time since audiences were shocked by the twisted story, and real-life events seem to have brought the horror back to real life. It has been announced that Esther will be back in a prequel film called Orphan: first murder. Isabelle Fuhrman reprises her role as Esther, and it’s been reported that the filmmakers used a combination of special effects and makeup to ensure her character retains her youthful appearance from the first film. The movie is due out later this year, so it’ll be interesting to see how the plot develops and if any events from the story’s actual counterparts will be depicted, but we’re certainly excited to find out.


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