The first movie was creepy enough, but it feels as though it was mentioned that Esther was wracking up victims before she reached the Coleman house; it was necessary to go back and remind people that deception and murder weren’t new concepts to this pint-sized killer. The Saarne Institute returned for this movie, and people were given a closer look at the inside of the facility and how truly devious Esther, or rather, Leena, can be. The condition that makes her appear to be a 9-year-old girl is just as creepy as ever, but seeing how violent she is when she kills the woman who some might have thought would be more critical in the movie is a bit of a shocker. After ruthlessly ending the woman’s life, Leena pores through a list of missing children in America and, finding one that she resembles, Leena begins to craft her story and present herself as Esther Albright. Soon enough, she can talk to the right people, and the story progresses to the USA.
The ruse didn’t feel as easy to establish this time, but there was a good reason.
Posing as Esther Albright, Leena seeks to gain the confidence of the Albright family as she does what she can to convince them that she’s their long-lost daughter and sister. The father, Allen, is so happy at reuniting with his daughter that he doesn’t appear to question anything. Unfortunately, his wife Tricia and son Gunnar aren’t as convinced since Esther has a few memory problems and skills that were still developing when she was abducted. In other words, they don’t trust that this girl is the missing part of their family, but it goes deeper. On top of this, the doubt extends to the detective who discovered Esther, as he has his own misgivings about who she is. But, as it happened in the initial movie, Esther noticed the doubts and the looks and wasn’t about to let anyone mess with her attempts to fit in.
True to form, Esther/Leena gets to work quickly when her identity is discovered, but this movie has an exciting twist.
It was expected that Esther would seek to silence anyone that had the kind of doubts that would expose her eventually, and how such moments are set up is rather obvious, as a knife being stuck in a cutting board is as good as a neon sign when sending a message. But before Rose could finish off the detective, that was suspicious. Therefore a liability, the twist in this story comes to pass when Tricia walks into the room and finishes the detective off with a few well-placed bullets before sitting Leena down and explaining to her that she knows very well that she is, not her long lost daughter. Tricia knows this, however, is a whole new perspective on the story since her revelation is that the honest Esther was killed during an altercation with her big brother, Gunnar. Tricia knows about this matter because she’s the one who covered it up, while Allen is under the impression that their daughter was abducted and disappeared.
The games begin once Tricia and Esther find that they can’t trust each other.
With the secret being held between them, the story starts to heat up as it’s already been noted that Esther is attempting to separate Tricia and Allen. At the same time, Gunnar grows increasingly unstable regarding Esther’s place in the family. Both Tricia and Gunnar know that if Esther were to disappear again so soon, it would raise too many questions, especially since Allen is so grateful to have his daughter back. When Tricia figures that it’s best to get rid of Esther, though, it becomes a back-and-forth battle as she first tries to poison Esther by placing something in her food. The fact that Esther is too alert for this makes things difficult, but upon feeding her poisoned food to a rat living behind the grate in her room, Esther realizes that things are getting a bit dangerous. When she places the corpse of the dead rat in Tricia’s morning smoothie, though, it’s kind of evident that the two women are well aware of what’s going on.
It’s tough to think of why people are so confused by the ending.
Using the first movie to reason how and why Esther turned up as she did in an orphanage where she met Coleman is simple enough. A few fine details likely needed to be ironed out, but overall, the connection isn’t hard to see. But the brutal nature of her character is enough to think that Esther/Leena is someone that could go on doing this type of thing for a long time, which is no doubt one reason why it’s so horrifying.
It’s creepy enough, but at some point, the actress would have aged out of the role, which is why the ending to the first movie was kind of perfect.