For the best of the Horror/Cult/Exploitation film experience
The Children (2008)
As part of the Ghost House Pictures
Underground label we have director Tom Shanklandís ďThe ChildrenĒ. It
doesnít take a genius to figure out from the title and reading the back
of the box that we have your standard killer kid movie here. Nothing
wrong with that in my mind considering killer kid movies can be a
blast, yet when they donít allow the kids to be mean little bastards
itís usually a flop. Knowing the attitude in todayís society toward
children however I canít say that I was expecting much, but I have to
say that this one was quite the pleasant surprise.
ďThe ChildrenĒ takes place during the Christmas season when two
families come together for the New Years holiday with their children
and all. Almost immediately strange things are happening and it seems
that the children have a shift in attitude from innocent to strange and
eventually pure insanity.
The thing that I really enjoyed about this movie is it gave off
very old school vibesís that reminded me of the killer kid movies of
the past. The thing that makes this subgenre so awesome is the fact
that usually in these movies the situations can be a bit over the top,
yet are completely serious in their delivery. This movie is no
exception, which tells me that Shankland was definitely aware of the
subgenre before he made this movie.
One thing done particularly well in this one is the fact that the
kids are annoying as all hell. Thatís usually something done in these
movies to make them villains and it works here because I really wanted
someone to start taking the kids out before they even go all evil on
the adults asses. Seriously though, these are some of the most
annoying characters Iíve ever seen in a film of this type so job well
done for that.
Something else that I feel is important in these types of movies is
the fact that when the shit hits the fan, the kids need to be shown no
mercy. Thatís accomplished here as well and it gave me the sigh of
relief as soon as it did. It shows you that the movie itself isnít
going to water itself down and I loved that fact about ďThe Children.
The acting in the film is pretty good from all sides which is
almost a miracle in this day and age. Itís no secret that child actors
simply arenít what they once were and it was nice to see decent child
actors here. The rest of the characters are as well acted as you would
expect and this just adds another dimension to the film that makes it
that much better.
Overall I have to say that ďThe ChildrenĒ surprised the hell out of
me and is one solid killer kiddie flick. If youíre a fan of that
subgenre then do yourself a favor and check this one out. It may not
be the best film ever made of itís type, but itís still a damn solid
horror flick. So I would have to recommend this one as I think itís
going to surprise a lot of people in the same way it surprised me.
Rating - ***