Directed by Tom Shankland
Regardless of my overall opinion of this horror film, it has succeeded in doing one thing for sure, that being convincing me that I no longer want children. Not ever. Not even for a moment. I always had a suspicion that there was more to little kids than meets the eye, and this film confirms that belief. And the thing is, it’s not even the “crazier” things these kids do that make me not want any. It’s in the initial first half of the film when they’re just normal little brats that make me not want them. Kids are evil. And then they get “Eviler.”
“The Children” starts off slow, there’s no getting around that. The acting is all up to par, and somehow, nobody in the film ever manages to go too far over the top (which, considering the subject matter, is a miracle in and of itself). But as I said, at first it’s almost boring. Relationships are set up and loosely defined, but at no real point in there ever a sense of sincerity, at least not at first.
Then the kids start killing people. And it’s awesome.
I’ve seen scarier and more tense films, but I have seldom seen a movie that sustains both for as long as this one does. The final forty or so minutes are just relentless. I’ve seen films like “Children of the Damned” and I’ve met people who think that that film (and others like “The Omen”) are terrifying. I never liked those movies, they just seemed so damn cheesy. I will say this though, if you are one of those people who DID find those other films scary, stay away from ‘The Children”. It’ll probably make you shit your pants. These kids are evil, not only because of what they do, but because of how underplayed they are. It’s normal for most films to take small children, turn them evil, and give them scary contacts or bleach their skin. Now, “The Children” does those things as well, but it does it right. And unlike most films it doesn’t have these “monsters” behaving like little Machiavellian geniuses with a master plan. They just kill because they’re sick. Imagine if those two little girls from “The Shining” (still the two scariest children in a movie ever) were given their own horror film and you’ve got “The Children”.
So my advice is, if you are able to withstand a british film with (at times) extremely thick accents, and you like horror, give this film a shot. And wait out the initial thirty minutes, cause it only gets better after that. Plus, best tagline ever.