My New Favorite "Evil Children" Movie
Nanook | Culver City, CA USA | 10/07/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this film a few months ago and it immediately became my new favorite "evil children" movie, but also one of my favorite recent horrors. And it gets huge bonus points for being actually frightening. This review is of the US Region-free Blu-ray release from Lionsgate/Ghost House Underground, released today, Oct. 6, 2009.
The performances are uniformly excellent, which is crucial for a horror film to be scary. Special kudos for Mr. Shankland for coaxing genuinely creepy performances out of very young children. See the recent The Omen remake to see how not to do it. ;)
This film is not for fans of jump scares or fast-paced editing. Well, to be honest, there are a couple brief flash-cut editing moments, but they are thankfully brief, and I can see the point to them, so they are forgiven. My point was, this is a slow burner that takes its time to establish the setting, characters and mood. And as a real horror fan, I can appreciate this deliberation as true scares are built from those building blocks. The horrors that do happen, in time, are that much more effective when they do.
The picture on the BD looks great to me, but I'm not a real A/V geek, so you can look elsewhere to discuss crushed blacks. ;) There are a wealth of special features here, too, but noticeably absent is a director's commentary, alas.
On a side note, what was wrong with the fantastic cover art of the UK release? And why does Ghost House feel the need to plaster their graphics all over more prominently than the film title?
Anyway, highly recommended for horror fans who are tired of cheap jump scares. But parents beware, as the themes here are truly disturbing."
The Best Killer Kids movie EVER~!
Dayna Newman | Tampa | 10/07/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I just watched "The Children" and I am in awe..I was expecting it to be decent but this film way exceeded my expectations.
I will give a brief synopsis because you can read the synopsis anywhere you look up the film.
It's New Years Eve, and two families are meeting to celebrate the holiday together, both families have two kids.One of the families has a teenage daughter as well...The kids start getting sick then all bets are off..They start to become vicious and evil.The camera work is genius and I was so unsettled and jumpy during the movie that I had to take a xanax..and I am a hard core horror lover..It was the suspense and the way the scenes were put together and intertwined that made it excel.
For a movie with such young kids in the production they spared no violence or hard core scenes.
I might expect they would soften it a bit but they didn't .Kudos' for that as well.
I was entertained from start to finish and I mean the last frame.
Think 1981's Bloody Birthday with gore no cheese and great acting.
This is definitely a film I will watch again and probably again .
Clinton Enlow | Kansas | 10/06/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've seen both Paul Andrew Williams The Cottage and Tom Shanklands W Delta Z and nothing in those films would have been harbinger for The Children. Its been compared to Who Can Kill a Child and in some ways the comparison is apt as it involves children slowly succumbing to some unknown cause that turns them violent towards adults. Who Can Kill a Child was more involved in creating suspense in the unknown and questioning the idea of violence against children. The Children like the recent Grace more or less involves parents and their children and the lengths people will go to protect their offspring even when those kids might have set up a trap for an adult invovling sleds and gardening equipment. This might be a big statement but its one of the best British horror films since The Descent.
How does it achieve this? It simply sets up its situation and its story. Two families come together before Christmas carrying their children to a remote area in the woods. Slowly with one event the children start showing signs of sickness. The parents however are too self absorbed in their own problems complicated by teenager Casey whos acting rebellious flirting with her uncle and trying to hide a tatoo from her parents. Slowly though things begin to change. There are hints but things are never clear until the first fatality. Then the adults are scrambling around looking for their children while Casey begins to suspect the truth trying to warn adults who only want to protect their children even if those kids are coming at them with a pair of scissors.
The children as it is is a slow burn of a film that is more about tension and suspense than gore. The gore is still there in flashes and glimpses. The kills are brutal and effective as they're happening to characters who are well defined and acted. And unlike Who Can Kill a Child I'll admit even the violence to the little tykes was unnerving without feeling exploitative. This is an excellent film a great addition to the new Ghost House Underground series. Even if you didn't like last years releases do check this one out.
For the price you do get a great release for a budget. The audio is terrific while the visuals a bit grainy in the opening do improve and make one of the better discs from Lionsgate. To go with the film theres also quiet a bevy of featurettes that are better than most. All in all a recommended disc though I'm more for the movie than anything else."
The best thing to come from Ghost House Underground
N. Durham | Philadelphia, PA | 10/08/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"These lines of direct to DVD horror flicks to come along recently, the After Dark Horrorfest and more recently Ghost House Underground, usually feature a diamond in the rough among their various lineups. British import The Children is by and far such a film in this year's Ghost House Underground lineup, and it may in fact be the ballsiest horror film you'll come across right now. A family get together turns deadly when a virus infects the young children, which subsequently causes them to attack and murder the adults. As they fight for survival, it becomes clear that director Tom Shankland (The Killing Gene) is quite simply going for the throat of the viewer, as he pulls no punches in presenting some shocking scenes of brutality and bloodletting. Not to mention the fact that the film is actually suspenseful and it features a simply dynamite ending, The Children winds up being a blood-curdling shocker. The film's editing may be occasionally sloppy, but regardless of that, The Children is definitely worth your time if you're a horror fan. Be on the lookout for the gorgeous Hannah Tointon, who may in fact be a star in the making."