Sunday, 14 December 2008

The Children Review

I'm going for 'glass half full' thoughts at the moment. With that in mind here's a spin on the distinct lack of sex in my shrink wrapped life. There is no chance of me having sired a kid. (Short of a girl breaking into my house, finding a jazz hanky and rinsing it into her cooch). Thats quite a relaxing notion (not the jazz hanky thing, thats fucked up) the idea that there is defintely not a little Owen out there. Its not that I don't like kids, or want them at some point, its just right now I can barely look after myself and the idea of another me in the world is a strangely worrying thing. Also it means I won't be killed by one of my own if they go batshit crazy like in The Children.

Its Christmas time in Britain and two lovely middle class families, complete with a busload of sprogs, rock up at each others houses to talk grown up stuff while the kids run off and play. But for some reason the kids are acting weird. It might just be a bit of a virus when the little ones start puking left, right and centre, but when they start running at their parents with scissors and not stopping it seems the kids aren't alright. Not wanting to hurt their wee bairns the parents are more or less incapacitated. Thankfully Casey (Hannah Tointon), the only teen of the group, isn't adverse to hoofing the little buggers in the face when they turn psycho.

Its refreshing to see a Brit film where the characters actually speak in an accent that is similar to the one you hear living in Britain. Its also refreshing to see a psychological horror from my homeland that actually credits the audience with a little respect, ratcheting up the tension slowly but surely building a sense of dread throughtout. Shame then that it resorts to jumpcuts and semi subliminals to put the willies up you, but thankfully these are few and far between, instead letting the little freaks do all the freaking.

When you realise that the children are as fair game for the kill as the parents the film takes on a dark, nasty edge. But its an edge that is more than welcome giving the film a scarier much greater depth. With solid acting and solid direction, plus a few nods to The Shining, The Children is one of the better horrors of the year just placing under that other Kids as Killers film, Eden Lake. One question that does trouble me though is how do the casting agents break the news to the parents that their child is perfect for the role. "Yeah, we'll take him. He's got that cold dead eyes of a killer thing going on. Perfect."

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