The Children (2008) - Children of the snow. As a virus infects the children of a couple families having Christmas together the sick children get pretty evil and begin to kill the adults. There is not a lot more plot than this really. There is the conflict between couples about permissive upbringing versus strict rules based child rearing. There is the teenage girl sort of flirting with her aunts husband and his creepy acceptance of it. Then there is the fundamental disbelief the parents have when the harm starts. Of course as a parent there is no way you are going to think your child is trying to kill you. This movie co-ops the fear that behind the innocent faces there is evil waiting to strike. When my daughter was small 3 or so I had this dream that I awoke and heard her little feet pattering out of our room. Strange I thought and got up to follow her, the apartment we had could be circled in going room to room. I would hear the patter and follow only to not see her. Then I entered the kitchen after the footsteps, flicked on the lights. Joy was up on a chair reaching enough to pull a butcher knife out of the block. When the light went on I only saw this in a glimpse as she push it back in quickly and leaned to the sink saying, "dwink, water". The whole dream was wrapped in a feeling of being a bit afraid. This is what this film does. The parents can never quite be sure what is going on. There is a threat but it is from the least likely to cause it.
When I think of evil children the movie that comes to mind is "Children of the Corn". It is a more overt film with the theme being right out there from the beginning. The children killing the adults of the town is one of the first scenes and you know from the start what will happen. In The Children" The process is slower and the immediate danger is not there, but the threat grows as more of the kids get infected. The film is effective at not letting the parents catch on too quickly and even though the teenager seems onto the games of the kids. Being the teen she is not really listened to by the adults and in fact becomes distrusted as the possible killer.
There are not too many ways this plot can go so I was waiting for the reveal that the problem was not just an isolated incident but a worldwide epidemic. When the last couple of survivors try to get away what will they be running to? Will they escape and infected zone or just be heading into new terrors? You will have to watch it to find out.
Writers Paul Andrew Williams and Tom Shankland (who also directed) do a good job making this a believable story and the horror of parents being attacked and having to defend themselves against there children is chilling. The directing was sharp enough to build a believable survival story. There is that one thing though, when is it when the people are in a car and see what looks like a dangerous scene, one or both of them have to get out of the car to investigate? I can see early in a film but late in a movie when the characters already know there is a ton of danger.
The acting was solid with Eva Birthistle and Rachel Shelly as adult sisters, Stephen Campbell Moore and Jeremy Sheffield as the husbands, and the lovely Hannah Tointon as the teenager Casey. Oh and one more thing, Blue Crayon!
Rating (6.2) 5.0 and up are recommended in the Zombiegrrlz rating system I would say Rent It!