I honestly don't know where to begin on this film. I should have prepped some witty explanatory opening paragraph highlighting my experience getting a hold of this film, but to be honest, It was a blind grab from a public tracker. Yes, I downloaded it; Sue me. So, Upon reading the Wikipedia article, I glanced accidentally at a massive spoiler. Instantly, my stomach churned. That single sentence horrified me into a state of manic petrification.
Regardless of the entire film being ruined by one Wikipedia editor's inability to spell or complete sentences, I dredged slowly through this long yet calculated film and found myself astonished. Frank Perry is an Academy Award winner whose films I haven't heard of. After watching this film, I must seek out his other films.
In a time shattered by the Cold War, more specifically the Cuban Missile Crisis, a rural elementary school's normal day is interrupted by an ear-shattering alarm warning of a nuclear attack in approximately one hour. Not knowing if it's a drill or the real thing, the principal and the teachers begin to evacuate the students while someone continues to try to reach the outside world.
Normally, these apocalyptic films bother me in a sense and never leave me feeling uneasy. Only two films have made me feel wary of the end of days and those are Cloverfield and Ladybug Ladybug. What A Nightmare on Elm Street did for children's songs was long accomplished before by this very film. Having a title of a popular nursery rhyme was an intelligent move for the film. Giving that the children are of such a young age, the only real comfort they feel is leeched from games and songs.
Speaking of children, the acting really shone for me. My personality traits create much hatred for children, including children in film. Jennifer Lopez's Enough drove me bonkers during the scene in which the "bad man" tried to harm the girl power group. This experience caused the little girl to shrill for minutes at a time. I expected the same from this but was surprised to find children questioning God's inability to save them or the effects of war. Watching such small and fragile minds expanding with the grief that religion might be dead and the government doesn't care is a sight to behold.
A war-torn melodrama that presents a cast populated with many New York based Broadway actors and a handful of children. I doubt there is any way that this film could be received as horrible, let alone not amazing. Ladybug Ladybug amazed me, thrilled me, shocked me, provided me with the most calculated angles and lighting effects in recent memory, and actually left me breathless.