I encountered a sturdy revelation in the final moments of The Children. Contrary to what Jervaise Brooke Hamster declares insistently, the British film industry has had some bloody reinventions recently marking intense extremes within the horror community: Most recently, Eden Lake and 2008's The Children. In both of these rather marvelous contraptions, scenarios that are normally shunned are given proper treatment over a spread amount of time. In Eden Lake, we watch a group of young Chavs terrorize a couple in the woods over a disputed murder of a rottweiler and in The Children, we encounter a Christmas party gone horribly awry when an uninvited virus turns the youngsters into murdering charlatans. Think Children of the Corn but without that goofy retro aesthetic that overkills the sand-colored film stock.
The most alarming and fundamental aspect of The Children is the uninformed marketing of an unexplained virus. Some might get offended at the lack of insight into this epidemic but I find the air of mystique to be quite welcoming. In fact, The Children almost reminds me of equal parts Children of the Corn, Cabin Fever, and Stephen King's Cell. The moments of toddler terror even brought to mind Cronenberg's horrifying film effort The Brood. At our local Wal-Mart exists a crane game that emits a horrifying child laugh that sends shiver up and down my spine. It's official, children are the most terrifying villain ever put to screen and it's the most fresh kill count. For instance, I've seen every method of human dispatch. Watching an adult get axed or anything similar to casual hack n' slash is too deadpan for my taste. We've seen it all before and it lacks shock value. But watching a child die is like kick starting the horror genre. Only with the death of our youth will horror be once again fresh and uncompromising.
To be fair to horror and The Children, this is one of the most terrifying movies to be released recently. If there were ever a film to diagnose me with parasomnia, The Children would be the culprit. The fact that the parents refuse to acknowledge their seed, their parasites, to be the villain is frighteningly realistic. Only till death will these fools see the murdering lot their children have been converted to. For that matter, after watching this film, I stumbled out into my living room in order to be greeted by stares from two children. Needless to say, I immediately thought about locking them in the attic and impaling their tiny faces on shards of glass. It's recommended prior to viewing to rest easy for several minutes before encountering children. What might cause this brief form of sibling dementia is the casting and performances itself. Very rarely do I find myself enthused about child acting but the roles of these demon children are simple astounding. Evil has never been personified in children as well as this.
As I previously stated, The Children is a testament to the rebirth of an unnerving kill count. Watching people that don't deserve to die, in fact die, is something that will cause an unsettling amount of distress. The Children is a film that will no doubt upset parents and people with escapist values but if you look past the premature version of child murders, The Children is a film that will no doubt horrify the ever-living shit out of parents. My mother refuses to watch her ex-favorite horror movie, Poltergeist, due to the violence directed towards children. If you feel the need to taint the maternal instinct of your loved ones, The Children is the cure for the common parental cold. I've seen the future of horror and it is a hot "goth" bitch killing off five year olds. The Children also features one of my personal favorite endings that caps off a frightening film with a frightening post-premise resulting in a superb naturalist pandemic of toddler Armageddon that has a fresh and visceral approach to snowbound blood splatter. Easily one of the best uses of a snowy atmosphere.