30 Second Review: The Children (2008)

This is one creepy horror movie that succeeds where many others in this sub-genre fail.  All the “killer kids” movies I’ve seen always fall a part in either the story or the acting department.  I find the plot’s in this sub-genre usually try too hard to explain WHY the kids are homicidal or it doesn’t address it all.  The other problem I’ve found is that either the child actor is usually as menacing as your run-of-the-mill Disney flick or the kids’ a lousy actor.  THE CHILDREN doesn’t fall into either of these problems and is an exciting, edge-of-your-seat flick that’ll grab you from the first frame.

Great, creepy performances by The Children!!

Two couples get together in the English country side to celebrate the holidays.  In the opening scenes we see that one of the young kids is sick:  He’s throwing up, his eyes are glassy, and he’s slowly developing some serious behavioral issues. One by one the other young kids all catch this strange virus (which is never explained or elaborated upon).  The tension keeps building until the expected violence occurs with the adults being picked off in increasingly violent ways.  Director Tom Shankland (who directed the phenomenal THE KILLING GENE) builds the tension through tight direction, believable characters developed realistically, and great f/x.  He understands that without “knowing” and caring for the characters, the violence is meaningless.  What’s really great is the sub-text that’s also found in 1976’s WHO CAN KILL A CHILD? These young kids, even though they have murderous intentions, are still innocent kids.  They’re sick with a virus and essentially not responsible for their actions.  YET, the adults have to defend themselves or they’ll all end up slaughtered (wait until you see what one mom must do in order to save herself and her older daughter.  Chilling). The young kids all do great jobs in their rolls; they manage to evoke sympathy while at the same time you’re rooting for the adults to fucking waste them.  Shankland hit a home run here.  The final scenes with other kids from the town gathered around in the woods is really creepy and eerie.  A shiver ran down my spine just thinking about it.  Definitely check this one out.

Aren't kids adorable at this age??

My Summary:

Director:  Tom Shankland (and writer)

Plot:  4 out of 5 stars

Gore:  5 out of 10 skulls

Zombie Mayhem:  0 out of 5 brains

Reviewed by Scott Shoyer

8 Responses to “30 Second Review: The Children (2008)”
  1. Scumchrist says:

    I checked this movie out on a recommendation from you one drunken evening at my fathers house. I’m not sure if it was the booze or if this is just a really good movie, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I already had an irrational fear of little kids and after watching this movie it’s grown into something far greater. Long story short I’m not allowed within 100 yards of any elementary schools or public playgrounds. In my defense the kid had a British accent and a weird look about him. Was he infected with a virus that turns kids into homicidal maniacs with bad head colds? Who knows? Should I have punched him in the face when he asked me what time it was? Probably not. But what I do know is that they had just cut the grass around the school ans this kid had really bad allergies so… Turns out it was my bad.


    • LOL … too funny Scumchrist!!! But I’ll testify on you’re behalf …. ANY little kid with a British accent is evil and should be treated as a potential threat to your well-being!! Either that or shove an allergy pill down his throat and wait 30 minutes!!


  2. autumnforest says:

    Now that sounds chilling and the photo of those two–very creepy and well cast. I gotta see it!


  3. Alejandro Gomez Tamez says:

    I will watch this movie tonigght since you have recomended it! Thanks Scott


Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] movie you essentially need convincing kids and a damn creepy and not predictable plot. Take THE CHILDREN, a very successful creepy/killer kid flick had both these elements. Well now there’s the […]


  2. […] evil kids. When done right this is a hugely effective sub-genre (THE CHILDREN; my review). When done poorly, this becomes an unwatchable sub-genre with embarrassing performances and […]


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  • Some of my favorite horror movies:
  • Dawn of the Dead (1978)

  • Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn (1987)

  • Martyrs (2008)


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