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Children, The - Alliance Films Print E-mail
User Rating: / 4
Written by Chris Mayo   
Wednesday, 28 October 2009
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Directed by: Tom Shankland
Written by: Tom Shankland
Produced by: Allan Niblo, James Richardson
Cinematography by: Nanu Segal
Editing by: Tim Murrell
Special Effects: Paul Hyett
Music by: Stephen Hilton
Cast: Eva Birthistle, Stephen Campbell Moore, Jeremy Sheffield, Rachel Shelley, Hannah Tointon, Raffiella Brooks, Jake Hathaway, William Howes, Eva Sayer
Year: 2008
Country: UK
Language: English
Color: Color
Runtime: 1 h 24 min

Studio: Alliance Films
Official Website:

In the movie The Children, two families get together at one of their extravagant winter homes.  They are comprised of two sisters, their husbands, their four children and an angst ridden teen female.  From the beginning the tone of sickness is positioned.  As soon as they arrive to the home one of the children (a curly-headed boy) starts heaving.  Another little girl hacks up a hunk of bloody phlegm and wipes it on her pillow.  Over the next day the kid’s behavior worsens with multiple freak-outs.  The parents aren’t entirely able to control the kids and deal with their strange behavior, which escalates with one of the parent’s seemingly accidental death.  The children become relentless and no one believes they are capable of their actions, until it’s too late.  What began as a fun weekend getaway has now turned into a chaotic scary departure into misery as the parents find themselves fighting for their life at the (tiny) hands of… The Children.

There’s something about killer kid flicks that just creeps me out.  I guess it’s because children are supposed to be innocent and incapable of committing such evil acts.  Let’s face it, these little monsters make great villains in horror films.  With films like The Other (1972), The Brood (1979) or even The Children (1980), they all prove children can really terrorize.  Tom Shankland’s The Children does an exceptional job in carrying the torch as a praiseworthy killer kid flick right down to its haunting conclusion.

Child actors traditionally range from awful to annoying, but the child actors in The Children execute their performances perfectly.  They do an awesome job at being total creeps.  They’re so effective, in fact, that you can’t help but feel the need to stock up on condoms for fear of having one of these little ogres.

At the beginning of the film there are several scenes of sexual tension between Casey (Hannah Tointon), the angst ridden teenager, and her step uncle Robbie (Jeremy Sheffield) that doesn’t seem to have a purpose amongst all the kid commotion.  The sexual tension persists with him sneaking off with her for a joint and ogling her stomach tattoo (of a fetus no doubt).  It is then, however, squashed shortly thereafter when the pervy uncle gets his head bashed in from that seemingly accidental tobogganing mishap I mentioned earlier (all in its skin flapping, blood spurting glory!)

The Children is an example of a creepy horror film with a frightening theme.  The winter setting of the film also lends to the creepy atmosphere.  You can’t beat a winter horror film -- blood shows up wonderfully on snow.The Children  poses the question: what would you actually do if your beloved children turned on you?  People quickly turn on one another when their children’s fate is at stake; even if they are little bastards.

Alliance Films gives birth to The Children on DVD in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio that looks as good as DVD allows.  The audio is presented English 5.1 Dolby Digital and works well with this film.  There are several supplemental features accompanying this release.  We get ‘The Making of The Children’ which is a standard 20-minute making of featurette.  There are 3 deleted scenes.  ‘Working with The Children’ is a brief 5-minute interview with director Tom Shankland and members of the cast.  ‘Shooting on Location’ runs 4-minutes and explores just that -- on location with input from the owners of the property that The Children was shot on.  ‘Paul Hyett Talks Prosthetics’ is a 5-minute make-up FX featurette.  Moving along there is ‘Snow Set Design’ which runs 7-minutes and is possibly the highlight of the extra material on this release.  This featurette is most impressive and showcases the company Snow Business and how they created synthetic snow out of all organic material for the film.  Rounding out the extras is ‘Inside Tom Shankland’s On-Set Lair’ which is 8-minutes and shows the director’s images of inspiration adorning his hotel room during the shooting of The Children.

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Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic
Region: NTSC 1
Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1

- The Making of The Children
- Shooting on Location
- Paul Hyett Talks Prosthetics
- Snow Set Design
-  Inside Tom Shankland’s On-Set Lair
- Working with
The Children
- Deleted Scenes


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