Review

  • A worthy British Horror film that delivers, despite a low budget. The twist is the use of children both as the perpetrators, and victims, of killing. Largely a cinematic taboo. Director Tom Shankland ekes the maximum value out of a single setting, and small cast, wringing every ounce out of an interesting idea.

    Two related smug middle class couples spend the new year in the English Countryside with their children when something makes "good children go bad". The rustling trees and undergrowth are very reminiscent of the Happening. The malevolent children reprising themes from "The Omen", "The Brood" and "Village of the Damned". Shankland creates some genuinely scary scenes as the children turn on their bewildered parents. But insufficient prior characterisation means that the viewer tends to be more irritated by the adults poor decision making, than be sympathetic to their plight. The gratuitous "blonde in underwear" shot shows that Shankland understands the demands of the genre well! A generally pacey 84 minute story has expired as the film draws to its close, but the final shot is still pretty chilling, is a fitting coda, and offers the opportunity of a sequel. The fact that what has happened is not explained is a bonus, rather than a source of frustration, and the blood and gore, particularly as it is delivered by children, stretches the 15 certification to its limits.

    Sufficiently off beat, both in terms of location and content, to satisfy the Horror crowd, and potentially a minor Cult classic.