Friday, October 28, 2016

The Children - 1980

"Look at that hair"
"You look at that hair"
"I'm looking at the hair"
"Yeah I'm not looking at the hair"
"She got pretty hair"

Yes, inane dialogue like this can be yours if you watch this movie!  Actually, this movie was a blast.  I almost want to rewatch it again, because I didn't do it in one sitting (too hungover and distractable today) and this movie deserves a one sitting approach.  Pretty much everything deserves to be watched in one sitting, shitty or not, just my opinion.

The Children was super ahead of it's time.  In my ritual of trying to guess the year of the movie, I guessed 1983.  Now, granted I also guessed 1981 and was only off a year from that guess, this movie looks and feels like mid 80's rather than 80.  The thing that gives it away the most is the clothes, which are dated.

Filmed in almost a real time approach, The Children is your classic story of kids that get some sort of infection from toxic waste.  There is a leak at a plant from faulty maintenance, and the school bus holding kids drives through a cloud of toxic vapor.  Of course, that makes the kids turn into sadistic killers.  Also, they can kill people just by touching them.  The deaths are a radiation-looking effect, so I guess we'll assume that the kids are infected with radiation of a sort.

The movie was smart because it threw a bit of humor into the story line, like that quote that I opened with and more.  They seemingly knew that a movie with killer kids might not be super good, so they got a few jokes and general entertainment going on as well.  There is a random topless girl, but there is only one, so boo.  Also, the pacing is slightly on a slower note than usual, just mentioning that here btw.

One thing that I thought was clever is that they don't skimp on the small details with the script and characters.  The characters are all quite likable, whether its the young cop who just wants to make out with his girlfriend, the nice older cop, the pregnant woman and her husband, etc.  Every character has a little bit of depth to them, and all of them have their own "thing".  Also, you wouldn't expect a horror movie to be touching in any way, but with killer children that means these people are losing their kids.  It actually got really emotional a time or two, and it was refreshing and nice to have that be included.

The effects pretty much suck.  I mean, okay, I've seen worse, but it wasn't a highlight of the film.  They wisely chose not to dwell on the effects, but when you see em, this is a pretty good of example of the best makeup job in the flick:
Not too great.  But all in all, a good movie and I was surprised.  It's not like, amazing, but it was a good change, and I love movies that are linear, movies that are real time, and of course, zombie films.
I give it 3.5 stars

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