Evil kids run amok in a horror that fails to reach its potential…..
Judging by the title, some horror fans may be expecting its a sequel to the underrated 2008 British flick The Children, a horror that saw a group of children go on a murderous rampage in what was a delicious delight and a must-watch if you have never seen it.
Unfortunately its not, as There is Something Wrong With The Children, goes down a different path, what with its bombastic music intro that at first makes you believe that you are about to watch a forgotten early noughties horror and when the big bold green titles appear, you realise that there is no attempt to go down the slow-burn serious style route, instead this is an old style horror and at times it does work even if the results are mostly uneven,
The set up is simple. Two couples Ellie (Amanda Crew), Thomas (Carlos Santos) and Margaret (Alisha Wainwright) Ben (Zach Gilford) go on a camping trip with Ellie taking her two kids Lucy (Briella Guiza) and Spencer (David Mattle) along for a ride. On a hike, they discover a strange cave with dead birds, which oddly excites the kids, but soon after they back at the cabin having a few drinks and a laugh, even though the two youngsters are showing signs of odd behaviour.
When Margaret and Ben decide to look after the kids for one night so their friends can have some alone time, the plot which for the first half hour really tries to establish these characters, flips into full terror mode as the couple awake to finds the girls gone, Ben tracks them back to that strange cave where he witnesses them jump to what seems to their death. Distraught at what he witnessed, he heads back to the cabin only to see the two kids running around and playing happily.
Its here that the film is at its strongest as the plot has already established that Ben is suffering from some mental issues so we are left asking ourselves, did Ben see that back at the cave or is there indeed something wrong with Lucy and Spencer? For a good 15 minutes there is a delightful playful tone as the kids threaten which only Ben can see and how can he tell anyone as who would believe him?
Its a shame the film didn’t have the conviction to continue in this vein as the cat and mouse game between Adult and Child is wonderfully done, but sadly just as you feel the momentum building, what we get then is a standard horror film in which the scares are cheap and basically not threatening. Much like the music score, the plot seems to throw itself in one direction and then another before finally running out of steam.
You get the overall impression that it’s a wasted opportunity as potentially there is a good film somewhere but if you love the evil kids genre, then you’ll get some enjoyment in what is an easy but an instant forgettable watch.
2.5 HATCHETS OUT OF 5