Cinepub


Zombie Month: Wicked Little Things by Jamie

Spoilers ahead.

Children are terrifying. This is a simple fact. They are here for one purpose and that is to replace us. Hell, maybe if people stopped having children, we’d all suddenly become immortal. But I guess we’ll never know because there are selfish bastards out there who just have to have their sweet little angels running around and making noise in cinemas. Seriously, don’t take your kids to the cinema if they’re not age appropriate for the film. All you’re doing is pissing everyone else off. Get a damn babysitter.

Our ancestors recognised the threat that children presented and did everything in their power to stop them by making them do horrible, horrible jobs that would kill or mutilate them. Things like chimney sweeping or fixing incredibly dangerous factory machinery or, as is the case with this film, make them work in mines. Unfortunately some bleeding hearts passed child labour laws and so children were free to pursue their tireless quest for world domination.

So yes, this film opens with a scene of a bunch of darling little children being forced to do incredibly dangerous work in a mine. One child is forced to set some TNT and before you know it, the whole mine has collapsed, trapping the innocent little moppets and killing them right dead… or are they?

The film cuts to present day and Karen Tunney has just inherited her dead fathers family home up in the mountains and so she moves there with her two daughters Sarah and Emma with views to fix it up and sell it. It isn’t long before weird shit starts to go down. Weird shit like having their door coated in blood by their neighbour, Mr Hanks and Emma being drawn to the site of the old mine by mysterious voices. She claims to have met a new friend there by the name of Mary. Meanwhile the children from the mine emerge and begin to kill people with their pick axes and shovels which is admittedly pretty cool.

Through the course of the film, it is revealed that the children are related to the Tunneys and Mr. Hanks and will not harm their blood relatives unless really riled up. This doesn’t help Karen who, of course, isn’t a blood relative though Mary, who is a Tunney herself, tells Emma that she won’t hurt Karen though she can’t make the same promise for the other children. The fact that they won‘t attack blood relatives is also the reason that Mr. Hanks goes around smearing his own blood on peoples doors. He also sacrifices pigs to them in an effort to sate their terrible undead hunger.

The children are ultimately after William Carlton, the last surviving heir of the Carlton family who once owned the mine that all the children died in. Modern day Carlton is currently doing everything in his power to buy up all the land and kick everyone off of his property which just conveniently enough means that he’s in the area at the time. So the film culminates with Carlton, Hanks and the Tunneys all holed up in a barn together. Hanks and the Tunneys stand by and let the children have Carlton and Emma informs them that the children say that they won’t harm anyone anymore. The Tunneys leave the mountain but they don’t sell the house. It is then revealed that the children are ‘living’ there. Really? They still have to wander the Earth as the living dead? That’s not a particularly happy ending. You’d think they’d finally get to rest or something now there business is finished. Is nothing from ‘Casper’ accurate?

That aside, the film was actually pretty enjoyable. It’s a fairly neat little play on the dead seeking their revenge on the living thing and kids are genuinely quite scary. Hell, that’s what Japanese horror and their American remakes have been relying on for a while. Seeing as the film was released in 2006, I’m sure the whole Japanese kid-based horror thing was some kind of influence on it.

Still, despite being enjoyable, there is a certain sense that it’s something you’ve seen before numerous times. It’s always weird when I come across a film that seems a little original and completely unoriginal at the same time but that’s the best way I can sum up this film. There are also a few moments where it gets really, really slow. Scenes of characters just wandering through the woods for what seems like an entirely too long period of time. I’m sure it’s supposed to add the feeling of people being lost but it gets kinda old, kinda fast, especially when they’re always in the same three or four locations. Anyway, I’ll give it three pints out of five. Laterz.

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