Tag Archives: Tom Shankman

Fantasia 09 Review: Whose Watching ‘The Children’?

27 Jul

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The Children (R) 84 min. Directed by: Tom Shankman. Written by: Paul Andrew Williams. Starring: Hannah Tointon, Eva Birthistle, Stephen Campbell Moore, Jeremy Sheffield, Rachel Shelly. Cinematography: Nanu Segal. Original Music by: Stephen Hilton.

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I’m a little conflicted about Tom Shankman’s  Brit thriller, The Children. Running only 84 minutes, the first 20 minutes are a little too sedate and clunky, and the last 20 too overtly shock-centered. Those 40-some odd minutes in the middle though, after the film has revved itself up, are nothing short of terrifying. It isn’t very often I’m unsettled by a movie, and even less often that one actually manages to scare me. But like it’s older cousin, Descent, this nasty bit of creepy kid horror intensifies to the point that even ominously structured glimpses of day-to-day life become anxiety-inducing. Forget Orphan, Joshua, The Good Son, or any of those recent milque-toast dramas about bad seed progeny chasing their unwitting parents. The Children reaches all the way back to the The Bad Seed and Ray Bradbury’s short story, The Small Assassin and draws on a deeply-buried fear of those small versions of ourselves we give our lives to trying to raise. Continue reading