film reel image

film reel image

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

There's Something Wrong with the Children 2023 * * Stars


"Where did the kids go?" That's a good question. Or not. We all know the answer and usually it's not the best of outcomes. 

Anyway, Roxanne Benjamin directs 2023's There's Something Wrong with the Children. The title of her project, well it's pretty much self-explanatory. Benjamin obviously a buffed researcher, leans towards 80s cinema, a little bit of Cabin Fever, M. Night's The Visit, and the pilot days of Sam Raimi to get across her scarified vision. Yup, we've seen this movie before (pun intended). 

So yeah, "Children" has a few tense moments but a cliched script and some weak, schizoid acting keep you the viewer from fully embracing this shanty nightmare. I mean helmer Benjamin supplies plenty of low-key lighting, jumpy scares, and Dutch angles but it's all for style's sake. If we don't care about the faceless characters, don't fear their plight, or want to shake the bejesus out of them, what's left?

Shot in New Orleans, distributed by Paramount Home Entertainment, and using opening credit titles and a synth score that evoke leavings from the Greed decade, There's Something Wrong with the Children is about a couple of kids who get possessed by demons after taking a trip to the woods. Their parents and the couple with them get their drink on (throughout), the young tykes act afoul and become bewitched creep-o-s, and the whole flick concludes violently, amidst a Tartarean, middle of nowhere setting. 

Bottom line: will "Children" send you straight away with your knees knocking? Not really, I mean maybe if you've never seen a horror pic before or hate wilderness, weekend trips. And does There's Something Wrong with the Children actually have an ending? Um, no. It's all rinse, repeat because divine spirits, well they never die and keep coming back like terminators. "Child development". 

 Written by Jesse Burleson

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