DISMEMBERCEMBER: The Children (2008)

Directed and written by Tom Shankland from a story by Paul Andrew Williams, The Children is a low budget British holiday horror movie that stunned me: it takes no prisoners, it goes places few movies are brave enough to defy cringe and convention.

Casey (Hannah Tointon) wanted a holiday away from her mother (Eva Birthistle), stepfather (Stephen Campbell Moore) and their children Miranda (Eva Sayer) and Paulie (William Howes) as they go to visit her aunt (Rachel Shelley), uncle (Jeremy Sheffield) and cousins (Rafiella Brookes and Jake Hathaway). Now, she’s stuck somewhere in the country with low reception. As the snow begins to isolate everyone, a virus takes over the children, making them black bile-spitting pure evil incarnate.

If you are upset at all by violence done by — or to — children, stay far away. This is a toddler version of Night of the Living Dead and I don’t just mean the violent attacks on humans. It has a real feeling of menace and dread that many movies try and fake. This gets it perfect.

I really enjoyed the way this film juxtaposes the strangeness of extended time with extended family along with violent horrific imagery. I never expected Who Can Kill a Child? the holiday edition, but here we are and it’s incredible, a film that when I saw the title and heard it was a seasonally relevant horror movie I wrote off for a long time. I was wrong.

You can watch this on Tubi.

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