Ho-ho-horror, everyone! M.L. Miller aka the @$$hole formerly known as Ambush Bug here. Continuing the countdown fun, I’ve decided to finally compile a list of the Best Holiday Horror Movies this December. Some of these films can be found in theaters, but others have unfortunately only seen the light of day on Video On Demand or simply go straight to DVD, BluRay, or digital download. I’ve tried to indicate in the reviews where you can check these films out as thoroughly as I can.
As far as how I compiled this list? Well, there’s no real method to my special brand of madness. Having seen quite a few holiday horrors, I simply have been keeping a list and checking it more than twice throughout the year. I’ll be counting down every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday through December to my favorite holiday horror film of the year. I’m sure there are some that I’ve missed, overlooked, or simply haven’t seen yet, but that will leave leftovers to cover in upcoming Decembers
So let’s get to it! Chime in after the article and let me know what you think of the film, how on the nose or mind-numbingly wrong I am, and most importantly, come up with your own damn list…let’s go!
#7 THE CHILDREN #7
Why is THE CHILDREN #7? Because not only is it scary as hell, but also undeniably brutal and gory as well. It’s just a film that gets under your skin in every way possible—dealing with the old evil kids theme in a sophisticated and unnerving manner. It’s available on help me out and pick it up on DVD/BluRay and on Amazon Prime here
THE CHILDREN (2008)
Directed by Tom Shankland
Written by Paul Andrew Williams & Tom Shankland
Starring Eva Birthistle, Stephen Campbell Moore, Jeremy Sheffield, Rachel Shelley, Hannah Tointon, Rafiella Brooks, Jake Hathaway, William Howes, Eva Sayer
Find out more about this film here
On the surface, THE CHILDREN is just another evil kids gone wild film, but the longer you watch it, the more it seeps into your soul and will most likely have you watching the kiddie table out of the corner of your eye this Christmas.
A pair of families get together for the Christmas holiday. With flirty uncles, mom shacking up with a new beau, and four kids running around, teenager Casey (Hannah Tointon) would rather be anywhere else but this snowy house in the middle of the woods. But when a mysterious illness starts making the children act viciously towards their parents, the holiday dinner is turned into a massacre with every adult running for their lives from their offspring.
THE CHILDREN is a very loose remake of the original creepy kid film THE CHILDREN, itself a knockoff of films like THE BREED, BLOODY BIRTHDAY, THE BROOD, and most importantly, VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED. There’s something unsettling about a kid losing control and becoming violent. Seen as little cherubs, we tend to ignore the fact that these little creatures are blank slates watching and mimicking everything an adult does, without the discipline or coordination. While the horror only starts about a half hour into the film, right off the bat, the chaos of kids running around underfoot is highlighted right from the start. I loved the way the film has the adults going about their business and not registering the transformation that is going on under their noses as some kind of vague virus is passed from one kid to the next. Does the virus have something to do with the Chinese medicine one of the fathers is working with? Or is it something the kids caught at school? This film keeps it vague and doesn’t provide an easy answer, as all good horror films should do.
While the parents of the kids are loving, the young couples also acknowledge the burden they are to one another and the insecurities of being parents pop up all over the place. There’s a rather cathartic and honest way this film deals with the varied emotions at play that really struck me as authentic and therefore, harrowing when the kids to lash out and attack. The twisted psychology at work here once the kids attack is potent as some of the parents can’t deal with the notion that their babies are anything but little angels. It’s interesting to see the parent’s psyches literally crack trying to wrap their brains around this horrifying situation.
Filled with fantastic performances, especially by Hannah Tointon as the teenager and Eva Birthistle who plays her conflicted mother, THE CHILDREN is a film that does not pull its punches. There’s scenes of sheer terror and the red stuff is spattered a plenty. Setting the film in the snowy environment also helps make things feel absolutely bone-chilling and creepy. If you dread the pitter patter of little relatives this holiday season, THE CHILDREN is going to be the catharsis you need.
If you like what I wrote above, help me out and click on the link to buy it on Amazon here!!!
THE COUNTDOWN SO FAR…
#13 – THE HORROR NETWORK V.1 “Merry Little Christmas” segment
#12 – STALLED
#11 – CUENTO DE NAVIDAD
#10 – A CHRISTMAS HORROR STORY
#9 – THE BLACKCOAT’S DAUGHTER
#8 – TALES FROM THE CRYPT 1972 “And All Through the House…” segment
#7 – THE CHILDREN
M.L. Miller goes by many names—Ambush Bug, Mark L. Miller, hey you jerk over there! He’s an original @$$Hole/wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of MLMILLERWRITES.COM. Follow Mark on the Twitters @Mark_L_Miller.
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