After enduring the crap that was released by Ghost House: Underground, "The Children" is refreshing reminder that there is still some essential decency in this world. While certainly not perfect, and I don't even know if it's particularly "good", "The Children" is still crafty, ambitious, and visually impressive filmmaking that will charm its way into several horror enthusiast's DVD collections. I'm an admirer of horror films, which is why I was able to enjoy a film like this one. The semi-imaginative and entertaining kills, as well as the crafty-bastard editing, are very good indeed. The characters and story; not so much.
While this film is all that it wants to be, and while it is still better than most "children-fun-amuck" films I've seen, it falls short of the awesomeness that it probably could have been. The film is a low-budget film from Britain that I would tell most non-horror fans to skip, and some horror fans to see. I can't say I recommend it, but I admire it; most certainly. And anyone who thinks this film is utter crap cannot call themselves a horror fan, although neither can anyone who "loves it". Win-win.
The film's plot is nothing more than this: a family goes to their kin's home for Christmas, hoping for a fun time, and find themselves a lot more than they expected when some sort of virus spreads to all the children, causing them to become murderous little bastards of destruction. That is what they want to be, and that is what they are; weapons of destruction. The problem with this is a lack of characterization. I have the same problem with many films involving anything that hacks, slashes, and kills its way through various human life-forms, but I guess they can't all be winners.
This film, on a level of characters and story-telling, is weak. Bland, bland, bland, bland, bland; but only if you look at it from that angle, and that angle only. I was able to be entertained by this film because in terms of indie filmmaking, it's quite impressive. Of course, I don't think it will be remembered; it does not deserve this. But compared to the disgusting, revolting, offensive crap that it could have been, it is rather harmless.
However, aside from the excellent visuals, editing, and solid scare tactics; the film doesn't have enough uniqueness and ideas to offer. It's not the most original film, and it doesn't need to be. Nor does it want to be. However, if horror is your genre, then I think it's worth seeing. If not, then it's just not worth your time. Me, I kind of enjoyed myself; when the movie wasn't being boring, lacking all humanity and story-telling substance. It's atmospheric and at times chilling, but I do like me a good psychopathic children-killing-adults movie. This is not exactly the movie I was looking for.
However, if you want to see an emo Brit, then now's your chance. Like I said, I don't "recommend" this film, per se, but there's something I admire about it. I don't have a problem with "The Children", it's just that you'd expect a movie such as this one to be better. But hey: at least it's not "Offspring", another Ghost House DVD release. THAT movie was shit. "The Children", while only on the good side of decent, can't really be called bad unless you have the attention span of a chimpanzee. Otherwise, smooth, but sadly decent sailing. Take it as you will.