On a vacation in Benavis, Tom (Lewis Fiander) and his pregnant wife Evelyn (Prunella Ransome) plan on visiting the island of Almanzora. Upon reaching their destination, they begin to realize the population is mainly made up of children. They soon see their first adult. Unfortunately, this person meets his demise at the hands of a child. Tom and Evelyn eventually must fight for survival against a mob of sadistic children. -summary
In the world of film, there is always something out there which requires the viewer to leave his or her brain somewhere on the shelf. The horror genre more than any other medium, far beyond average action flicks and animation, doesn't just expect its fan base to lower their intelligence a lot at times. Oh hell no, they expect us to be near brain dead. Now don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of horror and it's actually my third favorite genre, but sometimes I come across a stinker that is so bad, it forces me to take a long hiatus from the genre, or sometimes gives me the feel to abandon it altogether. Who Can Kill A Child?directed by Narcisco Ibanez Serrador has driven me to consider going these routes.
Now since this film wants to be taken serious. I'm not going to show it any mercy. Who Can Kill A Child?, to me, is a very bad film sadly mistaken as an unappreciated, misunderstood, masterpiece(wow, I kind of think I'm reviewing a Fulci film right now), and it is so damn over-rated. The film does accomplish a few things, however, the glaring flaws holds this film back a lot. I mean the flaws in this film are in your face, but fans either don't see them, or they choose to ignore them. I'm assuming the latter, which is almost always the case.
Ok the strengths first, Who Can Kill A Child? has some solid acting. I really can't knock the performances. The kids definitely stood out at times with their very innocent yet cold demeanor. The film also has its disturbing moments that brings out the horror in the film. The children actually have a good time with their victims. It almost seems as if they believe their actions aren't wrong. The gore is pretty well done and one scene is simply terrible to watch but well deserving.
Now for the negatives, and this is where I'm going to straight rip this to pieces. The driving force behind any serious film are the characters. The main characters are so unrealistic that I honestly didn't care for their fates before the middle of the film.
Tom and Evelyn both witness a child club an old man to death. Tom soon intervenes and then carries the mans corpse off, only just to witness in seconds the mans beaten body to be used in a game of pinata by the kids. Instead of Tom planning escape or at least seek rescue(mind you, his wife is pregnant). He comes back and twists the story, plus have a drink. Now go ahead and try to correct me(the fans), by saying, "you missed the point" or "Tom was in shock". I didn't miss the point, and Tom did what he did because he is a bumbling fool, and his mindless, unrealistic, un... regular normal people like actions in the very next scene is the proof. I mean seriously, what's the point of character development when the characters are so unrealistic in the first place? And, before someone dares mention, "Hey it's horror, the characters are suppose to be unrealistic". That's so true, if you're watching Friday the 13th or the Bride of Chucky, but when something is being hailed as "thought provoking" or "serious work of art", then character development must be ace. End of story.
During this point in the movie, I thought to myself, "so far so horrible", but I still had hope until the contradicting theme. At first, I actually thought having Tom's wife pregnant was an interesting plot device. However, this was also poorly used, very poorly used. I'm sure it could be difficult to kill a child, but there isn't a parent alive who would jeopardize the safety of their own unborn child, to protect or keep from killing a mob of children, with weapons trying to kill them and their child. This also heavily effected the character development on Evelyn's part, and as a result, made me sympathize with her less. I feel if the writers wanted to play on the characters emotions thoroughly to the point where it could have been believable. Then Evelyn shouldn't have been pregnant. I just cannot comprehend a pregnant woman not putting her child's safety first. That just doesn't happen unless the woman is on drugs, and Evelyn appeared pretty clean to me.
The film only continues to drown in its own absurdity. The film misuses its metaphor that it set out so hard to inject into the film at the very beginning. The film opens up with some very disturbing footage containing the atrocities against children during war. Of course, it's possible for someone to feel sympathy for children, who are victims of disease, famine, and used for pet projects. Thus, making you wonder who can kill a child? But what exactly was the connection here? Why should I feel sympathy for this group of cold blooded murderers? What exactly did these children specifically go through? There is a reason to kill them, and that reason is survival. So what does that footage accomplish? Perhaps I just don't get it, or just maybe there is nothing to get.
I hate this movie. Who Can Kill A Child?continued to disappoint and aggravate me. Mister Unrealistic Tom was unrealistic to the bitter end. He is such a dumb ass, and his actions along with Evelyn's, in combination with RiffTrax could actually make this watchable.
I'm not going to say that I'm amazed by the accolades this film receives. One thing I noticed is that horror fans will praise almost anything that comes from overseas in the form of horror. To a certain degree, I can understand them, but this garbage is not the answer. I'm aware there's things I love that people feel are trash and that's fine with me, but this film to me, is one of the worst horror films I have ever seen, and I didn't come into this with built up expectations either. I considered the sources before I tortured myself with this. Therefore, I came into this completely neutral like I do everything.
I also see where the idea of Children of the Corncame from, another very horrible movie in my view too. The only film off the top of my head that successfully depicted children gone wild had to be Eden Lake. Despite the very disturbing end of the that film, I found that to be a far better watch. Now that's unappreciated and misunderstood, but I won't call it a masterpiece though. I recommend that way before this.
Pros: Pretty disturbing, good acting
Cons: Very unrealistic characters, drags on, very questionable script
"Who can kill a child?" In the non-rhetorical, horror movie sense … not enough people, clearly. An English couple, Tom and Evelyn, decide to take a vacation a few months before their baby is due. They spend the first night in a costal Spanish town in the midst of a noisy holiday bash. The next day they rent a tiny fishing boat to make a four hour journey to the supposedly bucolic and happily disconnected island of Almanzora. When they arrive, in … more
Who Can Kill a Child? (also known ¿Quién puede matar a un niño? and Island of the Damned) is a 1976Spanishhorror film directed by Narciso Ibáñez Serrador. It is about an English couple who find an island inhabited by maniacal children.
The film was based on a novel by Juan José Plans and adapted for cinema by Narciso Ibáñez Serrador. It had been virtually unavailable officially until it was released on DVD by Dark Sky Films in June 2007.