The Children DVD Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 7.0
Video 8.0
Audio 7.5
Special Features   0.0
Total 6.5
Distributor: Icon
Classification: M15+
Minutes: 84
Reviewer: Simon Black

6.5


The Children

The plot of UK horror movie The Children is simple enough to summarise: two middle class couples decide to spend a peaceful, family-oriented New Year’s Eve in the wintry English countryside.  Along for the ride are one couple’s teenage daughter, and five assorted tykes of varying size.  As the weekend progresses, however, it quickly becomes apparent that a mysterious illness has stricken the youngsters.  The symptoms?  Bouts of distemper, followed by an overwhelming desire to stab and maim any adult within sight. 

Director Tom Shankland’s previous feature WAZ borrowed liberally from its forbears such as Saw and Se7en, and The Children likewise wears its horror movie influences on its sleeve.  Channelling The Omen and Children of the Corn amongst others, Shankland’s latest feature by no means surpasses its source material in terms of either execution or straight scares, but is nonetheless a taut and stylishly executed affair. 

Eschewing a big-name international cast in favour of homegrown talent such as The L Word’s Rachel  Shelley and Holby City’s Jeremy Sheffield, Shankland has succeeded in creating a decidedly unnerving picture that by its dénouement has built the palpable sense of unease to a crescendo, matched in every sense by Stephen Hilton’s effective (if at times slightly generic ) Carpenter-esque score.  But be warned!  Those with ankle biters of their own will likely be reaching for the Ritalin and making enquiries at the nearest military academy by film’s end. 

Audio & Video

The Children was shot in digital and the transfer is pristine, with brilliant clarity and contrast that even on a standard DVD player more closely resembles BD picture quality.  Both DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround soundtracks are included, and these are likewise crisp and eminently impressive.  The disc includes English subtitles. 

Special Features

Unfortunately the Region 4 release is a bare-bones affair with no special features on offer.  Those with more than a passing interest might be inclined to check out the British DVD release, which can currently be picked up for a song and includes an audio commentary, Making Of, cast auditions and BTS footage.  The Region 1 edition is also chock-full of bonus content.






 
 



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