starring Alisha Wainwright, Zach Gilford, Amanda Crew, Carlo Santos
written by T.J. Cimfel & Dave White
directed by Roxanne Benjamin
by Walter Chaw Roxanne Benjamin's There's Something Wrong with the Children is a tired retread in the folk-horror category of evil children that doesn't break any new ground and certainly doesn't tread any old ground with anything resembling energy or invention. It's just lugubriously competent, cozy in the way of a broken-in boot or a well-loved terrycloth robe--an "I'll be right back, you don't need to pause it" movie. Indeed, one doesn't need to pause it. For what it's worth, the best evil-kid movie is probably Narciso Ibáñez Serrador's Who Can Kill a Child?, although my favourite is the repugnant, deeply wrong 1981 Lew Lehman freakout The Pit. In that one, unhinged 10-year-old creeper Jamie (Sammy Snyders) discovers a pit in the middle of the forest behind his house that's swarming with carnivorous troglodytes he thinks are communicating with him through his teddy bear. Between feeding bullies and football players to the pit, Jamie spends his time making passes at his teen cheesecake babysitter and peeping on her while she's in the shower. Yes, that movie has it all. Alas, There's Something Wrong with the Children is aggressively forgettable, even freed of comparisons to films it's so obviously aping: a pair of evil kids, check; a pit in the forest full of evil? Check. Parents too wrapped up in their bougie bullshit to notice their offspring are breaking supernatural bad? Check. You've seen it. We've all seen it. Better versions.
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