Monday, 17 August 2015

No.230 : Wicked Little Things

Wicked Little Things at the IMDb

 Child abuse and retribution now - it’s like Operation Yew tree : The Movie!

The film opens with scenes young kids being forced to work down a mine as the credits roll past. You might think they would be no good at digging coal but their presence is qualified by someone looking for a small kid to squeeze into a narrow fissure to lay some dynamite. This would seem an exceptional task and you’d think some Irish navvies would be better suited to the whole mining game. Still, if you go that route you miss out on the hole ‘Village of the Damned’ vibe later on.

We soon jump to the present day and a young Mum and her two daughters are heading out into the sticks. They stop at a grocery store and get warned off by the less than convincing shop keeper but they plough on regardless. All those missing person signs are no doubt just some local colour. We learn the lady is a widow and the family are moving into her husband’s remote ancestral home. The house is a total crap hole and has all the usual features of slamming doors and things that go aaarrrggghhh! in the night.

The youngest daughter Emma, played by a 10 year old Chloë Grace Moretz - Hit Girl from ‘Kick Ass’ - adapts best and soon makes a friend whom the Mum assumes to be her latest imaginary chum. The older daughter hooks up with some local youths and is getting her tonsils tickled in no time fast. Things don’t stay happy for long however, as the acting talent free neighbour shows up to warn of the dark forces in the woods. The family dismiss him as a nutter, but we the viewer witness him leaving a pig out for a horde of carnivorous children to scoff.

The family also have issues with the local landowner who wants them off the property so he can build a luxury resort, but evidence is the cellar suggests he may have inherited money earned off the blood of others.

As night falls, Hit Girl goes missing and an ill advised trip to the old mine leads to a confrontation with a horde of spade wielding, pasty faced psychopaths in matching hats. Can the family be saved and the cursed lifted?

I quite enjoyed this predictable slice of horror hokum. There was no real mystery going on - we knew it was killer kids from the start and so it panned out. No effort was made to explain the reason for their continued existence although that ‘in the woods’ staple of animal carcasses hanging from the trees was trotted out. To be fair they did look a bit sinister in the misty forest with each dressed like Damien in the first ‘Omen’ film - nice of the slave driver mine owners to get them all matching hats!

There were the usual couple of unearned scares and a ridiculous scene where a man is killed on an upper floor and all those below let the blood drip down all over their faces for no apparent reason. There was a decent bit of menace and a couple of grisly kills but nothing too imaginative or horrific.

The main cast were fine but the kook in the woods character was terrible and he was more of a mystery as to how he got cast than mysterious.

There were no real surprises offered and no new ground tread. If you catch this on a dark Halloween night you might get the odd scare but for the most part it was as scary as a 8 year old’s birthday party which is scary enough for me!

Best Bit : There’s strange things goin’ on in them woods!
‘W’ Score - 14/23

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