A group of families go on vacation with the intention of spending Christmas and New Years together in a beautiful winter wonderland. While the kids are playing, they venture into the woods and ultimately are changed for the worst. Tom Shankland's The Children is an artistically crafted horror film that doesn't pander to the audience. The film never gets too involved in sharing the details of the hows and whys instead opting to focus on the craftsmanship of the film and ultimately the experience. The film takes its time to develop and unravel in a nice atmospheric way and being completely told from the adults point-of-view, the viewer can identify with the lack of understanding early in the film, just like these character. Even in parts of the film where there are pretty insane mysterious injuries, the viewer doesn't question it because of the point of view. No parent would ever suspect that their own offspring is responsible and the film takes advantage of that fact. The film builds a nice atmosphere using the cold winter and barren forest to set atmosphere, along with a nice array of foreboding compositions to create a constant tension. Many films of the genre rely far too much on the long static stares of these children to establish evil, but this film uses the editing as an asset, juxtaposing frightening images and quick cuts to help sell you on the evil nature of these children. This is a solid horror film all around that has a good blend of tension, thrills and violence.
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