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In the world of horror cinema, familiarity often breeds contempt. It’s not easy to stand out in a genre that has explored every dark corner of our fears. However, “There’s Something Wrong with the Children” (2023) manages to breathe new life into the well-trodden path of evil children and supernatural mysteries. Directed by Roxanne Benjamin and featuring a talented cast, this film offers a fresh perspective on a classic horror premise.
A Creepy Camping Trip Gone Awry
The story begins innocently enough, with two couples, Margaret and Ben (Alisha Wainwright and Zach Gilford), Ellie and Thomas (Amanda Crew and Carlos Santos), embarking on a weekend camping trip with their two young children, Lucy and Spencer. They plan to unwind, share stories, and enjoy some quality time together. However, their idyllic getaway takes a sinister turn when they stumble upon an old building with a mysterious cave. The children are drawn to a strange green light emanating from a well inside the cave—a light that only they can see.
Unsettling Atmosphere and Strong Performances
From the outset, “There’s Something Wrong with the Children” excels in creating a palpable atmosphere of unease. The remote campsite, the eerie cave, and the mysterious green light all contribute to a sense of impending doom. This film does a commendable job of building tension and keeping the audience on edge.
The performances of the cast, particularly Alisha Wainwright and Zach Gilford as Margaret and Ben, add depth to the characters and enhance the film’s emotional impact. As the terror escalates, their portrayal of fear, confusion, and desperation feels authentic.
A Fresh Spin on a Familiar Tale
What sets this film apart is its willingness to explore unique narrative twists. As the children’s behavior becomes increasingly malevolent, secrets and tensions within the group come to the surface. The plot cleverly interweaves personal conflicts and psychological elements into the supernatural horror, making it more than just a run-of-the-mill “evil kids” story.
Mixed Critical Reception
Critical reception for “There’s Something Wrong with the Children” has been mixed. Some reviewers have praised its ability to bring fresh ideas to a well-worn horror subgenre. Christian Zilko of IndieWire lauds the film for “doing all the little things right,” while Randy Myers of The Mercury News appreciates its concise pacing and effective scares.
However, not all critics were equally impressed. Brian Tallerico of RogerEbert.com found the film’s slow start problematic, and Noel Murray of the Los Angeles Times felt that the children’s actions occasionally devolved into standard horror tropes.
“There’s Something Wrong with the Children” (2023) may not reinvent the horror genre, but it successfully injects new life into a familiar premise. With a blend of psychological tension, supernatural mystery, and strong performances, it offers an engaging and unsettling viewing experience. While opinions on the film may vary, it’s undoubtedly a noteworthy addition to the horror landscape, and fans of the genre should find it worth exploring.
In a crowded field of horror films, “There’s Something Wrong with the Children” manages to carve out its own unsettling niche, making it a movie worth checking out for horror enthusiasts seeking fresh scares and a dose of psychological intrigue.