There's Something Wrong with the Children
Bloody violence, drinking in creepy but clichéd horror tale.
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There's Something Wrong with the Children
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that There's Something Wrong with the Children is a 2023 horror movie in which two kids become possessed after a hike in the woods while on vacation with their parents. Expect some bloody violence, including characters covered in blood, covered in stab and cut wounds, and a large knife to the shoulder. One of the kids chokes to death, and the parents are shown intensely grieving. Bloody noses signal the doom on the way. Before the scares, the four adults binge-drink and are hung over the next day. Some also vape weed. Strong language includes "f--k," and a scene in which one of the kids repeats "f--k s--t f--k s--t." Before the terror begins, the adults discuss their sex lives, and one of the women tells the other about a recent group sex experience she and her partner had. Jump scares throughout.
Wasted time can never be regained.
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What's the Story?
In THERE'S SOMETHING WRONG WITH THE CHILDREN, two couples decide to spend the weekend in vacation cabins in the woods. Ben (Zach Gilford) and Margaret (Alisha Wainwright) are happy to spend time with their best friends Ellie (Amanda Crew) and Thomas (Carlos Santos) and their two kids Lucy and Spencer. Things take a strange turn after a hiking expedition leads to a mysterious vacant building in the woods. While exploring, the kids find dead animals but are then attracted to an unsettling light at the bottom of the floor beneath them. That night, Ben and Margaret offer to babysit Lucy and Spencer so that Ellie and Thomas can have some alone time, only to discover in the morning that they seem to have disappeared. When they return, the kids start acting strange, particularly toward Ben. While the others believe Ben is making outlandish claims rooted in his mental illness, he must find a way to convince the others that the kids have changed in very scary ways.
Is It Any Good?
This is a horror movie with occasional eerie scares that are marred by clichés. There's Something Wrong with the Children has some scary moments as the tension builds and these scares become increasingly bloody. However, there's too much of the cheesy jump scares, overbearing "gothic" synthesizer background music, and worn-out trope of bloody noses that signal bad things to come. Seriously: Enough already with the bloody noses as a foreshadowing device.
The kids are quite creepy, and the adults are solid as actors. However, the film's lack of clarity is a problem. They don't really explain what it is the kids see down there and what it's about. They speak in tongues, there's something about marigold flower buds, and after some insect buzzing from the kids, a large insect of some kind appears. They rush an explanation out later, but it doesn't really help that much. It ends up being another so-so "city people go into the countryside for their vacation and face traumatic horror" movie.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about horror movies like There's Something Wrong with the Children. How is this similar to and different from other horror movies you've watched?
Was the binge drinking a necessary part of the movie, or did it seem gratuitous? Why?
What are some of the horror movie clichés in the movie? How do clichés lower the quality of a movie?
- On DVD or streaming: January 17, 2023
- Cast: Alisha Wainwright, Zach Gilford, Amanda Crew
- Director: Roxanne Benjamin
- Studio: Paramount+
- Genre: Horror
- Run time: 92 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: February 8, 2023
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