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Two deranged brothers, who are under the domineering influence of their crazed mother, kidnap young girls and keep them captive in chains in their basement, where they subject them to depraved "games" that often end in torture and murder.
A newly-hired housekeeper in a remote area is alarmed to discover that her boss's eleven-year-old daughter is using her supernatural powers to take revenge on the people she holds responsible for her mother's death, with the aid of her flesh-eating zombie 'friends'... Written by
Michael Brooke <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Slow but effectively odd and unnerving slice of drive in horror fare.
Although the 70's was an era for horror racked with oddities, The Child has to be one of the more unusual ones that I've seen for a while, a mixture of evil child tropes, zombies and psychic strangeness all bound in a world a good distance away from our ordinary one. Its locations and atmosphere in fact are source of a good deal of its power, being something of a slow-burner it gets a tremendous lift from the feel that nothing and nobody in the film except its attractive young heroine is normal. A small cast, isolated setting, overwhelming synthesiser laden score from Rob Wallace and a barest minimum of regular behaviour for the audience to relate to, The Child is a dislocated, disorientating and unpredictable experience from the get go, even its quiet moments are warped by offbeat angles and lighting and the often sketchy picture quality gave it the appearance of a lost foreboding relic. The plot sees pleasant young Alicianne Del Mar employed to the Nordon residence to take care of curious daughter Rosalie, only to get caught up in the horrors of Rosalies psychic vengeance on those she regards as responsible for the death of her mother. The truth of these past events, why Rosalie has her powers, why her father has such a macabre sense of humour and her brother is relatively normal, all is up in the air, mysteries for the viewer to cast their own interpretation. The slow pace and lack of explanations make for a less than exciting experience in the first half, but the film is a slowly stirring experience with creepy images (zombies cresting a horizon, a Jack O Lantern in the dark) and good time wrung from director Robert Voskanians adept sense of unhinged atmospherics. Then when gore and nastiness rears its head or the film speeds up for its climax it has all the more impact, its shonky grue effective despite cheap nature. Its all a strange experience and not, it has to be said a conventionally "good" film. It also lacks the pace to pick up plaudits from all that many trash fans and its acting (or voice dubbing) is not the most involving, though Rosalie Cole is agreeably sinister as the titular evil brat and Laurel Barnet quietly lovable as Alicianne. Altogether I liked it quite a bit, though I did find it a bit slow, its mostly recommended for grindhouse afficionados and strangeness buffs I think.
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