The Children (2008)

R  |   |  Horror, Mystery, Thriller  |  5 December 2008 (UK)
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 13,683 users  
Reviews: 115 user | 132 critic

A relaxing Christmas vacation turns into a terrifying fight for survival as the children begin to turn on their parents.


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1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Rafiella Brooks ...
Jake Hathaway ...
William Howes ...
Eva Sayer ...


Elaine and Jonah and their teenage daughter and young son and daughter, come to spend New Year with her sister Chloe and husband Robbie and their two young children at their isolated country home. One by one the children, after apparently being sick, become increasingly malevolent. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


You brought them into this world. Now ... They will take you out.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing bloody violent content, terror, language and brief drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

5 December 2008 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

As Crianças  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£98,205 (UK) (5 December 2008)


£199,259 (UK) (12 December 2008)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Was nominated for the 2009 Fright Meter Award for Best Horror Movie. See more »


In the close-up shots when Casey is bashing at the wood to get out the bedroom we see the door is gouged and smeared with blood. In the longer shots there are no marks on the door at all. See more »


Robbie: We don't hit kids here, Jonah!
See more »


Referenced in The Children: Working with the Children (2009) See more »


Christmas Everybody
Written by Eva Abraham / Andrew Waterworth (as Andy Waterworth)
Performed by Eva Abraham & The Nat Franklin Trio
Published by Hamworth Music
Courtesy of Hamworth Music
See more »

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User Reviews

Eerie, and tension packed. An impressive movie.

Two families gather at a remote house for a Christmas and new year holiday. However, the young children affected by something in the woods, begin to turn on the adults.

I have to say, this movie was a welcome surprise. Written and directed by Tom Shankland (who made WAZ), and based on a story from Paul Andrew Williams (who made the recent horror The Cottage), The Children is a very well made movie.

One of the main reasons I enjoyed it was that it never explains why the children are doing what they are doing. It's suggested there is something in the woods to blame, but it is never fully explained. In a way this is similar to The Ruins, or even Rec and I liked that. Too many movies try to explain what is going on, but the better horror movies leave it open and I think this approach works better, as it does here.

The cast are all pretty good, with special mention given to Eva Sayer as one of the children, and Hannah Tointon as Casey the only teen in the group.

One of the clever things about this movie, and there are many things to like about it,is how the adults react as events get out of control. To begin with they are nice and friendly couples (the two women being sisters), but as the movie progresses, they turn on themselves as they refuse to accept what is happening. Of course by the time they do realise what is going on, it's much too late!

The movie is rated 15 in the UK, and does keep most of the violence off-screen, but it is creepy through-out, and Shankland keeps the tension and unease high, even when nothing has happened yet. And he stages some some impressive scenes, especially the first adult attack, involving a sledge, a trolley, with sharp items on it. It could almost come from a Final Destination movie!

And to top of everything, there is the ending. While not a truly bleak ending (although some may see it that way), it's a very, very creepy ending, and one I really didn't expect.

As horror movies go for this year, this is one of the best I've seen.

61 of 91 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
90 minutes I'll never get back euronick61
Was Casey infected at the end then? balgeorge
Call me stupid but.... withinthedusk
A couple of things: The fate of the cat + what was Miranda doing? theimdbdilrod
An Opinion from Open-Minded American Zw4nzig
Major plot holes can ruin a film. princessofquake
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