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The Children (2008)

R  |   |  Horror, Mystery, Thriller  |  5 December 2008 (UK)
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 13,526 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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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?


Casey's tattoo is the cover art of the album "Agaetis byrjun" of the Icelandic band Sigur Rós. See more »


In the ending scenes when Casey and her Mom escape in the Volvo and come across the crashed Range Rover, it is steaming as if the radiator is broken, but there is no damage apparent to the car other than the hood being up. The hazard flashers are also on, would the Dad really have had time to do that? When the Volvo crashes into Chloe and crushes her against the Range Rover, her body slides down, but in the next shot it is feet away from the car to the side, the Volvo is also completely undamaged despite having crashed into a Range Rover with a tow bar. See more »


Miranda: Bye-bye Mummy.
Elaine: What?
Miranda: Be nice to Leah and Nicky
[grabs her leg splints]
Miranda: .
See more »


Featured in The Making of 'The Children' (2009) See more »


Fast Flyin' Freddie
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

A Family Christmas to Remember
29 November 2008 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

One of the most effective aspects of this movie is the way the tension builds inexorably. From the moment you see the children there is an impending sense of doom. The children themselves are both brilliantly cast and wonderfully realistic, by which I mean that their behaviour is easily recognisable as the normal behaviour of manipulative and moody kids, until it spills over to the purely demonic.

The rest of the cast who, apart from Stephen Campbell Moore, I didn't recognise, all portrayed characters who were very believable, even if not entirely sympathetic. After all, how can you sympathise with smug middle class parents discussing homeschooling now that they've sold the business? The adults were in fact wonderfully flawed, matched in spades by Casey, who enters the movie as the least sympathetic character: selfish, self absorbed, and distant in the way that only a sixteen year old can be. However, Casey is arguably the real hero.

The script skillfully presents the tip of the iceberg, suggesting and hinting at the unseen part of the characters' lives, never spelling everything out, but crediting the audience with the wit to work some things out for themselves. The horror cliché of characters doing stupid or unrealistic things that annoy the audience was always avoided, as was the use of the dark. Instead the action takes place against a white Christmas backdrop, which sadly reminded me a little of Reny Harlin's 'snow' bound Die Hard 2, but even so the blood on snow motif was very effective.

Tom Shankland's script, and in particular the dialogue, was very convincing, but he is also a highly visual director. According to my girlfriend the Miss Marple he helmed is quite beautifully photographed, and I really liked the atmosphere and visuals in WAZ. The Children also has the same stunning images, which along with the very powerful soundtrack, conjure a mood of foreboding and dread. If you appreciate horror movies with tension and beauty as well as a succession of wince- inducing set pieces, then this is a film for you.

74 of 95 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
A couple of things: The fate of the cat + what was Miranda doing? theimdbdilrod
Call me stupid but.... withinthedusk
An Opinion from Open-Minded American Zw4nzig
Major plot holes can ruin a film. princessofquake
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