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 »


When we see Casey smashing at the bedroom door it constantly rattles and shakes madly, but when we switch scenes to the other side of the door, with Elaine leaning on it, the door is not moving 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 »


Written by Eva Abraham / Andrew Waterworth (as Andy Waterworth)
Performed by Eva Abraham / Andrew Waterworth (as Andy Waterworth)
Published by Hamworth Music
Courtesy of Hamworth Music
See more »

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User Reviews

A parent's worse nightmare...
9 April 2009 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

The premise of this movie is indeed real, primal horror. During the holidays, a family reunion turns into a madness when children become increasingly disturbed, due to what looks like a mysterious illness.

"Creepy kids" have been done a number of times in cinema but what separates this latest entry from many that came before it is the feeling that these kids are still kids. Certainly disturbed and not totally themselves but not entirely evil. Cruel but not zombies, mind controlled or aliens. There is still fear and fragility, which makes them a lot scarier for viewers, especially parents.

Adding to the horror is that when the parents stand up for themselves against the kids, these acts of resistance are "unsatisfying" to us, unlike other movies of the genre. That is, you do remain conflicted as a viewer instead of the typical Hollywood trash. And *that* is what horror is about.

The story is good, well-paced with a suitably tensed escalation of the menace the children represent. The characters coping with this threat (a group of adults and a teenager) are believable instead of walking clichés.

On the downside, the movie has a definite low-budget feel to it. I was surprised that Tom Shankland would direct something like this after his previous work, the polished horror/thriller Waz. A low budget plus a lot of kid actors mean that corners were cut. The film would certainly have benefited from more takes. A lot more takes, in fact. The adult actors are underwhelming and the script could have used another pass or two to make it more compelling from start to end. There are still two or three very memorable sequences in the movie, such as the one following the first body's disappearance. But overall I think Shankland will cringe at a lot of scenes here. For instance, one character spends some great deal of time with a serious injury but the result on camera is completely unbelievable.

So what we are left with is an indie movie with a lot of heart and that does a lot of things well. It is extremely courageous in its treatment. It offers something good and refreshing. And it could have been a masterpiece with slightly more budget. I'm giving this a well-deserved 6.

As a complement to this film and to see the "other side of the coin", I strongly suggest watching Lars E. Jacobson's "Baby Blues" immediately before or after "The Children".

16 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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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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