Year of Release: 2006
IMDB Rating: 5 / 10
Level of Awful: Surprise!
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
In my journey to watch some of the most horrifying horrors ever made, I occasionally manage to lay my hands on something that doesn’t look very promising but turns out to be quite enjoyable. To this end I have decided to start a ‘Surprise!’ Level of Awful for movies that beat the odds and managed to come being rather fun to watch. I rate that if we can celebrate the bad, we might as well celebrate the good as well and that is why I have chosen to begin this category with Wicked Little Things. Zombies are my favourite niche in the horror genre and, in my opinion, there is nothing more frightening than children. So combine the two and watch as zombie children hunt down person after person and you have a fantastically, gory treat on your hands!
This tale of pint-sized terror begins in 1913 in Addytown, a town largely built on the mining industry. Over at the Carlton mine the owner uses immigrant children as his slave labour, sending them into the little nooks and crannies that regular miners can’t get into. As with many mines that operate outside the legal system and aren’t overly concerned with safety an explosion goes off and a large portion of the mine caves in and many of the children are buried alive. With the mine’s closed the town slowly became deserted but, for those that remained, the children’s deaths became a part of local legend and at night you can still see them walking around in the woods. This is the town that Karen Tunny and her two daughters Sarah (Scout Taylor-Compton from Rob Zombie’s attack on Halloween) and Emma are moving to after the death of Karen’s husband following a prolonged battle with a terminal illness. Karen has no money and few possessions, but fortunately her husband left her a creepy old house filled with evil-looking toys out in the middle of nowhere right near the old Carlton mine…
As normally happens in this kind of situation Sarah, the teenager, manages to find a group of rebels that she can hang out with and Emma develops a not-so imaginary friend named Mary. As Karen attempts to bring the old abandoned home into better order the children begin to make their presence more known, especially when they attack Sarah and her friends while they are out hotboxing in the middle of a field. Thrown into this mixture is William Carlton, the last surviving descendant of the original owner of the Carlton mine. As he moves through Addytown buying up more and more of the property for development the children’s attacks become more and more violent and Emma’s imaginary friend begins to take Emma away for longer and longer periods of time. With the help of Mr Hanks, a local who has been sacrificing animals to the cannibalistic children in an attempt to keep them under control, Karen must attempt to save her daughters and herself from the ever-angrier group of ghostly children and try to find out why they are so angry and what it will take to make them rest in peace before the few remaining inhabitants of Addytown land up being a very undercooked burger meal for the children.
THINGS I’VE LEARNED:
- Children are amazingly competent with sticks of dynamite.
- Moving your children to a derelict old house near haunted forest after the death of their father is a great way to cheer them up.
- Teenagers have radar when it comes to finding other teenagers with weed on them.
- Every town has a group of 3 teenagers, 2 boys and 1 girl, just in case another girl needs an instant boyfriend.
- Little girls’ imaginary friends inevitably turn out to be some sort of ghostly apparition hell-bent on spilling blood.
- Burnt and rotten dolls are the customary gift of a ghost zombie to a normal girl.
- Creepy houses built next to creepy woods near an abandoned mine where dozens of children died are apparently prime property.
- Property development is a far more important endeavour than trying to stop your crew from being eaten.
- Any supernatural mystery can be solved provided you have a folktale and a box of old photos to work with.
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