Toronto After Dark: The Children – Cinema’s most effective contraceptive?

Tuesday night’s 7 p.m. screening of the UK horrow show The Children played to a full house that spent much of its time on the edge of its seat. British director Tom Shankland’s film illuminates the darker side of parenting, showing two Brit couples and their offspring getting together over Christmas vacation with their little ankle-biters. But ankle-biting turns to wrist-cutting as the young ones start spreading something amongst themselves which turns childish aggression into murderous rage.

Shankland subtly amps up the tension as the parents start accusing the other’s brood of being responsible for the mayhem. Gore is abundant, and the sound design combined with extremely strong performances from the young leads makes The Children (recently acquired by Alliance, as per the on-screen titles) one of the best British horror films in recent years.


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