You know we love to talk about the movies that scared you as a kid, but don’t forget that here at KINDERTRAUMA we’ve got our eyes peeled for kids in horror films in general, and 2007 brought a fine bounty of critters who face horrific obstacles and/or are horrific obstacles themselves. Here is our list of favorites from 2007. Please let us know in the comments if there are any that we forgot and remember, watch where your tread there are spoilers ahead!
- JACK KETCHUM’S THE GIRL NEXT DOOR
Take away the fact that this movie is a nearly unwatchable, soul-destroying slip and slide ride into an endless abyss that will have you scrambling to piece together not only your will to live, but your tattered faith in humanity and it’s a pretty good flick. It’s certainly a faithful adaptation, though whether that’s a good or bad thing, I have yet to come to terms with it. The entire young cast deserves accolades, if not for their more than competent work, than for simply not committing suicide midway through production. At 22, BLYTH AUFARTH is far from a child actress, but she should be singled out for her unflinchingly brave performance as the tortured title character especially when her peers are busy playing amputated strippers.
- THEM (ils)
By mentioning this film on this list I have spoiled it’s secret surprise ending. “Them” are a bunch of kids who murder and terrorize for sport in this French import based on a true story. The fact is, we take a “You snooze, you loose” attitude here at Kindertrauma. I know it hurts, I wanted to be surprised by the retro-cylons in BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: RAZOR and some web site blew that for me. But don’t be angry; just think off all the subtitles I just saved you from reading.
- ROB ZOMBIE’S HALLOWEEN
DAEG FAERCH, whose name I’ve typed so many times this year that I can almost spell it correctly without Google aid, had the daunting task of playing the young version of the slasher world’s most honored icon. Even if you’ve seen the theatrical and bootleg cuts, do yourself a favor and watch that spiffy new unrated edition. I was already impressed with the lil’ squirt’s interpretation, but the new version has some great black and white hand-held Loomis-cam footage that cinches the deal.
- WHISPER (aka HELLION)
This doomed to DVD troubled production fails on many accounts, but has its heart in the right place and more than enough going for it to sustain interest. A great set up, “What if you accidentally kidnapped a devil kid?” garnished with excellent supporting players (like HENRY’s MICHAEL ROOKER) and topped off with the awe inspiring cinematography of DEAN CUNDY (HALLOWEEN, THE THING). Sure, it’s all a bit unconvincing but it blows last year’s OMEN remake out of the water thanks to devil kid BLAKE WOODRUFF’s knowingly sly delivery.
- 28 WEEKS LATER
MACINTOSH MUGGLETON plays the part of a normal kid with a normal name, but his life is anything but. In this quiet domestic drama, Andy finds out his mother is half zombie and his dad is about to follow her lead. How do people who love each other stay together when the people they love are no longer the people that they love?… Nah! just kidding, there are no zombies in this movie, just speedy red-eyed RAGE virus freakos!
What happens when you cross arthouse with grindhouse? Joshua the creepy kid tries to kill SAM ROCKWELL’s baby! Or at least it seems that way at first. Actually little Joshy (JACOB KOGAN) has much more elaborate plans that include turning everyone around him ape-shit bonkers. His work is more subtle than most child maniacs, but you gotta respect the fact that he offers a homeless man 5 dollars if he’ll let him throw a rock at him, and that he closes the film belting out an impromptu show tune about his misdeeds.
- THE MIST
Apparently I only ruin French movies because my lips are sealed on this tragically ignored future classic. Suffice it to say, the ending will blow you away and that young NATHAN GAMBLE participates in a scene that happily breaks every law of American cinema.
- KID NATION
O.K. this is not a horror movie, it’s not even a movie, and some would say it’s not even a proper television show, but c’mon we needed some more gals in our class [Note to Hollywood: Where have all the killer girls gone? Get on that!] and who is cooler than SOPHIA? Casting agents get to work, and redeem yourselves by tapping the talents of this TATUM O’NEAL-like, wise beyond her years, super-star waiting to happen! Stick her in MIST 2: THE AFTERMATH, or even 28 MONTHS LATER, just make it happen!