This may be one of the better recent horror movies I have seen. There were so many things I liked about it also!
First off... I've read the other reviews and do not agree with some of the comments. I will agree that the plot is a bit cookie cutter... the plot has been reiterated a number of times so I won't go into that.
But... the good things I liked are: The acting is not overdone... it's right on par. The special effects AREN'T the movie.. they enhance the movie. The plot is easy to follow, direct. All the characters fit into the story... no suprise characters. No special camera effects that took away from the movie.
Simply stated... this is a more traditional scare fest. But I happen to like those.
Part of the After Dark Horrorfest, "Wicked Little Things" is a haunting tale of the rural Pennsylvania hill country that has always been rife with legends and tales of ghosts and hauntings. A brief prologue set in 1913 finds a group of very young children forced to work deep in a coal mine. When the owner of the mind demands that a new shaft be blown up, the children are left inside to be buried alive.
Now in the present day, recently widowed Karen Tunny moves to this rural area of Carrolton with her daughters, teenager Sarah, and young Emma. She inherited the house when she found the deed in her husband's personal belongings after his death. The house was owned by his family and has been empty for many years. The Tunnys move there sight unseen, perhaps a bit of a stretch, but there are strong hints that there were serious financial issues and that they had nowhere else to go.
Wicked Little Things is filled with a load of horror film trappings and clichés. There's the weird storeowner who warns them to stay inside after dark, and the crazy neighbor who warns them of the same thing. The plumber assuredly states he wants to be done fixing her pipes before the sun sets...and then does just the opposite and I suppose you can guess his fate. And of course the young daughter seems to have a bit of a rapport with the spirits who haunt the area. It turns out the ghosts of those children buried in the mines prey on whatever they find after dark. Actually ghosts might not be the best word as they feed on their victims, making them more zombies I suppose but not the George Romero type...
The Crazy neighbor, Hanks, is actually protecting the Tunnys by smearing his blood on their front door at night as it seems they won't attack their own blood and Hanks is one of the children's ancestors. The area is suitably creepy, an old, almost primeval forest, protecting its deep, dark secrets. The ghosts/zombies are also fairly creepy with their pale complexions and dark eyes and lips, often smeared with blood.
The plot is fairly straightforward and predictable but then again, most horror films are predictable and part of the fun is the ride towards the end. The main weakness for me were the performances which were all stock horror film specials...vulnerable widow, rebellious teenage daughter, over curious young daughter, etc...Lori Heuring as the Mom just wasn't believable enough nor a strong enough lead to carry the film. She simply looks too young to have a teenaged daughter and just to pretty to play a beaten down widow. Ben Cross plays Hanks and again, he's playing the "Dr. Loomis" role and offers little in any way of an original performance. Interestingly, Scout Taylor-Compton who plays teenaged Sarah has been selected to play the role of Laurie Strode in Rob Zombie's remake of "Halloween."
The DVD extras are very slight. You get only a commentary with the Director J.S. Cardone and Lori Heuring. While the acting is mundane the overall atmosphere of the haunted woods and the creepiness of the ghostly kids lifts "Wicked Little Things" above the ordinary. Not a great film but definitely worth a view on a dark night.
REVIEWED BY TIM JANSON
on February 5, 2015
Oh man, this is serious seismographic horror and the creep factor is off the scale.
The production values are spine chilling and heavily atmospheric; you can almost smell the country air, old wood and pine needles.
The plot is rock solid and the opening scenes; accurately conceived and disturbingly realistic, instantly convey the premise and set the mood for the tragic aftermath that inevitably follows.
There are the usual ingredients for this type of horror story; a small town in the middle of nowhere, long dark backwood roads through a dense and ominous forest, a dilapidated log home with a bad past and scary reputation and spooked locals who like to quote scripture.
Ingenious use of the Biblical Passover theme.
I was totally with the kids right from the beginning, I could completely relate. You couldn't pay me enough to live in a place like that, I am so serious.
This movie is scary and never loses momentum; yet it never cheats the viewer by brelying on predictable and mind crippling cliches.
Excellent character development keeps pace with the plot and the few moments of unintended humor is always a delight.
I'm not sure what's going on with that mother, but I think she is either seriously stupid or in delirious denial in la la land.
I would be like saying......listen honey YOU live here if you want, I'm staying in a town with a population count that way exceeds 2 digits.
Thank you very much!
on February 21, 2016
CONTAINS SOME SPOILERS….
This story started out interesting, but it just kept going downhill.
It was full of plot holes.
The story did not make sense.
The ending was ridiculous.
There was a lot of blood and gore, but I did not find it scary, the scariest thing for me was the rats crawling on the table.
There was a lot of unnecessary cursing.
It did hold my attention all the way through, although I found the ending disappointing.
It was nice to see Chloe Grace Moretz as a little girl.
Her character was afraid of ridiculous things, such as her older sister jokingly mentioning monsters, but she was not at all afraid of being lost in the woods in the dark, or to talk to a zombie child with a burned-up doll, or to see her mother's and sister's faces soaked in blood.
The older sister, Sarah, just goes out all night with three teenagers whom she just met, and for a few nights in a row, just sits in a car with them, in the dark in the middle of nowhere, smoking pot and making out. The mother does not care where she has been or who she has been with. The mother only seemed to care about Chloe Grace Moretz, whom she kept calling her "baby."
The title did not fit the movie at all.
The movie was about children who were some kinds of zombies, and there were no "wicked little things" anywhere in the movie.
I expected the movie to possibly be about demons or some kind of devil theme, or a haunted house, but it had nothing to do with that.
The zombie children were kept satisfied (in other words, did not go on killing sprees) because the Hanks guy was leaving pigs for them to eat. But they were "dead" since 1913, and there would not be enough pigs for Hanks to possibly leave them every night for all those years. They all carried huge weapons, so they certainly did not need Hanks to leave pigs for them, they could have killed anyone or any thing that they wanted. Suddenly, pigs were not enough, and they needed to kill several people in one night. The police are never called in, and no one seems to care about the dead bodies, and none of those murdered people seem to be missed by anyone.
At the end, they just drive away from the house, looking calm, not traumatized, like everything will suddenly be okay and they suddenly have another place to live.
on January 1, 2016
I bought this mainly because Scout Taylor-Compton, who plays Laurie Strode in Rob Zombie's Halloween and Halloween II is in it. I was surprised at how good it was. It's kind of creepy the first couple of times you see it, but then it's alright.
The movie starts in the early 1900s in a coal mine in Pennsylvania where a group of kids are accidentally buried and killed in an explosion. About 100 years later, a family, Karen Tunny and her two daughters Sarah (Scout Taylor-Compton) and Emma (Chloe Grace Moretz) move to an inherited house from Karen's recently deceased husband near the old mine. The house is full of issues and a mysterious guy comes at night and smears blood on their door. The blood protects them from the children, who are zombie ghosts. The zombies are believed to be a legend. Emma goes out into the woods unsupervised and claims to have met a girl named Mary, but no one believes her. Sarah meets new friends there and one night, they are attacked and only Sarah survives. The other three are torn apart and eaten. Sarah and Karen are chased and end up at the mysterious guy, Hanks' house. They are attacked but the zombies' target is the landowner, Carlton, who is a descendant of the people responsible for the accident. The zombies kill Carlton and Emma shows up with Mary, one of the zombies. The zombies say they won't kill anymore. Later, Karen, Sarah, and Emma move away and Mary and some of the children now live in the house.
The bonus feature, the commentary, is very insightful and the director describes the film as a kind of dark fairy tale, which I can agree with. The zombie children are kind of creepy, moving in groups and attacking with their pickaxes and shovels. The makeup used is creepy in a lot of scenes. The cast does a great job with their roles. Scout Taylor-Compton does really good in her role, but I still prefer her portrayal of Laurie Strode in Halloween. Chloe Grace Moretz does a good job for her young age at the time. Lori Heuring is good as Karen. Ben Cross plays Hanks well.
If you haven't seen this movie, I would recommend seeing it. I haven't seen any of the other "8 Films to Die For" yet, but I'll get to them sometime. I started with this movie because Scout Taylor-Compton is in it. The movie is dark, creepy, and has an ominous tone to it. I like this movie and I watch it every once in a while because it is a well-directed, well-acted movie.
on February 19, 2016
Regarding Wicked Little Things, what purpose does the story serve? Entertain the viewer, explore an idea or does it do both? In this case, the story does demonstrate entertaining elements.
What is the central idea from which the action derives and unfolds? Is the central idea that of retribution? If so, then this film main purpose serves the sense of entertainment for which a viewer seeks fulfillment.
It seems, for the result to be cinematically good there must be a detailed mental vision in the screenwriter for a sense of direction needed by both director and actors. Was the vision at the screenplay's inception conceived with detail? What is the point of this story? Is the point that retribution is cross-generational?
Making a good film is a difficulty of realization, a rare accomplishment of achievement, let alone an expensive one. Many things about this film invite the wishful thought they had been done better. Criticizing prompts the sudden sense of self-importance. There is no sense of self-importance here in this writer.
Yet the film seems more of a distraction than anything else. Many questions suggested by its story remain unresolved. Yet, if the zombie children are seeking reprisal, does that make them "wicked?" If they are wicked as the title says they are, then, are they punishing someone deserving of their lethal, cannibalistic justice?
Maybe what is so memorable about this movie is how ordinary it is. But, who am I to criticize?
on December 5, 2015
Stop me if you've heard this one: Recently widowed mother has to move from the city to a creepy old house in the remote countryside. Along for the ride are her two daughters: one surly teenager who spends most of her time whining, and one pre-teen that tends to have imaginary friends and likes to run off and get lost. Rounding out the cast: a wacko who lives in a shack in the woods, a dim-witted country-store clerk who stays just this side of creepy, a wealthy a-hole that everyone hates and who hates everyone, plus your standard high-school friend starter-kit consisting of: Jock with letterman jacket, cheerleader girlfriend, suave non-jock friend, and generic American muscle car.
Filling the requisite role of the creepy, malevolent presence are a clutch of zombie kids in turn of the century miner's outfits. The story unfolds exactly as you would expect, scene for scene, and is probably notable only for the fact that it features Chloe Moretz (of Kick Ass fame) in one of her earliest feature film roles. There's nothing original about it, but at least it doesn't look cheap.
on November 11, 2015
Another zombie type movie except these zombies are children who worked in the coal mines in hilly Pennsylvania, in early 1900s.
In present day, a widow and her two teens claim her husband's house of his youth which just so happens to be the home of a woods full of those deceased, turned into flesh-eating, zombies. When the sun goes down they come out to feed on humans or animals. They're definitely not ghosts with all the raw flesh eating going aided with handy coal miner axes, hammers, and shovels to hack up screaming victims and pigs. The film is well done with the cinematography and special effects of the dark woods. It makes the theme and plot of revenge against the owner of the coal mine more believable in coming to life. Acting was not very well done except I liked Geoffrey Lewis in his brief role of a plumber until he doesn't make it home before dark. I watched it twice and liked this movie. Some reviewers didn't, but all in all, if you like suspense and zombie flicks then give this one a watch.
on January 23, 2007
i love this movie (not just as a zombie/horror/slasher/blood en guts/ e.t.c fan) but this is a good movie. decent plot...
a family moves in to an old cabin in the mountains after a divorce. the little girl starts talking to somewhat a friend who is dead. then comes the story of a century old horde of zombie children who feed at night.
sorry but i'm not the right person to describe these types of things to people. but a good horror movie none the less, i don't know why people gave this movie a poor rating. but it is a good watch to look at ^_^
also recommended titles from the series:
PENNY DREADFUL, REINCARNATION, and GRAVEDANCERS
on December 11, 2015
Truth be told, you can predict 90% or more of this movie. There aren't really any twist/turns/shockers. But the acting & story are still highly respectable which is why I was torn between giving it 5 stars or 4. I enjoyed it. It kept me entertained & I recommend to others including people I know personally.
On a side note, another reason this movie kept my attention so much is because I knew the girl who plays 'Emma' in this movie looked SO familiar. I finally narrowed recognizing her from another movie I watched not too long ago. Mid-movie I was 99.9% sure what movie she was on. She played Carrie in the movie "Carrie".