January 18, 2023 There’s Something Wrong with the Children (Movie Review)
When it comes to Horror films, there is a lot that can go wrong for the characters. That in mind, there is something wrong with the dream house that we have just moved into, there is something wrong with the vacation we’re on and in Blumhouse Television’s latest offering – there is most definitely something wrong with the children.
Released by Paramount Home Entertainment on Digital and On Demand on January 17, 2023, before becoming available through MGM+ on March 17th, There’s Something Wrong with the Children is the work of the talented Director Roxanne Benjamin (XX 2017, Creepshow series). A supernatural styled story, it follows couple Margaret (Alisha Wainwright: Raising Dion series, Palmer 2021) and Ben (Zach Gilford: Friday Night Lights series, The Purge: Anarchy 2014) who have decided to take a weekend trip with their good friends Ellie (Amanda Crew: The Haunting in Connecticut 2009, Tone-Deaf 2019) and Thomas (Carlos Santos: Border Patrol series, Undone series) who have two children. At first the trip goes well, that is until the children disappear into the woods one night. When they return, Ben is convinced that they are not the same children.
Children are a common device used in Horror because there is something inherently creepy about kids behaving strangely – make of that what you will. The kids in There’s Something Wrong with the Children are no different and Briella Guiza (Station 19 series, The Terminal List series) as Lucy and David Mattle (Life & Beth series) as Spencer put in some great performances with chilling laughs and sinister facial expressions. You definitely would not want these children on your weekend trip that’s for sure.
Whilst the children serve as the characters that are the main Horror element, the adult characters are much more interesting. There’s Something Wrong with the Children is a film about differing family dynamics and how those dynamics often unfortunately end up affecting long term friendships; Margaret and Ben are a couple without children and Ellie and Thomas are a couple with children. Whilst at first the couples feel that their different family circumstances have no bearing, it becomes clear that they do. There is a pressure in society for women to have children and Margaret as it happens is quite happy to remain child free. However, Ellie does already have children and so this becomes a source of tension.
Overall, There’s Something Wrong with the Children is not particularly scary, though it has lots of great creepy moments, and the Horror element itself isn’t anything particularly new or original. However, there are few Horror films about the reproductive pressures put on women, so There’s Something Wrong with the Children is a welcome addition to the genre in spite of any flaws. The film is a surprisingly easy watch, and the running time moves at a steady pace with no lulls. Furthermore, it is predominantly shot in one location and that works well too, never feeling like it should have more added. All things considered, there might be something wrong with the children, but there is little wrong with the film. That is why Cryptic Rock gives There’s Something Wrong with the Children 3.5 out of 5 stars.