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September 23, 2010
The Children Blu-Ray Review
Cinema Release Blu-Ray Release Distributor Director
5/12/2008 (UK)7/9/2010Icon FilmsTom Shankland
Video Codec Sound Format OFLC Rating Star(s)
AVC MPEG-4Dolby TrueHD 5.1MA15+Eva Birthistle

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The Children is a decent horror flick.

Ever since Village of the Damned came out came out in 1960 any horror film which features children as the main protagonist has sent chills up many theatre goers spines. The Children is a 2008 British horror film not theatrically released in Australia, but don't let that fool you, The Children is a scary movie, one you certainly do not want to watch alone, or if you're pregnant.

During a Christmas holiday several children start to fall sick. Their parents just pass the sickness off as a passing illness, but the children start exhibiting strange behavior, such as staring off into space. When the family pet mysteriously goes missing it becomes clear to the audience (but definitely not to the parents) that the children don't just have a cold.

The Children turn on their parents quickly and start to kill the adults in some truly sickening and confronting ways and yet, I enjoyed the movie. It's sick, the adults are just far too naïve and the prospect of a child actually pulling off some of the killings they do is extremely far fetched, but the movie is a really different horror film, it brings a different story to the genre and will certainly have you moving around uncomfortably in your seat.

The video transfer for The Children is nothing too memorable. The film is presented in 1080p with the AVC MPEG-4 codec (which hovers around 17-19Mbps), but there is something really off putting about the exaggerated colour scheme, which we assume was done to show the innocence of the children. The video transfer is solid, but certainly not remarkable and the colours always seem, well, off. It must be said that the transfer pales in comparison to higher profile Blu Ray releases.

The audio in the movie is much like the video, solid but not particularly memorable. The dialogue is soft, but this is only an issue in the first forty minutes of the movie, as soon the dialogue is replaced with kills and screams. The movie does contain a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track (16-bit/48Khz), which hovers around 2Mbps. The Blu Ray disk only contains two subtitle options, English and Spanish.

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The Children is out now on Blu-Ray.
The Children does contain some special features, regrettably all of them are in standard definition though.

The Making of The Children (19:34): I was surprised by how short the making of was, but it does contain some entertaining looks at how the crew prepare for some of the scenes in the movie. Budding film makers will enjoy this featurette.

Deleted Scenes (6:00): None of the deleted scenes including are particularly interesting and just seem more like fillers, so we know exactly why they were deleted.

Working with the Children (5:04): This is a good featurette to watch after you've finished watching the movie and especially before you go to bed. As it shows that the Children in the film are actually extremely proud of their work.

Shooting on Location (3:41): The director of the film Tom Shankland discusses his choice for the location of the film.

Paul Hyett Talks Prosthetics (4:54): Paul Hyett is the make-up effects designer and he is interviewed about some of the more gruesome effects in the film.

Snow Set Design (6:31): True fact; the movie was shot in a place which didn't contain snow, so the director had to hire a company to actually ‘create' the snow by combining paper and wood products, this is a clever little feature which will have you thinking twice about the ‘snow' in the movie.

Inside Tom Shankland's On Set Lair (8:21): The director takes us through his temporary cottage, which contains inspirational pictures and plans for the film.

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Som scenes are pretty horrific.
The Children Trailer (1:31): Disappointingly even the trailer for the movie isn't in high definition.

Overall the extras included on the disk are solid, but none of them are particularly meaty and it is also a shame that they are all in standard definition.

The Children is a scary and unique horror film, focusing on the not so innocent demeanor of some young children, it's certainly worth watching the movie, but we can't imagine being in a huge rush to go back and watch it a second time.

Review By: Luke Van Leuveren


Note: All images in this article are Copyright© Icon Films. They are only indicative of the movie and not sourced from the vastly superior Blu-Ray disc format.