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Film / The Children

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Be very afraid.

The Children (2008) is a British horror film. Whilst on holiday, parents Jonah, Elaine, Chloe and Robbie notice that their young children are beginning to act odd after they become ill with an unknown virus. The children then begin to exhibit violent behavior that quickly escalates to murder.


The Children provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Ax-Crazy: Infected children exhibit this behavior, although it's mixed with cold calculation.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: The ending shows a group of infected children surrounding the van, with a lingering shot of Casey, who may or may not be infected.
  • Cliffhanger: Elaine and the possibly now-infected Casey, driving away from the house together.
  • Creepy Child / Enfant Terrible: All of the children, but Leah especially.
  • Creepy Doll: Leah's baby doll, made even worse when she stuffs it inside Robbie's stomach.
  • Downer Ending
  • The End of the World as We Know It: More than likely. It appears that the illness is widespread and probably uncurable.
  • Eye Scream: Chloe's death involves a coloured pencil in the eye.
  • Foreshadowing: Leah giving herself eye shadow with a coloured pencil.
  • Hate Plague: One that infects children exclusively, turning them into pint-sized homicidal maniacs.
  • Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: New Year's Eve.
  • Idiot Ball: Chloe and Robbie. Their actions end up costing them dearly.
  • Infant Immortality: Subverted. Of the four younger children only one is still alive at the end.
  • Jerk Ass: Jonah, who runs off with his youngest daughter while abandoning his wife and step daughter. YMMV however. Considering the events of the movie solely from his point of view, this can also be a case of Jerk Ass Has A Point.
  • Kill 'em All: With the exception of Elaine and Casey, everyone is dead by the final scene.
  • Oh, Crap!: Elaine realizes in the final scene of the film what has happened: once the children started to get sick, they became violent and killed every adult around. Elaine's hesitation before letting Casey back into her car speaks volumes.
  • Poor Communication Kills: None of the characters explain their motivations or reasoning to anyone else. They simply do something and expect everyone else to go along, then bring up looks of shock and horror when someone foils their agenda — both good and bad characters. Elaine finally figures it out after she is cornered on a stairwell, about to be dug into by two of the kids.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Jonah. He isn't successful.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: None of the adults. Casey, however...

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