THERE’S SOMETHING WRONG WITH THE CHILDREN
DIRECTOR: Roxanne Benjamin
WRITERS: T.J. Cimfel & Dave White
CAST: Alisha Wainwright, Zach Gilford, Amanda Crew, Carlos Santos
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Josh Reinhold, Jeremy Gold, Chris McCumber, Jason Blum
RUN TIME: 92 minutes
GENRE: Supernatural Horror, Thriller
PRODUCING STUDIOS: Blumhouse Television, MGM+
DISTRIBUTOR: Paramount Home Entertainment, MGM+
Review by Chris Hammond
Margaret (Wainwright) and Ben (Gilford) invite their friends Ellie (Crew) and Thomas (Santos) and their two young children (Guiza and Mattle) along for a relaxing weekend getaway into the woods. From the outside, both couples seem to have no issues, but it soon becomes apparent that this is just a misconception. The group goes on a little hike in the area around their cabins and finds a hidden cave.
Back at the cabins, Ellie confides some information to Margaret. As the night goes on, Margaret and Ben offer to watch the kids for the night. Early the next morning, when Ben goes to wake the kids for breakfast, he notices they snuck out in the night. When they do return, Ben notices they are behaving differently.
Director Roxanne Benjamin fuels an excessive amount of anxiety with the new film There’s Something Wrong with the Children. Although the wilderness feels endless and vast, Benjamin makes the setting feel so small and secluded. The film never really has a dull moment, and the cast plays their characters with such a natural feel. Zach Gilford as Ben is wonderful. His confusion and moods flow into the film so naturally. The full cast, including the kids, really embodies their characters to the fullest.
The film’s principal photography takes place in New Orleans, which ultimately adds a larger atmosphere of the supernatural to the film. Although, one would never suspect that these woods are located there in real life. The heart of the film is the mystery of what is going on with the children, but there are plenty of horror elements throughout the third act. Benjamin knows suspense and boy, it fills this film full up to the brim.
There are many layers of dramatic elements to unpack during the film, but most of these happen during the second act. It was nice seeing Amanda Crew (Ellie) take on a more dramatic role than the comedic ones she’s known for (Silicon Valley, Sex Drive).
There’s Something Wrong with the Children is a solid film with great acting and expert direction. The pacing and runtime work well and the score adds an extra layer of suspense. This is one film that entertains right until the end. Don’t miss this one.
On Digital and On Demand – January 17, 2023
On MGM+: March 17, 2023