The Children (1980)

5.0 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting: 4/10
Visuals: 6/10

Kids are always scary, gritty look

Low-budget and bad acting

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Children

Studio:  Troma Entertainment

Genre(s):  Horror/B-Movie

Release Date(s):  June 13, 1980

MPAA Rating:  R


Hi Mom & Dad…I’m home!!!

Something is wrong with the children of Ravensback.  A chemical release at a nearby plant passes over a school bus and the police find the school bus abandoned a short time later.  The children have been turned into monsters capable of burning with their touch.  The parents of the children don’t know the danger…and not knowing is deadly!

Directed by Max Kalmanowicz, The Children is a horror B-Movie.  The movie was released to negative reviews but has gained a cult following over the years.

Killer kids are a favorite genre of mine.  It raises a bunch of moral issues for the people “battling” the killers that don’t exist when it is an adult.  The concept of a killer kid also raises questions about innocence and the loss there of.  While The Children doesn’t explore the moralities of good and evil, it does have creepy, deadly children.


Mom, you smell like burnt roasted flesh

The story for The Children is pretty underdeveloped.  The kids pass through a chemical cloud and turn evil.  Apparently, their fingernails can turn from black to regular at points and the event is happening all over.  I don’t know if the movie was being set-up for sequels, but it never happened.  I also like that the children’s power is in their hands…and all you have to do is cut them off to kill them.

The acting is pretty poor.  The children just stick their arms out and walk.  This is creepy, but I think they could be creepier.  The adults likewise aren’t very good actors.  It isn’t necessarily the actor’s fault, but I love how the adults just hug the children first time they see them…leading to being burned.


Give me a hug!

The movie is very cheap and looks cheap.  This is both a blessing and a curse.  It has that gritty low budget style of the late ’70s and ’80s which is good, but it isn’t as strong as some of the better horror films of the time stylistically.  The children also could have used some work.  The black nails just aren’t enough…it made them an unrecognizable threat, but I wish they looked more menacing in appearance.  It is also notable that Harry Manfredini, the composer of The Children, also composed the score for Friday the 13th and both scores sound similar.

The Children is a fun, goofy horror movie.  It has a so-bad-it-is-good vibe that makes it watchable.  I don’t say run out and buy The Children, but lovers of bad horror will enjoy it…and it will have you second guessing if you should give your kids a hug.

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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