After a whole town blacks out for a while, all the women become pregnant and give birth at an accelerated pace. This is, by the way, an event that’s going on all over the world in different little towns. The children, pale with white hair and white eyes, start becoming something of a gang, and soon it’s not just the other kids, but the parents who are deadly afraid of them. And with good reason too, since they use their psychic powers to humiliate, defend themselves and kill the people who stand in their way. Alien children are always a pain
Boy, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this film, it’s one of my favorites. It’s such a wacky, crazy flick that also delivers on the scares. You have George Sanders as the head of the school and main hero of the town, and he doesn’t look a bit too happy. Seriously, George looks like he hates the fact that he has to act in this film. Of course, Sanders is a veteran of Shakespearian theatre and participated in classic films such as Hitchcock’s Rebecca, The Picture Of Dorian Gray and the classic Bette Davis vehicle, All About Eve. Then there’s Barbara Shelley, veteran of Hammer classics such as Dracula Prince Of Darkness, Quatermass & The Pit and Rasputin The Mad Monk, who here is just the most incompetent mother you could ever ask for, inattentive and uncaring, and so is Sanders. These make for some awkwardly comical situations.
But still, it can’t be denied that the movie is very effective in it’s scares. The children are pretty damn creepy and they do some terrible stuff, like make a man crash his car into a brick wall (killing him in the process) and making a man set himself on fire. Those thick little British accents don’t help the situation, either. The score is excellent, and it’s a big part of why the suspense and horror seem real, even if the situation doesn’t. The ending is very original, in which Sanders keeps the children in the school. He puts a wall in between his mind so that the children don’t find out there’s a bomb in the room. As the children use their powers, a brick wall, breaking down from the children’s power, is superimposed over Sanders’ head. It’s a very powerful shot. In the end the bomb explodes and Sanders sacrifices himself to save the world, but then again, that final shot of the creepy eyes leaving the ruins doesn’t hold much hope. There was a sequel called Children of the Damned, which I still haven’t seen. But for all that is holy, stay away from the John Carpenter remake. What a turd.