Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Just when you thought that ‘The Omen’ or ‘Bad Seed’ or ‘Home Alone’ had closed the door on freaky demonic little kids, along comes this flick ‘Whisper’ to try and pry that door open just a crack and beat some life into that genre. Damn if this doesn’t come real close to making just that thing happen.

Max (Josh Holloway) has just gotten out of the clink and is making big big plans with his pretty long legged girlfriend Roxanne (Sarah Wayne Callies) while his number one Sydney (Michael Rooker) looks on. I don’t what exactly Max went up the river for, but he learned a little bit about food prep while tucked away on the states dime and all he has to do is convince some bank officer to lend a convicted felon fifty grand, so he can get him and his girls dreams of a little corner Diner up and running. Sydney tries to remind Max that he’s a criminal and that he has a line on quite possibly the easiest gig ever, but Max is determined to go straight. Of course Max gets REJECTED like Mutombo and is back with his boy Sydney informing him that it’s time to return to breakin’ the law. I will admit that it didn’t look like Max tried all that hard to go straight.

The job does seem like a rather easy one since all it consists of is kidnapping eight year old David Sanborn (Blake Woodruff) from his birthday party while his wealthy mom Cathy is distracted. The act goes without a hitch and now Max, Sydney, and Roxanne, who’s along to try and help soothe David and keep him calm, as well as the fourth wheel and technical dude and insulin injecting diabetic Vince (Joel Edgerton) are sitting tight. All they have to do is wait for further instructions while waiting in a chilly northern cabin and then collect their loot.

Couple of issues though which complicates things a bit. First is that our quartet are just the puppets as the actual kidnapping is being orchestrating by an unseen voice that only communicates via cell phone going by the name of Jones who is doling out information

like it’s a rationed can of peas. The second issue is that young David is the spawn of Satan which is going to really suck in the long run for these guys. Now considering how eerily freaky David looks just by simply existing, and combined with the fact that everybody he seems to randomly come in contact with turns into a mass murderer and that he can walk out of rooms that are dead bolted from the outside, personally I would’ve cut this whole kidnapping thing short since I’ve seen enough freaky demon kid movies to know one when I see one. Greed however must be a powerful motivator because despite the fact that our kidnappers are starting die in the strangest ways and David seems to know every single bad thing they everybody on earth has ever done, they stick to the plan. What they should have been asking themselves is 'Who the hell is this Jones cat and why does he want David kidnapped in the first place?' They’ll find out. And they won’t like the answer.

SPOILER: Okay so my man Dule Hill from that TV show ‘Psyche’ is in this flick playing a police detective on the kidnapping case. Now Mr. Hill is African American in descent and I was curious as to how in hell Evil David was going to kill him since he’s like nowhere near the crime scene, and we know he has to die. They could surprise me and let the brother live, but then that would kind of defeat the purpose of him being in the movie in the first place now wouldn’t it? As it turns out it’s this detective’s uppity superior intelligence which gets him all murdered up. Lesson learned. But besides the message that being smart and Black means you don’t deserve to live, I really liked ‘Whisper’ and you can thank young Blake Woodruff for that because I’m almost convinced that the little man is evil in real life since he played David Sanborn so well. There is something about that little boy that is just plain unsettling. Director Stewart Hendler oversaw a film that was filled with plenty of atmosphere, though admittedly it’s not all that scary with the possible exception of one or two scenes. This is a film that will succeed or fail on whether or not you can accept David as a legitimate evil entity and I brought in completely. Very good actors surround the kid with the near legendary Michael Rooker and Joel Edgerton, doing good work though Josh Howard and the whole ‘felon with the heart of gold’ thing probably doesn’t work all that well for child kidnappers. There was really no reason for Sarah Wayne Callies character to be included in the whole kidnapping thing, no matter how they try to justify it in the script, but she is tall, thin, pretty and takes a shower so we’re not going to complain too loudly over here.

All in all ‘Whisper’ wasn’t a bad little horror thriller and even had a decent little twist near the end that I didn’t see coming and benefits from a great performance from a kid that I’m not completely convinced was acting.

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