Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

‘Wicked Little Things’ is the third of the eight films from the After Dark Horrorfest that was ballyhooed by Sony and them some months back.  The first of the two films I saw, ‘Grave Dancers’ and ‘Death Ride’, I thought were solid, albeit pedestrian and unspectacular entertainment.  ‘Wicked Little Things’ pretty much falls into the same category as those other films, as it is a fairly predictable, but reasonably well crafted, somewhat pedestrian horror film.  Three is a trend they say, and though I have the other five films nearby to watch, but due to the maudlin performances of the first three, I’m in no hurry to view them.

Karen Tunney (Lori Heuring) is a young widow with a sixteen year old daughter and a seven year old daughter who are heading up to the hills of what I guess is either Kentucky or West Virginia to claim the deed on a house in her late husbands’ name.  The Tunney’s, being strapped for cash, kind of need a place to live at least temporarily, and hope to be able to sell this house soon.  Seems the dead husband never even told his lovely wife about this property as she only stumbled on it going through his papers.  Hmmmm… I wonder why….?  Typical movie kids the young Tunneys, with angry, hostile teenage girl Sarah (Scout Taylor-Compton) who wants go back to the city and be with her buds, and the precocious Emma (Chloe Moretz) who we can rest assured will wander off and find herself in precarious danger at some point in the proceedings.

As a matter of fact, teenage Sarah was whining so tough that I was tempted to shut off the TV just to shut her up.  But when they finally reach the shack of a house and find the front door slathered in blood as well being unlocked already, so when Sarah started whining about wanting to go home, I could kinda see girlfriends point.  Seriously, who elects to stay in a house with blood splattered doors, broken locks, tucked away in the

deep hills of West Virginia?  Well people in movies, that’s who.  It would seem that close to 100 years ago, an evil coal mining baron was using kids in mines to get to the spots that regular size folks couldn’t reach.  For some reason, instead of waiting for the kids to get out of the mine, which would taken all of ten minutes, the evil dude decides to blow it up, killing all of the kids in the mine.  Of course the freaky dead kids didn't stay buried long and now they roam the mountain woods with pick axes eating people.  They have to feed we are told.  And did I mention the evil land developer who is turning the property into a Ski resort, and happens to be a direct descendent of the evil coal mining baron?  Well those freaky, ax wielding, cannibalistic dead kids aren’t going to stop until they taste that dudes flesh for real.  Our hope is that the poor Tunney’s don’t get cannibalized in the process.

There’s nothing particularly original about ‘Wicked Little Things’ as a lot of the elements seem lifted from this movie or that movie.  Even the scares where fairly predictable.  When Mom retrieves Emma, who has invariably wandered off into woods, and the two get lost on their way back home, they find a house.  They let themselves in and see a lot voodoo looking paraphernalia.  Young Emma says they should go, Mom Agrees, but I tell them that’s all good and find, but too bad somebody is probably standing behind you.  And sure enough there he was.  There was a lot of stuff like that in ‘Wicked Little Things’ which kept it from being too terribly effective as a horror film.  Plus, if I was from West Virginia or Kentucky or somewhere, I’d start getting seriously pissed off at the fact that every time we have a character indigenous to that part of the country, he’s always dirty and grimy.  All of the locals were dirty and grimy in this movie.  Hell, they were dirtier and grimier than the dead kids who were buried under 8 billions tons of gravel for a hundred years.  And what about these Cannibalistic Humanoid Above ground Dwellers (C.H.A.D)?  Why in the hell are they eating people?  It’s never quite explained why the C.H.A.D’s have the taste for flesh and what they are there to accomplish, but chow away they do.  Lastly, why are all land developers evil? 

I know I’ve just kind of railed on ‘Wicked Little Things’ a bit, but it isn’t that bad of a movie really.  It’s well done, was shot well and the atmosphere that director J.S. Cardone created is quite good.  The acting was marginal, but effective, but a lot of the films hues were too dark in many instances making it hard to make out what was going on.  It’s just that the movie really lacked even basic imagination or originality.  I know, I know… you see more dead people.  Enough already because I see them too, over and over and over again.  Not a terrible film, but not a really good one either. 

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