Monday, February 19, 2018

The Child (1977)

Horror-flick clichés abound in The Child, a low-budget entry into the creepy-kid genre. Out in the boonies, pretty twentysomething Alicanne (Laurel Barnett) arrives to begin her job as caretaker for Rosalie (Rosalie Cole), the 11-year-old daughter of a nasty old guy who lives in a decaying mansion. (The child’s mother died some time previous, but we’ll get to that in a minute.) Naturally, Alicanne receives warnings about the house (and about the 11-year-old) from a kindly neighbor, and, naturally, she ignores these warnings. All the usual nonsense happens. Strange behavior. Troublesome mysteries. Weird noises. And still Alicanne remains in the house, even as she learns about several recent unsolved murders. Turns out Rosalie has supernatural control over zombie-like creatures, and that she’s guiding her “friends” to murder people whom she feels were complicit in her mother’s death. Inasmuch as it has a steady stream of chase scenes taking place in quasi-atmospheric locations, The Child might have enough shock-cinema mojo to keep undemanding horror addicts entertained. Those who actually want originality, a proper story, or real thrills—not so much. The movie’s shortcomings include distracting dubbing, laughable gore FX, iffy production values, obnoxious music, underwhelming jolts, and weak acting. If only because The Child lacks outright cruelty and misogyny, it’s far from the worst type of ’70s drive-in horror, but that remark should not be misconstrued as praise.

The Child: LAME

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