NOVEMBER 9, 2007
Finally, I may rest. The empty hole in my soul has been filled. Life as I know it is no longer as incomplete. Because, now that I have seen Wicked Little Things, no one can ever accuse me of not watching all eight of After Dark’s 8 Films To Die For from 2006. And of course, today marks the release of eight more, so let’s see how long it takes me to finish all of THOSE.
Like most of them, WLT, as it’s known only in this sentence, is not particularly good, but not horrible either. I do like the idea of having only children as the antagonists in what is essentially a zombie movie, but they aren’t menacing enough, and in fact by the end they are more or less the heroes.
How does that work, you might ask? Well, once again, this horror movie has a subplot about, you guessed it, real estate. The least fucking interesting thing in the world has now served as the driving force behind three horror movies I have watched this year. One more and I will be forced to add it to the subgenre list. Yes, as it turns out, the zombie kids are really after a greedy land developer guy, not so much the 3 heroines (including Scout Taylor Compton, aka fake Laurie Strode) or the local exposition- er, mountain man. They kill a few other folks while they’re at it, but I prefer 100% motiveless zombies, not ones that sort of test the waters and then decide on a course of action for the last 20 minutes.
I also like it when our heroine is likable, which isn’t the case here. Scout was a bit annoying at times as Laurie Strode, but here she’s just a plain old bitch. She whines about everything, steals food from her little sister, and mocks rednecks. Can someone cast her as someone I don’t want to punch in the stomach? I don’t know how her mother in the film manages to go the whole 90 minutes without at LEAST giving her a backhander.
Still, as the film began with some folks moving into an old house (and then looking through newspaper clippings with lots of helpful backstory), I was expecting a goddamn haunted house movie, so when some zombies showed up, however lame they were, it was a nice surprise. Also, the finale features some “don’t move or they’ll see and then kill you” action, a stock moment but nicely elevated by the fact that they continue to stand still as a victim is killed in the room above them, and his blood pours through cracks on the floor, drenching them as they remain still. Nice!
There’s a commentary track but it’s as boring as they come. Unless you really love hearing about Bulgarian film crews.
The film was directed by J.S. Cardone, who made the Near Dark/Lost Boys wannabe The Forsaken, a mostly terrible film that somehow got a theatrical release in spring of 2001 (I remember seeing it back to back with Along Came A Spider. What a shitty day at the movies). Other than a hot girl or two, the movie was pretty worthless, but it still endeared itself to me a little bit, since the lead character (Jack from Dawson’s Creek) played a guy who edited trailers. That’s me! Sort of. Sadly, Wicked Little Things didn’t have any such character for me to relate to, so I am sure I will forget every single thing about it within a few days or so. But you won’t yell at your TV or attempt to euthanize your DVD player while you’re watching the film, so in that respect, I guess it’s OK enough.
What say you?