Friday, May 13, 2022

The Innocents (2022) - Movie Review

The Movie: The Innocents

The Director: Eskil Vogt

The Cast: Rakel Lenora Fløttum, Alva Brynsmo Ramstad, Mina Yasmin Bremseth Asheim, Sam Ashraf, Ellen Dorrit Pedersen, Morten Svartveit, Kadra Yusuf, Lisa Tønne

The Story: During the bright Nordic summer, a group of children reveal their dark and mysterious powers when the adults aren't looking.

The Review:
A few years ago, there was the promise of a New Mutants movie, a trilogy in fact, that would be a straight up horror movie about young mutants developing their powers and the idea, and even the initial trailer, looked amazing. While the final product that we ended up seeing was a decent super hero movie, it wasn't anything like what I had originally been excited or hopeful for. The reason I mention that is because this movie is basically a mutant origin story, of course not anywhere near being Marvel or X-Men of course, and it is as truly frightening and disturbing of an experience as you could ever want, or not want depending on your tolerance for this sort of thing.

The reason this movie is so effective isn't because it takes a comic book style approach to kids discovering super powers but rather as far from that as could be. These are under the radar children from broken homes who have a lot of issues and challenges even before they begin to discover their unique abilities and all of that informs how they react and what they do with these discoveries. Imagine kids who are unhappy with their situations, their surroundings, and even their families with everything seeming rather hopeless and then they suddenly find themselves being able to take control of their lives in seemingly incredible ways.

Remember the old saying "with great power comes great responsibility?" What if these kids had no real graps of that concept or even a need to understand it. They may not be inherently evil or meaning to do bad things although maybe they also don't understand where those lines are let alone whether or not to cross them. That's the whole point of what I'm getting at and why this movie takes some very discturbing turns. There's a lot of social commentary in this story as well, all of it woven into the primary storyline and everything we see has some sort of impact on how events unfold eventually leading to a prtty brutal third act.

The Verdict:
The Innocents is a frightengly disturbing horror movie that will leave a lasting impression in a much more effective way than basic jump scares or blood splattering hi-jinks. Eskil Vogt's second feature film is one that deserves attention and should put the director front and center in conversations about up and coming genre filmmakers.

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