Go See WHO CAN KILL A CHILD?
It'd be a damn shame to only think of the entrancingly sinister Who Can Kill a Child? as a major influence on Eli Roth's Hostel. The film is so much more suggestive in the way that it torments its pleasantly vapid British tourists with a group of inexplicably homicidal children. Which isn't to say it's any less ham-handed than Roth's film in its periodic disdain for said foreigners. Tom (Lewis Fiander), the pale, mustachioed Alpha male, is especially over-the-top in his grotesque ignorance. He takes what he wants first and asks questions later, lies constantly and, when the going gets tough, he takes the easiest way out (SPOILER: I really couldn't help but roll my eyes at him when he dumps the old man's body in that open doorway. That's not just mean, it's stupid. END SPOILER). The bitter end is a bit canned and the scenes that show how the children's maliciousness is spread could have been finessed better but I suspect this one will get better with another viewing. An effective film where horrors committed in broad daylight look that much more depraved (take that, original Wicker Man).
Who Can Kill a Child will screen at the Walter Reade theater as part of the Film Society at Lincoln Center's "Scary Movies 3" program tomorrow, Sunday October 18, at 7pm. Go.