The Innocents (2022)

AKA: De uskyldige
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  • RT Rating 95%
  • IMDB Rating 7.4

Critic Reviews:

The Innocents is certainly a more narratively linear and debatably accessible work than the queasily sexually explicit Blind, but in some ways it’s the more challenging film given that it delves uncomfortably deep into kids’ capacity for cruelty as well as for loyalty and self-sacrifice.

Vogt clearly wants the audience to think of movies like Akira or Chronicle, two movies about young boys getting superpowers and turning into monsters because of it. The problem is that The Innocents never fully commits to that idea, or even to that of kids being inherently mean to each other. There are glimpses of greatness, at least during the few times we see powers being used (with rather impressive if subtle CG to boot). If only those moments were more than just reminders that The Innocents was inspired by much better movies.

Vogt isn't interested in pulling at your heartstrings among all the violence, and by his own admittance avoided the sort of "this is a puberty metaphor" that permeates a lot of horror films that focus on younger characters. Instead it's just a straightforward tale of how we are all capable of evil or good and it can really end up going either way, heightened by terrific child performances and Vogt being allowed to create genuine threats from and to his young characters, something he'd never get away with in a U.S. studio version of this story.