The Innocents (2021) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

The Innocents (2021) Review

Horrorific content by Bleaz79 on December 15th, 2021 | Movie Review | Slow Burn, Supernatural, Drama, Psychological, Thriller, Killer Kid

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It's about a group of children who, during a fateful Nordic summer, reveal mysterious powers that connect each of them with consequences that spiral more and more out of control.

The Innocents was is a Norwegian film that was written and directed by Eskil Vogt and Rakel Lenora Fløttum as Ida, Alva Brynsmo Ramstad as Anna, Sam Ashraf as Ben.

Childhood is a dark and scary thing

 The Innocents (2021)

The Innocents takes elements of Chronicle, The Children and The Noonday Witch and combines them to deliver something unusual and unexpected.

Watching this film as a parent will really make you want to give your kids a big hug afterwards and tell them that everything will be alright. It deftly handles themes and subjects such as autism, bullying and trauma without becoming cloying or overly sentimental.

Four children, Ida, Anna, Ben and Aisha, come together when the two sisters, Ida and the severely autistic Anna, move into an apartment block. Whilst Ida and the mystically powered Ben form an uncomfortable friendship based on cruelty, Anna develops a link with Aisha that seemingly reduces the effects of her autism, before their powers and the events of their lives spin dangerously out of control.

This is film that will put you on a rollercoaster of emotions. Shock, elation, disgust, fear, pain and sadness are all present as the children develop friendships and bonds that come with the biggest of smiles as they grow and the hardest of lumps on the throat as they shatter in devastating fashion.

The fact that the four leads have never acted professionally before is incredible as they all seem completely comfortable and at home on screen. Ramstad is phenomenal as the autistic Anna, being utterly convincing in every scene. The relationship between Ida and her mother is also helped by the fact they are mother and daughter in real life.

The escalation of danger leads to a palpable sense of threat, particularly for Ida who doesn’t share the powers of the others. The Innocents leans on the more psychological and natural human fears side of horror. There is very little blood or violence, save for one excellently played scene which is a compete punch to the gut that leaves the viewer reeling.

I did have a few issues with the film. It’s slightly overlong, with a few languid scenes where little happens, and there’s a scene of animal cruelty which is played with a tad too much zeal. Although this lays the groundwork for character development, it’s unnecessarily protracted and painful. Also, Ida is portrayed as overtly mean at the start of the film which means it takes a while to really warm to her as a child in peril, while Ben’s character arc becomes a touch too far fetched.

Worth Watching?

Most certainly. Recently winning the Audience Award for best film in the genre based Fanomenon section of Leeds International Film Festival, The Innocents is beautiful, sweet, devastating and terrifying all at the same time.

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