Despite being one of the ‘films to die for’, the tag being given to the release of movies shown at various ‘after dark’ festivals ‘Wicked Little Things’ delivers possibly the weakest performance of the group.
It is a genuine shame; the concept of the movie was a good one, the revenge of zombie children, a group who were murdered in a mining blast, terrorising a small mountain town from the darkness of night.
Initially things looked great. A reasonably attractive cast, mum and daughter that is, and despite a bit of irritating dialogue the movie got underway swiftly. The cinematography is possibly the strongest aspect of the movie. The locations are great, especially at night, where instead of seeing absolutely nothing in the dark; the woods are softly lit by the moon, the mist effects effectively conveying the damp and the cold. The camera work is really well done and despite being set almost entirely at night the sets seem really vibrant and authentic. Judging on this alone you would feel that the movie has far out stripped the constraints of its budget, however, after a good half hour you see that less attention was clearly given to all other aspects of the movie.
Boring is the word I feel best describes the experience. It’s not that there is anything specifically bad about the movie; it simply offers nothing of interest. Once the story takes hold it is really obvious what is going to happen and for the most part nothing is really. There are some hints that the story is going to be developed further, even having a twist, but nothing ever comes of it. The main character keeps looking at old photos, the music and her expressions giving the impression that she has discovered something mysterious, but nothing ever comes of it.
Initially the presence of the zombie children is kept quite subtle and for good reason, when you actually see them you wonder what the joke is. Simply put they look more like child Goths than zombies. There is no sense of decay, and despite the fact that they were supposedly buried alive none of them have wounds or disfigurement to indicate such; simply white face paint. There is little gore too, now it was fairly obvious that the director was going for a more subtle approach, which is fine, not every movie has to be of Fulci standard, and you do get to see a little gut munching and some bloody corpses, but in the absence of anything else holding your interest in the movie it gives you the feeling that you have been sold short.
With the fate of the movie being established about halfway through the rest turned to tedium, you continually wait for something to make the build-up worthwhile but it never comes. The lengthy dialogue sequences designed to develop the back story and characters comes across as nothing but padding and when the characters begin to act out the whole ‘oh my god this can’t be happening’ cliché I just wanted it to be over.
Overall this is all class and no substance, I genuinely believe that. I thought about it for a while before I wrote this review, but honestly I could not see any hook or grab that this movie provides. You would get through it if for whatever reason you view it, but I’m sure you would reach the same conclusion as me by the end.