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Release Date: 08/18/22 [Shudder]

Genre: Horror/Mystery/Thriller

Studio: IFC Midnight

"During the bright Nordic summer, a group of children reveal their dark and mysterious powers when the adults aren't looking. In this original and gripping supernatural thriller, playtime takes a dangerous turn."


Coming fresh off an Academy Award nomination for The Worst Person In the World, writer/director Eskel Vogt brings his sophomore feature; a horror about young children who discover they have telekinetic and supernatural powers but the film eventually takes more horrific turns as they explore their powerful abilities. The Innocents has some things going for it, such as its intriguing hook, plot, and its cast; however The Innocents hinders on its tone and atmosphere a bit too much that creates a self serious slog that is not as interesting as it wants to be.


The best aspect of The Innocents is its premise and its cast. The concept of kids with these kinds of powers has been done before, and thankfully The Innocents adds some interesting elements in the beginning to set itself apart from the rest. It's cast of kids is also entirely welcome as they give fun performances across the board. Rakel Lenora Fløttum and Sam Ashraf come as standouts and end up being the two forces who drive the film.


After the film's beginning, however, it starts to hinge on a one-note atmosphere and leaves less and less to chew on as the film continues. That's not to say that the film doesn't try anything new, but when it does it becomes too little too late as its twists and turns don't exactly feel deserved. The film is technically fine, and the direction is quite competent, but Vogt's script decides to only stay on the surface level in what's possible with its premise, and it's kinda disappointing when it reveals its cards too late.


I will say The Innocents started out promising, but it's one note presentation and surface level plot only did so much to me and left me rather cold towards the end of the film. Perhaps this would roll over better with a crowd searching for a more subtle horror film, but to me it only appears to insist on the one trick it has up its sleeve, and frankly I started to become annoyed after a certain point. Nothing egregious, but most certainly disappointing.

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