Not having read the book on which this film was based - 'The Midwich Cuckoo' by John Wyndham - I didn't have high expectations of this film. I had the basic knowledge of the storyline and thought I'd give it a go. Noting it was directed by John Carpenter (Halloween, The Thing, Vampires) my hopes for this film rose.
Eleven years after Children Of The Corn another child-rebellion in the movie world begins. This time, however, they are driven by an evil force that lives inside them. Being a fan of children getting their own back I thought I'd give it a go. Basically this film is about an evil force (no other way to describe it) that causes the small town of Midwich to all simultaneously 'black out'. Surprisingly enough, this only leads to bad news. As a result of the 'black out' all of the female population of the town become impregnated. Along come Dr. Alan Chaffee (Christopher Lee) and government scientist Dr. Susan Verner (Kirstie Alley) to get to the bottom of the situation.
At this point in the film the first flaw appears. It has been made apparent that all of the women in the town are pregnant; until the children are actually born there are only of them. There would have been but unfortunately one of them died. With all the new babies my thoughts strayed to the potential shortage of baby food. Still that didn't seem to matter as before long the babies had grown in to children.
This brings me to my next flaw. This one is in the storyline. Although there is no time to show the months of pregnancy it seemed that the women were pregnant one second and giving birth the next. It flowed too quickly. The same problem arose with the children growing up, one minute they are in nappies, the next they are in school uniform. More development was needed. It was slightly confusing.
The children then start picking off the adult folk who start to get suspicious of them. Suspicious? How could you be suspicious of abnormally smart, albino children who all look alike and can see into people's minds and can control others behaviour with their 'mental powers'? All of the killings involve the children to use mind control to manipulate their victims to kill themselves. A car and a gas tank, an eye and some acid drops, a janitor and a broomstick and a priest and a shot gun. They all come to a grisly end.
The only person who can stop them is Dr. Chaffee. He has the ability to stop the children from reading his mind. A useful trick that. This leads to a fairly dramatic end with Dr. Chaffee confronting the children in a barn.
Another question comes to mind, how does a doctor know how to make a time bomb? The ending of this film was a slight disappointment as there wasn't enough suspense or action plus it seemed to be over too quickly. Christopher Lee played a very convincing Dr. Chaffee, not much could be said for Kirstie Alley, who was far too erratic and didn't really get to grasps with her character that well. Shame she had to die, though. The Oscar has to go to the kid who played David. Such a sweet, innocent kid playing the role of this sinister child hell bent on destruction, brilliant.
As for the directing, it was - as we have come to expect from John Carpenter - very good. There was some nice camera work, especially at the beginning when they all blacked out; the camera was everywhere that we thought we shouldn't be. I was impressed with the directing even if the storyline was a little thin.
It wasn't a bad film. Only rated a , it wasn't going to be full of blood and gore. That said it was a refreshing watch and well worth checking out. I am hard pressed between giving this film a or a , so I'll give it ; not a bad film, needed slight storyline bulking.