Wicked Little Things

Wicked Little Things is a 2006 zombie horror film.  Some of its stars include Lori Heuring as Karen Tunney, Scout Taylor-Compton as Sarah Tunney, Chloe Moretz as Emma Tunney, Ben Cross as Aaron Hanks, and Martin McDougall as William Carlton.  The writers are Boaz Davidson and Ben Nedivi.  The director is J.S. Cardone.

This story takes place in a small fictional Pennsylvania town where, in 1913, a horrible mine accident happened in which several children were killed.  In the present day, Karen Tunney and her two daughters, Emma and Sarah, have inherited a house in that same area as the mine.  There are rumors of zombie children who come out at night and feed on whoever is unlucky enough to be in the area at that time.  At first, the Tunneys are skeptical of the story until Emma meets a mysterious little girl named Mary.  Karen also finds some old news articles telling of the mine disaster and soon discovers that William Carlton, a descendant of the man who ran the mine, is seeking to repossess all the land in the area and build a ski resort.  Naturally, Carlton dismisses the story of the noctural zombie children who feed on the residents of the town.  But the children are real, as the Tunneys and Carlton will soon discover.

An interesting concept of the movie is that the children themselves will not hurt blood relatives.  The Tunneys’ neighbor, Aaron Hanks, puts blood up on their front door to tell the zombie children that their kin live there.  He also puts it on his own door because he himself is related to one of the children.  But there is a problem with one of the Tunneys.  Karen is not a full-blooded Tunney and is, thus, fair game for the children.  However, Emma befriends one of the less violent zombies, Mary, and she assures her that she herself will not hurt Karen but she can’t be certain about the others.

There is something else related to Mary that is quite remarkable, though never fully explained in the film itself.  None of the zombie children themselves actually speak in the film after they’re “dead”.  But, somehow, little Emma can understand Mary enough to know her name and that she won’t harm Karen.  I, personally, assume it’s because Emma is just a little child like them and, therefore, is the only one who can understand them.

Based on some of the other reviews I’ve read, many other critics dismiss this movie as unoriginal and full of horror movie cliches.  However, I would like to respectfully disagree, at least in part.  Wicked Little Things does have its share of cliches, but I believe the idea of having children, believed to have been lost in a mining accident, coming back from the dead as flesh-eating zombies is quite original and, in a way, quite daring.  Not many horror movie writers have the guts to make children the primary antagonists.  Also, the children are not your typical zombies, which many define as people behaving like mindless carnivorous animals and running around completely out of control.  They show a measure of restraint and still act very much like human beings.

To wrap, Wicked Little Things is a movie that is quite underrated, in my personal opinion, and definitely worth the watch!

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