Friday, October 30, 2009

Who Can Kill a Child? (¿Quién puede matar a un niño?)

(1976) ****

While vacationing in Spain, Tom and his pregnant wife Evelyn rent a boat to visit the nearby island of Almanzora. Soon after arrival they notice that aside from some children the island is completely deserted. They consider that the people may have gone off on a fiesta, but are unsettled by an abandoned cart of melting ice cream, and burnt chickens endlessly turning inside an oven. It’s not long before they learn that the children have murdered all of the adults.

This is my second time watching this film (another review I didn’t get to last year) and it did not disappoint this time around either. The movie plays pretty straightforward. It wastes no time indicting that the children are a threat and that the couple needs to quickly vacate the island. The challenge lies in how and what they are willing to do to escape.

What I enjoy most about this film is the atmosphere it creates. There are many moments where it’s simultaneously serene yet also eerie and unsettling. I felt this as the couple traveled in the empty sea towards Almanzora. The isolation, along with Tom and Evelyn’s playful and genuine interactions formed a sense of ease, but the music and the awareness of the imminent danger they would soon face left me uncomfortable. The island is picturesque, the architecture stunning, yet it is white, drained of color, as if devoid of feeling. The children, through their smiles, laughter and play often appear sweet and innocent, and at other times convey icy and detached stares.


JPX said...

This sounds great, why didn't I watch this with you? I love the whole "being trapped on an island" motif. I look forward to more reviews, wg.

DCD said...

Very cool! I like the title.

Johnny Sweatpants said...

This does sound great! I would have loved to watch it this year. Thanks for telling me about it the very last day before Horrorthon ends.

Octopunk said...

This sounds cool! And I dig that first picture.