12 days of holiday horror: The kids in The Children belong on the naughty list

The Children - Courtesy Tubi
The Children - Courtesy Tubi /

In 2008, a dark little British holiday horror film called The Children was released. I had personally never even heard of it until about two years ago, but loved it upon my first watch, and immediately added it to my list of favorite holiday horror films.

It’s the holidays, and Elaine, Jonah and their three kids (teenage Casey and her half-siblings Paulie and Miranda) are headed to visit Elaine’s sister Chloe, Chloe’s husband Robbie and their two kids. Just as they arrive, Paulie vomits upon getting out of the car. Just a little car sickness, right?

But, that night, the other children also become ill, even coughing up a nasty black liquid. Jinxie the cat disappears, and rebellious Casey has had enough – she just wants to sneak out with some friends. She should have gotten out when she could, because things take a very dark turn.

When one of the kids has a violent outburst, the men take the others outside to play in the snow. It’s all fun and games until a prank causes a serious injury, followed by death. As it becomes apparent that something is horribly wrong with all of the young children, Casey has to convince her mom that this is serious business, and they must protect themselves at all costs.

Holiday horror
The Children – Courtesy Tubi /

The kids in this holiday horror film are NOT sweet!

Although The Children did not do especially well at the box office, it’s a surprisingly grim and bloody film, and gives exactly the atmosphere we expect out of holiday horror movies. The ever-present snow makes the viewer feel downright chilly, and we just know that it’s set during the holidays.

If creepy kids are your jam, you can rest assured that these child actors are very effective, presenting multi-faceted performances. They have to be typical kids in some scenes, then appear as evil, murderous little monsters in others. And the adults will frustrate you with their inability to control their own kids (even before they go evil).

If you prefer your holiday horror on the dark and chilly side, you can watch The Children for free on Tubi.

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Have you watched The Children? Where does it rank on your personal list of favorite holiday horror?  Let us know in the comments section.