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‘The Innocents’ – Review

‘The Innocents’ – Review


It’s rare to find horror cinema that gives audiences a fresh take on the genre, but director Eskil Vogt’s The Innocents is a film whose fresh approach to the trauma of childhood and its seedy underside is sure to send a chill down your spine.

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.

More and more I find that groundbreaking work in the horror genre is more and more coming from international artists who take a different approach to the genre than more traditional Hollywood filmmakers and the resulting work speaks for itself. This is exactly where Norwegian director Eskil Vogt’s The Innocents sits. A creepy and sublime take on the ‘not so’ innocence of childhood, The Innocents is a film where mood and tone set the storytelling, and the creepy actions of these unsupervised kids will definitely put you in a state of unease. Vogt’s film is a meditation on evil, and its place and discovery in the role of childhood, and he poses the question: are we simply born evil, or is it something we grow into? And his answer is sure to shock you.

Everything about The Innocents is different from the standard Hollywood horror fare, and in my opinion, makes this film that much creepier and unsettling. One of the interesting choices that Vogt makes is to shoot much of this film during the day, and with the high, almost tranquil light of the Norwegian sky in play, the actions of his characters take a much more sinister projection. This swap of light for dark and subverting the conventions of the horror genre to his own storytelling purposes keeps The Innocents fresh and deeply unnerving and as the children’s actions get more diabolical, a chill is sure to run down your spine.

The Innocents is a true piece of cinematic horror that is uniquely fresh and different from what comes before. In a market that runs on trends, this is a work that is fresh, different and entirely personal to the filmmaker’s true vision. The way in which Eskil Vogt tells his story helps to bring up the unease in the narrative and there are some moments that are utterly horrific to watch as these children learn to have fun with their newfound ‘powers’.

If you’re seeking a horror experience that delivers something that is both new and warped then The Innocents is something you should certainly check out. But be forewarned, this is not a comfortable watch, and you are certain to be on the edge.