These kids are not your usual tourist fare. Look out young marrieds!
Filmed in Quintana Roo, Mexico, Makinov’s latest fetish fantasy stars kids who want to play. Actually, they want to eat you alive, and that bald fact is barely hidden by the none-too subtle intro to this straightforward, if childish, blood fest.
Young newlyweds Beth (Vinessa Shaw) and Francis (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) are amongst the most adventurous of tourists. Even though Beth is very pregnant, they decide to hire a leaky rowboat equipped with a dubious motor and venture across a significant stretch of open water to a mysterious, remote island.
The set-up begs a lot from the audience and would have been much better with the slightest bit of a back story. Is the couple running away from something? They should be, why else would they go to the middle of nowhere without leaving any word? Beth is pregnant, very, so why the leaky row boat? Is he trying to kill her? Unfortunately, no.
Off they go, after paying well for a boat that doesn’t look like it could make it across a lake in Disneyland, let along open water off the coast of Mexico. Arriving at the island, it appears to be deserted. In the only funny line of the film, Francis ventures that it is the day after their big carnival and the population is probably sleeping it off. In actual fact, the adult population is staging a barbecue for the young ones and the adults are the main dish. But that’s getting ahead of the story.
There are some preliminary interactions with the local kids, during which one girl shows a remarkable interest in Beth’s unborn child. Suitable creepy enough, but there is little subsequent development of this. No “Rosemary’s Baby” special effects and this film is badly in need of some special effects. Apparently shot on an ultra-low budget, the young marrieds soon find themselves in a town dominated by fairly ordinary zombie children.
Perhaps a twist would have helped, such as the victims finding some kind of toys or games to throw off the too-obviously demented kids. Or some backstory about an unknown virus infecting the children. Seven better, perhaps a virus brought to the island by the married couple, unwittingly plunging themselves into a bloody mess of their own making.
As it turns out, the couple has done nothing wrong, of any kind. Unless, one assumes that simply being a white American tourist is wrong. If this is the message, even that needs some kind of back story. In the end, the two adults behave in the most courteous fashion, declining to stoop to violence until the kids are gnawing at their feet.
In the end, the story is entirely too simplistic to believe. Even worse, by the time of the final twist, the viewer most likely has nodded off to sleep, not caring who wins or loses. Makinov has the stuff to make good horror films, but this one appears as if he became tired, or out of money, about half way through the shooting and was not able to add the vital plot elements that makes us either love or hate the victims or the perpetrators.
Apparently the thrust of the threat is that no adults will hurt the children because they are children. The kids are able to take out the adults so completely that only the most extreme measures might be able to cope with the threat. In the end, even the cops end up on the side of the kids.
Perhaps a sequel is in order in which the kids are sent to prison and end up taking care of the criminal over-population in their own way. In any event, wait for the sequel on this one, and demand a money back guarantee on that boat if it sinks in mid-stream.
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Directed by: Makinov
Written by: Makinov (screenplay), based on the novel by Juan José Plans
Starring: Daniel Giménez Cacho, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Vinessa Shaw
Release Date: March 1, 2013
MPAA: Not Rated
Language: English / Spanish