Directed by J.S. Cardone [Other horror films: The Slayer (1982), Shadowzone (1990), Shadowhunter (1993), The Forsaken (2001)]
I can’t say that I love Wicked Little Things, because I don’t, but I do find it a moderately enjoyable film a lot of the time, and though I don’t think it’s great, at the very least it’s a movie that might be worth seeing a couple of times.
The emotional turmoil the main characters are going through (a mother with two daughters who has recently lost her husband) adds a lot of feeling to the film. Lori Heuring works great with Scout Taylor-Compton, and I buy the mother-daughter relationship. Throw in some political messages, and Wicked Little Things shows it has a bit more to offer.
Luckily, I don’t have much cause to speak about my politics in the course of reviewing movies. It may be relevant on occasion (The Thaw, for instance), but for the most part, the fact I’m on the far-left doesn’t really come into play. Here, though, we have children that were killed in a mine accident in the 1910’s coming back for revenge, which I certainly can’t fault them for.
Labor laws in the USA are still quite horrible (look at the lack of power so many unions have – any union that has a no-strike clause is functionally pointless), and if capitalism could get away with it, children would still be working in mines. You can work at 14 years old in many places (with restrictions). God bless capitalism, amiright?
Now, I think a fair point could be made that Wicked Little Things didn’t focus on this that much – even facing a descendant of the mine owner, none of this was on the forefront. Still, if you enjoy the eight-hour workday and the end of the worst of child labor, thank your local socialists and communists, as it’s due to their fight that we have those nowadays.
I wasn’t blown away by Lori Heuring (Hunger), but she did decent, and shined in her scenes with Scout Taylor-Compton (who went on to play Laurie in the Halloween remake). Taylor-Compton was perhaps my favorite performance here, on that note – she did great with the emotional scenes, and possessed a good strength. Chloë Grace Moretz (who later played Carrie in the 2013 movie, and also starred in 2018’s Suspiria) was decent as a child actress, though it’s hard to say that she really stood out.
Not a lot of other performances need be mentioned. I admit I liked seeing Geoffrey Lewis (The Devil’s Rejects), but he didn’t have a whole lot to do. Ben Cross did an okay job, and no doubt Martin McDougall did well as a dickish rich guy, but I do think his character could have done with, well, more character.
I do wish the movie had a bit more oompf come the finale, I admit. There were some elements that I was hoping would be delved deeper into, such as the miner’s lease or the relationship the Tunny family had with the mine-owners (the Carlton’s). I just got the sense a little more could have been fleshed out about some of this, and though the ending was okay, I feel it was weaker than it could have been.
Wicked Little Things isn’t above average, but I don’t think it’s really below average. I guess it’s fair to say, then, I think it’s average. I’ve seen this once before, and I think I enjoyed it more the first time I saw it, but that said, I didn’t have a bad time revisiting this. It’s not great, but it’s not awful, and certainly someone could do a lot worse.
One thought on “Wicked Little Things (2006)”