Who Can Kill a Child? (1976)

Genres - Horror  |   Sub-Genres - Psychological Thriller  |   Run Time - 110 min.  |   Countries - Spain  |  
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Children strike back at adults in this chilling horror film from director Narcisco Ibanez Serrador. While vacationing on the remote island of Almanzora, Tom (Lewis Fiander) and his pregnant wife Evelyn (Prunella Ransome) notice only giggling children. They wonder where all the adults are, until Tom spies a little girl beating an old man to death with his own walking stick. The man is then hung up in the town square and used as a piñata by the scythe-wielding children. Tom soon discovers that the demonic youths have killed every adult on the island, because none would ever fight back if it meant killing a child. Even Evelyn's unborn baby is affected, and Tom becomes the target of gunfire as the children go after him. Aside from a silly ending, Serrador's film is remarkably effective, slowly introducing the situation and playing on both xenophobia and cultural taboos while building an atmosphere of mounting dread. Unlike most Spanish shockers, this is not an unintentionally funny melodrama or a sexually-charged exploitation item. It is a serious-minded horror film with a message, based on Juan Jose Plans' novel The Game, and is both worthwhile and frightening.

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Keywords

murder, stranded, island