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Child Eater (2016)

A simple night of babysitting takes a horrifying turn when Helen realizes the boogeyman really is in little Lucas' closet.
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A simple night of babysitting takes a horrifying turn when Helen realizes the boogeyman really is in little Lucas' closet.

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28 October 2016 (Iceland)  »

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Produced by Perri Nemiroff co-Host of Collider Nightmares on the Collider Video YouTube channel and regular panelist on Collider Movie Talk. Collider Jedi Counci and Collider Mail Bag and After Ash the official Ash vs Evil Dead Aftershow. And the host of Collider Behind The Scenes. See more »

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Cover your eyes, little children…
21 April 2017 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

"Child Eater" is a more than admirable attempt to revive a specific type of sub-genre, namely films that are probably best described as "boogeyman horror". Movies that bring to life eerie monsters that were initially invented to petrify little children, but then turn out to be frightfully real for kids and adults! In this context, I spontaneously think of semi-classics like "Jeepers Creepers", "The Gate", "Troll", "Monster in the Closet" or "The Boogens", but "Child Eater" is actually a lot darker and more sinister than those. The tone, atmosphere and evil nature of the boogeyman here is more reminiscent to "Candyman" or the original "Nightmare on Elm Street". Mind you, I'm not saying the overall film is as good as those classics, but merely that the titular monstrosity is truly nightmarish and his background story is ultimately morbid. Writer/director Erlingur Thoroddsen – I think we better keep an eye on him – makes it clear straight from the beginning that the tale he wishes to tell is dead serious. During the atmospheric opening sequences, the camera follows around a blond little girl who wanders around all alone in the woods. Only when a person approaches her to offer help, she turns around and we learn that the poor kid is holding her own eyeball in her hand. Don't know about you, but this is definitely one of the spookiest yet most attention-grabbing intros I've seen in quite a long time! 25 years later, the same area is still under the spell of the notorious child murderer Robert Bowery. He used to be a friendly petting zoo owner, but a dreadful disease caused him to go slowly blind … and utterly mad. Bowery became convinced that he wouldn't go blind for as long as he murdered young children and ATE their eyes. But that was a long time ago. Bowery was killed, his story became an urban legend and only occasionally there are still reports of a mysterious figure dwelling around in the woods. When 7-year-old Lucas comes to warn his babysitter Helen that there's a monster in his closet, she sends him away because she has more serious problems on her mind. But then Lucas vanishes into the night. As Helen goes further and deeper into the woods to look for him, she begins to realize that the monstrous killer is back. I really enjoyed "Child Eater" a lot. It's definitely not the most original horror story, but it benefices tremendously from the desolate ambiance, grim set-pieces and the menacing titular monster. Bowery is a tall creep with thick dark glasses, ginormous ears, rotting teeth and a constant petrifying grin on his face. He actually looks a lot like Michael Berryman... Thoroddson doesn't waste any energy on unnecessary humor and there's plenty of room for gore and bloodshed next to the eerie suspense. The acting performances are adequate enough and although there are some minor flaws, "Child Eater" is an impressive long-feature debut.


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