Thursday, October 1, 2015

Little Darlings: Halloween Horror Classics Series (Rhoades)

Front Row at the Movies

“Little Darlings” Will Frighten You at the Tropic
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

October is the scariest month. Wind whistles through cemeteries and things go bump in the night. Ghoulies and ghosts and monsters abound. The most frightening of these monsters is … children.

After all, wasn’t it two children who murdered that kindly old lady who lived in the gingerbread house in the forest? Your mother told you about them, in a sugarcoated way.

Well, forget the sugar.

To acknowledge scary little monsters, film buff Jeffrey Harwell has selected four movies to be shown on Monday nights this month at the Tropic Cinema -- a Halloween Horror Classics series aptly titled “Little Darlings.” Shows begin at 6:30 p.m.

First up on October 5th is “Village of the Damned” (the 1960 original). This is the eerie story about an English village where the women give birth to zombie-like children, all blond-haired, all with glowing otherworldly stares. A scientist (George Sanders) suspects an extraterrestrial invasion through women’s wombs. Forget about that monster bursting forth in “Alien”; these are closer to home.

October 12 gives us a genetic answer, “The Bad Seed.” In this pee-in-your-pants-scary 1956 horror film eight-year-old Rhonda (Patty McCormack) is a strange child, a murderous aberration that will make your blood run cold. How did her little schoolmate really die?

October 19 brings “The Omen,” the antichrist himself in the form of a child. This 1976 frightfest reminds us why you shouldn’t have named your child Damien, especially if he bears the sign of 666. The switched-at-birth son of American diplomats (Gregory Peck and Lee Remick), Damien is merely looking for a little hell on earth.

Wrapping up the month on October 26 is “The Exorcist,” the 1973 film based on William Peter Blatty’s supernatural horror novel. This showing is the version with 11 minutes of restored footage and digitally enhanced sound. All the better to scare you with, my dear. Here we meet twelve-year-old Regan (played by Linda Blair), a prepubescent girl possessed by a demon. Who you gonna call? An exorcist, of course. You’ll never eat pea soup again.

Yes, these films will prepare you for All Hallows' Eve … and those little darlings who will be ringing your doorbell begging for candy. Or so they want you to believe.

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