Wicked Little Things
Jace Anderson, Adam Gierasch and Ben Nedivi
Lori Heuring as Karen Tunny
Scout Taylor-Compton as Sarah Tunny
Chloe Moretz as Emma Tunny
Geoffrey Lewis as Harold
By Michael Saunier
The After Dark Horrorfest is quite an ambitious project: Take a whole bunch of horror films and have them played in select theatres without any wide scale promotion. I happen to live in Pittsburgh, PA and couldn’t make it to our city’s one limited time run of the select movies, so I was excited to see they were coming out for sale on DVD. I immediately bought all of the releases. For all of you Masters of Horror fans out there, this series is on the same page, but with more length per film.
The first movie I viewed from the Horrorfest collection was Wicked Little Things. This movie has a simple, straightforward story that centers on a recently widowed woman, Karen, and her two girls, Sarah and Emma. Karen inherited a secluded mountain home and the family has decided to move there.
When the trio arrives at their new residence, called The Tunny House, they quickly realize that they will be faced with some harsh circumstances – the house is barely standing and is not quite in working condition. The challenges involved in this new lifestyle bring out the rebellion in the older teenage daughter, Sarah (played by Scout Taylor-Compton who is also playing Laurie Strode in the 2007 remake of Halloween). Beyond that there isn’t much character development or character history to be had in Wicked Little Things.
The back-story of Wicked Little Things goes a little something like this: A group of local children were killed in the early 20th century while working in the town mine due to the negligence and disregard or the mining company in charge. The mining company was owned by a despised family that also happens to own all of the land that the town and the Tunny house are built on.
The ghosts of the dead child miners are not happy with their current state and rise at night to seek revenge and act on their ghoulish bloodlust. The town kook, Harold, lives in the mountains near Tunny House and tries to warn Karen about the town’s past and the children who roam the woods at night.
Meanwhile a relative of the evil mining company owners is in town to survey the land in hopes of building a ski resort on the very spot where the child-miners lost their lives. Now the ghostly prepubescents are really mad. There is also a bit of a sub-plot as the youngest daughter Emma develops a relationship with one of the ghosts named Mary. This storyline is not very deep in the plot or character areas, but it’s there.
Wicked Little Things follows a very simple outline and doesn’t offer anything new or unique that grabs the attention. Some of the images, however, are very creepy such as the dense fog filtering through the woods at night. The makeup effects for the ghost children were adequate and helped enhance the fact that children can be scary in their own right, especially at night. The music and sound effects were sufficient, but nothing to rave about.
The acting in Wicked Little Things left something to be desired, but I can’t say it’s the fault of the actors since it is more than likely the result of less than stellar writing. I can only hope that Scout Taylor-Compton turns in a better performance in Rob Zombie’s Halloween.
Overall, in spite of the weaknesses, I enjoyed watching Wicked Little Things. This film didn’t break any molds or redefine the horror genre, but what Wicked Little Things did do is serve its purpose by presenting a clear and concise horror movie that is entertaining.
If you’re looking for something groundbreaking, look elsewhere, but if you’re looking for a horror movie that is decent and viewable by a wide audience, then Wicked Little Things is a good choice.