I’ve written about “killer kids” movie Bloody Birthday before — has it really been almost four years ago?
It wasn’t great, and I didn’t much care to be reminded of all my old pre-teen haircuts and Sears catalog clothes. By now, the “evil lurks in sunny white suburbia” trope is so old you have to remind yourself you’re not watching a latter day parody. (Arnie walked in and asked me why I was watching an Afterschool Special…)
But Bloody Birthday is an interesting curio, which derives most of shocks from the sight(s) of little kids (real ones, a la The Bad Seed, not that pseudo-kid in The Exorcist) killing their friendly neighbors, other kids and even their parents.
TCM’s Movie Morlocks blog writes:
Derivative as writer-director Ed Hunt may be in the broad strokes of this undertaking, BLOODY BIRTHDAY eventually becomes its own animal via a latticework of quietly gonzo setpieces that no other movie would attempt… and perhaps none more bizarre than the scene in which Lethin is pursued through an auto wrecking yard by a hotwired junker driven by a kid in a Halloween bedsheet. Shot in broad, unevocative daylight, the bit can hardly be said to ape John Carpenter’s pitch black HALLOWEEN (1978), yet it retains a kind of sickening strangeness in light of its utter banality, even as Arlon Ober’s aggressive score goes balls-out Penderecki.