Just in time for Christmas, a seasonal horror from ‘W ∆ Z’ director Tom Shankland that jabs an icicle in your eye. Two families get together in an isolated cottage to share a little Yuletide cheer. Then one by one, the children fall ill and turn on the adults with a blank-faced spite that shocks even their loving parents. An accident with a sledge is a harbinger of worse to come. Innocent children’s playthings – bright yellow play tents, climbing frames and pencils – are imbued with a scary malevolence. Stranded in limbo is moody teenager Casey (a compelling performance by ‘Hollyoaks’ actor Hannah Tointon) whose adult intelligence is shot through with an infantile ruthlessness.
This taboo-shattering movie taps in to primal fears about the unknow-ability of children, its blood-stained virgin snow and insidious terror recalling cruel fairy tales and ‘demon child’ movies such as ‘The Omen’. Shankland’s approach is oblique rather than graphic, but these icy chills will send shivers down your spine.