Beware! Children at Play (1989)
Nomination Year: 2013
SYNOPSIS: It's a sort-of Pine Barrens Beowulf. Really!
Ten years before the bulk of the movie, a professor of Anglo-Saxon literature and his eight-year-old son are camping. The professor gets caught in a bear trap. He babbles deliriously to his son, who soon believes he (the son; Glen Randall) is Grendel. The prof dies and his son eats him.
In the present day, children are missing. The Sheriff has a military buddy who writes accounts of people that have had paranormal encounters. This buddy's wife is a college English prof. Can they crack the case when a group of children is found eating a psychic and chanting, "Tear Bite Gulp Gobble"? Does it help that one of the locals (a member of a weird fundamentalist cult called The Brownies) goes on about "Giants and Goblins who Battle with God"? Of course it does!
Finally, a movie in which the English Literature professor has something useful to offer. Not that it stops her from getting killed and/or eaten. Or any of the other sympathetic characters. Or any of the children. Or....
- "Alas, Poor Yorick"
They raise a valid point -- several of them.
The reporter is running through the woods, screaming. She doesn't see the log lying across the path, or the kids on either side. The kids wait until she gets close, then lift the log into her path -- where she impales herself onto the spikes build into the log.
The traveling salesman is cut in half (off-screen) by a scythe. But we see him standing, and we see him on the ground after he's fallen. In the interim, his bottom half seems to have twisted 180 degrees. Which I might buy if he was in two separate pieces, but he isn't. At least, not initially....
- Crummiest Ending
No One (in the audience) gets out alive!
The townfolk get all religious, our hero warns them against hurting any kids ... so they shoot him dead. Then kill all the kids (in a three-minute-long orgy of squibs, fake blood, and kids playing dead & trying really hard not to breathe). Finally, all the kids are dead. The townfolk leave. The three-legged dog is sad. But wait! Our hero's daughter is still alive! She walks through the aftermath, then starts to growl and stalks a bunny rabbit. My eyes roll as the credits do.
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