Children of the Damned (1963)

CHILDREN OF THE DAMNED (1963)
Article #63 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 5-18-2001
Posting date: 10-1-2001

Scientists discover a group of children from around the world who have extraordinary mental abilities and appear to be in telepathic rapport with each other. This causes the government to take concern over the fact that they may destroy the human race.

This movie is generally thought of as a sequel to VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED (based on John Wyndham’s The Midwich Cuckoos), but I don’t really consider it as such. It takes many of the concepts of the original, and uses them in a different framework with a different point of view; in fact, this movie attempts to generate sympathy for the children, something that was definitely not present in VILLAGE. Also, where that movie’s climax pitted one man (George Sanders) against the children, in this one, the children are pitted against the full force of the British army, and it’s easy to see where are sympathy is supposed to lie. However, the movie undercuts itself by making some of the deaths suffered by those who oppose the children fairly nasty, and we’re left ultimately not quite sure how to feel about the whole thing.

Some people prefer this movie to VILLAGE, and I can see why; nonetheless, I prefer VILLAGE, as that movie creeps me out in a way this one does not. Though this one is an interesting variation on the theme, I can’t say I find it a particularly satisfying one.

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