Some concepts just aren’t as scary as they used to be. In VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED (Universal, R), John Carpenter’s remake of the 1960 sci-fi chiller, a group of small-town women give birth to emotionless, telepathic demon children — scowling zombie brats with matching platinum-white hair. (They might be the unholy offspring of Mr. Spock and Peter Graves.) In the ’60s, the notion of children as coldly intellectual superbeings — kids as miniature evil adults — had a prophetic resonance. The original Village of the Damned was like a Twilight Zone projection of the anxieties swirling around a new generation of space-age whiz kids. But that was before the dawning of such monster-child events as The Exorcist, The Omen, and Macaulay Culkin. When the children in Carpenter’s Village flash their glowing eyes, hypnotizing the hapless grown-ups into committing a series of increasingly lurid suicides, the kids don’t seem much more bizarre — or frightening — than your average 10-year-old Nintendo freak. C-
Posted January 17 2015 — 3:45 PM EST
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