Movie Review: Children of the Damned (1964)

Synopsis: World scientists discover six children with well-above-average intelligence and the ability to communicate with each other through telepathy. They are brought to England to be studied but, when their respective militaries and embassies try to intervene, the children decide to take refuge in an abandoned church so they can defend themselves.

Who's in it? The movie stars Barbara Ferris, Alfred Burke, Ian Hendry, Alan Badel and Clive Powell.


Review: I have seen Village of the Damned (both the original and the remake) on more than one occasion and I have to confess, I never knew there was a sequel to that film until I came across it on one of our movie channels a few days ago. Being intrigued, I elected to record it and, since it is raining outside, found time to watch it today. Unfortunately, after seeing it, I was left feeling a bit underwhelmed.

I think the best way I can describe this film is it isn't really a sequel. Instead, it was more of a re-imagined re-telling of the original film with more emphasis on the science fiction than horror.

In some ways, the children in this movie were very similar to the children in the Village of the Damned. They were born to unwed mothers (without a father), had above-average intelligence and were able to communicate to each other through telepathy. However, there were also quite few differences. They didn't look alike (as was the case in the first film) and were considerably less evil, using their mind control powers for defensive reasons only.

The problem with this film is it never makes an effort to address the first movie. The military and scientific community was apparently blissfully unaware of the events that happened in the first film, as though it didn't happen at all. This, in turn, made the movie somewhat confusing. Did this happen before the first film (or at the same time)? Was there a cover up? Did these kids purposely get born in different parts of the world because of the lessons they learned the first time or are they not even related to that first group of kids?

As a result of that, I just felt as though this movie was lacking something, especially when compared to the movie that preceded it. The filmmakers might have been pretending the first film didn't exist but, in the real world, that just isn't the case and this was a bit of a letdown as a result.

Final Opinion: If it hadn't been preceded by a better film, I might have found myself liking it better. But, even if I take the attempt to make it more science fiction than horror into account, I just think this movie could have been better.

My Grade: C

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