Children of the Night

January 28, 2012 6 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

The town of Allburg seems peaceful on the surface, though some darker blood also runs through its veins. A lot of religious folks reside in Allburg, including some who drive a van around town and use a loudspeaker to deliver messages of hellfire & brimstone. But the streets of this serene town are about to flooded by unspeakable evils, the kind of things locals never even think about, or do they? As part of a tradition for teens about to leave town, two young girls, Lucy (Ami Dolenz) and Cindy (Maya McLaughlin) enter an abandon crypt to have a swim. You see, this crypt has been flooded over the years and no one has bothered to repair the basement’s flaws, so it remains filled to the brim with murky waters. The girls might not like having to take the dip in the dirty water, but it is tradition, so they follow through. But when Lucy’s crucifix necklace falls into the murky depths, it triggers a chain of events that changes Allburg forever. The cross somehow awakens a horrific vampire, Czakyr (David Sawyer) and he takes Cindy under the surface with him. The local preist Frank (Even MacKenzie) soon learns of the situation when he encounters two vampires, so he calls in an old friend, a schoolteacher named Mark (Peter DeLuise). But can anyone stop this virtual army of vampiric assassins?

As Fangoria is one of the most popular horror movie publications, they’ve hammered all kinds of genre flicks for being lame and uneventful. So when the folks at Fangoria started up their own production company, you’d expect their panel of experts to be able to dish out a wicked, highly effective slice of horror cinema, right? But instead, Children of the Night proves to be the kind of movie the magazine would bash, with minimal blood and naked chicks on showcase. We do have a lot of bad actors, poor writing, and lame humor, which gives Children of the Night some camp appeal, but not too much. The cast includes such thespians as Peter DeLuise (Tv’s 21 Jump Street), Ami Dolenz (Witchboard 2), and Garrett Morris (Car Wash), with the lone impressive casting decision being genre icon Karen Black (Burnt Offerings, House of 1000 Corpses). But as humorous as this made for television ensemble can be in their lack of skills, the entertainment value is often quite low in Children of the Night. A few scenes offer cool moments, such as the vampire who takes the board to the face, but these instances are all too rare. The premise is standard stuff, but the writing gets thin and weak at times, which lessens the experience. I recommend Children of the Night as a rental, but only to genre devotees.

Video: How does it look?

Children of the Night is presented in full frame. I am unsure if this movie ever ran in theaters, but it looks and feels like a made for video production. As such, I can’t say if this full frame version provides the intended presentation, but the framing looks solid and I noticed no kind of pan & scan, so perhaps this is the proper format. In any event, this is a poor visual treatment all the way around and looks like a standard VHS presentation. I am sure the film’s limited budget had an impact on the visuals, from production values to the kind of materials & equipment used, but this could have been cleaned up a little for this release. A full scale restoration isn’t in order, but at least a new transfer that looks better than this poor effort. Then again, this one was probably rushed out with little care and in truth, I doubt it will ever be revisited.

Audio: How does it sound?

Although the soundtrack is listed as stereo, it plays out like a mono option, with minimal signs of audio life. The elements are in place and accounted for, but never have much depth or presence to mention. This is a shame too, as this movie could have used the added atmosphere a well crafted soundtrack can provide. Instead, the tense sequences have a flat sound to them and normal scenes have an even more lifeless texture. The audio is by all means passable, kind of like watching a standard television broadcast, but I expected a little more. The dialogue is decent in most scenes, but sometimes come across as overly soft, which makes it hard to pick up all the lines. Not the worst soundtrack I’ve ever heard, but it should have been better. This disc also includes subtitles in English, Spanish, and Korean.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This disc includes no bonus materials.

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