While it might seem like there could be nothing worse than an unassuming child that is out to kill you, that particular child could also have the ability to control zombies as this movie just so happens to chronicle. As Children of the Damned and The Omen were wont to show audiences, kids can be just as murderous as their larger counterparts and The Child which would be released in 1977 follows that line of thinking. Starring young actress Rosalie Cole as Rosalie Nordon, a girl who has a few issues over the death of her mother, she soon starts taking it out on anything and everyone around her. Cats, people, neighbours, family – it matters little to her as she blames them all and the world around her for leaving her alone. The fact that she has made a few new friends from the graveyard, corpses whom she can bring back to a semblance of life under her control, just makes it all that much better.
Also starring would be Laurel Barnett as newly-arrived babysitter for the girl, Alicianne Del Mar. She seems out of sorts in the big Nordon home out in the middle of the woods, even for having grown up in the area. A lot of her unease can be attributed to those that she works for, a very strange bunch of characters as far as families go, not to mention Rosalie who is as disturbing as the rest of them and soon to be discovered, even more so. The only other person who can be considered normal as normal is judged is Len, who just so happens to fancy Alicianne and who of course, is not long for this world. The atmosphere is both quite moody and claustrophobic at times, a lot of shadow and darkness being used where possible and accompanied by the score from Rob Wallace adding a good amount of tension to it all. It all factors into Alicianne’s new role whose primary job is to look after one little girl and the fact that Alicianne did next to nothing when she suspected that something was off was a little silly, but it did add an extra layer of suspense over the entire affair for though the audience knew that Rosalie was going to lash out, not knowing when would keep the viewer on the edge of their seat.
Aside from a bit of a smaller budget and a little bit of a slower pace, there would be nothing to really fault the film for. It featured a good cast, the perfect villain with a very unexpected ability and was just a bit different than those films that came before it, though similar in theme. For the most part, it might be a little obscure but The Child is definitely worth watching at least once, if in the mood to watch a little girl laugh maniacally while talking about and dealing death to those who transgressed against her.
3.5 out of 5