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During the early 1900s in a rural Pennsylvania mine, a group of children used as workers are killed when a dynamite charge is used unsafely while they’re inside. Now in modern day, pretty widow Karen (Lori Heuring) and her two daughters, young Emma, (Chloe Grace Moretz) and teen Sarah, (Scout Taylor-Compton) move into a recently inherited property in the area. Soon supernatural occurrences begin to happen and Karen finds out that the vengeful children still inhabit the woods at night sating their hunger for revenge by devouring anyone foolish enough to be out there after dark. Worse yet, her family may be tied to these ghouls in a much deeper way then just living in their domain.

Director J.S. Cardone gives the film a continual atmosphere of dread and keeps a story, that might have gotten silly, appropriately creepy. Cinematographer Emil Topuzov gives the film a nice visual style and makes good use of the dark Bulgarian woods (which stand in for rural Pennsylvania) and the setting of the old house our characters occupy. The cast does well, too with Heuring giving depth to the strong-willed mother trying to start a new life for her girls and now faced with an unnatural horror. As the daughters, the young, future ‘Hit Girl’ Moretz is good as Emma, whom one of the dead children is drawn to, and Taylor-Compton plays the rebellious teen very well. They are joined by genre vets Geoffrey Lewis as the local handyman and Ben Cross as a hermit with ties to the flesh eating specters.

The film’s not perfect, the pace is a bit slow, though, I feel that is deliberate, and some of the plot elements are a bit cliche’ for this type of flick…ominous warnings from the local eccentric, local teens ignoring the legends and going in the woods at night…but one can forgive some of the flaws and familiarities as the film provides enough chills and there is some decent gore too. Overall, a spooky little horror flick that never tries to be more then what it is. Definitely worth a look for a movie night horror fest.

3 pick axes.

my bloody Valentine 2009 rating