The Innocents: the review

The Innocents is a 2021 film written and directed by Eskil Vogt.

Once upon a time there were children, a symbol of purity and innocence, but this hasn’t been the case for some time now, at least in horror cinema and especially if you have been splashing around in its waters for some time and have witnessed Damien’s misdeeds in The omen or aliens embodied in beautiful and creepy ne children The village of the damned, just to mention the first ones that came to mind. Precisely to the latter one comes to think looking The Innocents by Eskil Vogt, in the end it is still a group of very ambiguous children with supernatural powers. This Northern European horror instills fear in such a particular and refined way that it is impossible not to be fascinated by it. It’s summer, a time when children are usually dragged by their parents to remote places to spend their holidays. So it is for Ida and her autistic sister Anna, who find themselves alone and “forced” to make friends in order not to remain isolated. Ida suffers more from it, but makes up for it immediately by meeting Ben, a boy who shares a decidedly mysterious aura with her. They will be joined by Aisha who takes over at a later time when she discovers she has some mental connection with Anna.

Furthermore, the group of children is endowed with supernatural powers that they will not fail to use to break the boredom of a daily life that is too close to them. The consequences of their actions will not be long in coming and will backfire. The Innocents it’s ruthless, there’s no better way to put it. Ruthless with us viewers and with his little-very good-protagonists who from villains become victims and perpetrators losing control. Few scenes, in fact, are explicitly bad, yet so intense as to spread unbearable restlessness like wildfire. You must have a certain patience in approaching Vogt’s film, because it is a film in crescendo that meticulously follows the little devils and builds a background that is both fascinating and sad at the same time, so as to base their behavior on a solid and not left to the sheer fun of causing trouble around town. In addition to extraordinary abilities, they share a family situation that is decidedly not the best. The parental figures are not a real point of reference and, in the specific case of Ida and Anna, when they remember that they are a father and a mother, they devote much more time to the latter because she is sick and needs more attention. This lack is a glue that unites them and pushes them to spend their days together “training” the extrasensory powers they possess with a certain sadism.

The film is essentially this, a journey into the unknown that children make to discover themselves. Music, setting and the cinematographer’s ability to capture the best of the warm Norwegian light combine to create a mysterious atmosphere, scary in small doses, but from which it is impossible to look away. The Innocents pay homage in the title too Jack Clayton’s film of the same name from 1961, a masterpiece of suspense and fear from which Vogt certainly learned a lot. It is also presumable that he is a fan of genre cinema, because such a sophisticated work cannot be produced without prior knowledge of specific rules. Were there more horror films of the same bill nowadays, the genre would breathe such fresh and healthy air more often.

The Innocents: the review – Nocturno