Cinema Review: The Innocents

Posted May 17, 2022 in Cinema Reviews

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The Innocents

Director: Eskil Vogt

Talent: Ellen Dorrit Petersen, Rakel Lenora Fløttum

Release date: May 20

Rakel Lenora Fløttum – daughter of Ellen Dorrit Petersen both onscreen and in real life – plays a troubled child yearning for a share of the attention lauded on her severely autistic older sister Anna. After the family move to a new home, disgruntled Ida befriends two of the local children, Ben and Aisha. These new friends have the uncanny ability to form a psychic bond, with Anna as a conduit. But amongst them is a force of malevolence, and the sides of good and evil are drawn quickly between the three psychically linked children. But where does Ida stand in all this? Does she too possess abilities?

Norwegian director Vogt, who has a long-standing writing partnership with director Joachim Trier, has followed his eerie 2014 debut Blind with this taut, deeply unsettling film that juggles elements of both X-Men and Let The Right One In. It’s a brilliantly evocative film with the constant threat of harm lurking in the shadows of the oppressive apartment complex and the hidden realm of the local forest, the adult world kept at bay as the children’s predicament plays out like an urban Lord of the Flies.

The Innocents is an easy film to get swept up in, due in large part to its mightily impressive young cast. And though it feels like we’ve touched on this topic before with the likes of Firestarter, Akira, The Shining, Stranger Things, Midnight Special, etc, Vogt tends to swerve when things get too familiar. A very impressive film for a multitude of reasons, and like it or not, expect a far more sanitised American remake in the near future.

Words: Shane O’Reilly


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