The Pit (1981)

 A disturbed boy lures victims to a sinkhole containing humanoid wolf (or ape?)-like creatures referred to as “tra la logs.” Before you can make sense of it, an elderly blind woman is hurriedly pushed in a wheelchair, flailing her arms before she is dumped into the tra la’s dwelling. The Pit is actually a unique horror-comedy, intentionally (you can tell by the music). That’s great and all but this is one of the few films of the era that needs to be drastically improved with a sequel. Instead of a sloppy mess where local police officers make goofy appearances, the premise of the creatures being fed bodies by an insane kid who obeys his teddy bear is begging to be re-worked into something dark, scary and memorable. Recommended if you like Troll 2 for its non-acting or Burial Ground for its strangeness. [rating: $6] –Kenyon

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The Children (1980)

Despite it being a victim of the dark picture quality felled by many horror films at the time, the Children makes up for it with an original story, oddball dialogue and effective music. If you have seen the early Friday the 13ths enough, you may do a double take for the musical score. Turns out that it was by Harry Manfredini, fresh off the first Friday the 13th that same year. In fact it wouldn’t be a surprise if segments of his score were used for both films. The music works chillingly for this eerie film about robot-zombie-like kids with black finger nails frying the townsfolk and their own parents after their school bus passes through a cloud leaked from a nuclear plant. Awesome concept, though the Children falls just short of being a cornerstone of horror. Too many questions are left unanswered. Why do the children have a desire to kill? How are they able to sizzle people by hugging them? Why is there a nuclear plant nearby? Why aren’t the parents more concerned when their kids are missing? And many more. The conversations also have some explaining to do: “Is Janet home? / Aren’t you a little old for her sheriff? She’s only nine.” Ha! Why would a parent even be THINKING THAT, even if jokingly!? Best part is when they realize how to stop the kids, cause bullets sure as hell don’t work! [rating: $6] –Kenyon

The Woman in Black (2012)

The Woman in Black(2012) Lead character Arthur Kipps has got some balls. Even more so, some GUTS. He sticks around a remote U.K village in the early 1900s to investigate why young kids keep dying. This culminates with submerging himself into quicksand-like mud to recover a body that must be re-united with the body of the corpse’s mother. Eureka! He mainly does this because he’s afraid that when his own son arrives to the village, his son will meet the same fate as previous children. Yea, well, too bad these kids are easily hypnotized by the “woman in black.”

The film delivers its story, scares and climax overly cautious, going nowhere outside the mystery-suspense-ghost story box. Woman provides rich cinematography, but settles on the expected. That’s probably because it would rather pander to the general audience. The result is a snug mixture of the Others (for time period and ghost and big old house), House of the Devil (for the single person wandering around a secluded shadowy big house) and the Orphanage (for the typical ghosts of children helping you solve the mystery of who murdered them or whatever). Whatever INDEED! Good day sir……i said good DAY! [rating: $5] – Kenyon