Children of the Mist (1993) starring Patrick Bergin, Vanessa Redgrave, Valerie Mahaffey, Nancy Moore Atchison, Rutanya Alda, Brandlyn Whitaker directed by John Korty Movie Review

Children of the Mist (1993)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Patrick Bergin in Children of the Mist (1993) (aka: They Watch)

Children Give it a Miss

"Children of the Mist" is also known as "They Watch" and is a movie which is now over 2 decades old. Surprisingly it has aged well and whilst its star Patrick Bergin now looks older as does his co-star Vanessa Redgrave it could easily have been made in the past few years. But to be honest the movie itself did little for me as it felt too manufactured because of the use of familiar cliches despite actually being based upon a short story from Rudyard Kipling.

Mark Samuels (Patrick Bergin - Patriot Games) has never seen his daughter dance; he's always been too busy with work to show up to a recital and even when he does he gets there too late. Too late will haunt him when his wife is involved in a car incident and his daughter Nikki (Nancy Moore Atchison) dies. Emotionally cold following her death, strange things start to happen as a drawing from Nikki appears in his briefcase and he hears her music box playing. Things get worse as his feelings of guilt and the strange occurrences start to get between him and his wife as well as his other daughter. But then things lead him to Florence Latimer (Vanessa Redgarve - Deep Impact), a blind woman who says her home in the country is full of the lost souls of children including his Nikki.

Vanessa Redgrave in Children of the Mist (1993) (aka: They Watch)

So I mentioned cliches before and unfortunately "Children of the Mist" has too many of them going on. To start with we have a workaholic father who is never there for his children and who is emotionally repressed. Then following his daughter's death he is not only more repressed to the point of being cold but through his inner feelings of guilt is plagued by strange things related to his daughter as if she is trying to send him a message. Maybe it is just me but the familiarity of this makes it dull especially with what feels like a lethargic opening with even the drama of the car accident never raising a pulse.

Of course we have the spooky side of things when Mark visits the blind Florence who is in touch with the souls of dead children. I say spooky but again not once did it get the pulse racing or in truth raise a scare despite trying to. Basically "Children of the Mist" borders on the dull because it is extremely lethargic and lacking in the atmosphere that this sort of spooky movie desperately needs to thrive on.

It is because the atmosphere is lacking that the performances also suffer with Patrick Bergin looking unsure how to play an emotionally repressed father plagued by guilt and visions. Vanessa Redgrave also struggles and whilst she tries to deliver the ominous feeling of a woman with a strange side the lethargic nature of the movie does her no favours making her character a bit too airy fairy.

What this all boils down to is that "Children of the Mist" is slow and frankly dull which in my opinion is completely wrong. It needed energy and more atmosphere to make it the creepy movie it is trying to be.