Of course, if you’re looking for something new or original, you’d better look elsewhere. “Wicked Little Things” offers the same old things for the audience, and none of it is ever pleasing. You mean there’s a ghost that can communicate with the youngest daughter? You mean the youngest daughter is the only one that can see her special ghost? You mean, they’re moving into a small town up in the middle of the woods? Who actually does that beyond cults? And, what a surprise, the cell phones the characters own aren’t working, there isn’t help for miles and miles, there are newspaper clippings of missing children plastered all over walls, there’s a hillbilly local station manager, and of course there’s the young child attune to the supernatural, and the older child that’s rebellious and smart mouthed; how utterly original.
“Wicked Little Things” stomps over the same old grounds we’ve seen in hundreds of other films involving ghosts and entities before, and it’s a waste of time to see something we’ve seen in better films. Especially since other movies have created compelling characters that have been dealt to us in the same situation. Instead, what do we get? We have a mom who looks much too young to be believable as a mother of two children (through no fault of Lori Heuring), we have Chloe Moretz who is only on-screen to serve as a plot device for communicating with the flesh munching children eventually. And of course, there’s Taylor Scout-Compton whose performance is not only wooden, but extremely stilted and stiff. Her deliveries of the one-liners, and snappy comebacks are often embarrassing and cheesy, and Compton can never quite hold up her end of the attempted tension.
One thing Cardone has going for him is that “Wicked Little Things” has great direction. From minute one, the atmosphere and tension is evident, and thick in the air. As the three women we set down on delve into the forest to live among nature, we can already feel the story unfolding. The tension is thick, and I was curious as to where it was headed. “Wicked Little Things” only further increases my sentiment about my hatred for kids. They’re creepy, and often times the creepy ones are easier to find than the cute ones. Zombie children are only the tip of the iceberg. The presence from Geoffrey Lewis is a saving grace for this misfire providing his usual odd appeal, as he does with every single movie he’s ever been in. It’s odd how the man can command the screen with very little dialogue. The recycled premise and set-up are matched with one-dimensional characters that never go beyond what they’re supposed to take part in.
They play their parts in the story’s sequence and nothing more. We never get to know them, they’re never drawn with much more complexities than the writers feel we deserve, and it’s rather unrewarding. The build-up to the actual point of the damn story is also disappointing, all with gore that’s just arbitrary. Why the hell are these kids killing folks? I couldn’t have cared less, no matter how hard I tried to. “Wicked Little Things” offers nothing new, nor does it seek to break conventions. It’s routine and cheesy from start to finish. Cardone’s supernatural thriller is an utterly derivative and cliché offering with stale performances, boring characters, and a snail’s pace. In spite of Cardone’s direction, and the walk-on from Geoffrey Lewis, “Wicked Little Things” is a stale and forgettable quasi-ghost/quasi-zombie flick.