I'd expected a lot -- maybe too much -- from Trick 'r Treat, the long delayed anthology film that recently appeared on DVD. Yes, it conjures a memorable Halloween mood and setting, but it severely suffers in the plot department. There's nothing surprising or remotely creepy about the story lines, nothing inventive about the direction. Even the usually great Brian Cox's performance feels contrived, tired.
On the other hand, Tom Shankland's The Children, hailing from England and just released on DVD, is a genuinely scary addition to the "killer child" genre (think The Omen, The Bad Seed, etc.). It's almost unbearably suspenseful, disturbing without being disgusting, and directed with a real sense of atmosphere and dread. The snowy environment, complete with swaying trees, is almost a character unto itself. The Children definitely belongs in any conversation about the best horror films of recent years.