The Innocents Review 2022 Film

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The Innocents: Exploring the Loosening Grasp on Childhood Innocence

Eskil Vogt’s The Innocents is a haunting original thriller that delves into the gradual erosion of childhood innocence, blending elements of realism and the supernatural. As children grow older, they inevitably encounter the harsh realities of life, such as death, moral dilemmas, and the concept of righteousness. While the nature vs nurture debate remains unresolved, The Innocents presents a chilling narrative that explores the limits of child imagination and the perils of leaving them to their own devices.

A Group of Children Unleash Supernatural Abilities

The Innocents follows the story of Ida and her autistic sister Anna, who move into a sparsely populated apartment complex during the summer holidays. As they settle into their new surroundings, Ida befriends two other children, Ben and Aisha. Gradually, the quartet discovers that each possesses supernatural abilities, which they initially use for innocent play in the playground. However, as they become more acquainted with their powers and develop closer bonds with one another, their idyllic childhood begins to take a dark turn, and they find themselves drawn into a sinister world.

The Supernatural as a Menacing Force

Director and writer Eskil Vogt, known for his exploration of the supernatural in previous works, takes a different approach in The Innocents by presenting it as a thriller with a supernatural antagonist. Throughout the film, the children exhibit increasingly masochistic tendencies while trying desperately to cling to the remnants of their innocence. These haunting scenes create a contrast between the bright, pleasant summer days and the overwhelming darkness that engulfs them, intensifying the sense of terror.

A Purgatorial Apartment Complex

In The Innocents, Eskil Vogt depicts the central location of the apartment complex as a purgatory-like space. Surrounded by trees and seemingly detached from the outside world despite its proximity to a highway, the complex becomes a physical manifestation of isolation and entrapment. Whether bathed in the warmth of a summer day or shrouded in eerie Silent Hill-esque fog, the oppressive atmosphere seeps through every frame, contributing to the film’s unsettling ambiance.

Powerful Performances from the Child Actors

Filmmaking involving children in horrifying moments can be challenging, but Vogt skillfully elicits outstanding performances from the four young actors. Alva Brynsmo Ramstad, who portrays a nonverbal autistic character, delivers a truly remarkable performance that serves as the heart of the film. Without relying on dialogue, Ramstad conveys emotions and communicates through body language with striking effectiveness. Vogt’s direction ensures that even the most intense and graphic scenes are handled with a sense of realism and never cross into gratuitous shock value.

A Few Moments of Narrative Slowness

Although The Innocents captivates from the outset, the film does experience some narrative sluggishness in the middle, affecting its overall urgency. At times, the pacing could benefit from more conciseness. However, the stellar direction by Eskil Vogt and the compelling performances by the child actors sustain engagement until the closing credits.

A Bold and Thought-Provoking Thriller

The Innocents stands out as a bold and unique thriller that draws inspiration from films like Chronicle and The Florida Project while forging its own path. Taking the risk of placing the children at the center of the story pays off, resulting in a haunting and unnerving exploration of childhood innocence and its rapid dissolution in the modern world.


Eskil Vogt’s The Innocents is a gripping and atmospheric thriller that skillfully blends realism and the supernatural. Through the experiences of a group of children with extraordinary abilities, the film examines the fragility of childhood innocence and the dark forces that threaten to consume it. Vogt’s direction, coupled with compelling performances from the young cast, creates an immersive and chilling viewing experience. While the film may encounter moments of narrative lull, overall, it remains a thought-provoking exploration of the human psyche, leaving audiences with a lingering sense of unease long after the credits roll.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is The Innocents suitable for a high school audience?

Yes, The Innocents is suitable for a high school audience. However, due to its intense and potentially disturbing themes, viewer discretion is advised.

2. Can you provide more insight into the supernatural elements of the film?

The supernatural elements in The Innocents revolve around the extraordinary abilities possessed by the four children. These powers, initially used innocently for play, gradually take a darker turn, highlighting the dangers of unchecked imagination.

3. How does Eskil Vogt create suspense and tension in the film?

Eskil Vogt masterfully crafts suspense and tension in The Innocents through a combination of atmospheric visuals, juxtaposition of light and darkness, and the gradual unraveling of the children’s innocence. The ever-present supernatural threat looming over their whimsical experiences keeps viewers on the edge of their seats.

4. Are there any social commentaries explored in the film?

While The Innocents primarily focuses on childhood innocence, it subtly raises questions about societal pressures and the loss of purity in a world filled with moral ambiguity. The film serves as a reflection on the fleeting nature of innocence and the challenges children face in navigating a complex world.

5. When and where can I watch The Innocents?

The Innocents is set to be released in US theaters and on demand on Friday, May 13, 2022. Please check local listings or streaming platforms for availability.