This weeks FMF is my attempt at one of those Creepy Kid Scary Movies that comes out in late August/early September. It will be the directorial debut of some Spanish or French filmmaker, and it will be long and boring, and if you feel like it’s every creepy kid movie rolled into one, that’s cause it is.
Kodi Smit-McPhee stars as a lonely orphan boy named Toby. He lives in an orphanage run by Janet Prickle, played by Kyra Sedgwick. She is your run of the mill really mean house marm. Whenever one of the boys in the orphanage acts up or does something she doesn’t like, they stuck in The Black Box. It’s a really small room about 5 by 5 that has no windows so it’s pitch black. Typically when a boy enters the box, they are stuck in there for an hour. Prickle thinks the boys fear the lack of space and scream because they are afraid of the dark, but little does she know that there are dark spirits that feed on the dark and the fear.
All of the boys at the orphanage pick on Toby because he is generally quiet and easily frightened. They play tricks on him and stuff and never get caught. Toby often draws really cool but dark pictures of him fighting back against the bullies. One of the biggest tricks they often pull on him is stealing his nightlight. He’s 10 years old and still needs a nightlight so they rip on him for that. In a later scene we see the boys steal his nightlight and then pick a fight with him. He is too afraid to hit them back, and knowing this, one of the boys hits the other one, and blames it on Toby. Prickle comes and sees the boy lying of the floor and begins to chastise Toby. She tells him he’s going to spend the day in the Black Box because fighting isn’t allowed. Toby is normally ok with this, but when he reaches into his backpack he sees his nightlight is gone and this sends him into a panic. He pleads not to get sent to the Box but Prickle ignores his cries and send him back in locking the door. This time, the camera follows Toby in and then we see a creature come out of the shadows and it roars directly into Toby’s face, he screams and passes out. The next day he has a white patch of hair on the side of his head and the kids make fun of him for that. One of the bullies who isn’t as bad, tosses the nightlight back on to Toby’s bed and he’s clutches it tightly.