The Movie Waffler New Release Review [VOD] - CHILDREN OF SIN | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review [VOD] - CHILDREN OF SIN

children of sin review
Two teens are sent to a sinister gay conversion institute.

Review by Sue Finn

Directed by: Christopher Moore

Starring: Meredith Mohler, Cami Roebuck, Jo-Ann Robinson Faith Stanley

children of sin poster

It’s homophobic evangelical TV time with the family; and mum, future stepdad Robbie and teenage Jackson absorb vile anti-gay rhetoric while upstairs, sister Emma vomits and contemplates suicide.

So far, so healthy.

Turns out she’s pregnant and facing the prospect of being kicked out by the newly judgmental family. Her mother has become involved with fundamentalist Robbie and they are soon to be married - good news for her hopeful brother Jackson who will soon be formally adopted by Robbie, but bad news for free-thinking Emma.

children of sin review

After discovering Jackson’s sexuality, and deciding maybe he’s not ‘adoptable son’ material after all, Robbie takes matters into his own hands and decides to ‘convert’ the teenager into a heterosexual by sending him to Abraham House - a place for troubled teens. Emma is also relegated to Abraham once news of her pregnancy is uncovered. Mum tells them that it’s only for three days and then she will be back to get them out of there to start a new Robbie-free life. Despite having no evidence to support this assertion, they take her at her word and settle into life at the home.

Abraham House is run by maniacal Christ-bothering Mary-Esther (Jo-Ann Robinson, who seemingly took pointers from Louise Fletchers scenery-chewing performance in Flowers in the Attic). She believes in self-mutilation as an expression of devotion, and rules the home with an iron fist and a creepily intimate lesson plan.

Her nephew Hank (Christopher Wesley Moore playing someone who is really the only likable and real character here – his texting gave me real pangs of worry for him) is having an affair with the groundsman Mason, and hopes to escape. In the meantime, he is tasked with cleaning up after his aunt’s conversion efforts get ‘messy’.

children of sin review

People start disappearing and our brother and sister protagonists are more eager than ever to get back to their mother.

Eventually we hit the finale, which is ridiculousness piled onto ridiculousness until it stops really being about anything.

As written and directed by Christopher Wesley Moore (Hank), this film is a hodge podge of ideas and themes thrown into a bowl and stirred, and the resulting movie is as jumbled as that sounds. Except for the cool synth score, not much here comes together in any kind of satisfying way, frustrating because this has some great themes and something to say.

The acting is hit and miss with some performances stronger than others. The location is dull and needs a stronger sense of place.

However, the main problem with this film is the script.

To be honest, I don’t really buy the murdery subplot, which gets sillier as it progresses. The tone is shaky as it can’t decide if it wants to be an OTT '80s style slasher or a more serious contemplation of the damage caused by zealots. I think it may have been more successful had it chosen the latter.

children of sin review

Homosexual conversion therapy is a horrific thing and this film does well to draw attention to that fact, as well as the evils of blaming women for their own rapes and ‘slut shaming’.

With a sharper focus and more realistic characters this would have been a much better and more effective film.

I’ll look for Moore’s next efforts but this one, sadly, was a let down.

Children of Sin is on UK/US VOD now.

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