“It’s kiddie season at the movies, and children are everywhere you look: brandishing machine guns in Blood Diamond, fighting for their lives in the desert in Babel, suffering from mortal wounds in Pan’s Labyrinth, being blown to bits in Deja Vu, sleeping in public toilets in The Pursuit of Happyness and getting massacred in The Nativity Story,” John Horn and Chris Lee’s 11.19 L.A. Times piece begins.
“Hollywood historically has steered away from depicting children in peril, typically limiting any life-or-death struggles to cartoonishly violent genre films such as The Shining, Aliens and Terminator 2: Judgment Day. But as this new batch of movies underscores, the old rules of childhood engagement are rapidly evolving. Instead of consigning children to the periphery of horrific realities, these films are dragging kids — preteens to toddlers — right into the middle of the mayhem.”