The Merits of Sin: Suffer, Little Children (1983) (UK)

Films this boring should not be this enjoyable. Wait. I don’t think that makes any sense. Maybe boring isn’t the right word. Awkward? Yeah. That’s what I’ll go with. Films this awkward should not be this enjoyable. Nah. That doesn’t sound right either. Fuck it.

Apologies abound

If you dig a little deeper, you find out why Suffer, Little Children is the way it is. It was basically a class project by a bunch of kids with the aid of their drama teacher and a band promoter willing to finance. Kids are awkward, Hell, most adults are awkward. All that awkwardness combined to roll out a rambling mess of a film that often follows its own internal and insane logic. You’re gonna love it…or not…it doesn’t really matter. Shit, I’ve lost my train of thought again. Fuck it.

Spell casted

Claiming to be a reconstruction of actual events which were never covered by the press, the film immediately lies to you. That’s fine, everybody lies. A young mute girl named Elizabeth is abandoned at the front door of Sullivans Children’s Home. The heads of the home (kind hearted Jen and fashion icon Morris) can’t figure out where she came from and set her up comfortably amongst the other brats. Almost immediately, things go south.

Portrait of an Icon

Elizabeth has some strange powers. We find out a little later that she is home to some demonic entity with a deep voice. She mesmerizes a couple girls to be her minions by making them have nightmares involving zombies and a picnic. So that’s a thing that happens. She forces a kindhearted crippled boy into intensive care by sending him flying down the stairs. He coughs up quite a bit of blood upon impact. Six children almost drown (off screen) and she even ruins a girl’s birthday party (what a bitch!). Needless to say, Elizabeth kind of sucks

Suckiest suck to ever suck

Outside of the negative vibes permeating throughout the sad household, there’s a bit of excitement in the air. Former orphan and current pop star Mick Phillips is coming to brighten up the lives of these miserable bastards. He’s also got an eye for Jen and is prone to mumbling. He gets involved with the strangeness going on at the children’s home even if he disagrees with Morris and Jen that the oddness is connected to Elizabeth.


Strobe lights are abused, the narrative plays out like time needed to be filled, scenes drag on far past the breaking point of human patience, music drowns out dialogue, Jesus Christ shows up to point magic at people, and we’re treated to an amazing stab happy climax. It’s an SOV nightmare akin to something you may dream after experiencing a non life threatening head injury. You shouldn’t be sleeping because you might be concussed, I shouldn’t be reviewing films because I actually recommend this. Suffer indeed. 7/10

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