An aging teacher gets suspicious that something is wrong with the children at her school. After seeing one of the children as a hideous creature, she's in shock. Unable to shake the horror of what she saw, she brings a gun to school...
Corey Norman's short film "Suffer the Little Children" is based on the short story of the same name by Stephen King, originally written for a magazine. With some slight changes, Corey and Haley Norman bring out a fairly faithful adaption of this somewhat controversial story. It tells the story of an old teacher who witnesses the horror of one of the children in class transforming into a monster before her eyes. She's struggling to cope with what she saw, but it can't be real, can it? When she's told that there are more of them at school, and see him transform again, she's certain that she's not crazy. She knows that she has to put an end to it somehow.
The story itself is very basic but it successfully makes you question which side you are on. Is the teacher crazy? Are the kids actually monsters? Do they deserve what they get? All of this was present in the King story also, but I do think that the filmmakers excuted it just right. It's not really pointing towards either side being the truth, so we're only left with our own beliefs. Achieving this with the short film is a big goal that it can't be denied.
Unfortunately, there are some weak links in "Suffer the Little Children". The production values are surprisingly high, with solid cinematography and sound. The effects aren't terrible, but they are shown in such bright light that we can see the mistakes. There's also something very bland with the editing when the creatures are shown, which kills any effect the surprise of seeing it could've had. Mind you, these shots are shown quickly and should involve an element of surprise. But instead it's just there. It could have used sound to really bring it out, maybe not show it in plain sight (and brightness). While the short film isn't all about the effects, they are very important.
In the end, I think that "Suffer the Little Children" succeeds by being faithful to Stephen King's short story. The story is good and it's told well, in both the film and original story, and that's what matters the most. But it does lack a certain punch to it that could've made it more memorable. It's clear that both Corey Norman and Haley Norman are working on their filmographies and are quite prolific, so this could absolutely be seen as a step towards bigger things. For that I think it's pretty good.