The Nanny could only wish she could teach these crumb snatchers to behave. But alas, the Film Society’s Problem Child: A Cinematic Display of Bad Behavior series gives us a chance to watch children in all their dysfunction—with the thankful knowledge that we don’t have to take them home with us. Expect to see evil-kid classics like The Omen (1976), The Exorcist (1973), and Village of the Damned (1960), but if possessed kids are too uneasy on your soul, there are flicks like The Bad Seed (1956) and The Children’s Hour (1961) that’ll make you want to give them a spank-down. Tonight, the little ones play the victims (and lay low amid flying wire hangers) in Mommie Dearest (1981), which stars the incomparable Faye Dunaway as the self-abusing diva, Joan Crawford. A dose of this would make even Sean Preston and Jayden thankful for what they got.

Nov. 28-30, 2008

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 19, 2008

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