Since “The Whispers” has some pretty tony credentials (executive produced by Steven Spielberg, directed by Mark Romanek (“One Hour Photo”), we have every reason to think the new ABC show will be sufficiently polished. What the trailer (posted below) tells us is that it might be damn creepy as well. Here are the five reasons why we'll have our hands in cover-the-eyes position when we watch the first episode, just in case.
1) The idea of evil imaginary friends will ruin your childhood if you think about it.
Did you have an imaginary friend, someone to go to your tea parties or play hopscotch or whatever? It seems like such a nice concept, at least in kids. In older kids and grown-ups, it goes all “Donnie Darko” and “Fight Club” and usually gets violent and ends badly, so that's not as adorable. But kids creating people to play with? That's so cute! Until the imaginary friend starts whispering about world domination and murder, and then it's so not. In the real world, it's usually a sign of mental illness, but when it's actually something whispering to the kid? Damn.
2) Kids are scary as hell.
Okay, not all kids. As a whole, they're often adorable and cuddly and charming and all that stuff. But when they're little sponges for evil, they're really scary. There's something about taking the most innocent, sweet little humans and unwittingly turning them into killing machines that can keep you up at night. It worked in “The Omen” and “The Exorcist” and and it's been an element in a bajillion horror movies since then. Kids are fine. Kids who kill? Terrifying. The only caveat to this might be that Spielberg's involvement might suggest he wouldn't rubber stamp really, really awful minions of evil, as he tends to portray kids as plucky little creatures in most of his movies. But he's only the executive producer, so maybe he let this one pass.
3) Kids know stuff and, when controlled by unseen forces, will use it against you.
If you actually have kids, this adds a whole new level of awful to childrearing. As if it's not enough that you have to try not to swear in front of them and keep them from gouging out their adorable little eyeballs while running with forks you told them to put back in the drawer, you now have to worry that any random factoid can and will be used against you. I mean, that happens anyway, but most kids aren't trying to give your tax information (or, if you're an FBI agent, super secret and more important stuff) to devious forces who want you wiped from the surface of the earth like spilled pasta sauce.
4) If anyone can convey scary, it's going to be Lily Rabe.
She's a great actress, but if you watched “American Horror Story,” you know she's more than that. This woman knows from scary, big time horror. Just the fact that she was cast here makes me think (hope?) that her character Claire Bennigan will be sucked into the nitty gritty of the coming battle in a big way. She's played the Devil, a nun, a Stevie Nicks fan-witch and so much more for Ryan Murphy. Let's hope “The Whispers” lets her off her nice-lady-in-a-suit chain and yells “Get 'em!”
5) There are hazmat suits and big trucks and all the other signs that something horrible is happening in a movie or TV show.
When they bust out the hazmat suits, if the location hasn't changed and this isn't a movie about an oil spill or a tanker explosion, you know the world is about to end. Television shows and movies don't easily put their attractive cast members in big, white, marshmallow-man suits for no reason, and those big military vehicles suggest that a lot of little kids are going to do a lot of bad things and stuff is going to go down, big time.