On the Run From Terror

An Italian thriller portrays a 10-year-old's nightmare

In movies this has been the year (possibly the decade) of the threatened child. The stories told about such children -- abused or abandoned, in some way forced to cope prematurely with life's terrors -- can be read in a couple of ways. They may represent a revival of interest by moviemakers in one of fiction's archetypes, that of the child alone and improvising in a world he didn't make and doesn't understand. They may also reflect our relatively new sensitivity to child abuse.

Whatever the case, no youngster has lately, or perhaps ever, been placed in more deadly peril than...

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