Based upon the novel about a schoolboy class stranded on an island with all the adults killed. It is filmed in style as a documentary with only natural sound and un-actors making it feel like a very real film, but it also can't hide the fact that it feels like a staged play sometimes.
3-4. I think there could have been more individual character development than there appears to be here, but the conflict is palpable (especially by the end, when Ralph's being chased down). I didn't think the direction had much presence, initially, but eventually the images become photographically eye-catching, almost every subject popping off the screen. Not perfect, but delivered on its reputation.
With Golding's source novel and beautiful high-contrast photography, it's impossible to be boring. It does hit a wall, though, with its child actors: it's much easier for children to carry a serious drama on the page than it is on screen—though it can be done—and these kids talk and act like adults are feeding them lines one at a time. But in the dark setpieces, where no talk is called for, the energy gets loose.
Many films portray subjects such as the collapse of society, primal instinct, madness, and violence, but few I’ve seen have truly tapped into the heart of darkness like this one does. There’s a scene partway through the film that shows a dance by a fire and a murder, and it’s one of the most unnerving and terrifying scenes of violence and insanity I’ve seen on film. Dark, brutal masterpiece.
Curiously, I quite liked it. I don't agree that the problem is the woodenness of the acting (people really did speak like that in Britain in the 1950s: just listen to the radio or watch the tv of that period). The woodenness is in the directing. But it still retains something of the book.
The children, temporarily unsupervised after a plain crash, are just a few more murders away from recreating civilization. The adults, as usual, are reactionary and put an end to everything just as the kids are at their most creative. This film might as well have been a documentary.