For whatever reason, horror movies and creepy kids seems to go together like cookies and cream, Cheech & Chong, and Freebie and the Bean. Over the years, we’ve been witness to enough unsettling tykes to fill what would officially be the world’s least desirable summer camp. So sit back, enjoy this pre-pubescent collection–and be thankful they’re not yours!
How’d you like to be watching some creepy videocassette, and then this drenched, raven-haired moppet jumps out of the freakin’ TV screen? I don’t know what would be harder to fathom, that, or the idea that I’m watching a videocassette.
This seemingly sweet little thing really makes a mess when she’s discovered by our heroes in the convenience store. Tiny and cute, yet with the ability to destroy your very soul. Kind of like Christian Soriano.
After being bitten by her mysteriously infected pooch, this Italian bambina turns zombo in record time, leaping from her mom’s arms and zipping up the stairs of her infested apartment complex. Cose da pazzi!
Before she was a bona fide hot chick, Mischa Barton was that freaky ghost girl hiding under Haley Joel Osment’s bed. And no, I’m not making a joke about how I wish she would be hiding under my bed right now. Oh wait, I just did. Never mind.
The grand-mammy of all messed-up horror movie kids, Rhoda Penmark is a pint-sized terror of biblical proportions. If you think the ADHD-addled rugrats you see roaming shopping malls nowadays are bad, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
This Stephen King adaptation really captures the way the original novel screws with your head, forcing you not only to deal with the horrific death of a child–usually a scare flick no-no–but then bashing you in the temple with the compounded horror of precious little Gage coming back to slice and dice.
Isaac may be the leader, but it’s evil ginger Malachai who really stands out amongst Children of the Corn’s brood of pasture-lurking ragamuffins. That shock of crimson hair. Those cold eyes. Pure evil. No wonder red-heads are burned by the sun so easily. So are most demonic creatures.
This movie taught us that sometimes maybe we shouldn’t go looking for missing children. In the annals of scary-ass dead kids, the boy in the potato-sack mask pretty much takes the cake. Yeeeesh.
Identical, blonde-haired kids with piercing blue eyes and a perverse, irresistible power over their parents. No, this isn’t a Connecticut toy store. It’s one of the most gripping supernatural thrillers of the 1960s, thanks to a cast of extremely unsettling little ones. Did I also mention they speak with a British accent? That clinches it.
The standard freakazoid kid in a horror movie has become a cliche thanks to the steady stream of Chinese, Japanese and Korean horror into the U.S., but for my money, this pasty-faced little cretin is about as scary as it gets. And his mother is even scarier! Skip the Sarah Michelle American drivel, and mainline your creepy kid fix from the source.
This gaggle of little girls jumping rope proved that even cute-as-a-button white kids in their Sunday best can be seriously frightening–a fact already known by anyone who’s watched enough Little House on the Prairie reruns.
What’s the only thing eerier than a vampire at your window? That’s right, it’s a child vampire at your window. Just thinking about this little bastard cooing at his still-warm brother to let him in can make the hair on my arms do the limbo.
Stephen King knows what scares you, and its two tiny twin girls standing blank-faced in a hallway and talking to you at the same time. In Kubrick’s film version, the scenes of the ill-fated Grady sisters are literally the stuff of nightmares.
The genius of William Peter Blatty’s novel and William Friedkin’s film is that Regan MacNeill is such a paragon of juvenile purity, twisted into an obscene, perverse plaything of Beelzebub. Kudos to Linda Blair for pulling off this impressive role, as well as the late Mercedes McCambridge for providing that unforgettable voice.
The classic image of little Karen Cooper staring out from under her dark brown tresses is one of horror’s most iconic (though ironically, not seen in the actual film). By introducing a zombie kid who goes batshit on her mom with a garden trowel and makes a late-night snack out of Daddy’s arm, Romero lets it be known that the gloves are off.
and finally, the single most creepy kid in the history of horror movies….
I mean really, was there any other choice? Damien Thorn is the ultimate distillation of the trope of the evil child in horror. Literally Satan in the form of a human boy, he fills us with dread with his every look and movement, despite being an adorable little thing and not really doing anything evil himself per se in the entire flick. It’s just the implication of that undying malevolence in the form of a child, and the harrowing events that surround him, that are enough to make us respect the value of birth control.
For more news and opinions on the world of horror, including a re-imagining of The Godfather as horror, a celebration of the music of NOES, and a humorous look at what Jason does on his days off, check out Brian’s daily blog, The Vault of Horror, at thevaultofhorror.net.
* Editors Note: This content is being republished so we can transition it from the archives. Oh, and because it’s awesome.