Last year I listed off ten horror films that had the balls to kill off kids. As I mentioned in that listicle, it’s kind of a taboo to kill a kid in mainstream cinema. That being said, if any genre is going to break the child-killing taboo, it’s the horror genre. Many, many horror films feature child death scenes. Here are ten more films that had the balls to kill off a kid!
Assault on Precinct 13
She asked for a vanilla twist, Mr. Ice Cream Man. I caught a lot of flack from commenters a couple of months ago when I made it known that I hadn’t seen about half of John Carpenter’s filmography, so I’m marathoning all of his films this month. I watched the original Assault on Precinct 13 for the first time earlier this week (I loved it) and what did I find? A child was murdered! That poor little girl just wanted her vanilla twist.
There are actually several child deaths contained in the Eli Roth-produced Clown (which finally saw a release earlier this year after years of delay), but one of the more memorable scenes is the one that takes place inside a Chuck E. Cheese-style play place. The river of blood falling into the ball pit is a rather gruesome image.
When a Stranger Calls
While you don’t actually see the children die in the opening scene of Fred Walton’s classic horror film, the description of what happened to them is no less chilling. In fact, it’s actually scarier to hear about it than to see it happen. After receiving several phone calls from the killer (Tony Buckley) asking her if she has checked the children, Jill Johnson (Carol Kane) discovers that the calls are coming from inside the house. She runs outside (and doesn’t check the children), only to learn that the killer had already murdered the children with his bare hands.
What’s more shocking about the fact that the little Killian boy is killed in Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow is that it was the centerpiece of the teaser trailer for the film (I still remember it giving me the creeps when it played before my screening of The Haunting in 1999). Nothing like a decapitated child to make you want to see a movie!
Feast 2: Sloppy Seconds
Feast 2 is not a good movie (no movie with the subtitle “Sloppy Seconds” could really be classified as a good movie), but it does feature a rather hilarious instance of infanticide. Greg (Tom Gulager) attempts to go save a baby from the vicious monsters, only to realize that he made a huge mistake when the baby ends up slowing him down. He promptly tosses the baby up in the air and it splats onto the concrete before being eaten by one of the monsters.
This one is a bit cliché to include on a list of child deaths, but it’s a classic! Stephen King’s sole directorial effort is famous for its awfulness, but it’s such a fun movie to watch. One unforgettable moment comes when a steamroller bursts onto a baseball field and rolls over one of the pre-teen players.
Alice, Sweet Alice
Brooke Shield’s feature film debut was a brief one. She gets killed in the first twenty minutes of Alice, Sweet Alice. Her nine-year-old Karen is strangled by a mysterious person wearing the creepiest translucent mask ever made. It’s a rather intense scene for a film made in 1976, but it certainly merits a spot on this list.
If you want to watch a movie where a bunch of kids die, look no further than Battle Royale. They’re all roughly 15 or 16 years old, so they may not technically qualify as “children,” but they’re young enough for all of the carnage to be quite unnerving. 42 kids (21 male and 21 female) butchering each other makes for a shocking (but highly entertaining) movie.
30 Days of Night
Maybe this one shouldn’t count since the girl in question is an evil vampire, but she is technically still a child. And she does get decapitated. So I’m going to say that it counts.
The Mist features what is one of the most downer endings in cinema history, so the fact that a child is killed in the film’s closing moments is really just a fraction of the whole. Still, it’s incredibly unsettling to watch David Drayton (Thomas Jane) load his gun before using it on his only sun. It’s not even Billy’s death that is difficult to watch (his death is off-screen). Rather, it’s David’s reaction to murdering Billy and the other three inhabitants of the car.