As adults, we’re expected to protect and sympathize with children, because they are wee proto-people whose brains are still developing and who have no rights. Violence against children is as unthinkable and horrific as a child capable of actual devastating violence. The fact that both do occur in real life sometimes is a large part of what makes a horror story starring a child frightening.
Films have been cashing in on this creepiness since the old days of black and white movies. As a genre, horror loves the distorted, warped vision of innocence that is the wicked child. In honor of the Halloween season, let’s take a look at 15 pint-sized manifestations of pure evil…
5. Claudia, “Interview with a Vampire”
Claudia looks like a little girl with perfect curls, but she is in fact 700 years old. In Louis’ own words: “A little child she was, but also a fierce killer, now capable of the ruthless pursuit of blood with all a child’s demanding.” She’s bitter about the fact that she was turned as a child and stuck in her tiny body, and takes out her anger on whoever she pleases.
4. Samara, “The Ring”
Admit it, the very first time you saw Samara crawling out of the television you were unable to think of it later without feeling the heebie-jeebies. She will kill you, but not before giving you seven days to freak out and futilely try to prevent it first. Her weird, distorted appearance, complete with limbs that seem to stretch and grow, provides plenty of good old-fashioned nightmare fuel.
3. Damien, “The Omen”
When it comes to pure evil, it’s tough to beat the Antichrist. Because of Damien, little boys on tricycles always seem like they’re up to something sinister. Damien can generate misfortune and woe anywhere at any time. Being born with the blood of a jackal will do that for you. His evil manifests through acts of tragedy that no one can trace directly to the little dark-haired boy with chubby cheeks. It’s just that everyone who gets in his way ends up beheaded, hanged or stabbed, that’s all.
2. Every Child in “Village of the Damned”
If one child with supernatural powers is creepy, then an entire group is mortally terrifying. Alien hybrid children with psychic powers and a hive mind are even worse. Also frightening is the fact that these omnipotent telekinetic munchkins were spread across the globe, causing so much trouble some countries resorted to dropping bombs. There is no solution, salvation or cure for these children; your best bet is total annihilation through explosive means.
1. Regan, “The Exorcist”
The sheer horror of evil forces using a child as an instrument of terror and distress is perfected in this film. Once you hear that voice coming out of little Regan, you know things are going to get much, much worse. Possessed Regan levitates furniture, spins her head 180 degrees, spits up pea soup and does unmentionable acts with a crucifix. The fact that Regan is an innocent child whose only crime is fiddling around with an Ouija board adds a real feeling of tragedy to these horrific and disgusting ordeals.
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