Horror movies are usually full of tall, lurking serial killers, big bad monsters or vengeful victims, but every so often there’s a film that transforms what seems to be an innocent child into a frightening nightmare. In celebration of this weeks release ‘Let Me In’ let’s take a look back at some other kids that scare the crap out of us.
Esther (Isabelle Fuhrman)
An adopted child wreaks havoc on her new family and while the mother quickly becomes aware of Esther’s wicked ways, she has a hell of a time finding anyone to believe her. The way Esther manipulates her new parent’s obvious weaknesses, her creepy paintings and a major hankering for murder are just a few reasons why this kid scares the crap out of us.
Damien (Harvey Stephens)
A father agrees to adopt a baby boy, by way of a priest after his wife has a miscarriage. As the child grows older a series of disturbing events unfold and the father learns the boy may be the antichrist. One of the first creepy kids on film, Damien freaks out animals simply from his presence and strange and mysterious deaths rapidly increase as the father learns of Damien’s origin. Church steeple impalements and a severed head by way of plate glass are just a few tricks up this kids sleeve.
Rob Zombie’s ‘Halloween’
Michael (Daeg Faerch)
A bullied and neglected child murders his family and grows up to become a savage and brutal serial killer. What’s not to be freaked out by? After taking all the abuse he can handle, the kid totally loses it, grabs a creepy clown mask and systematically takes out the abusers in his life. He whoops the kid at school that bullies him, kills his sisters boyfriend with a baseball bat and then walks up to her room and sticks a knife in her stomach. This is one kid I wouldn’t mess with.
Regan (Linda Blair)
This classic film tells the story of a young girl that becomes possessed by the devil. In this penultimate possession tale, Regan quickly transforms from sweet and affable little girl, to a repugnant and monstrous demon child that hisses and cackles at anyone trying to save her soul. Some of the most famous scenes ever include projectile vomiting, bed levitation, crucifix sex toys and a 360 degree head rotation, just to name a few. You’ll feel like taking a shower in holy water after this one.
The Sixth Sense
Cole (Haley Joel Osment)
A boy who communicates with spirits that don't know they're dead seeks the help of a disheartened child psychologist. Although it’s not a gross out movie, what would be creepier than knowing your kid can see and talk to dead people? This modern classic is best known for its shocking twist ending and is still talked about when compared to other “gotcha” endings. It sets everything in place so well that you never see it coming.
Samara (Daveigh Chase)
A young journalist investigates a mysterious videotape which causes the death of anyone a week after viewing it. There’s something jarring about your viewing entertainment coming out of the T.V. to kill you and Samara is as freaky as they come. With her long black hair and ominous subtlety, she’s scares the hell out of us even as an innocent child and when she comes crawling out of the T.V. looking like month old road kill, it’s certainly a cringe worthy moment that always gets a good scare.
There are a ton of movies that explore the villainous and bizarre child angle, but in my opinion these are some of the best and creepiest kids on celluloid. I’m willing to bet that ‘Let Me In’ will provide some healthy competition in this category and the buzz surrounding the film is deafening. You can decide for yourself when ‘Let Me In’ opens this Friday, October 1st, starring Chloe Moretz and Kodi Smit-McPhee.
What are some of your favorite kids that scare the crap out of you?