alien kids, bastards, children, Children of the Corn, creepy, creepy kids, dark, dead, death, Elijah Wood, evil, evil children, film, France, frightening, ghost, ghost child, ghosts, Godsend, halloween, haunted, haunting, Home Alone, Home Movie, horror, horror film, horror movie, horror movies, Ils, John Carpernter, Josh Holloway, Joshua, list, little bastards, lost, Macaulay Culkin, movie, movie reviews, Movies, My Girl, Orphan, paranormal, parents, scary, spirit, spooky, Stephen King, supernatural, supernatural kids, The Bad Seed, The Brood, The Children, The Exorcist, The Good Son, The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane, The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane and Wicked Little Things, The Omen, The Orphanage, Them, Village of the Damned, Whisper, Who Can Kill a Child?, Wicked Little Things, zombie
Once upon a time, we were all three-foot terrors who, more likely than not, have been the cause of numerous bouts of depression and anxiety for our parents. Despite the horrors that we brought upon our parents, we were loved nonetheless – well, at least those of us who had the luxury of being brought up by mother and father (a luxury to some, a nightmare for others).
Never did my parents have to look at me with a suspicious eye or watch over their backs fearful for their lives – except that one time when I was a rebellious teenager who thought that self-mutilation was cool (some would speculate that it was to deflect typical teenage angst with self inflicted wounds in order to fight pain with pain). Still, never were their lives in any real danger and they simply dealt with me in the manner they saw fit which usually involved “getting to the bottom of the situation” followed by an array of ‘why’s’ in the never-ending quest to try and understand me; a feat that is yet to be accomplished (albeit no longer having said issues being that I am now an adult and know better).
In essence, my parents were (are) good tackling the issues that presented themselves head-on and not cowering or expressing their fear of their children to therapists and/or priests, or worse, keeping it to themselves and waiting for the inevitable to occur when it is too late to do anything about it as so many ‘movie parents’ sit back and idly do. Of course, had they done something sooner there would be no movie. One of the key issues here is that you must listen to your significant other, no matter how crazy it sounds or you will be doomed. Don’t chalk him/her up to just being crazy just yet!
The same way kids can make us smile in a movie they can make us cringe with fear. Let me make myself clear here, creepy kids don’t freak me out. On the contrary, they actually piss me off. As an adult I can understand the complexities of parents hurting their little loved ones what with kids now having more access to cellular phones, the internet and cable TV. Reprimanding your kids was once the norm (granted of course it be a slight slap to the hand or butt) and now it is almost falling into that shady corner of taboo being that they, in a weird way, have adults by the balls in knowing all too well that 9-1-1 is not just for strangers. Add to that their little angelic faces paired with an evil-minded brain and a lack of any morals, children can easily fool any unsuspecting adult.
However, when said little loved one charges me with a butcher knife (or any sharp object for that matter) it becomes every man/kid for themselves. And being that I tower over a kid by at least three feet and weigh 3-4x more I’d say that my chances of kicking ass are very high. Nope, if you threaten my life your puppy-dog eyes will have little to no effect on my punting you across the room.
What about supernatural kids?
Here is where I may have to draw the line. Supernatural kids who have powers (i.e. – telekinesis, witchcraft, Satan’s spawn, etc.) have no problem displaying their hierarchy in the family household making sure they fill you in on who’s boss. If my child just so happens to have any of the said powers or influence then I retract anything mentioned in the previous paragraphs. If this is the case, all physical attributes and advantages that I may have over these demon children become absolutely moot and would have no other choice but to hope in the existence of a higher being, WHICH would, without a doubt, then prove said higher being’s existence therefore my redemption will be imminent in that I will repent and be forgiven for not initially believing (right?) hence resulting in my subsequent salvation for good always (most of the time) triumphs! Makes sense.
Same as above. Chances are that they will have some sort of unseen power/agenda. This also means that said kid is no longer (or never was) your kid so he/she is fair game once it is exposed to you.
Having said my piece and giving full disclosure, my wife now knows what to expect if we have one of these little evil bastards in our future. Let’s take a look at some of our “favorite” little creepy bastards we love to hate! (In no particular order)
1.) Home Movie (2008) -In the remote woods of upstate New York, the Poe Family lives a Norman Rockwell life. Perfect house. Perfect marriage. If only the children stopped stapling frogs to trees.
Nothing like seeming like the perfect family and being a man of God only to sow the seeds of sadistic, evil little bastards. A conundrum of sorts to these parents as they try every which way to figure out what’s going on and getting to the bottom of the situation as any good parent would do. Despite the in-your-face portrayal of these obvious weird kids, nothing is as it seems.
2.) The Children (2008) – A relaxing Christmas vacation turns into a terrifying fight for survival as the children begin to turn on their parents.
A fitting title as this film is about, well, children. This one certainly features an array of angel-faced little bastards that had my wife “aww-ing” on more than one occasion. I enjoyed this one as these kids actually assembled and plotted on how to take out their parents which I thought made for some pretty cool death scenes. You certainly wanted to have your doors locked and windows bolted if you were staying in an isolated house with them in the middle of winter. Oh, and make sure to have a knife/gun under your pillow.
3.) The Exorcist (1973) – When a teenager is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter.
A tough case in that you know your kid is possessed -trapped within her own body and forced to say/do unspeakable things. This would be one of those instances where I would get on my knees and (get your mind out of the gutter) clasp my hands together and pray to a higher being. Daughter’s disfigured face, green puke and levitation would be all the proof I need to believe in a higher being.
4.) The Omen (1976) – An American ambassador learns to his horror that his son is actually the literal Antichrist.
The movie that has caused many parents across the country to pry their fingers into the depths of their child’s hair in search of the tell-tale sign that their child is in fact a spawn of Satan – that sign being the numbers ’666′. True to scripture, Damien’s ultimate goal as the Antichrist is to move up the ranks of our government to ascertain the power necessary in attaining his mission of world domination, ala, bringing hell on earth. How do you fight such evil? Well, you don’t. If all is going according to scripture, then that battle between good and evil is coming soon. You just can’t do anything about it until the proper authorities show up to kick ass and take names later. In other words, just keep a low profile, pretend like you don’t know what the hell is going on and put your kid up for adoption.
5.) The Bad Seed (1953) – An ideal housewife begins to suspect her loving adolescent daughter may be a heartless killer.
Some say that this is the mother of all evil children films. Little Rhoda is, well, a brat! Pompous, to say the least, and cocky in that she seems to take pride in her “work”. Remorse? None whatsoever. Cute? I don’t think so. Cunning? Extremely. Heartless? Yep. Clearly a case of an emerging sociopath. So what would you do if you discover possible evidence that implicates your perfect little girl in a crime and is not the charming little thing you made her out to be? Well, you listen to what she has to say and believe her… right? I must say, however, that the ending had me clapping in that it was more than satisfying and dramatic in Classic Hollywood fashion.
6.) The Good Son (1993) – A young boy stays with his aunt and uncle, and befriends his cousin who’s the same age. But his cousin begins showing increasing signs of psychotic behavior.
Just hot off the heels of the Home Alone series and My Girl, the world fell in love with Macaulay Culkin… that is, until The Good Son hit theaters. This was one of those movies where you wanted to put your hands through the screen and choke the life out of this little brat who tormented a young and poor Elijah Wood, who portrayed the evil bastard’s cousin in the film. In the end, I think we all know who got the last laugh. (Hint: LOTR)
7.) The Brood (1979)- A man tries to uncover an unconventional psychologist’s therapy techniques on his institutionalized wife, while a series of brutal attacks committed by a brood of mutant children coincides with the husband’s investigation.
Being a David Cronenberg fan, I must say that I was a little disappointed in this one – often finding myself biting my nails or checking Twitter updates. There were even a few times I had to rewind the movie to get a better grasp as to what was going on (which I still kind of don’t get – but then again, I really wasn’t paying attention). Kids in it are definitely creepy and I certainly give anyone permission to give ‘em an elbow and a drop-kick or two.
8.) Village of the Damned (1960) – In the English village of Midwich, the blond-haired, glowing-eyed children of uncertain paternity prove to have frightening powers.
These kids were all the rage in the small village of Midwich. So much so that every mother in the village wanted one. Surely, this pissed off a lot of men. And what nice eyes they all had! However, don’t mess with them. They travel together like a pack of wolves which would make it virtually impossible to overcome these little blonde-haired devils (silver in the John Carpenter remake with the same name). Cross them and you’ll be doing things you wish you never had, like killing yourself. But make no mistake, these aren’t really your kids. Defend yourself with caution!
9.) Children of the Corn (1984) – A young couple wander into a mid-western town where all the adults are apparently dead and the children participate in a cult that worships a malevolent force in the corn fields.
“He who walks behind the rows” is not a popular deity amongst the parents of small town Gatlin, Nebraska being that they were all murdered on his/its account. In this horror film, based on a short story by master of horror Stephen King, wonder-boy preacher Isaac convinces the children of the town to murder their parents and worship an evil force that lives among the cornfield. Country-farm hick children? Yeah, creepy!
10.) Orphan (2009) – A husband and wife who recently lost their baby adopt a 9-year-old girl who is not nearly as innocent as she claims to be.
Ah yes, Esther, the poster-child for for the perfect child – that is, at least on the surface. Cute and proper, little Esther portrays the little girl every father wishes he had. A master of manipulation, Esther is determined to get what she wants – even her foster father! Hmmm, creepy. But, as is the case with good movies, everything is not as it seems. Let’s just say this one had a nice little twist.
11.) The Orphanage (2009) - A woman brings her family back to her childhood home, where she opens an orphanage for handicapped children. Before long, her son starts to communicate with an invisible new friend.
Despite the eeriness of the film and its children, this one turned out to be quite a touching story. The scariest of the little rug-rats has to go to Tomas, who dons a homemade rag-like mask to disguise his disfigured face. Childhood game “red light, green light, 1,2,3″ has never been scarier – well, at least the Spanish version.
12.) Godsend (2004) – A couple agree to have their deceased son cloned, under the supervision of an enigmatic doctor but bizarre things start to happen years after his rebirth.
This one would fall under the “it’s the parent’s fault here” category. Their son dies and a doctor approaches them with the idea of cloning their deceased son. Of course, being that human cloning is taboo, things go wrong and said son is hell bent in causing havoc. Personally, this film was a bummer and wouldn’t recommend it.
13.) Whisper (2007) – Sinister things begin happening to kidnappers who are holding a young boy for ransom in a remote cabin.
David, a child of the supernatural variety lets a band of kidnappers have it as he is held for ransom. True to form, David is an annoying little brat with a power that he uses to his advantage and why wouldn’t he? I mean, who’s the bad guy in this film anyway – kid with evil powers or low-lives who kidnapped said kid for money? Throw in Lost‘s Josh Holloway as one of the kidnappers into the mix and you have your answer (HINT: he’s the “good guy”).
14.) Who Can Kill a Child? (1976) – A couple of English tourists arrive on an island where all the children have gone crazy and are murdering the adults.
Certainly one of the better (the best?) “kids-gone-wild” films in this rare little film that comes to us by way of Spain. This is also the film which is said to have inspired the Stephen King short story Children of the Corn… hmmm. Also, take note of the weapon in the poster – oh yes, it gets used much to our satisfaction.
15.) Ils (Them) (2006)- Lucas and Clementine live peacefully in their isolated country house, but one night they wake up to strange noise… they’re not alone… and a group of hooded assailants begin to terrorize them throughout the night.
Loved this one! I have to say that I went into this film with little to no expectations and, in the end, I was in for a nice little treat. There were a few moments in the film where I was a little baffled about what was going on but by the tail-end of the movie, all is clear and quite disturbing. Apparently this was inspired by true events in France.
So there’s my brief list of children in horror or, as I like to refer to them, the little bastards. A few others worth mentioning are Joshua, The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane and Wicked Little Things. If you have any others in mind, feel free to chime in.