Instinct dictates the unspoken rule of humanity that everyone must protect children by all means. So when the source of the evil everyone needs protection from is a supposedly innocent child, it’s so unnatural that it becomes all the more terrifying.
There are quite a few movies that use the evergreen oxymoron of evil innocence to instill fear in their viewers. Whether the children are ghosts, possessed by a demon or undead, they are normally always terrifying. Horror movies like Ju-on and Pet sematary are among the films that spotlight particularly nightmarish kiddos.
Samara- the ring
Samara is the antagonist of Gore Verbinski the ring. The demonic girl with supernatural abilities was trapped in a well at around twelve years old, but she lives to kill those who watch a certain video after seven days.
Anyone who has seen the ring is surely haunted by Samara’s ghostly whisper of “seven days” on the phone. A running prank call even plays off the girl’s signature phrase, because it’s so creepy when she says it. Samara’s method of killing by crawling off the television makes her quite a terrifying young girl, but it also makes the ring one of the best movies on Paramount Plus.
2001 film by Alejandro Amenábar Others features a little girl named Anne who lives with her family in a house they believe is haunted. The end of the film reveals that they are the lair of the house, making it one of those twisted horror movies that viewers have to watch twice to understand.
Although Anne is a ghostly little girl, neither she nor the audience knows for a long time. Thus, she does not necessarily pass the whole film as a terrifying entity. However, as the film nears its climax, a scene occurs in which a living medium passes by Anne as she plays with a headless puppet and insists that she is Grace’s daughter. This scene gives the iconic line of “I a m your daughter,” Anne said in the soft, childish voice that earns her a spot as an utterly terrifying horror movie kid.
Charly – Hereditary
At Ari Aster Hereditary, Charlie Graham is the younger sister of Peter Graham. In an iconic scene from the film, she is decapitated by a telephone pole while sticking her head out the car window.
While Charlie certainly has some peculiar behaviors, she’s not entirely terrifying until she reveals she’s never actually Charlie. Charlie’s soul was consumed long ago by Paimon, who possesses his form but seeks to take Peter’s body. Charlie’s arc in Hereditary has big brothers everywhere shooting suspicious looks at their younger sisters and hoping their clucking noises don’t signal an evil entity trying to get out.
Toshio Saeki – Ju-on
In the popular Japanese horror franchise, The Grudge, Toshio’s ghost follows around his mother’s vengeful spirit. His presence isn’t marked by the same haunting noise that Yoko makes, but he does let out a “meow” due to the emotional attachment he had for his cat in life.
Toshio doesn’t necessarily perform the curse kills, but that doesn’t make him any less terrifying. viewers of The Grudge will forever be haunted by the thought of the child’s black eyes staring at them as they peek under a table or look up at the banister. Also, there is no hiding place under Toshio’s covers. Those who try will come face to face with his mother under their own covers.
Karine – night of the living dead
Karen Cooper is a granddaughter of night of the living dead who meets the same unfortunate end as so many others in zombie movies. She gets bitten, turns herself undead, and then horribly swallows her own parents.
Zombies are terrifying, and Karen proves that they are no less so as children. Regardless of the fact that she’s undead, watching her bite into her own deceased father’s flesh and disembowel her mother with a trowel is nothing short of a stomach ache. She reminds the audience to prevent the zombie apocalypse by all means, even if it’s just to keep abnormally creepy undead children from running around.
Gauge – Pet sematary
In Pet sematary, Gage Creed is a three-year-old boy who is killed by a speeding truck. After his father buries him in an old cemetery, he comes back to life, but not as the same adorable little boy he was.
Pet sematary draws audiences into loving the sweet Gage, so the last thing viewers want is for the young child to die. When he dies and returns, however, he instills a new fear in the audience of a murderous three-year-old child. This compounds the fact that he kills his own mother and aims to do the same with his father. Perhaps the most heartbreaking part of Gage’s arc is having his own father put him down, leaving audiences unsettled.
Twins – the brilliant
by Stanley Kubrick the brilliant is responsible for two of the most iconic horror movie kids of all time: the Grady twins. These two little girls haunt the halls of the Overlook Hotel, appearing to Danny in both their ghostly form and as their bloodied corpses.
The phrase “Come play with us” lives in infamy because of the brilliant twins, and the girls themselves have become cultural icons. The image of two identical little girls standing at the end of a long hallway and asking a living person to play with them is undoubtedly haunting, which is probably why the imagery has become a staple of the iconography of horror films. The same can be said for other elements of the film, which is why the brilliant is one of Eli Roth’s favorite horror films.
Regan – The Exorcist
When it comes to kids in terrifying horror movies, no kid is as scary as Regan MacNeil from The Exorcist. The twelve-year-old girl falls victim to demonic possession, with fatal consequences for those who try to help her.
From levitating out of bed to vomiting pea soup, there’s no doubt that Regan is one of, if not the the most iconic horror movie kid of all time. Although she begins the film very sweet and charming, the demon in her turns her into something completely petrifying. Regan does The Exorcist one of the scariest films of all time, and also one of iconic filmmaker Stanley Kubrick’s favorite horror films.
Damien- the omen
by Richard Donner the omen follows a young boy named Damien. The strange events that occur around Damien allude to the fact that he is, indeed, the Biblical Antichrist rising to power.
Damien isn’t just any scary horror movie kid. He wears the mark of the best on his skin, “666”. Putting so much evil power into the body of a seemingly innocent boy is a twisted but very effective move. After the first movie the omen The franchise continues to follow Damien as a little boy who breathes life into the devil himself.
Isaac- Corn Children
In Corn Children, Isaac stands at the head of a town of killer children who murder any adult who sets foot in town to appease a malevolent cornfield spirit.
A whole cult of murderous children is pretty scary. The thought of a single child standing at the head of them all, coaxing and manipulating them into the dark will of some otherworldly entity, is utterly horrifying. Of all the corn kids, Isaac definitely takes the cake as one of the most terrifying horror movie kids.
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