Theyll make you appreciate your boring childhood.
Why is it that every time I go to the movies to see a horror movie, there’s an evil child in it? Seriously, who came up with this idea of evil children in order to make films scarier? There are countless scary movies that use traumatic childhood experiences to portray frightening creatures, evil ghosts, or heartless sociopaths. This started happening after directors and writers made clowns scary in their movies. Yes, they ruined clowns too! We saw this on the 1990 film, IT. In this movie, and the ones that followed, our perspective of clowns changed, and now, people associate them with serial killers and demonic assassins. Nevertheless, chilling stories of tragic childhoods seem to be on the rise, and they have resulted in psychological thrillers and horror films that will keep you up at night. Here are some of them.
Village of the Damned (1995) Dir. John Carpenter
Based on John Wyndham’s novel, The Midwich Cuckoos, this movie takes place in California, where all the women of Midwich town black out one day and, months later, find out they are all pregnant. These 10 mothers give birth on the same day to 10 babies, five boys and five girls, one girl a stillborn. Everyone is shocked by the event, but things get weirder when their children grow up and people notice their uncanny resemblance. On top of that, the children have telekinetic powers and are not afraid of killing those who bother them. The issues grow bigger when the federal government starts taking action against them.
The Good Son (1993) Dir. Joseph Ruben
This is one of several psychological thrillers revolving around a psychopathic child. The film was based on the novel with same name written by Joseph Ruben, and the story follows the life of Mark, a 12-year-old boy who has just lost his mom. During school break, Mark is taken to spend the winter at his uncle and aunt’s house, where he bonds with his cousin Henry, who is the same age. But Mark starts noticing a chain of odd behaviors from Henry, where he engages in violent activities, his lack of emotions, and a growing thirst for blood. The ending of this suspenseful thriller will leave you shocked.
Halloween (2007) Dir. Rob Zombie
This movie is a remake of the original Halloween (1978), and it focuses on the origins of Michael Myers, who has escaped from prison. In this film, the director is trying to tell us what drove Myers to turn into the serial killer of Halloween nights. The plot takes place in Illinois, where the 10-year-old Myers is starting to show signs of anger and violence. It all starts with a very graphic scene where he kills a hated bully with a shovel. After that, he moves on to kill his older sister, then, her boyfriend, and finally, his own dad. The realistic scenes and the young actor’s interpretation of the character are amazing.
We Need to Talk about Kevin (2011) Dir. Lynne Ramsay
This film gets into a more serious topic, while the psychological thriller shows the friction between a mother and her son’s odd behavior. The story unfolds around the perspective of Eva, a wife, and mother to Kevin, who at a very young age showed a distance and disturbing attitude towards socializing. The movie moves backward and forward as Eva is trying to link the events that led to the tragedy and crime that put her son behind bars: he committed a massacre at his high school. This is an interesting movie that will catch your eye from the very beginning.
Sinister 2 (2015) Dir. Ciaran Foy
A terrifying supernatural movie where a demonic ghost persuades kids to commit bloody acts of murder in their own family, while at the same time, they must capture their suffering in some sort of artistic medium, or else the demon will get angry –if that sounded confusing, it's because the plot is very complex. The movie is a sequel to Sinister (2012), and it begins with a mother who is running away from her abusive partner, the father of her two sons. The demon is trying to convince one of the two children to murder his entire family, but he refuses to. Then, the other brother agrees to kill his family (including his other brother), and a chain of events is unleashed where the child ends up going after his family members. This movie is not suitable for the faint of heart.
Pet Sematary (1989) Dir. Mary Lambert
This low-budget horror film was inspired by Stephen King’s novel with the same name. The Creed family moves to Chicago, where they are warned about a pet cemetery that is believed to be an evil place that brings bad luck to people. A set of events takes place, in which their baby son is run over by a truck. One thing leads to another, and they soon find themselves being chased and murdered by their zombie baby. The scenes of this movie are very frightening, and if you hate those images of really young kids as monsters, this movie might not be the right one for you.
The Ring (2002) Dir. Gore Verbinski et al.
We couldn’t leave without mentioning the tragic childhood of Samara, or Sadako Yamamura, the fictitious ghost girl who was violently murdered and thrown down a well after her evil powers had caused many tragedies in her village, including the killing of some farm animals. As a ghost, she uses her ability to curse a video tape that kills those who watch it after a period of seven days. The supernatural horror film is a remake of a Japanese horror movie, which was based on a novel with the same name by Koji Suzuki.
Whether it's a psychological thriller or a horror film, these traumatic childhoods are the worst scenarios out there. They're meant to scare viewers, appeal to deep-seated fears, and inspire the worst nightmares. For these reasons, kids in scary movies sell so well. They are a key element directors were looking for in order to frighten the audience. But I believe it is dying; there are just too many films with scary kids out there, and it's getting old. I believe it will shift towards another sweet figure that directors will turn into something horrifying, like nuns, or something. Whatever it is, we should be thankful that our paths didn't go the same way these children's did.
More lists of movies with an intriguing factor: