Horror movies have always been a favorite of mine. I remember watching black and white versions of Dracula on TNT with my Memaw as a child, and sneaking with my friends to watch Freddy Krueger terrorize the children of Elm Street. This time of year I break out the horror movies and have myself a little marathon.
And while I still watch Freddy Krueger in awe, scold the promiscuous camp counselors at Camp Crystal Lake as Jason lurks in the woods, and yell at Sidney and her crew of catch-phrase spewing friends in "Scream," there are just some horror movies I cannot watch alone. At least not when the sun goes down. It's the ones with the creepy little kids. Those freak me out the very most, even more now that I have a little kid living in my house.
So in honor of my favorite holiday and favorite genre of movies, I bring you the top 10 creepiest kids in horror movies. If you haven't seen these, make sure you queue them on Netflix, cause scary as they are, you just can't miss them.
10. Child's Play: The story of a doll that is inhabited by the soul of a serial killer, this movie scared my sister so much she slept with my parents until she was 10. I may or may not have allowed her to watch it when she was about 6, but whatever. I was trying to toughen her up. The serial killer doll is named Chucky, but he strongly resembled dolls super popular when I was little called My Buddy. They both talked, they were both larger than average dolls and they were both scary as all get out. The main difference? My Buddy dolls didn't typically try to kill you or walk around spouting swear words and holding knives with their faces covered in blood. I know Chucky isn't technically a child, but he is a doll mirrored to look like a very unfortunate little boy, so it totally counts. Like any good campy horror movie, there are several sequels, including "The Bride of Chucky." I totally have that if you want to borrow it.
9. The Good Son: Fresh off the heels of playing a precocious little scamp in "Home Alone," Macaulay Culkin turns into a 12-year-old psycho. He kills a baby, tries to kill a kindergartener and does creepy things like throw mannequins off overpasses, smokes cigarettes and wears weird masks. He also implies that he will kill his mother. The Eric Cartman of horror movie kids, it's even creepier since this is the freaking Home Alone kid. He ends up dying, which is probably for the best. Don't judge me for saying that. Like you'd want this kid coming over for a play date.
8. The Ring: I don't know why kids have to be so scary. Even the ghosts of kids are always super scary, especially when they can stretch their mouths to unnatural widths and crawl all spider-like out of wells and junk. This movie freaking me out a lot. In fact, my mother - attempting to be funny, I'm sure - called my house hours after I watched it to say "seven days" in a little kid's voice. Not cool, mom. The deal is if you watch a video you will die. Whatever. The worst part is when the creepy little girl named Samara, who is clearly dead, crawls out of a well and through the television. Seriously? I didn't sleep for days.
7. Poltergeist: A bunch of angry ghosts inhabit a family's home and then kidnap their towheaded daughter Carol Anne. But the ghosts aren't nearly as creepy as Carol Anne. Well, the preacher ghost is pretty gnarly, but Carol Anne takes the cake. She is weirdly pale and blonde, like a little Aryan princess from Hell. I kind of wanted the ghosts to keep her, and then we wouldn't have had a bunch more Poltergeist movies. PLUS, this movie has all the spooky lore surrounding it. The girl who played Carol Anne died super young, and then all the actors died. Well not all of them, but a lot of them, which just adds to the creepy factor. But it's really bad when you root for the bad ghosts over the sweet little kid.
6. Village of the Damned: Of course there's been a remake, but the original one from the 60s is still the creepiest. An English village of children so fair they would have made Hitler proud are all conceived when a plane crashes. I know, it makes no sense, it's a horror movie - it doesn't have to. These kids read minds and force people to do things against their will, including kill themselves and wreck their cars. Also, their eyes glow like they've been eating glow sticks. Super creepy - even creepier in black and white. You don't always need mega special effects to make you weep with fear.
5. The Bad Seed: Old and in black and white, the girl in this movie, her name is Rhonda, which makes me giggle for some reason, is totally insane. Like Pollyanna on crack, she rampages around, drowning a classmate after beating her in the head with her tap shoes, for winning a penmanship medal, and setting a janitor on fire. Turns out Rhonda was adopted and is the daughter of a serial killer. She probably has her father's dead shark eyes. I know everyone's into adoption, but I would think twice after watching this movie.
4. Children of the Corn: A young couple goes on a trip to save their failing marriage and after some shenanigans end up in their ghost town in Nebraska. Well, a ghost town except for a group of super scary religious children who kidnap the woman, kill her, cut out her eyes and stuff her mouth full of corn husks. What the what? They apparently sacrifice everyone once they are 19 to please a God called He Who Walks Behind the Rows in order to keep the corn pleased. It doesn't have to make sense to be scary, people. Just take one look at the group's creepy ginger leader Malachi and that's enough to scare the pants off of you.
3. The Exorcist: This movie gives me nightmares every time I watch it. Call it Catholic guilt, but a little girl who gets possessed by the devil, levitates, mimics a priests dead mom, does awful things with a crucifix and can make her head turn all the way around is too scary for words. I went to see it at the theater when it was re-released with extra footage. Bad idea. One scene where she crab walks down the stairs with her devil face on - it changed my life forever - and not in a good way. I wouldn't suggest watching this alone. Seriously. Or with the lights out. If you do, don't say I didn't warn you.
2. The Shining: There are three kids in this movie that are horrible beyond all words. One is supposed to be the hero; the other two are scary dead twin girls. Danny and his family go up on a Colorado mountain to mind a hotel that is closed for the season. Daddy goes insane and tries to kill everyone. Danny can see things from both the past and the future so he gets to see all the ghosts of the dead people that were murdered in the hotel, including the little twin girls who were axed to death by their dad. When those girls stop Danny while he's riding his tricycle in the hallways and say "come play with us, Danny," close your eyes. It's about to be a bloody bad time. Danny has an imaginary friend named Tony who speaks through his finger, screaming REDRUM (murder, spelled backwards) all the time, which doesn't help ones nerves when watching this movie. After the first time I saw it, my mother snuck in my bathroom and wrote that on my mirror in red lipstick. I may or may not have cried.
1. Pet Sematary: My parents thought it would be a good idea to take me when I was in middle school to see this movie at the theater. I didn't sleep for three days. The story is that of a family that moves to a house that has an Indian burial ground not far behind it and a wise, but troublemaking neighbor who stirs everything up. But he gets his in the end after the couple's 2-year-old son Gage gets hit by a truck, then reburied in the cursed ground, despite busybody neighbor's warning that "sometimes dead is betta,'" comes after him and kills him. Then kills his mother. Gage's mother, not the neighbor's. Then tries to kill his father before his daddy kills him. Again. But not before Gage makes a phone call, and in that little baby voice says to his father "I played with Jed and with Mommy and now I want to play with yooouuuuu." To give you an idea how scary this movie really is, I have never watched it again. And the morning after I saw it I was cutting through our backyard to get to the bus stop when a cat jumped out of the bushes. I was so scared I wet my pants. Don't you judge me!