Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Top Ten Reasons to Practice Effective Birth Control

Hey yo. Whitney here, from Dear Jesus.

Children are horrific. We all know that. They come at you with their sticky little jam hands, straight for your hair, snot running down their nose, demonic grins on their faces...those kids is crazy.
In honor, respect, and tribute to these little darlings, I have compiled a Tuesday Top Ten featuring the scariest, most memorably terrifying children. 

10. Interview with the Vampire (Neil Jordan, 1994)
Though on the surface she's calm and sweet, Claudia (Kirsten Dunst) is like most children: a blood-sucking, attention hogging, ancient woman in a 12-year-old body. 

9. The Ring (Gore Verbinski, 2002) 
Yes, this one has been done to death. We are all familiar with the hair-in-their-face Japanese inspired horror figures shot in cold, saturated colors, but remember the first time you saw Samara (Daveigh Chase) climb out of the television?
8. Deliverance (John Boorman, 1972) 
Not a central character, does nothing truly harmful, but this banjo boy traumatized me with his tiny eyes and buzzed head. Hoyt Pollard never appeared in anything else, but somewhere he's out there, lurking, banjo in hand, ready to strike up a tune...

7. The Brood (David Cronenberg, 1979)
One of my favorite Cronenberg movies, these little creatures - born from wombs attached to the outside of their mother's body - are mindless, emotionless, super-strong killing machines. They will stop at nothing, including the slaughter of grandma and grandpa!

6. Night of the Living Dead (George Romero, 1968)
There's nothing scarier than a zombie child with a sharp spade. Except maybe...

5. The Orphanage (Juan Antonio Bayona, 2007)
....orphan ghosts! After seeing this movie, the mere hint of a wheezy breath had me pulling the sheets up over my head. Orphans are no joke. Especially when they're dead orphans in scary masks.

4. Village of the Damned (Wolf Rilla, 1960)
Here is a classic example of the potential of children as horror figures. It is impossible to sociologically judge this group of children/alien hosts. What is their purpose? How is it that they are all connected? Why can't we understand them? Their thoughts and feelings are completely off limits to us and they become a terrifying force.

3. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
I think it's incredible that someone like Linda Blair can play a role like this and then turn out (relatively) normal. Yes she keeps horses and chickens in her house, but she's also received death threats because she's a scary demon child!

2. The Omen (Richard Donner, 1976)
Damien, oh Damien. You are the reason I will never have children! Because there's a good chance my real baby will die and they'll replace him with the devil's seed. It's strange, without this movie Harvey Stephens would have been a pretty adorable child. Now he's forever Satan's spawn. 

1. Rosemary's Baby (Roman Polanski, 1968)
My favorite horror film - possibly my favorite film - of all time. Though we never see this horrific child, the implication of what the child may be is much scarier. Rosemary's propensity for raw meat and Ruth Gordon's unnatural friendliness make this fetus and subsequent mystery infant the scariest of all of horror's children.
Keep in mind that my film knowledge is not complete or even extensive. For example, I have yet to see these classic horrific children films: Children of the Corn and The Bad Seed and The Twilight Zone. Still, I think this list is a pretty good starting point for those who share my aversion to these mini-versions of adults.

18 comments:

Transvestitia Transvestitenstein said...

i have to add the little girl coming out of a mechanic womb at the end of demon seed, saying "I'm alive!" with a male roboter voice...................


waaaaaaaaaah!

Anonymous said...

I think "The Bad Seed" is a classic. And The Village of the Damned kids. Also Lock, Shock and Barrel from the Nightmare Before Christmas.

eric said...

Claudia is an amazing character. Kirsten Dunst should have been Oscar nominated. THE RING still scares the bejeezus out of me, as does THE EXORCIST. I have got to see THE ORPHANAGE now.

Might I add THE INNOCENTS with Deborah Kerr? I think Henry James pretty much invented the creepy children genre with that story.

NATHANIEL R said...

The Boyfriend (mine not yours) will love you for this post. But will The Boyfriend (yours not mine) feel the same? Do mini-adults scare him too?

JS said...

What about the "baby" from Eraserhead?

henry said...

That scene from The Ring just freaked me out for days on end.

whitney said...

Nathaniel - my boyfriend is pretty supportive of all my horror children watching, but sometimes I have to watch movies like Juice. So I think we're even.

js - I forgot about that thing! Perfect!

Kamikaze Camel said...

I think if I had a child that the naffwit in Cabin Fever I'd put him up for adoption. What a stupid character. Pancakes, indeed.

What about Spritle from Speed Racer?

Notluke said...

Good list. Funnily enough, yesterday I saw Night of the Living Dead for the first time. And while it instantly hopped on number one spot on my List Of The Most Overrated Films Ever, I have to agree the scene with the girl at the end was INTENSE. At this point nothing could have made up for plot holes, terrible acting, clueless editing and near-total lack of scares that preceded it -- but that was one of two moments in the movie when I could understand the cult Romero's flick garnered over the years. I was hoping you'd include it when I read the title of the blog post.

Glenn said...

Zombie children are so cliche.

Emma said...

Slightly unpopular opinion, but Isabel in The Spirit of the Beehive peeved me off no end, especially how she kept playing pranks on her adorable little sister.

Kind of like how I treat my younger brother, but oh well!

elgringo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
elgringo said...

First of all, Whitney, you've never seen Juice. I know this because I've never shown you Juice and you'd never watch it on your own. Second, Tupac Shakur went to high school with Jada Pinkett Smith, so now I dare you to question his acting talent. Oh, did I also mention that it was a high school for THE ARTS? I rest my case. Juice rules.

Lock, Shock, and Barrel would be on my list. Can't believe neither of us thought of them, they're the best part of that movie.

Rizz said...

against this post...Three words Children of men!!!

whitney said...

notluke - I think the Romero movie has achieved fame more through circumstance and political motivation and not necessarily through how well-made it is (which, you're right, it really isn't).

emma - I haven't seen Spirit of the Beehive yet (unfortunately) but I was thinking about Wayne from the Wonder Years being terrifying for the same reasons! Then I decided not to include TV shows...

Scott - I go by covers. don't embarrass me when I'm guest blogging!

Matthew William Tice said...

That banjo kid was definitely in another movie, in fact, playing the same part. In "Big Fish", he is the first person Edward Bloom encounters in the town of Spectre, Alabama. And the buzzed head and small eyes never went away. Filthy.

TheSharp said...

Dude, you forgot Gage in Pet Sematary. Whats the deal?

BelleZeBub said...

What about the twins from The Shining? And the boy from The Devil's Backbone? Or that creepy-ass troll doll from Full House?