Scary movie with little girl

Table of Contents

The Ring

There’s something exquisitely dreadful about scary little kids. Children aren’t supposed to be vicious killers—but they’re also not supposed to die young and lurch back from the grave with a vengeance. Horror movies, of course, can’t get enough of ’em. Here are 50 terrifying tykes that make us grateful that we didn’t spawn.

50) Jump-Rope Girls, A Nightmare on Elm Street

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The jump-roping girls who sing the world’s scariest nursery rhyme (“One, two, Freddy’s coming for you…”) are presumably victims of the Elm Street maniac. They never do much of anything other than appear in ghostly slo-mo. But they’re like an early Freddy warning system: anytime they show up, ol’ razor-fingers is never far behind.

49) Dennis, Cabin Fever

“PANCAKES!!!” The best weird scene in this movie. Maybe the best weird scene in any movie.

48) Jumby, The Unborn

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David S. Goyer took a break from Batman and Blade to direct this tale of a woman (Odette Annable) who is haunted by an evil spirit that takes the form of her long-dead twin brother. Ergo, a glaring, corpse-like tyke appears at regular intervals—including on the movie poster, which is conveniently set in a bathroom so Annable has an excuse to be underwear-clad.

47) Lilith, Case 39

Renée Zellweger plays a Child Protective Services social worker who rescues a 10-year-old girl from what appears to be abusive parents… or so she thinks. In fact, the kid is a demonic Succubus whose talents include making Bradley Cooper vomit up swarms of hornets.

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46) Brahms, The Boy

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It’s a doll! It’s a possessed doll! It’s a doll that comes alive? You might guess the twist in The Boy long before it’s revealed, but this movie, which takes place in a cavernous old house for good measure, offers a one-two punch that preys on fears of lifelike dolls and evil children.

45) Youth Gang, Eden Lake

Vacation tip: if you decide to go camping in an isolated wilderness, make sure there’s not a torture-crazed gang of teenage baddies lurking about, poised to prevent you from making it home in one piece.

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44) Samantha, Stir of Echoes

Kevin Bacon’s character, a regular workin’ man named Tom, is blessed with an unusually intuitive young son—but the real spooky kid is a tormented teenage girl who suddenly begins popping up in Tom’s nightmares. The whole “ghost looking for justice so it can rest in peace” storyline has been done dozens of times, but Bacon makes everything better.

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43) Dark Alessa, Silent Hill

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Everything in the town of Silent Hill is spooky. But the little girls are extra-spooky.

42) Esther, Orphan

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Well, we couldn’t very well make this list without this little lady, despite that incredible last-act reveal.

41) Laddie, The Lost Boys

Granted, most of the vampires in this movie are rad dudes with mullets, but who could forget half-vampire Laddie, the junior member of the crew?

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“It’s the attack of Eddie Munster!”

40) Virginia, Spider Baby

Jack Hill’s morbid comedy imparts the strange story of a family with some very particular eating habits, as well as an odd disease that makes them act much younger than their apparent ages.

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Jill Banner was 18 when she played the title character, arachnid-obsessed Virginia. An essential cult movie.

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39) The Children, The Children

Just look at that movie title. (And its tagline: “You brought them into this world… now, they will take you out.”) This is a film that’s deeply committed to the theme we’ve got going on here. It’s also a cautionary tale about why you shouldn’t pack a bunch of kids into a house in the middle of nowhere over the snowy holidays, because one of ’em is liable to start spreading an illness around that turns shorties into bloodthirsty maniacs.

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38) Kevin, We Need to Talk About Kevin

Tilda Swinton gives an agonizingly great performance as the guilt-ridden mother of a kid who’s born bad and grows up to commit mass murder at his high school. Ezra Miller is chilling as the teenage psychopath, but the actors who play Kevin’s younger incarnations are also scary as hell. Even jaded horror fans might find it hard to sleep after watching this disturbing film.

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37) Victoria and Lilly, Mama

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When a pair of long-missing sisters is found living in the woods, their uncle and his girlfriend take them in, not realizing the feral girls will be bringing their supernatural protector with them. “Mama” is the main scare-giver here, but the kids (particularly the younger girl) serve up plenty of unease, too.

36) Alice, Alice Sweet Alice

This early entry into the slasher genre features the film debut of Brooke Shields—but don’t get too attached to her character, because she dies early after being attacked by an unseen assailant. Did her 12-year-old sister Alice do it?

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Or is there some other killer running about, clad in that horrific raincoat ‘n’ mask combo?

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35) Dalton, Insidious

The foreboding poster says a lot… though, technically, this poor kid spends most of the movie in a coma-like state as his mind roams the spirit world.

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34) Bughuul’s Little Helpers, Sinister

It takes Ethan Hawke the entire movie to figure out exactly who’s acting on behalf of that pagan demon that keeps popping up in everyone’s home movies, but we’ll just ask you this: have you checked the children?

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33) Eli, Let the Right One In

Maybe the most sympathetic child vampire in all of cinema, but a vampire nonetheless.

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32) The Brood, The Brood

This is one of David Cronenberg’s most shocking, disturbing films—which is really saying something. It might be a stretch to call the creatures in this movie “children,” but whatever they are, they emerge out of Samantha Eggar’s body, and they are absolute missiles of rage.

31) Mutant Baby, It’s Alive

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From the mind of B-movie master Larry Cohen came this sordid tale of a mutant baby—thanks, shady pharmaceutical company—that’s born ready to kill anything that gets in its way. Followed by two progressively sillier sequels, It Lives Again and It’s Alive 3: Island of the Alive.

30) Joshua, Joshua

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29) Charlie, Firestarter

She’s not evil, per se, but she’s extremely spooky. And you definitely don’t want to make her angry.

28) Sam, The Babadook

The child in this movie isn’t technically the monster—he’s a different kind of menace entirely.

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Though his brattiness (and how it affects his struggling mother) is an intentional, integral part of what The Babadook is all about, it’s still very, very, very difficult to watch.

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27) Ghost Girl, Kill Baby… Kill!

Even Italian horror master Mario Bava made a movie with a spooky kid in it.

26) Tiny Terrors, Them

No, not the Them! with the giant ants in it. This Them, a stripped-down suspense thriller, hails from France but is set in a remote part of Romania where a young couple comes under attack one night. Who could possibly be skulking around, making prank calls, messing with their cars, and generally causing bumps in the night? HINT: think small.

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25) Su-mi and Su-yeon, A Tale of Two Sisters

A teenage girl is discharged from a mental hospital and into the care of her deliriously dysfunctional family, which includes her beloved younger sister and her hated stepmother. It’s not always obvious what’s really real and what’s actually happening in the main character’s imagination, which makes Kim Jee-woon’s lush, gory film a gleefully mind-warping treat.

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24) Emily and Jack, Home Movie

As the title suggests, this is a “found footage” exercise about a rural New York state family with 10-year-old twins who start acting out in violent, distressing ways. Naturally, the camera never stops rolling.

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23) Santi, The Devil’s Backbone

Made before Guillermo del Toro became a household name with Hellboy and Pan’s Labyrinth, this Pedro Almodóvar-produced indie is set at an orphanage during the Spanish Civil War.

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A haunted orphanage, naturally, that’s chock-full of dark secrets.

22) Baby Sadists, Devil Times Five

Before he found fame as a teen dream, Leif Garrett starred in this nutty movie about a gang of crazy kids who survive a van accident and promptly begin terrorizing the inhabitants of a nearby ski lodge. One of them is Sorrell Booke, before he found fame as Boss Hogg on The Dukes of Hazzard.

“If you take them in, YOU’LL be taken in!” …by little ragamuffins who’re likely to pull some nasty pranks, like dumping your piranha collection into the bathtub while someone’s using it.

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21) Jason, Friday the 13th

You thought the movie was over.

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You thought wrong.

20) Karen, Night of the Living Dead

A group of strangers gathers in a farmhouse during a zombie outbreak, not realizing that there’s already an almost-zombie in their midst: 11-year-old Karen, hiding in the basement with her parents. Of course, once she goes full zombie, she makes short work of Mom and Dad. Fun fact: child actor Kyra Schon was the real daughter of Karl Hardman, who played her father onscreen.

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19) Carol Anne, Poltergeist

Carol Anne Freeling’s innocently chipper delivery of “They’re heeeere!”—heralding the arrival of angry supernatural beings eager to kidnap her into their midst—is almost as spooky as her big brother’s clown doll.

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18) Tomás, The Orphanage

As with many films on this list, a grown-up character is the true villain in The Orphanage. That said, this pint-sized lost soul is completely terrifying every time he appears.

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17) High-Rise Hooligans, Citadel

A gang of hoodie-wearing kids terrorizes the few remaining residents of a broken-down apartment complex, including a pregnant woman and her husband. When the wife dies as a result of a horrific attack, her grieving widower does his best to protect their infant daughter from a menace that might not be entirely human. Irish director Ciaran Foy made such an impression with his skin-crawlingly effective debut that he was hired to direct Sinister 2.

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16) Michael, Halloween

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“I met this 6-year-old child with his blank, pale, emotionless face, and the blackest eyes—the Devil’s eyes. I spent eight years trying to reach him, and then another seven trying to keep him locked up, because I realized that what was living behind that boy’s eyes was purely and simply… evil.”

15) Mercy and Jonas, The Witch

There’s an evil, baby-stealing witch lurking in the woods. A pity she didn’t also snatch up the main character’s screechy, manipulative twin siblings.

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What seems like annoying kid stuff gets deadly serious once it’s established that the family farm is home to a most unusual goat. What has Black Phillip been whispering to the children? Nothing good.

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14) Alpine Assassin, Phenomena

Dario Argento’s cult horror film is noted for casting a Labyrinth-era Jennifer Connelly as its lead, as well as for using Iron Maiden and Motorhead on the soundtrack (in addition to Argento’s usual synth-music suspects Goblin). It also features memorable turns by Halloween’s Donald Pleasence and “Tanga” as “Inga,” his character’s chimpanzee assistant. Oh, and also a hideously disfigured serial killer. Can you guess what age group he’s in?

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13) Henry, The Good Son

It’s Elijah Wood versus Macauley Culkin in a battle of the early-1990s kid stars! When the movie came out in 1993, it was just one year post-Home Alone 2, and audiences were startled to see lovable scamp Kevin McCallister cast as a psychopath so beyond redemption that his own mother drops him off a cliff at the end. (As it happens, Culkin’s famously overbearing stage dad was the reason he was cast; it was a condition of his agreeing to allow his son to do the Home Alone sequel in the first place.)

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12) Gage, Pet Sematary

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And thaaaaat’s why you don’t bury your dead toddler in a cursed cemetery.

11) The Baby, Rosemary’s Baby

Satan’s son is so scary we don’t even get a look at him. We just get Rosemary’s reaction to seeing the infant she gave birth to for the first time. The sudden musical cue, combined with Mia Farrow’s palpable horror, is just perfect.

“GOD IS DEAD, SATAN LIVES!”

10) Platinum Mafia, Village of the Damned

There have been multiple cinematic versions of this tale, but—apologies to John Carpenter—the classic take is the 1960 version.

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It’s set in a British town that experiences a baby boom after a mysterious incident in which the entire population loses consciousness. The freaky-eyed offspring are, of course, not of natural origin, and it’s soon apparent they can read minds and control them, too. Diabolically.

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9) Kiddie Cultists, Children of the Corn

Multiple Stephen King-derived films are on this list; the dude just loves to write about scary kids. But Nebraska’s sacrifice-happy, youthful cult of “He Who Walks Behind the Rows” is a particularly chilling creation.

Fun fact: diminutive actor John Franklin, who also played Cousin Itt in The Addams Family movies, was actually in his mid-20s when he played preacher Isaac. He later retired from show biz and is now a high-school teacher.

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8) Damien, The Omen

The toddler Antichrist barely has any dialogue in the movie, but oooooh that stare is heavy.

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“It’s all for you, Damien!”

7) Cole, The Sixth Sense

“I see dead people!”

Child actor Haley Joel Osment and writer-director M. Night Shyamalan both got Oscar nominations—but only one of the two formed an unbreakable addition to twist endings. Like a few tots on this list, Haley’s character isn’t evil, but you still would not want to babysit him.

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6) Toshio, Ju-On/The Grudge

Takashi Shimizu directed both the Japanese original and the American remake (as well as each film’s first sequel), and both take place in Japan. So there’s some continuity with the series’ vengeful supernatural entities, including ghostly little Toshio, who died young and is mad as hell about it. Here he is with A+ crazy eyes in the 2002 original:

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MEOW!

5) Sadako and Samara, Ringu/The Ring

Another J-horror film that enjoyed a successful do-over aimed at American audiences (I can’t wait for the crossover film that’ll pit The Grudge against The Ring; check out the trailer here). But while Toshi has back-up from his equally spooky mother, The Ring’s nightmares spiral from one little inky-haired girl, who victimizes anyone who watches a certain cursed videotape. Sadako was re-named Samara for the stateside remake…

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…but let’s face it, she’s terrifying in any language.

4) Wee Mob, Who Can Kill a Child?

In this gleefully nasty Spanish oddity, a man and his pregnant wife are on vacation, sailing around, when they encounter an island filled with children. Malevolent children, who can pass their bloodthirsty urges to any other child simply by looking at them. This includes looking at babies that haven’t been born yet, which ends up being just as awful as it sounds. Bonus points for having one of the most shamelessly provocative movie titles of all time.

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3) The Grady Twins, The Shining

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Forever and ever and ever.

2) Regan, The Exorcist

Yes, Pazuzu is freaky, with the pea soup and the crucifix misappropriation and whatnot. But one of the scariest scenes in the whole movie takes place when Regan is just beginning to transform into something… not herself. It’s during her mother’s dinner party, when the nightgown-clad girl wanders into the room and delivers a very dark message to the astronaut in the group.

And then she pees on the carpet, which makes it a thousand times more intense.

1) Rhoda, The Bad Seed

Rhoda Penmark looks just like a little angel, and she always gets what she wants. When she doesn’t, she makes short work of anyone who gets in her way.

Patty McCormack originated the role of Rhonda on Broadway, and was Oscar-nominated for her performance in the film. The movie is six decades old, but Rhoda—without benefit of any supernatural powers, and never seen with a hair out of place—is just as scary today as she was in 1956.

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Looking for some great horror movies to watch to get you in the mood for Halloween this year? Well, with Halloween just around the corner, we’ve collated the top 10, absolute best horror movies that make us lock our doors and stay under the covers…

From 1970s horror to present-day satire, horror movies have always been a mainstay on our television screens. There’s just something intrinsically exciting about being in a dark room, watching horror movies with a primary aim of getting you jumping at your own reflection in the mirror.

Why are we so in love with being scared? Maybe it’s the best way to cuddle up to the person next to you, as you pretend to be afraid, or maybe we just like to think we know better when we see scream queens of old battling a serial killer and wondering, ‘Why Don’t You Just Go Out The Front Door?!’

Either way, horror movies are classics, and with Halloween just around the corner (these Halloween costume ideas should give you some steer on what to go as this year), we’ve rounded up the scariest movies of all time for your viewing pleasure.

Poltergeist (1982)

‘They’re here.’

Better known as the film that taught you not to sit in front of the telly, Poltergeist is the quintessential haunted house film, except instead of a creepy old mansion, the house is in suburban California. Pretty much every scary movie trope is in this film: Creepy child? Check. Evil beings in the closet? Check. Haunted burial grounds? Check, check and check. The fact that so many clichés are present in the 1982 film does nothing to lessen the horrible feeling you get when little Carol Anne turns her head to announce, ‘They’re heeeeeere.’ Who ‘they’ are causes much concern for her confused parents and as the house slowly comes to life, we can’t help but wonder whether we should look to relocate as well…

It (1990)


‘Aren’t cha gonna say…hello?’

You know how we all have that inexplicable fear of clowns? Well we’re almost 99.99% sure that it’s down to this 90s horror. As Tim Curry sports some pretty out there red hair, he plays every kid’s worst nightmare: a clown that’s only goal in life is to kill children. Yikes. Based on the Stephen King’s novel, Pennywise The Dancing Clown torments and scares a group of boys from childhood to adulthood, until they can come up with a way to kill him once and for all. Guaranteed to have you cancelling on your nephew’s birthday party.

Psycho (1960)

‘A boy’s best friend is his mother.‘

Not only a scary movie classic, Psycho – by the great Alfred Hitchcock – is also considered one of the best movies of all time. Featuring an infamous first act where Janet Leigh’s character (Jamie Lee Curtis’ mum, just FYI) gets unceremoniously killed off in a motel’s shower, the movie takes an unexpected detour as we learn more and more about the deluded mind of serial killer Norman Bates and his frankly, odd relationship with his mother. Stay until the last scene folks – it’s a doozy.

Paranormal Activity (1970)

‘It was over our bed.’

Paranormal Activity was the surprise hit of Halloween 2007, as filmgoers flocked to see ‘found footage’ of a couple being terrorised by an unseen entity. With a budget of only $15,000 and starring two unknown actors, audiences were convinced that the couple, Katie and Micah, really did film themselves being haunted by a demon. Though it was quickly revealed to be a marketing stunt, the oh-so-real look of the movies combined with the hypnotic rhythm of watching sped up footage and waiting for the next big scare is just as compelling as ever. Even in 2015, the story of Paranormal Activity continues with the sixth and final installment coming out this Halloween.

Scream (1996)

‘What’s your favourite scary movie?’

A 90s classic, Scream loved scary movies so much, it decided to make fun of them. Featuring a cast who knew they were in a serial killer film – ‘No, please don’t kill me, Mr. Ghostface, I wanna be in the sequel! – the film did a killer (sorry) job of mixing comedy with horror, as audiences cowered behind their hands, while laughing at the jokes right after. Directed by the incomparable Wes Craven (who also created the Halloween classic Nightmare On Elm Street), it’s sad to know that even with four Scream films in the series, we’ll never get another as perfect and self-aware as the original.

The Exorcist (1973)

‘What an excellent day for an exorcism.’

The oldest of the horror movies on this list, The Exorcist, released in 1973, is not for the faint of heart. The film tells the tale of a demonic possession of a 12-year-old girl and the subsequent attempts to free her by an exorcism. Based on the novel of the same name, the movie is notable for including many-a-scene that are NSFW, including: a little girl cursing like a sailor, inappropriate use of a crucifix and scenes so gruesome that they could make you vomit. Nevertheless, The Exorcist is a horror classic and if you can get through it, you can get through any scary movie. Just watch it with the lights on…

The Shining (1980)

‘Redrum. Redrum. Redrum…’

Based on another Stephen King novel (he really does have a strange mind, that one), the film version of The Shining is probably better known, due to its slick and eerie direction by the late Stanley Kubrick. Going for more psychological horror than all-out scares, the film digs deep into the psyche of husband and father Jack Torrance, as we slowly watch his sanity slip away at the foreboding Overlook Hotel. As other characters populate the hotel over the course of his stay, we’re forced to ask ourselves: is Jack being manipulated by supernatural forces or was he always crazy enough to kill? With no clear answers, this film is will have you sleeping with one eye open…

The Blair Witch Project (1999)

The Blair Witch Project is a bastion of 90s cinema and the horror movies genre and at the time was utterly pioneering in terms of its production, cinematic style and the marketing campaign that launched alongside it. Set in a Maryland forest, the movie follows three film students who go to make a documentary about a local (and utterly horrifying) legend the Blair Witch who according to folklore possessed a man nearly half a century earlier to commit a number of child murders. After setting off to uncover the truth about the legend, the three friends soon get lost and all horror ensues. Despite the audience never seeing the Blair Witch, the shaky cam format of the film which is filmed by the actors themselves makes it all the more frightening and to add to the suspense, when the film was initially launched it was marketed as real ‘found footage’ too with the cast members – who in the film, supposedly don’t survive the ordeal – unavailable for interview. Creepy!

The Ring (2002)

A remake of a Japanese horror of the same name, The Ring is probably most famous not for the brilliant portrayal by Naomi Watts of a woman trying desperately to get the bottom of a curse that is set to destroy her whole family – but rather of the horrifying image of a bedraggled corpse exiting the TV screen and crawling across the floor. Jumpy and at times really properly scary, this is a bit of a modern classic for many lovers of horror, already.

Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

And last but by no means least, what definitive list of the ultimate and best horror movies would be complete without Rosemary’s Baby? Answer: None. Directed by Roman Polanski, Rosemary’s Baby is a seminal movie of the genre whereby Mia Farrow gives birth to the spawn of Satan with her help of her vile husband and two of the worst/scariest next-door neighbours you’ve ever encountered. Full of suspense and truly, truly creepy goings-on, despite being nearly 50 years old it has lost none of its potency as a truly terrifying horror movie and is still a must-watch for fans of the horror genre.

Happy Halloween, folks!

The Movie ‘Orphan’ Seems To Have Inspired This Real Life Attempted Murder

There’s a reason I don’t watch horror movies – that crap gives me nightmares.

There is nothing fun or pleasant about watching a possessed doll slowly kill-off a suburban family, or a creepy arse clown torment a group of young kids.

Nope, no, never, NO THANK YOU.

lol NO. Source: Giphy

But one thing is worse than horror movies – real life horrors.

If I close my eyes and whisper “it’s not real” enough times after watching a movie, I can get some sleep. But you can’t do that with, well, reality.

The latest in real life things that keep me up at night: this story about an adopted 6-year-old girl who turned out to be a 22-year-old with dwarfism.

Kristine Barnett and her ex-husband Michael Barnett adopted Ukrainian-born Natalia Grace and loved her as their own child.

“I always wanted to have a larger family and I had very severe complications in my pregnancies and was unable to have more children,’ Kristine explained to the Daily Mail.

“I also at that time had a very privileged life. I felt that if I had the ability to help another person in the world then I wanted to do it.”

But over the next year, Kristine said Natalia’s behaviour went from odd to straight-up disturbing.

“She would make statements and draw pictures saying she wanted to kill family members, roll them up in a blanket and put them in the backyard,” Kristine told the publication.

“She was jumping out of moving cars. She was smearing blood on mirrors. She was doing things you could never imagine a little child doing. I saw her putting chemicals, bleach, Windex something like that, in my coffee and I asked her, what are you doing? She said, “I am trying to poison you”.”

Again I say, nope, no, never, NO THANK YOU.

NOPE. Source: Giphy

This story has all the elements of a horror movie: an unsuspecting Christian couple adopts a cute little girl from the Ukraine only to discover she is an adult sociopath masquerading as a child.

Actually, it is a horror movie – it follows the exact plot of the 2009 movie Orphan in which a couple adopt a ‘little girl’ who tries to murder her family when it’s revealed she is actually 33.

In 2012, Marion County Superior Court in Indianapolis determined that Natalia (AKA real life Orphan horror movie girl/woman) was born in 1989, rather than 2003 as stated on her Ukrainian birth certificate.

Later that year, Kristine and Michael abandoned their ‘daughter’ and fled to Canada. They have since been arrested on child abandonment charges and released on bail – probably because the police department realised that them fleeing was a perfectly normal thing to do given their circumstance.

If I found out my child was a 20-something-year-old with murderous tendencies I wouldn’t hang around either.

DID YOU READ

Evil is somehow even more evil when it’s personified and/or inflicted by a minor. Here are some of cinema history’s creepiest little shits, from the raving Rhoda in “The Bad Seed” to the scalpel-wielding Gage Creed in “Pet Sematary” to the she-demon orphan of “Case 39.”

“The Bad Seed” (1956)

Pray you never get on the bad side of Rhoda, a pigtailed terror in a Sunday dress who’s not afraid to use her tap shoes as murder weapons in order to get what she wants. The hapless janitor in this scene should’ve ceased with his taunts a good minute earlier (much like the janitor in John Carpenter’s “Village of the Damned,” but we’ll get to that later), otherwise Rhoda might not have SET HIM ON FIRE (you don’t get to see that part in the video; you’ll just have to catch the whole movie on Netflix Streaming) ’cause he knows too damn much about her evil Rhoda doings. Believe it or not, this preposterous After School Special gone stark raving bonkers was nominated for four Oscars (including a Best Supporting Actress nod for Paddy McCormack’s performance as the insufferable brat); the Academy must’ve seen it as some sort of bizarro cautionary tale, complete with a post-credits comeuppance for the film’s mini-villainess as she receives a hearty spanking at the hand of Nancy Kelly (who was also Oscar-nominated for her performance as Rhoda’s mother). Weird.

“The Exorcist” (1973)

“Your mother sucks cocks in hell, Karras!” William Friedkin’s gonzo free-for-all adaptation of William Peter Blatty’s weirdo novel (read it if you haven’t; it’s bonkers) ended up being what many consider to be the best horror movie ever made — and a project that doomed a young actress named Linda Blair to a life of typecasting and appearances at horror conventions. Whatever, though — better to have one great role in one great movie than a life of digging ditches, and “The Exorcist” is just dripping (or perhaps oozing — check out the video and you’ll see what we mean) with greatness. The adult actors are terrific and all (particularly Jason Miller as Father Karras, whose beautifully underplayed performance often gets overlooked in favor of the more histrionic work of Ellen Burstyn and Max von Sydow), but it’s Blair who owns the show and steals it from herself as the little girl possessed by an impossibly vulgar, mercilessly manipulative demon (voiced by Mercedes McCambridge).

“The Omen” (1976)

Director Richard Donner’s tale of a well-to-do couple who start to suspect that their young son might be the spawn of Satan or something is cheesy ’70s horror played completely stone-faced seriously (well, for the most part), resulting in a truly unsettling thriller that stands proudly behind the shoulder of “The Exorcist” as one of the few religious horror movies that actually works. “The Omen” is filled with elaborate set pieces designed to shock and amaze, from the (ex-) nanny ruining a perfectly good birthday party by hanging herself to a priest getting impaled by the spear-like crucifix atop his own church that becomes unhinged during a rather nasty storm (conjured by the Prince of Darkness himself!) to David Warner getting decapitated by a runaway sheet of glass. Great stuff, with little Harvey Stephens delivering a particularly creepy performance as young Damien; you’ll believe he’s the Devil’s kid without any real stretch of the imagination, whether there’s a nasty Rottweiler lurking around or not.

“Children of the Corn” (1984)

This movie is ridiculous, and so is the Stephen King short story it’s based on, but damn if it isn’t an entertaining bit of hayseed horror with an exquisitely stupid premise involving overalls-wearing teenage bumpkins who knock off their moms and dads (and everyone else over the age of 18, at that) as they worship something called He Who Walks Among the Rows. Pete Horton and Linda Hamilton play the young couple who run afoul of these little creeps, but the key conflict is the rivalry between Isaac (John Franklin) and his power-hungry right-hand, uh, man, Malachai (Courteney Gains); the former being sacrificed to He Who Walks Among the Rows is one of the film’s freakiest scenes, made all the more so by Franklin’s disturbingly high-pitched voice (there’s no post production tinkering there; he actually sounds like that, courtesy of the Growth Hormone Deficiency that also accounts for his short stature and underage looks). Franklin reprised his role 15 years later in “Children of the Corn 666: Isaac’s Return,” and it ruled.

“Pet Sematary” (1989)

It was the scariest movie in the world when you were, like, 15, but when you got a little older you probably realized that this B-movie adaptation of Stephen King’s C-level bestseller was actually kind of . . . dumb. However, what’s made at least some of “Pet Sematary” stand the test of time is its sheer tastelessness; there’s something truly brazen about how tacky this movie is, whether it be its reduction of poor Zelda to a moaning, convulsing guilt-demon (yes, Mr. King, we know you think disease = evil) or director Mary Lambert’s manipulative trickery in getting too-young-to-know-better Miko Hughes to be a snarling, grimacing, scalpel-wielding toddler from hell. “No fair!” cries little Gage when his father (Dale Midkiff) sticks him in the neck with a syringe for what seems like five minutes; we agree whole-heartedly, kid.

Hanson
Played By Chris Elliot
Occupation Butler/Caretaker/Chef
Appeared in Scary Movie 2
Family None known
Current Status Deceased
Parody Of Mr. Dudley (The Haunting)
Hannibal Lecter (Hannibel)

Hanson is a supporting character in the Scary Movie franchise; he was played by comedy actor Chris Elliot. He served as the secondary antagonist in Scary Movie 2.

BioEdit

Hanson is the caretaker and manservant at Hell House. His most striking feature is a malformed hand that he refers to as his “strong hand.” Nothing is known about this condition, but it is possible it is some sort of birth defect. It proves a source of much disgust to other people inasmuch as Hanson uses it as if it was a regular hand. During a dinner at the house, Hanson uses it to prepare the meal for the guests of the house, sticking his hand into the mashed potatoes and the dessert. There is an indication that Hanson seems to behave this way to repulse others on purpose as he demonstrates by tossing his nose hairs into the food and by licking and humping a turkey. The motivations for this sort of offensive behavior are unrevealed.

Hanson was possibly hired as a servant by Hugh Kane, who owned the house somewhere between the Forties to the Sixties. He fell in love with Kane’s wife, Caroline, and after Kane moved his mistress into the house, Hanson killed them both, burning their remains in the crematorium in the basement to cover up the crime. He possibly served for the house in some capacity when Mrs. Voorhees owned the house.

Scary Movie 2Edit

Several years later, Hanson worked in a servant capacity to Professor Oldman and Dwight Hartman when they used the edifice for a paranormal investigation disguised as an insomnia project. The first student to arrive was student Cindy Campbell, who resembled Caroline. Hanson placed her in Caroline’s old bedroom.

At dinner that night, Hanson served a large turkey dinner with mashed potatoes and rolls, but as they realized Hanson had used his withered arm to use it, they lost their appetite. Dwight and Hanson also got into a battle of insults with each other. When it turned out that the dessert was the only thing Hanson had not prepared, the students perked up, but then Ray Wilkins started dipping his fingers in it, joined by Dwight. When Hanson joined in with his hand, even coughing and gagging into the pie, everyone departed disgustedly.

With all the people in the house, the ghosts become active and haunt the students. Kane’s ghost returns and gets into a wheelchair race through the upstairs hall, sending Dwight through a front window. When Hanson tries to save him, Dwight pleads for him to use his good hand to save him. When Hanson touches him with the withered hand, Dwight is so repulsed he lets go of the house and plunges to the ground. When Hanson turns around, he realizes Kane’s ghost has been watching and possesses him.

As Hanson, Hugh Kane captures slacker Shorty Meeks, who has overdosed on drugs. He cuts open his skull and lifts the top like a lid to discover that Shorty’s brain looks like a miniature version of the rapper Beetlejuice. When Cindy discovers Hanson is possessed, she, Brenda Meeks, and Theo Keyoko pursue him into the basement where Kane eventually explodes from inside Hanson, killing him.

A few days later, Hanson reappears as a hot dog vendor (possibly as a ghost) to Cindy and Buddy, claiming they will be together forever, only to be hit with a car by a Shorty.

QuotesEdit

  • “Oh, I’m sorry, my child, did I frighten you? Are you scared? Alright, I’ll sing to you.”
  • “Make way for fanny!”
  • (while holding a cooked turkey) “I don’t know what the hell that is, but I’ll lick it anyway.”

TriviaEdit

  • Hanson is possibly named for the 90s boy band, Hanson.
  • Hanson’s withered arm was an homage to the ghost of April Rimbauer in the “Rose Red” mini-series.
  • Contrary to popular belief, towards the end of the film, Hanson does not offer Dwight his “strong hand.” He instead states “No! My other hand isn’t strong enough. Take my lil’ hand!” but he does refer to his little hand as his strong hand during the scene in which he helps Cindy carry her overnight bag.
  • In a deleted scene, Hanson reveals that he killed Hugh Kane and his mistress because he loved Caroline, but she rejected him.
  • Hanson turns up alive at the end of Scary Movie 2 as a hot dog vendor, implying either his death was an illusion or Cindy still hallucinates his existence. However, since Buddy also sees him, it can be rationalized that perhaps the events in Hell House happened in a way that Hanson was able to survive.
  • A close look at the writing in Carolyn’s diary reveals that Hanson was mysteriously burned alive in the cellar crematorium. This suggests that in a previous version of the script that Hanson was supposed to turn out to be a ghost himself.
  • Chris Elliot would later appear in Scary Movie 4 as a different character named Ezekiel.

In the horror genre, black is definitely back.

The movie “Ma,” which premieres on May 31, will star Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer as Sue Ann, a lonely middle-age woman who clings to a group of teens to the point of obsession.

“Ma” comes on the heels of Jordan Peele’s critically acclaimed “Us,” which is also led by an Academy Award winner, Lupita Nyong’o. And let’s not forget that Peele’s previous film, “Get Out,” won the Academy Award for best screenplay last year.

Black actors have always had a role in horror films. But something different is taking place today: the re-emergence of true black horror films.

Rather than simply including black characters, many of these films are created by blacks, star blacks or focus on black life and culture.

Objects of violence and ridicule

For most of film history, black actors have appeared in horror films in supporting roles. Many were deeply problematic.

In my 2011 book, “Horror Noire: Blacks in American Horror Films from the 1890s to Present,” I describe some of these tropes.

In the early 20th century, many films – horror or not – had white actors appearing in blackface. The characters could find themselves on the receiving end of especially horrific violence. For example, in 1904’s “A Nigger in the Woodpile,” a black couple’s home is firebombed and the pair staggers out, charred.

In the 1930s, there was a spate of horror films that took place in jungles, where blacks were depicted as primitive – sometimes indistinguishable from apes. A decade later, black characters started appearing in horror films as objects of ridicule. Actors like Willie Best and Mantan Moreland appeared as comic relief – characters for audiences to dismissively mock.

Willie Best plays Clarence in the 1941 film ‘The Smiling Ghost.’ John D. Kisch/Separate Cinema Archive

To be sure, there were some instances in which black actors assumed leading roles. The 1934 film “Chloe, Love is Calling You” starred black actress Georgette Harvey as the vengeful Mandy. In 1957, Joel Fluellen portrayed the smart and reliable Arobi in “Monster from Green Hell.”

However, often these characters existed to support the survival of their white counterparts.

From placeholders to full participants

For a brief period, in the 1960s and 1970s, horror films began to treat blacks as whole and full subjects.

Many of these narratives centered on black culture and experiences. More often than not, blacks played the role of hero. For example, the 1972 film “Blacula” begins in 1780 and is an indictment of the slave trade and its lingering effects. In the 1974 film “Sugar Hill,” a black female protagonist named Sugar, with the help of her black zombie army, lays waste to a murderous white crime boss and his cronies.

Then there was Bill Gunn’s 1973 art-house horror film, “Ganja & Hess.” A gorgeous and deliberative treatise on race, class, mental illness and addiction, it won the Critics’ Choice prize at the Cannes Film Festival. However, no Hollywood studio was willing to distribute the film.

The classic of the era is George Romero’s 1968 “Night of the Living Dead,” which stars Duane Jones as Ben, a strong, complex black character who leads a group of whites during a zombie apocalypse. Confounding the clichéd trope of “the black guy dies first,” Ben is the lone survivor of the terrifying battle.

Duane Jones as Ben in ‘Night of the Living Dead.’Wikimedia Commons

In a turn of realism, he emerges triumphant – only to be summarily shot down by a militia of white police and civilians. Ben’s death, which comes at the movie’s conclusion, is as unexpected as it is powerful. The scene demands that audiences consider who among us is truly monstrous.

Sadly, these glimpses of blackness faded as many horror films in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s reverted to well-worn tropes. In some, like “The Shining” and “Annabelle,” black characters operate as the “sacrificial Negro” who dies to save a white character’s life. Then there are the dozens of films, like 1987’s “Angel Heart” and 1988’s “The Serpent and the Rainbow,” in which black characters appear as wicked Voodoo practitioners.

Black is back

Jordan Peele’s films should be thought of as an homage to “Night of the Living Dead” and “Ganja & Hess” – films that have strong, complex black protagonists. In fact, Peele has noted that Ben’s fate in “Night of the Living Dead,” which was released as the U.S. mourned the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., weighed heavily on him when he wrote the ending of “Get Out.”

Peele’s character – unlike Ben – survives.

While Peele has shown that the genre can be a daring, unflinching examination of politics, class and race, the black horror renaissance has been brewing for some years.

Over the past two decades, Ernest Dickerson – who directed “The Purge,” “Bones,” “Demon Knight” and episodes of “The Walking Dead” – and Rusty Cundieff, the director of “Tales from the Hood” and “Tales from the Hood 2,” have been stalwarts of the genre. They’ve paved the way for Peele, as well as newcomers such as Meosha Bean, Nikyatu Jusu and Deon Taylor.

The horror genre is maturing and becoming more imaginative and inclusive – in who can play hero and antihero, and who gets to be the monster and savior. The emergence of black horror films is just one chapter in a story that includes women taking on more prominent roles in horror films, too.

It’s about time. As Jordan Peele noted in an interview in the documentary film “Horror Noire,” the fact that there had been “such a small handful of films led by black people” was, to him, “the horror itself.”