My good friend, and loyal HNN reader, CJ recently asked me if I thought I should do an article about the creepiest kids in horror movies. I loved the idea but I know it’s been done so many times by so many people. When I have something like that brewing in my head that I’m sort of unsure about, I like to just let it sit there for a while and see if it goes away. Nine times out of ten, the idea will just float away and the story will never get done; it’s that tenth one that you have to act on and this one still keeps popping into my head in so I went for it.
I also did something that I rarely do when I’m putting together a list like this; I assigned them an order. This list goes from least creepy to most creepy (in my eyes). From kids that just kind of bothered me to kids that kept me either awake or in my parents bed.
So let’s go!
12. Anthony (Twilight Zone: The Movie 1983 Jeremy Licht)
You just knew there was something not quite right with this kid when you saw the way his “family” was acting around him. Then when you saw his sister who had no mouth because she told Anthony what to do too much? Oh yeah, shit got real.
11. Danny Torrance (The Shining 1980 Danny Lloyd)
This little kid is creepy from the get-go. From talking telepathically to Dick to speaking with his finger for Tony, the little boy who lives in his mouth, I didn’t care for him one bit. Let’s not even discuss the Redrum scene.
10. Gage Creed (Pet Sematary 1989 Miko Hughes)
Honestly one of the cutest kids ever, right? That blonde hair and that sweet little voice were made to melt hearts. That is, until he died and his father decided to bury him in that old Indian burial ground across the street. What comes back isn’t so sweet anymore but he still wants to play with youuuuu. Sometimes dead is better.
9. Eli (Let the Right One In 2008 Lina Leandersson)
This was kind of a tough one for me because Eli didn’t really become creepy in my mind until later on in the movie. If memory serves, it was the scene where Oskar cuts his hand and Eli starts licking the blood off of the floor; then that face as she looks up at him! Fuck!
8. Henry Evans (The Good Son 1993 Macaulay Culkin)
I’m not sure if Macaulay Culkin was creepier in this movie or if he’s creepier now in real life. Anyway, this was crazy because he was like America’s darling at this time. He was high on his Home Alone fame so I’m surprised his handlers even let him take this role. Thankfully they did because he really pulled it off.
7. Esther (Orphan 2009 Isabelle Fuhrman)
Creep. Creep. Creep. How did they even agree to take this creep home with them? I don’t care how sweet she was pretending to be, she was just bad news. If you’ve never seen this, check it out; it’s creepy.
6. Isaac (Children of the Corn 1984 John Franklin)
Staff member Sean McLaughlin and I had a nice little argument over this one. He thinks that Malachai is the baddest of the bad kids in this movie while I go for Isaac. To me, Malachai is just the dumb muscle…the lackey to Isaac’s cold plans. Anyway, this kid freaked me out in a real way when I was a kid.
5. Damien Thorn (The Omen 1976 Harvey Spencer Stephens)
Damien doesn’t really have much to say in the first movie but he’s definitely not a normal child; that much is clear from the outset. It’s not until the Thorn family tries to take Damien to a church that things get fun. After much screaming, punching and scratching, they decide that maybe church isn’t the place for him; I wonder why?
4. Damien Thorn (Damien: The Omen 2 1978 Jonathan Scott-Taylor)
While the first Damien was definitely creepy, I think that this one is even more so. He starts off as kind of a normal, rich kid who’s a little confused about who he is and why he seems to know so much. However, when he finally figures out who he really is and he comes to accept it, this dude is off the charts evil.
3. The Grady Twins (The Shining 1980 Lisa & Louise Burns)
Whoa! instant nightmares here. These little girls have haunted my dreams since I saw this movie at the drive-in as a kid. I always thought that they were scarier when they were just standing there than they were in the scene where they were all hacked up.
2. Ralphie Glick (Salem’s Lot 1979 Ronnie Scribner)
This kid ruined many nights of my childhood. When your recently deceased best friend is floating outside of your bedroom window asking to be let in, the answer is a resounding no.
1. Regan MacNeil (The Exorcist 1973 Linda Blair)
Here’s number one. The one that kept me up all night when I was a child, fearing that this girl with the spinning head was hiding in my closet. Well, Regan was actually a sweet girl so I guess it might be unfair to label her a “creepy kid” but sweet girls sometimes make mistakes; mistakes like having conversations with Captain Howdy on the Ouija board. Please just say ‘no’ to conversing with demons; nothing good can come of it.
Honorable mentions (thanks to Sean McLaughlin for these): Samara from The Ring (played by Daveigh Chase), Ellie Layton from One Missed Call (played by Ariel Winter) and Mikey from Mikey played by Brian Bosnall (yeah, the kid from Family Ties)
Let me hear what you guys think!
Stay gory, my friends.