What is it about scary kids? Maybe it’s the marriage of the innocent and the grotesque. Or maybe it’s just your ticking biological clock. Either way, there are few horror tropes more terrifying than a creepy child (or two!) You may recognize them from your nightmares.
The Grady Girls — The Shining
Played by Lisa and Louise Burns (who we’re sure are very nice), the Grady Girls’ appearance in the hallway is nevertheless one of the films most iconic, frightening images. It’s unfair, really. The only thing they ever did wrong was get murdered.
Henry — The Good Son
Already making moves to combat type-casting, cutie Macaulay Culkin took on this role as a teeny sociopath who terrorirzes his entire family. The people weren’t into it. The movie was a bomb, financially and critically.
Esther — Orphan
The Coleman family gets more death and destruction than they bargained for when they adopt a nine-year-old girl from Estonia. Despite the film’s mind-bending, ridiculous twist, it makes the list.
Samara — The Ring
The Ring led to our mistrust not only of unkempt, brunette little girls, but also of our own televisions. Chances are, you can’t see a static-filled screen without imagining Samara crawling out of it.