Let Me In gets released in theaters on Friday, and if you have found yourself unnaturally absent from the cinema this year, this is the film to spur your return. Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) weaves a heartbreaking, coming-of-age horror story that is flush with great performances and stellar cinematography. The basic premise of Let Me In is that a reclusive, wimpy youth—bullied nearly every day—begins to foster a friendship with a strange little girl who moves in next door. As friendship evolves into fledgling notions of love, Owen realizes Abby has a deadly secret. Her actions are horrific and emphasize my continuing fear of little girls in films. Here’s a list of a few more pint-sized cinematic femme fatales that, regardless of the promised pay, you should decline to babysit.
Eli - Let the Right One In
Let Me In is being touted as a remake of the remarkable 2008 Swedish film Let the Right One In. I would contend that it’s simply a second adaptation of the book and not at all a remake, but that’s neither here nor there. What is important to note is that Eli is not to be trifled with. Her methodical manipulation of Oskar and the vicious nature of her feeding make her a prime choice for this list. Yeah, it’s great that she can master a Rubik’s Cube, but she will also tear your head off and drink your blood. Offer to babysit her and, best case scenario, you will end up being her murderous slave until the day you die. Also, her parents are lousy tippers.
Esther - Orphan
I imagine that the adoption process for young parents is already a bit of a nightmare. Well, 2009’s Orphan does absolutely nothing to assuage their fears. When a young couple adopts a strange little tot with a checkered past, it turns out to be as poor a purchase as a rocket-propelled knife ball. Esther is not what you would call “well-behaved,” and she spends a good deal of the movie balancing her time between coloring and cold-blooded murder. I suppose it’s inappropriate to ask, but do orphanages have a return policy? I hope that family saved the receipt.
Samara - The Ring
On paper, The Ring's Samara sounds like the perfect little girl to have around. She’s quirky, loves talking on the phone, and has an affinity for VHS tapes rarely seen in our more digital age. But it turns out that Samara lives and breathes—well, actually neither of those because she’s a ghost—to destroy you. I understand that she may not have appreciated her mother’s methods when teaching her to swim, but get over it already! Also, Samara, if you don’t dry your hair when you get out of the well, you will catch a cold. Hold on, I’m getting a phone call. Hey, it’s Samara! Apparently, she’s coming to visit next week.
Regan - The Exorcist
It’s a known fact that children’s personalities change as they mature. It is not unheard of for a little girl who is as sweet as can be to blossom into an angry, spiteful brat…who is possessed by the devil. That last part may not be as universal, but certainly true for Regan in The Exorcist. I’m not sure if it’s her suspiciously limber neck or her bizarre yoga regimen, but something about this kid is just plain off. Unless you are a man of the cloth who enjoys pea soup and vulgarity, you should pass on this babysitting gig.
Twins - The Shining
This is probably the most tempting babysitting offer you will get. This adorable twosome happens to live in a gigantic ski-resort hotel that you would have all to yourself. The sheer magnitude of opportunities for Big Wheel riding is mind-boggling. But this gig is essentially all work and no play. For starters, good luck keeping track of these two; you basically have to bank on rounding the right corner and having them telepathically show you some of the most disturbing imagery fathomable. Also, the way their parents dress them is really upsetting.