Let’s face it: kids are scary. They have those big eyes and little bodies and they always seem to be sticky. Throw in some demon possession, religious zealotry, or sociopathic tendencies, and you get our list for the ten scariest tykes the screen has ever seen.
The Grady Twins - The Shining
Kids are creepy. Double them up, and you are in for a pants-wetting experience. Though Lisa and Louise Burns had barely a minute of screen time in The Shining, their scene as the Grady Twins is one of the most memorable in the film.
Youngsters - The Village of the Damned
It’s every kid’s dream, every parents nightmare: kids who rule the adults with a cold stare, iron fist, and platinum blonde bangs. The original black-and-white 1960 flock is far scarier than John Carpenter’s 1995 remake. I think it’s the British accents.
Isaac and his followers - Children of the Corn
Another band of murderous pre-teens, but with the added horror of religious zealotry. These kids don’t believe in subtlety – no mind tricks here, just pure carnage at the end of a scythe blade.
Reagan - The Exorcist
Reagan herself is a sweet, delightful child, the apple of her mother’s eye. But as Regan proves, demonic possession is nastier than puberty: head-spinning, spider-creeping, pea-soup-spewing, and blasphemous masturbation add up to a freaky package.
Damien - The Omen
No creepy kids list would be complete without Damien. So infamous is this pint-sized antichrist, the name Damien has become synonymous with the devil. Highlight of his terror: forcing his nanny to jump to her death “for you, Damien,” with just a look and a dark thought.
Samara - The Ring
In a rare remake that is at least as good as the original, Samara is the creepy ghost-child seeking revenge for a life of abuse. The Ring really kicked off the Japanese-to-American horror remake craze, and they did it the best. Seeing Samara, with long stringy hair obscuring her face, crawl from out of the television is enough to make you give up the boob tube – at least for a night or two.
Rhoda - The Bad Seed
Other than being horribly spoiled, Rhoda is the perfect little girl. Her mother get suspicious of her daughter when a school chum dies after winning an award that Rhoda believes should have been hers. Perhaps her mother should have been suspicious when Rhoda grew up to look like a reject from The Village of the Damned.
The Baby - Eraserhead
David Lynch’s first full-length film was an exercise in industrial nightmares. Eraserhead is best remembered for two things: Jack Nance’s Don King hairdo, and the mutant baby that is the bane of Henry’s existence. The baby is technically just a prop, and it doesn’t even look like a baby – more like a deformed, featherless bird – but it is scary as hell.
Henry - The Good Son
What, on the surface, appears to be another Omen rip-off, it’s scarier than that: Henry is not possessed by supernatural demons, he is a sociopath. He is also played by Macaulay Culkin – now that is scary.