Wednesday, May 02, 2007
I just came across this great article in AskMen.com and I just have to paste it here on my blog. It's all about scary kids in film. And when you think about it, isn't it completely creepy when a child is cast as a villain? I think so.
Top 10: Evil Children Movie Characters
By Ryan Murphy Entertainment Correspondent
For the last four decades, Hollywood has been evangelizing a message that bachelors around the world have known for hundreds of years: Children are evil. They wake you up before 8 a.m. on weekends, they spill grape juice on the interior of your new car and, if movies are to be believed, they have the ability to level entire towns with their eerie demonic powers.
Granted, not all children are like that, but why bother discriminating when your life is on the line?
Lock your door, pull down your blinds and read our list of the 10 most evil children movie characters.
Regan Teresa MacNeil - The Exorcist (1973)
Generally, we like films that feature women in nightgowns, but The Exorcist is a different beast altogether. Possessed by the Devil himself, Regan abuses priests, breaks out in boils, levitates, and spews pea soup across the room. Actually, aside from the levitation part, it sounds a lot like a typical Saturday night to us.
The film's special effects and intensity were considered so gripping that it garnered 10 Academy Award nominations. Take that, Bride of Chucky!
Most evil scene: Every moment is practically scarier than the last, but few are more evil than when Regan tells Father Karras, "I'm the Devil. Now kindly undo these straps." The movie was considered so disturbing that it was banned from video in Finland.
Damien Thorn - The Omen (1976)
Some children are good at spelling, others excel at climbing trees. Damien Thorn, on the other hand, is good at scaring the bejesus out of everyone around him. The offspring of Satan, Damien was switched at birth with the murdered baby of a wealthy family.
Not surprisingly, things don't improve much from there, as the little red-eyed menace causes a spree of death and devastation. Perhaps his most brutally malicious act, however, was helping to foist Damien: Omen II and Omen III: The Final Conflict on the unsuspecting public.
Most evil scene: Damien's nanny pledges her loyalty to the little brat by hanging herself during his birthday celebrations. Talk about a party crasher.
The Grady Daughters - The Shining (1980)
Like most Stephen King films, The Shining is full of horrifying images, not the least of which is Jack Nicholson chasing his family with an axe. However, none stand out more poignantly than that of the hotel's phantom twin girls. Adorned in blue dresses and white stockings, the girls hauntingly call out, "Come play with us, Danny. Forever and ever."
The scene was enough to make little Danny Torrance pass out and it nearly had the same effect on us. Were it not for Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, The Shining might have turned us off twins forever.
Most evil scene: When Danny's mother suddenly understands the relevance of the word "redrum" upon seeing a reflection of it for the first time.
Henry Evans - The Good Son (1993)
They say evil has many faces, but in our nightmares, it looks an awful lot like Macaulay Culkin. That's why we were so pleased when Hollywood producers played against type and got the Home Alone star to play the despicable Henry Evans.
Seemingly perfect on the outside, Henry is evil incarnate just beneath the surface. He threatens to throw his cousin off a 15-meter high tree house and causes a 10-car pileup on the highway. In other words, he's just your typical preteen boy.
Most evil scene: Henry maliciously kills the neighbor's dog with a crossbow.
Charlie McGee - Firestarter (1984)
Played by the adorable Drew Barrymore, Charlie McGee has the unique ability to create fire with her mind. What could possibly go wrong with that? Since it's a Stephen King movie, the answer, of course, is absolutely everything. Charlie creates one out-of-control inferno after another as she and her father attempt to escape a government agency that experiments on humans with psychokinetic abilities. After being captured by a Native American assassin, Charlie must learn to harness her destructive powers in order help herself and her father escape.
We don't want to give away the ending, but suffice it to say the film didn't receive Smokey the Bear's two thumbs up.
Most evil scene: Charlie unleashes the full fury of her power after her father is shot... Drew Barrymore has since been sexier, but she's never been hotter than this.
Those strange, mutated babies - The Brood (1979)
Leave it to David Cronenberg to come up with the ultimate experience of inner terror. The trouble begins when a psychiatrist creates a radical new technique for patients to physically manifest their internal turmoil. For some, the manifestations result in sores and welts, while for others, they result in (what else?) a small army of deadly, deformed babies.
Slightly scarier than a surprise audit, The Brood features the most bloodthirsty toddlers in the history of cinema. An interesting side note: Cronenberg wrote The Brood while he was going through a particularly acrimonious divorce.
Most evil scene: Nola's mutant children appear and viciously kill her parents. Only a mother could love a brood like this.
The Children - Children of the Damned (1964)
Believe it or not, this movie has nothing to do with The Jackson Five. A sequel to Village of the Damned, Children of the Damned features six seemingly normal children with dangerous psychic powers. Think of it as Carrie meets The Brady Bunch. Unlike Marcia and Jan, however, these ber-creepy kids can paralyze innocent (and not-so-innocent) bystanders with their eyes. The trouble begins when the children escape from a high-tech lab in London and hole themselves up in a spooky, abandoned church where they must defend themselves against the government.
Most evil scene: The children prepare themselves for battle by creating a supersonic weapon out of a church organ.
Rhoda Penmark - The Bad Seed (1956)
Lying, theft and murder are all in a day's work for Rhoda Penmark, the original wild child. The blonde-haired beauty kills a girl to steal a penmanship medal and offs another to prematurely inherit a decorative glass globe. Rhoda gets her evil disposition from her grandmother, a notorious cold-blooded killer who murdered 20 victims. I, on the other hand, get my evil disposition from my low sugar levels (at least that's what my doctor tells me). Like her grandmother before her, Rhoda is also a merciless murderer who can't stop her deadly compulsion.
Most evil scene: Rhoda ruthlessly kills a janitor who knows far too much.
Samara Morgan - The Ring (2002)
It used to be that the worst thing that could happen to you when you watched a videotape is you'd return it two days late and be docked $4.99. And then along came Samara Morgan, the psychopathic little girl who would kill you for watching it in the first place.
Samara was kept locked away in the loft of a barn and was later murdered by her adoptive mother. Equipped with psychic powers (and a strange affinity for VCRs), she eventually comes back from the dead to wreak havoc on the innocent (kind of like a bad burrito, but with slightly more lasting consequences). As if her very presence isn't terrifying enough, Samara has long damp hair, a decayed face and generally smells like an old well. Among the film's most terrifying moments are when Aidan first watches the mesmerizing video, the pure look of shock on any of Samara's victims' faces and the few tense moments (teasingly seen from behind) before Noah is offed.
Most evil scene: Samara seemingly appears out of nowhere as Naomi Watts struggles at the bottom of the well. We always knew there was a reason we preferred tap water.
Isaac Chroner - Children of the Corn (1984)
Stephen King pops up once again in what is arguably the eeriest movie of all time (excluding, of course, the video of your prom -- but that was just sad). Isaac Chroner is a savage preacher boy who orders the children of a small Nebraska town to kill every adult in the vicinity.
On the negative side, he causes unimaginable bloodshed, but on the positive side, it's just Nebraska, so it's no great loss. The children worship "He Who Walks Behind the Rows" and get up to their old tricks when a misguided couple makes the mistake of driving through the eerily quiet town. The film contains a harrowing amount of bloodshed, including, most notably, the grisly slashing of a child's throat.
Most evil scene: When Malachai and the other children kill the adults at the local diner.
Is it just us, or is there something a little creepy about an 11-year-old actress who has all of Hollywood by the balls? Since 2001, the eerily mature Fanning has co-starred with Sean Penn, Denzel Washington, Tom Cruise, Robert DeNiro, Mike Myers, Alec Baldwin, and Julia Roberts in a series of well-received roles. Apparently, Pauley Shore wasn't the only celebrity who made a deal with the devil.
it's child's play
It's been over a century since little Lizzie Borden made beef tartar out of her parents, and children have been getting progressively scarier ever since. If Hollywood has taught us anything, it's that birth control is highly underrated. In the words of humorist Robert Orben, "Do your kids a favor -- don't have any."