The Kids are Alright – Or are they? Horror movies with Children as the Antagonists

December 28, 2012 by  
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There’s something about little children that makes them perfect candidates for evil entities. If you find this hard to digest, just take a look at the list of movies with children as antagonists. The Omen, Children of the Corn, The Exorcist, and the most recent Case 39 are just a few of the more well-known examples. In each of these movies, the killer isn’t a monstrous-looking entity, but a fresh-faced child. With the influx of new ideas into the genre of horror, there have been changes in treatment in such movies too. Here’s taking a look at the most iconic ones over the years.


  1. Children of the Corn: This 1984 classic was adapted from the Stephen King story of the same name. Linda Hamilton and Peter Horton played a young couple who get trapped in a desolate town where no adults survive. They soon find out that the children in the town, led by a psychotic boy preacher, have murdered all the adults. John Franklin as Isaac, the boy preacher with an angelic face, can make even the most devout church-goer clench their Sunday hats in terror. When it released, the movie faced some criticism for its treatment and for the scenes of violence featuring children. Despite that, it remains one of the most popular horror movies with  children as the killers.


  1. The Omen: This is a classic from the 1970s. An American ambassador finds out that his young son is the incarnate of the devil; the Anti-Christ. This movie was one of the first to show a child as being purely evil, rather than being possessed or manipulated into doing something bad. However, it was made clear that the child in question was not really an innocent child. He was the Devil himself. So when young Damien pushes his mother off the balcony, even when you’re flinching you know that it isn’t a child but the Anti-Christ who gives the fatal push.


  1. The Exorcist: No horror movie list is complete without this 1973 classic. An actress and mother of a young girl finds that her daughter is possessed by an ancient demonic entity. As the days go by, the young girl slowly transforms into a horrifying entity. The scene where the young girl Regan crawls downstairs like a twisted acrobat will remain seared onto our collective consciousness for ever. Linda Blair gained worldwide fame for her role as Regan and till today, there hasn’t been a scarier little girl at the movies.


So these are 3 of the most memorable films that featured children as the antagonists. There were many more such movies in the years that followed, but none matched the impression these films left on our minds. You could say that when it’s a little child’s smile that masks a killer’s face, the screams are all the more louder.