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Kids Freak Me Out: Children represented in the horror genre

Discussion in 'Tilted Art, Photography, Music & Literature' started by ZombieSquirrel, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. ZombieSquirrel

    ZombieSquirrel Brrrrrrrains Donor

    They creep me the ef out​

    I came across an article about artist Dave Devries. He takes a child's simple drawing of a monster and adds coloring and shading to the image. I think it's a brilliant idea. Before starting, he sits down with the children to talk about his/her vision so that he could elaborate adequately. I need to get the book with hopes of hearing more of the children's visions. There are obvious additions to the artwork that I can only assume he gathered from interviews with the children.
    Even the original version of the monsters by the children freak me out.

    Most horror films don't bother me....unless there are freaky little children in them: The Ring, The Omen, Children of the Corn, The Sixth Sense, Village of the Damned, The Exorcist, etc. There are also items associated with children that disturb me music boxes, dolls, clowns....OMG CLOWN DOLLS!

    I started to wonder why all of this bothers me. I came across an article about "Little Kids in Horror Movies" detailing the roles of various "types" of youth in the genre.

    It's not even the idea of a demon/ghost child. Even non-paranormal children make me hide under the covers. I have never seen Macaulay Culkin the same since The Good Son. Oh, and The Bad Seed! That little girl was effed up!

    I suppose my questions to TFP would be:

    1) Do you find children in art/literature/film disturbing? Do the add to the feeling or do they become disturbing because of the setting? Do you have an example of a disturbing child outside of the horror genre? (Maybe that neighborhood kid that gives you the stink eye for no reason while he rides down the sidewalk in his tricycle...)

    2) Why do you find it disturbing? Is it the thought of a life ending prematurely? The naivite of a child preventing fear as stated in the article provided?

    Now I'm probably going to be stupid and watch a horror film tonight about a psycho kid and not be able to sleep.
  2. aquafox

    aquafox Getting Tilted

    Ibapah, UT
    I think they can be portrayed as more evil and horrifying because they are usually so innocent and gentle, unlike adults. The added innocents really gives them a stronger contrast against the usual scary. Adults are pretty much expected to be nuts and ridiculous... most serial killers and freaky people in real life turn out to be adults... thus making it a little less far stretched in the movies.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Speed_Gibson

    Speed_Gibson Hacking the Gibson Donor

    Wolf 359
    That young girl in Ghost Ship that the salvage ship crew encounters is quietly disturbing and terrifying. Perfect subtle use especially early on how she appears sparingly.
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  4. ZombieSquirrel

    ZombieSquirrel Brrrrrrrains Donor


    Where's Fangirl?
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Japchae

    Japchae Very Tilted Donor

    The most recent episode of The Walking Dead made me nearly bawl my eyes out and funny enough, the other kids never bothered me.
    Freaking Chuckie makes me lose my shit, I hate those movies.
    Poltergeist and The Exorcist are on my Not On Your Fucking Life movie list.
    But the Stephen King movies with kids never bugged me. I think it's because he did creepy soooo well.
    Recently, The Woman totally fucked with my head. Most of the time, I'm okay, but I have issues with paranormal movies anyway, kids or no.
  6. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia ...

    um, the brood. david cronenberg. malformed bloodthirsty children in snowsuits.

    come on.

    --- merged: Dec 8, 2011 4:09 AM ---
    ooh yeah.
  7. Levite

    Levite Levitical Yet Funky

    The Windy City
    Yeah, it's totally like aquafox said: it's about the subversion of what is deemed by society to be ordinarily pure and incorruptible into something evil. I know I personally had a wiggins at the ghost twins in "The Shining," and while horror movies don't generally scare me, the monster chick in "The Ring" (she was like a young teenager, I think, so technically qualifies as a child, I guess) made me scream like a little girl. And OMG, "Children of the Corn." That freaked me the fuck out.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Fangirl

    Fangirl Very Tilted

    Children of the Corn freaked me out horribly. I even bought the DVD (bargain bin) thinking if I rewatched, it wouldn't scare me. But I'm afraid to watch it again! The very idea makes my skin crawl.

    The Shining was a really great flick, too. Jack Nicholson was so demented.

    2011-11-30_012725.jpg 2011-11-28_043531.jpg 2011-11-23_032949.jpg 2011-11-28_045253.jpg 2011-11-28_045142.jpg 2011-11-28_050026.jpg View attachment 487
    Ditto to every thing else you said.
    Poor little Sophia! No mercy for her or her already severely high-strung mum. Somehow I don't see Carol transforming like Andrea did, hanging with the bad boys as a student survivalist of the zombie apocalypse.

    Children were never truly sacred in storytelling (Hansel & Gretel et al.).
    For most of it's existence television tho' has been loath to cross that line. Expect to see more because the gauntlet has been thrown down for basic cable.

    Anything involving effed up stuff with kids or animals ('Cujo') kills me. Bad dreams and everything.

    I so want a t-shirt with the "barn walker" (see photo) on it! (It'll never be made. I capped it.) That barn sequence was nicely shot, no pun intended. (All capped from the amctv.com website.)
    --- merged: Dec 8, 2011 8:40 AM ---
    You are so much more hardcore than me, mixedmedia. Kudos.
    David Cronenberg can really do a number on people's heads with his stuff. Very, very good at what he does. Scary as hell.

    Attached Files:

  9. Fangirl

    Fangirl Very Tilted

    I was in such a hurry to get a shot of who I consider the creepiest television child actor ever, Billy Mumy, that I read the OP after I posted.
    The child is an avatar in the classic sense, no? They are a potent symbol of innocence and when corrupted before us can be super-disturbing.
    I was was going to cite Rosemary's Baby as yet another creepy kid film that stayed with me but in that late 1960's Roman Polanski film, the horrible scare was the baby-to-be, literally a demon spawn--so not truly a kid yet. They employed the trope of pregnant mum of demon spawn chowing down on bloody animal organs which at age 8 or 9 when I saw it, sort of stayed with me. (My parents in no way monitored anything I watched; when really little, I often watched the weirdest stuff available on the Canadian tube in the early-mid sixties, The Outer Limits and Twilight Zone, the black & white versions of both with my dad.) The Twilight Zone was merciless in its use of kids to send chills. As a kid myself those kids gave me the creeps. Hugely.

    'He is well known as a player in the original Twilight Zone (1959 to 1964), especially in the episode "It's a Good Life" (November 1961), where he played a child who terrorizes his town with his psychic powers. Mumy also played the character of young Pip, a boy who enjoyed playing with his father but was always ignored, in the episode "In Praise of Pip" (September 1963), and the character of Billy Bayles, a boy who talks to his dead grandmother through a toy telephone, in the episode "Long Distance Call" (March 1961). He later played an adult Anthony, whose daughter (played by his daughter, Liliana Mumy) has similar powers, in episode "It's Still a Good Life" (February 2003) of the second revival of The Twilight Zone. Also, he wrote the episode "Found and Lost" in the second revival of The Twilight Zone.'​
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Redlemon

    Redlemon Getting Tilted

    New England
    I enjoy listening to short horror fiction - the podcast Pseudopod keeps me quite entertained. Very little on that show disturbes me - until there's a child involved. Especially an innocent/victim child.
  11. ZombieSquirrel

    ZombieSquirrel Brrrrrrrains Donor

    ^^That little kid is going to haunt my dreams....

    Mine either. I watched some crazy stuff as a kid and don't recollect nightmares. I remember watching a scary bat movie with mom and have no fear of bats today.

    A kid zombie bothers me more than an adult zombie. :-/ I think I'd have a harder time bashing the head of a child in than that of an adult....even though I do know that it's just a mindless shell.
  12. aquafox

    aquafox Getting Tilted

    Ibapah, UT

    I'm surprised there aren't more pint sized killers in movies lol
  13. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member Donor

    • Like Like x 1
  14. Jove

    Jove Slightly Tilted

    Small zombie or vampire children freak me out because they are small, fast, can hide anywhere, attack in groups and don't give a single fuck who they kill.
  15. Strange Famous

    Strange Famous it depends on who is looking...

    Ipswich, UK
    I guess the juxtaposition of innocence and evil can be disturbing, because it plays with your natural feelings.

    You want to protect a child, not see them as the enemy you need to kill.

    Lilith from Supernatural definitely is more sinister than any of the other bad guys (other than maybe Death... although I guess Death isnt good or bad, just Death...)
  16. issmmm

    issmmm Getting Tilted

    Unfortunatley it was only AS a kid that I ever saw ANY scary movie. I'm a bit jelous of you guys for being able to be scared at the movies.
  17. Zen

    Zen Very Tilted

    Children of the Damned. Heck ... I never saw that film. Just the poster was enough to give me horrid pre-sleep panic.
    I also have, in the back of my mind, Lord of the Flies.

    I think part of what disturbs me is the Amoral dynamic. These children have not had opportunity to build a sense of good and bad, and are therefore able to commit worse evil. A kind of pure innocent evil. The genuine curiosity, unmitigated by guilt, of those who pull the wings off flies.

    Malcolm McDowell is someone who, though an adult, was able to infuse his evil characters with that childlike amorality/innocence. The quality which comes across, to me, as far worse than good ol' wholesome baddass muahahah badness.
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Cayvmann

    Cayvmann Very Tilted

    Kids are creepy. Those giant heads on teeny bodies. They come in at night while you are sleeping and stare at you.

    And somehow they know how to program the remote, without reading the instructions..... yeeeeeaaaaaahhhhhh
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Plan9

    Plan9 Standing in the Door Donor

    This Island Earth
    ...and you all have kids in real life.
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Cayvmann

    Cayvmann Very Tilted

    Yes, I speak from experience.

    And what's with their hair, and their clothes? That's got to be evil right there.