Child Terrors

12 Worst Movie Kids: Kevin, Damien, Children of the Corn & More

We Need to Talk About Kevin follows a mother’s attempt to figure out what went wrong with her violent son. Take a look at some of the scariest children of horror movies past.

Nicole Rivelli

Nicole Rivelli

We Need to Talk About Kevin follows a mother’s attempt to figure out what went wrong with her violent son. Take a look at some of the scariest children of horror movies past.

Nicole Rivelli

Kevin—<em>We Need to Talk About Kevin</em> (2011)

We Need to Talk About Kevin follows Eva (Tilda Swinton) as she attempts to come to terms with the crimes of her son Kevin (Ezra Miller) and figure out what caused him to commit them. What were his crimes? He shot up a school. Miller’s portrayal of the eerily disturbing Kevin brings to mind some other evil children we’ve seen on screen over the years.

 

Joshua—<em>Joshua</em> (2007)

Things get a little strange in the Cairn household after parents Brad and Abby bring their newborn daughter home from the hospital, alienating their precocious first-born child, Joshua. Though things are already a bit weird in the house, as 9-year old Joshua always dresses in formal attire and is extremely intelligent for his age. But soon the weirdness turns disturbing, when Joshua starts scaring the baby at night, feigning abuse at the hands of his parents, and eventually killing his pets and grandmother. But Joshua is not just crazy; it turns out he did at all because he wanted to go live with his cool uncle. 

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Samara Morgan—<em>The Ring</em> (2002)

The Ring follows journalist Rachel (Naomi Watts) as she traces the origins of a mysterious videotape that kills people exactly seven days after they watch it. Her journey leads her to a farm belonging to the Morgan family, who adopted a Samara, a young girl who turned out to be evil. After her parents drowned her in a well, she decided to exact revenge by somehow making the aforementioned demonic videotape and killing all of its fans – apparently by climbing out of a TV and, well, killing them. An ungrateful little girl, Samara might have been better off finding a way to come back and kill her father, who remained alive for most of the movie. 

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Henry Evans—<em>The Good Son</em> (1993)

After his mother’s death, Mark (Elijah Wood) is sent to stay with his aunt and uncle, where he meets his manipulative and evil cousin, Henry (Macauly Culkin). Henry shots his dog with a crossbow and deliberately causes a massive traffic pileup. As Mark attempts to get the adults around him to believe how evil the child is, Henry continues wreaking havoc, attempting to murder his sister, his aunt, and admitting that he drowned his 3-year-old brother in the bathtub. All in all, he’s a pretty creepy kid.

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Junior—<em>Problem Child</em> (1990)

Ben (John Ritter) and Flo (Amy Yasbeck) adopt Junior (Michael Oliver) when they realize they are unable to conceive a child. It turns out the Junior is a complete brat and he has previously been returned to the orphanage more than 30 times. Among other issues, he is pen pals with a serial killer and sabotages a neighbor's birthday party by putting frogs in the punch and explosives in the birthday cake. 

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Hob—<em>Robocop 2</em> (1990)

Robocop returns to clean up a future Detroit in Robocop 2. In this drug-filled metropolis, Hob (Gabriel Damon) is the young apprentice to a corrupt cult leader and drug dealer named Cain, who deals “nuke,” a highly addictive designer drug. Before taking over Cain’s drug empire, Hob conspires to kill police officers, shoots at them, and antagonizes Robocop, knowing that the robot is unable to harm children. In his review, Roger Ebert said of Hob that he “swears like Eddie Murphy” and that “the use of that killer child is beneath contempt.” 

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Isaac—<em>Children of the Corn</em> (1984)

Burt and Vicky find themselves in a creepy quiet town after hitting a young child with their car. But the town is abandoned, because Issac, a boy preacher, led the town’s children in massacre of all the adults to sacrifice them to a demon named “He Who Walks Behind the Rows.” Ever since, the children have sacrificed any adults who came through the town.

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Charlie McGee—<em>Firestarter</em> (1984)

Andy McGee and his wife, Vicky, met while participating in a medical experiment in order to earn some extra money. They both developed telekinetic powers as a result. After their marriage, daughter Charlene “Charlie” was born with her own power–the ability to start fires with her mind. When Vicky turns up tortured to death, Andy and Charlie go on the run to avoid the government agents who want to catch the girl and experiment on her. But Charlie gets her revenge in the end.

The Grady Daughters—<em>The Shining</em> (1980)

Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) and his family become the caretakers of the Overlook Hotel. As their son, Danny, begins to see mysterious visions and ghosts from the hotel’s past, Jack slowly descends into insanity. At one point, Danny encounters the ghosts of the Grady daughters, the children of a previous caretaker who were killed when he went insane. The ghosts attempt to convince Danny to “Come play with us.”

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Damien Thorn—<em>The Omen</em> (1976)

When Katherine (Lee Remick) gives birth to a stillborn child, her husband Robert (Gregory Peck) decides they will take another child home from the hospital. The child, Damien, exudes many creepy traits—a bizarre fear of churches, animals turning in fear of him. Even his nanny publicly hanged herself during his birthday party. Matters come to a head for the family when Damien pushes his pregnant mother off a balcony. Turns out that the child is the Antichrist, and the spawn of Satan. 

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Regan Teresa MacNeil—<em>The Exorcist</em> (1973)

Regan Teresa MacNeil is a 12-year-old girl whose mother, frightened by her unusual behavior, sends her to doctors and psychiatrists before enlisting the help of two priests. It is determined that Regan has been levitating, demonstrating great strength, and speaking English backward, among other  things, because she is possessed by the Devil.  The priests attempt to perform an exorcism on the child, which results in one of the priests suffering a fatal heart attack—as Regan stands by laughing—and the other successfully willing the demon onto himself and then throwing himself through the girl’s bedroom window. The Exorcist has been hailed as one of the scariest movies of all time and it was rumored that Linda Blair would actually win an Oscar for her portrayal of the troubled young lady. But leaked evidence that Blair’s voice had been dubbed and a dummy had often been used in her place destroyed her chances.  

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Rhoda Penmark—<em>The Bad Seed</em>

The 1956 film The Bad Seed is based on an earlier novel of the same name in which innocent-looking, 8-year-old Rhoda Penmark kills a rival student who beat her in a penmanship competition by hitting him with her tap shoes and pushing him into a lake. Though she is generally avoided by other children, who sense that something is off about her, Rhoda is able to manipulate adults with her sweet façade. Completely untroubled by her classmates, Rhoda sets a janitor (who is on to her crimes) on fire and reveals that she’d also murdered an elderly neighbor a year before. It is later discovered that the young sociopath’s maternal grandmother was a famous serial killer. Even when confessing her crimes to her mother, Rhoda doesn’t seem the least bit upset or apologetic saying, “it was Claude Daigle who drowned, not me.”