Types of Children in Horror Movies | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 07, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 07, 2019

Types of Children in Horror Movies

WARNING: Contains (a few) spoilers.

Since directors have mastered the art of using delightful creatures to haunt our nightmares, you'll often find children playing terrifying roles in horror movies. But since they don't always play the classic role of “child scared by the monster under his bed,” these children haunt our nightmares as murderers, possessed individuals, and sometimes, as their regular, spooky selves. Being a person who watches horror movies as a pastime, I often come across new characters that fit well into at least one of these categories.


The medium, or in simpler words, “the possessed” children are the most common in horror movies. From The Exorcist to Anabelle: Creation, there are countless horror movies with possessed children. Although not always playing major roles, these possessed children are the reason we flinch every time a child acts weird around us. While some exist merely to connect the real world to the spirit realm, others are what give the story momentum. Overall, these characters are often shown as shy and lonely children who have features that make them vulnerable to spirits trying to enter the real world.


Although the bullies won't give you nightmares, their deaths will definitely leave a scar. In most movies, the bullies don't exactly play a major role in hauntings. However, they end up getting into some kind of trouble, be it encountering ghosts or facing death. In the Spanish film The Orphanage, orphans steal Tomás' sack mask which sort of becomes the reason both parties die.

Either way, the bullies in horror films learn their lesson through clever script-writing that will definitely make them encounter a demon at some point, resulting in a scarring after-effect or a fatal death. Apparently, karma exists in the movie world.


Although fewer in number, some movies tend to portray children as the murderous villains who go on a killing spree. Usually, these children are either infected or plain psychotic, resulting in them murdering adults as well as other children. In movies like Children of the Corn, Who Can Kill a Child? and The Children, the story revolves around kids who deliberately kill the adults in their lives. Other movies with different plots include Orphan, Joshua and Halloween (1987) where an unstable child murders (or at least attempts to murder) relatives. Contrary to popular belief, the murderer child personas are the scariest of all. Because unlike the possessed, you can't drive their murderous instincts away with holy water.


The gifted one will probably not be a supporting character of the story. Or like Elise Rainier from Insidious, she'll get her own movie at some point down the road. Usually either scared of the spirits or overly friendly with them, these kids aren't the troublemakers of the movie. Well, in some cases. While in The Haunting of Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia, “the girl with a veil over her face,” Heidi, simply befriended a spirit in their new house, Elise in Insidious: Last Key unlocked a door that resulted in her mother's death. Of course, the first troublesome activity doesn't count. After all, that's what starts the movie.


Antara wishes to conquer the world someday and bring back an alien from Pluto. To know more about her evil schemes, send an e-mail at: antara56.ar@gmail.com

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