Friday, 19 October 2012

Top 10 Creepiest Kids

When you think of children you may typically associate them with toys, play, laughter or at worst, crying and tantrums; as a parent your only fear may be that they could get hurt and your only worry might be that they grow up to somehow disapprove of you. But these associations of innocence and the concerns and panics that naturally follow only come to mind for the lucky parents. For some however, the intense fear of their own kids makes them wish they had never encountered them; makes them wish they had never been born…

As Halloween draws nearer we revisit the creepiest kids in horror film history. From girly ghouls to terrorsome toddlers, we present a countdown of our top ten children that give us the chills.

10. Eli- Let The Right One In (2006)

Girl-next-door Eli may appear to be a blossom of purity and youthful beauty, enchanting bully-victim Oskar as the pair share a unique bond and develop a touching, innocent relationship. But beneath the childlike complexion and curly locks lies a ravenous vampiress who will do anything to satisfy her hunger for blood; whose appetite for survival means lurking in the shadows in tunnels and trees, ready to pounce on her helpless victims. Where Eli is concerned, be sure to befriend or be food!

9. Tomas– The Orphanage (2007)

It’s bad enough when your son claims to have an imaginary friend; but when that friend comes out of nowhere wearing a potato sack on his head to hide his disfigured face, it doesn’t get much creepier than that. When her son Simon mysteriously goes missing in the orphanage, Laura must seek out his dead friends- the orphan boy ghosts of the past- for answers. But a revengeful Tomas wants to play and Laura must go to extremes to battle the ex-resident of the orphanage and explore the truth about his death. With the potato sack orphan roaming the corridors, Del Toro really tests the lengths a parent would go to find their missing child.

8. Nel- The Last Exorcism (2010)

Twisting and cracking into shapes only a stretch armstrong should be capable of, this visually terrifying possession of country girl Nel displays the cringiest deformations and disfigurements of the decade. In Roth’s admirably unique take on an exorcism movie, the question of Nel’s condition wavers; is she experiencing a supernatural possession or in fact suffering from a deep psychological trauma? Either way, scrambling up the walls and lurching inhumane attacks on the camera crew is enough evidence of a devilish transformation nonetheless. It’s hard to decide what’s more troubling- the artificial demonisation of Nel or the fact that actress Ashley Bell can actually manipulate her body to that degree!



7. Isaac- Children of the Corn (1984)
Take your child to church and he’ll be sure to grow up into a fine, young, law-abiding man, right? ...Not necessarily. 12-year-old boy preacher Isaac comes to Gatlin, Nebraska and unleashes his twisted religious fervour, turning the youths of the small town sour. Having been converted to charismatic Isaac’s way of thinking, the children of Gatlin form a cult and wilfully murder their own parents in a malicious countryside calamity. In a now adult-free world, they worship a mysterious, demonic entity - “he who walks behind the rows” – who lurks in the Nebraska cornfields. Any unwanted trespassers are easy bate to Isaac’s peril and the perfect victims for the menacing orphans to sacrifice to the evil godly presence.

6. Take your Pick!- The Children (2008)

As if one killer kid isn’t bad enough, try grounding a whole bunch of them. Christmas vacation turns unrelentingly dark for one family when one-by-one the children start to inhabit malicious defects. As they turn on their parents, the child-centric chaos unravels and the cliché kid vs parent battle comes alive in a terrifying fight for survival. And it’s true what they say - strength certainly does come in numbers!

5. Ralphie Glick- Salems Lot (1979)

‘The boy at the window’ still features as one of horror’s most beloved scariest scenes, and one of the most memorable moments from Tobe Hooper’s cinematic catalogue. Appearing through the fog, undead Ralphie hovers at his brother Danny’s bedroom window, luring him into his reach. Wearing a devilish smile and knocking and scratching at the pane, we wish Danny had closed the curtains before bed!


4. Gage- Pet Sematary (1989)

When little blonde boy Gage is hit by a truck outside his family home, his desperate and distraught parents bury their beloved son in the menacing Pet Sematary in the hope to return him to life. But the bright-eyed, dungareed boy returns not as a he once had been, but as a scarred and revengeful toddler terror. Evil and hatred replaces innocence and affection as Gage is out to murder anyone he comes across- until he is stopped. “The ground has turned sour…There’s something wrong with Gage.”


3. Sadako- Ringu (1998)

The nightmare literally comes out of the screen as Sadako detracts from within the footage of the cassette tape and crawls jaggedly out of the TV set into the homes of her cursed victims. Hideo Nakata’s teenage character certainly started a popular boom of the now well-known pale girl figure, as it crossed borders and became transnational in international remakes and later Asian horror films. When we see a figure clothed in white garments with a dishevelled, draping black mass of hair covering its face, we know it can only mean one thing - authentic and truly terrifying J-horror.

2. Damien- The Omen (1976)

The child of the devil himself, Damien Thorn is the antichrist incarnate. With a ‘666’ birth mark etched onto his head, this wicked child beams frantically as he rides around on his trike, leaving a blood trail behind him wherever he goes and causing death to whomever heavenly soul tries to get in his way. The legacy of the sinful child born on the sixth hour of the sixth day of the sixth month is a lasting one, and still, only the mere uttering of the name ‘Damien’ is enough to send a shudder down any parent’s spine.

1. Regan- The Exorcist (1979)

It’s been over 30 years since we first saw head-spinning Regan projectile green vomit as she infamously spider-crawls backwards down the stairs. In what is arguably still the scariest and most shocking exorcism movie of all time, a long and harrowing outburst of cursing, priest killing, and self-stabbing carnage sees Regan as our creepiest kid as she takes the brutally true form of the devil as we’ve never seen before…or since.

Monday, 15 October 2012



Once a short film of the same name produced in 2008, Richard Bates Jr finally brings his Excision vision to a feature length film four years later.


Pauline is eighteen; a slightly backward loner with no friends, whose sociopathic nature means she delights in being a deliberate nuisance to everyone; and who is a believer of God at her own convenience. Sounds like the symptoms of a typical teenage tragedy, right? But the fact that Pauline has psycho pseudo-sexual fantasies about surgical operations and has a lustrous, sexual stimulation for the feel, smell and taste of blood, immediately sets her miles apart from your generic teen struggling with adolescence. Pauline isn’t just any teenager, and this isn’t just any coming-of-age movie.

Despite failing academically at school, Pauline is desperately delusional about becoming a surgeon, disregarding any learning that isn’t likely to be important to become one later in life. Her diligence at school is elsewhere practiced, doing as much as she can to annoy her enemy classmates and deter wearisome teachers. Being shunned for her careless and sloppy appearance, and being labelled “weird” for her tactless and blunt remarks, Pauline is more than happy to unlike and be unliked, though seems confused at abrupt rejections in some instances where she tries to be kind. She waves at a new girl across the street but has to settle for the finger gesture back. 

These fantasies that Pauline has when she is asleep are shown as visually intense, spectacularly vivid, colourful dreams, tastefully crafted in several short sequences which act to temporarily disrupt the dreary and monotonous existence off Pauline’s real life. These dreams show clean, surgical atmospheres which are passionately tainted with masses of splattered red blood and torn out organs. Although they are more for aesthetic pleasure rather than professional skill, they encourage her aspiration of a medical career, and she smiles as she writhes and reaches her orgasmic climax.  

Pauline’s family may appear to be a perfectly painted picture of the pristine surburban family on the outside, but at the dinner table a control freak mother; a passive, much-of-nothing father; and a younger sister slowly dying with cystic fibrosis is the verified reality. Pauline begrudges her parents for insisting she sees a psychiatric doctor whom she has no disrespect for, questioning his level of profession and making her opinions of his inadequacy to treat her very clear. She makes adamant that she should see a real psychiatrist, though her self awareness of her ‘condition’ goes back and forth throughout the movie; sometimes she begs for professional help and other times defends her sociopathic nature – which she asks, “what teenager doesn’t have?” 

Despite her whimsical angst and carefree intolerance to be polite to anyone, there lies a deep emotional hardship for Pauline, and her family. Though sister and daughter Grace (Ariel Winter) is suffering from a fatal disease, which is perhaps the only thing that keeps the family together, this worry is predominantly subsided to the sideline of the erupting family break down. All mother Phyllis (Traci Lords) wants of her daughter is for her to be an educated and polite lady. But with Pauline sneering at cotillion classes and getting suspended from school, a dead beat mother breaks down in anger and heartbreak as she struggles to find anything to love in eldest daughter. Though she recognises her strict discipline on her daughters and tries to reach out to make amends, she is met by an inattentive Pauline who swiftly disregards her. Likewise, when Pauline openly attempts a heart-to-heart, her mother is far past her efforts to listen. It seems that this tragic relationship between mother and daughter is the underlying backbone for Pauline’s mental problems, though it is never confirmed. Instead, she confides her inappropriate wishes to God and her little sister – or whoever is too afraid to answer back. As for the helpless father and husband Bob (Roger Bart), he is forever stuck in the middle of the house’s female fury, but lacks any real substance as a character and sort of falls by the waist side to his wife and daughter’s snarling accusations. 

With little guidance and no proper psychotic treatment, Pauline decides to take matters into her own hands, believing that she may have the potential to put other people first for once and finally find approval from her mother. But unfortunately for Pauline and her family, the culmination of her dreams isn’t as gratifying when practiced in real life.

It’s almost as if the role of disgruntled and mentally disturbed, psychotic teen was written for AnnaLynne McCord. Largely solely driving the narrative, she plays a truly intriguing individual whom we rightfully struggle to understand as she convincingly bats between victim and perpetrator. We are both disgusted at her character absurdities and sympathetic to her lack of self-constraint. An interesting and perhaps nightmarish cross-between, but think: a miniature Pollyanna McIntosh in The Woman (2011) for her shabby appearance and awkward posture, and Ezra Miller in We Need To Talk About Kevin (2011) for her seeming contentment with sadistic aggression.

While we initially jive and joule at Pauline’s attitude towards her peers and the tricks she plays on her school colleagues, Bates deploys a much more serious and harrowing reality that creeps into the latter stages of the movie. The misfortune of suffering from emotional or mental illness is played out and the disastrous consequence of abundant ignorance is realised only when it’s too late. Though boasting cross-generic elements of comedy and drama, Bates produces an engaging psychological horror which is both entertaining and poignant.