I dislike children most of the time. They’re needy, annoying, and once you’ve had one of your own it takes up all of your time, preventing you from dedicating more hours to horror blogging and chasing your dreams. That goes for all kids. Even the good ones are insufferable nine times out of ten. You think your kid is cute? Only you think that, good sir or madam.
However, there are a few rotten apples out there that are extra annoying because they’re the embodiment of pure evil and want to kill innocent folks like you and me (and all other people). Man, are those little bastards the worst. Anyway, this list is dedicated to those kids — the evil rapscallions that should never have been born in the first place. I’m talking about spawns of Satan, little monsters, and those insufferable brats that give good Canadians a bad name. The list also includes teenagers because, while some don’t count themselves as kids anymore, they’re still not old enough to smoke cigarettes (even though the evil ones still do so — illegally, I might add).
So, without further ado, sit back and try to relax while the Boo Crew — Rob Hunter, Meg Shields, Chris Coffel, Brad Gullickson, Jacob Trussell, and myself — discuss 10 children that are just the worst of the worst. After you read this list, you should spend the rest of your life resisting the urge to procreate. You don’t want to risk your offspring turning out like one of these miscreants.
10. The Children – Village of the Damned (1960)
The tiny British village of Midwich is a sleepy little burg. Literally. One afternoon, its citizens suffer a narcoleptic attack. After four hours of intense, cold sleep, the people of Midwich awaken and attempt to go about with their lives. A few months later, all the women of the town are found to be pregnant. The babies are all born on the same day sporting the same shock-top white hairdo. Even worse, they share the same hypnotizing monotone mutter that alerts any sensible adult to stay away. The children at the center of Village of the Damned demand eradication. They represent the inevitability that all spawn will surpass their progenitors. Do we go quietly into that good night of insignificance? Hell no. Round ‘em up and explode their condescending evil asses. – Brad Gullickson
9. Luke – Better Watch Out (2016)
The killer kids making the cut here are doing so regardless of the quality of the film itself, but I’m gonna say it anyway — this movie is a deliciously dark slice of genre genius. Luke, the boy at the center of it all, is a budding sociopath with disturbing plans for his babysitter, and his intelligence only adds to the cruelty he dispenses. He’s on the cusp of both puberty and pure evil, and he manages to be begrudgingly impressive even as we want him to die a slow and painful death. Grim humor, a painful curiosity, and an utter indifference to human suffering make for a fascinating human monster, and this little shit demonstrates all three in spades. – Rob Hunter
8. Damien – The Omen (1976)
The son of Satan is always bad news, but this devil spawn takes the cake. For a start, he rides around the house on a bicycle and that’s just bad manners. Of course, the fact he uses his bicycle to knock his mother off a balcony is even worse. He also expects guests at his birthday party to hang themselves because he’s a spoiled little demon and the whole world should revolve around him. He only gets worse in the sequels as well, when he grows up some and kills his cousin in part two. That said, even though he’s evil, you’ve got to admire his commitment to the cause of darkness. – Kieran Fisher
7. Hoodlums – Them (2006)
A group of small children break into a house and murder a young couple that won’t play with them. This shocking example of New French Extremity hits you hard and fast for 75 brutal minutes, proving that kids be crazy. – Chris Coffel
6. The Children – The Brood (1979)
Much like Chucky in the Child’s Play franchise, ostensibly the mutated kids in David Cronenberg’s The Brood, with a swift kick, could be easily punted away as you run to safety. After all, with their little snow jackets on, they do give the appearance of the lead characters in South Park, but underneath their parka’s you won’t find crass Coloradian kids but rather parthenogenetically born “children”, the byproduct of a type of psychotherapeutic technique called “psychoplasmics”. But don’t let their diminutive size fool you, these children have no qualms with being extremely vicious, acting with a murderous hive mind. The children are psychically connected to their mother who channels her rage into the pint size asexuals who carry out her vengeance in tiny hordes. Why? Because #Cronenberg. – Jacob Trussell
5. Rhoda – The Bad Seed (1956)
Endlessly remade (Rob Lowe just directed a remake last month for Lifetime!), nothing quite matches the palatable tension that 1956’s The Bad Seed had, and that’s all thanks to Patty McCormack’s performance as 8-year-old Rhoda Penmark. Typically in evil kid films that masquerade as mere “thrillers” or “dark dramas,” the kid’s blood lust isn’t as pronounced at the start of the film. Maybe they at first sociopathically attempt to consciously destroy someone’s life, and then when that’s lost its luster they move on to good ol’ fashion murder. But not Rhoda. She’s a stone-cold bitch through and through, and practically from frame one, you know homegirl is going to straight-up murder some folks. But McCormack imbues her with a manipulative amount of charm that even as she’s lighting the housekeeper on fire, you still think “Well maybe she can turn this around.” But nope, Rhoda is the purest embodiment of evil in late 1950s cinema, and how did she become this way? Because we discover Rhoda’s grandmother was a notable serial killer herself, and genetically it’s been passed down through the generations. The rotten apple doesn’t fall far from the murderin’ family tree. – Jacob Trussell
4. Kevin – We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)
Finally! An answer to the age-old question “can a toddler look like it wants to commit a murder?” Whether a shrieking baby, an unnervingly malevolent kid, or a snapped teen, Kevin is terrifying. He is the poster child for why having kids is so scary. What if your kid turns out to be a monster because you are a bad parent? What if you are a good parent, but your kid is just inherently an asshole? Which is worse? Either way, this film should be sponsored by IUDs. – Meg Shields
3. Regan – The Exorcist (1973)
Nothing like a good old fashioned juxtaposition to put the fear of god into you. We know Regan is a sweet kid. So when her flesh splits, her tongue flicks, and she begins to spew all manner of vomit and vitriol—it’s unsettling. An unholy corruption in the purest sense. And then there’s that voice. Linda Blair’s possession by the rage and gargles of Mercedes McCambridge is otherworldly: an impression of hell through nothing but a wheeze. Those noises should not come out of a human being, let alone a little girl. – Meg Shields
2. The Children – The Children (2008)
Christmas is supposed to be the best time of year, bringing families together to rejoice and celebrate capitalism. As Rob Hunter, Chris Coffel, and I found out the hard way, though, sometimes Christmas is anything but pleasant. That’s because of ungrateful kids like the little deviants in The Children, who spend the holiday trying to murder their parents. This movie is all about the unpredictable nature of kids with the volume turned up to 11, which is a scary thought even without the horror setting. These little bastards all deserved coal in their stalking for their behavior. – Kieran Fisher
1. Chavs – Eden Lake (2008)
A young couple heads out to a remote lake in the English countryside for a lovely and relaxing weekend. Things start off well enough as they enjoy the gorgeous scenery and take in some hiking. Their R&R is quickly disrupted when some no-good punk teens show up lakeside and give the couple a hard time. What starts as typical jerk teen behavior quickly escalates to brutal and unflinching violence with the couple on the receiving end. If you’re looking for something pleasant to escape from the harsh realities of your everyday life, this isn’t the film for you. This is a film that wants to leave you gutted and it succeeds. That’s not to say it’s bad, on the contrary, it’s quite good, but watcher beware: you won’t like how you feel once it’s over. – Chris Coffel
Related Topics: 31 Days of Horror Lists