Tween terrors

Last week, we posted a list of scary women in horror movies.  There were ten women on that list, and I’m sure in five years, there will be twenty more.  Those were all grown women though, and, as I’m sure we can all agree, young girls can be just as scary as adults.  Maybe it’s because of that certain innocent appearance that kids have.  Or maybe it’s because children have a tendency to say creepy things.  Anyway, here are ten girls who will have you rethinking reproduction:

1) Rhoda Penmark (The Bad Seed)

Obviously we have to start this list with Rhoda Penmark.  Portrayed by Patty McCormack in the 1956 film The Bad Seed, Rhoda is a manipulative, psychopathic murderer.  During the course of the film she kills three people, and it’s revealed that her homicidal nature is genetic: her grandmother was an infamous serial killer.

2) Samara Morgan (The Ring)

When we were first introduced to Samara, we thought that she was an evil ghost and nothing more.  Then we learned her history, found out that she was neglected by her parents due to her out-of-control supernatural abilities and was later murdered by her mother, and we started to feel sympathy, and reclassified her as a misunderstood, vengeful spirit.  Then we realized that was ridiculous, and she was, in fact, an evil ghost and was an evil little girl before she was killed. Samara was played by Daveigh Chase in 2002.  Incidentally, Daveigh Chase also provided the voices for Chihiro in Spirited Away and Lilo in Lilo and Stitch.  Hope that didn’t just warp your childhood.

3) The Grady Twins (The Shining)

The Grady twins aren’t evil, but they are certainly creepy.  Brutally killed by their father, the Grady twins are permanent residents of the Overlook Hotel.  It seems that their only purpose is to haunt the hallway in which they were killed.  And also to terrify Danny Torrence.  And the rest of us.  Today, the actors who played the twins, Lisa and Louise Burns, are a lawyer and scientist, respectively.

4) Eli (Let The Right One In)

I have conflicting feelings about Eli.  On the surface, Eli, played by Lina Leandersson, is lonely vampire who helps their young neighbor, Oskar, stand up to his bullies, and later run away from home. On the surface, Eli is the savior and true friend that Oskar had been longing for.  If you look a bit deeper, though, Eli may be one of the most terrifying vampires in cinematic history.  They look like a child, but make no mistake: Eli is the furthest thing from a kid.  They’re a manipulative monster that imitates a little girl to lure in victims.  Eli doesn’t care about Oskar; they just need a new caretaker to guard them while they sleep.  They groom and manipulate a troubled little boy, and then takes him away from his mother.

Of course, this assessment is based solely on the 2008 film adaption of John Ajvide Lindqvist’s 2004 novel of the same name, and not on the novel itself.  The book offers more insight into Eli’s history and psyche, and inspires a much more compassionate view of the character. But this is Horror Film Central, not Horror Literature Central.

5) Hayley Stark (Hard Candy)

You know those cautionary tales about kids who talk to strange men online, meet up with them in person, and then their bodies are found in a river? There are groups who try to prevent this: the FBI, Perverted Justice, and this Canadian vigilante are a few examples of the efforts to stop pedophiles who seek out children online.

Hayley Stark (played by Ellen Page) is a fourteen-year-old lone ranger.  She talks to an adult man, Jeff, online, invites him to meet IRL, goes back to his house, and proceeds to play a deranged game of cat-and-mouse with him.  Hayley is hellbent on not only exposing Jeff as the murderous pedophile he is, but also on forcing him to commit suicide.

6) Karen Cooper (Night of the Living Dead)

Poor little Karen (played by Kyra Schon) is just a child when the zombie outbreak in Night of the Living Dead occurs.  As fate would have it, she gets bitten and infected, and later eats her father’s corpse before killing her mother with a trowel.

7) Lilith Sullivan (Case 39)

Similar to Samara Morgan, Lilith Sullivan (Jodelle Ferland) appears to be a misunderstood little girl whose parents want to kill her.  And also like Samara, Lilith is a demonic little shit who leaves a trail of death and chaos in her wake.  I mean, come on; the girl’s name is Lilith.

8) Regan Macneil (The Exorcist)

You all knew that Regan would make the list.  She’s not evil or murderous by nature, but she was possessed by the demon Pazuzu and forced to do terrible, unspeakable things.  On the plus side, Regan (played by Linda Blair) acquires some cool new acrobatic skills during her possession…

9) Jumprope Girls (A Nightmare on Elm Street)

These unnamed early victims of Freddy Krueger provide the creepy as hell nursery rhyme that haunts the films and drive us all crazy.  It’s a fun little tune to teach children, especially when you’re babysitting and their parents have a habit of coming home late. You know kids; they’ll repeat anything.

10) Esther (Orphan)

Esther (Isabelle Fuhrman) is a nine year old girl from Russia who is adopted into a loving family.  She has some baggage (as would be expected).  She insists on wearing frilly dresses, she never takes off a ribbon around her neck, and has a rather…precocious knowledge of sex.  Turns out, Esther isn’t the little girl she represents herself to be.