A really good horror movie can give viewers a phobia. Jaws, for example, made a lot of people afraid to go into the ocean. The Blair Witch Project kept others from going into the woods. Can a horror movie do something more extreme, like making you decide that you never want to be a parent? We'd argue yes, and these titles prove it.
Whether they're about difficult pregnancies, creepy babies, or vicious kids, these horror films offer up distressing visions of parenthood. Watch them and you'll conceivably second-guess your desire to be a parent. Best of all, each of these movies is pretty good and worth a look. A couple are even better than that, as you'll find several horror classics here.
Of course, being a parent has many rewards. Put one of these on the next time you're in the mood for some horror and you could find yourself opting to bypass those rewards - at least for the duration of the movie.
Tilda Swinton gives one of the best performances of her career in We Need to Talk About Kevin. She plays Eva, a travel writer who failed to properly bond with her son Kevin when he was a baby. As a teen, he has become a sociopath with vicious tendencies.
This taut, disturbing story takes a look at the catastrophic things that can happen when a parent fails to properly nurture a child. Swinton and Ezra Miller, who plays Kevin, are both outstanding. We Need to Talk About Kevin just might give you a complex about whether you could raise a child to be a decent person.
Evil kid movies are a staple of horror, and The Bad Seed is one of the definitive examples. Nancy Kelly plays a woman who comes to believe that her 8-year-old daughter Rhoda might be a deranged slayer. Patty McCormack earned a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for her work as Rhoda.
The Bad Seed plays into every parent or potential parent's worst nightmare: You just might deliver a kid who turns out to be hideously evil. That thought should be enough to give some viewers second thoughts about procreating.
Few parenting concepts are as unnerving as the thought of having your own children turn on you. That's precisely what happens in Goodnight Mommy, a film that gives your shivers shivers. Nine-year-old twin boys wait for their mother to return home from cosmetic surgery. Once she does, the kids convince themselves that it isn't their mom underneath the bandages, so they tie her to a bed and duct tape her mouth closed. Then it gets really nasty.
Goodnight Mommy is a profoundly disturbing tale that suggests children are capable of horrific actions - and you could be the target.
Kids can misbehave sometimes. A few of them even develop defiant, oppositional, or antisocial behaviors as they get a little older. The Omen takes that idea to a terrifying extreme. Richard Donner's 1976 horror classic imagines a little boy named Damien who is a devil-child - literally, as he's the spawn of Satan. Gregory Peck and Lee Remick play Robert and Katherine Thorn, the parents who receive this orphan and come to regret it soon afterward.
No spoilers here, but when you see what happens to the Thorns, you might decide never to chance having the devil inside your kid, as improbable as that scenario would be.