Horror fans have grown accustomed to particular tropes over the years, but they continue to jump at one: the creepy kid. Like any good monster, though, scary movies need more than just the idea of a potentially evil child for the character to freak out audiences - they also need a talented young actor who can bring the unsettling figure to life. Although some horror movie kids don't always scare viewers, when a great child actor is paired with a fantastic role, they make you think twice before turning out the lights at night.
The creepiest kids from horror films have little in common beyond being children in scary movies. Some of them are possessed, others are the Devil incarnate, and occasionally, they're just spooky on their own, with little to no involvement from a supernatural entity.
- Photo: The Exorcist / Warner Bros.
William Friedkin's 1973 horror classic The Exorcist centers on Regan MacNeil, a young girl possessed by the demon Pazuzu. Linda Blair's performance was so effective that just the sight of Regan's face - removed of all context - is enough to freak out people.
Watching Regan's body be taken over by a demon is unsettling, and hearing her tell Father Karras that his mother is servicing the members of the underworld certainly doesn't ease the discomfort.1,873214Is this child creepy?
- Photo: The Ring / Paramount Pictures
Daveigh Chase as Samara in 2002's adaptation of The Ring is one of the highlights of creepy kid cinema. The audience sees just enough of this VHS ghost to stay afraid of her until the film's finale, but not so much that you get used to her presence.
Everything about Samara is terrifying - especially how she crawls out of the television.1,769220Is this child creepy?
Tomás In 'The Orphanage'Photo: The Orphanage / Warner Bros.
Some of the creepiest kids in horror are the ones who wear burlap masks. Just look at Óscar Casas as Tomás the ghost in 2007's The Orphanage.
Tomás is not malevolent like a lot of film ghosts, but just the sight of him is enough to give you chills for the rest of the night.910374Is this child creepy?
- Photo: The Amittyville Horror / MGM
The 2005 remake of The Amityville Horror gets a bad rap, but it brings the scares with creepy ghost kid Jodie DeFeo, played by Isabel Connor. While she's not actively trying to harm the Lutz family, she consistently scares them.
After all, who wouldn't be freaked out if they saw a little girl with a hole in her forehead just hanging out in the closet - or standing behind them in the bathroom mirror?923402Is this child creepy?