The “killer child” film is a sub-genre of horror flicks that seems to gain more and more fans with time. According to psychologists and film critics, this phenomenon is mainly contributed to how we perceive children (as innocent, good, and pure, hence harmless) and the shock we experience as an audience when we watch a child embrace evil and commit violent, destructive acts. On this list we are collecting 25 terrifying kids you wouldn’t want to babysit. These kids are anything but soft, sweet, or harmless and shocked us with their gruesome crimes and repulsive behavior.
Emily Callaway from Hide and Seek
If you’ve seen this film then you know that Emily Callaway is not really evil but just had the bad luck to have a totally insane father with a split personality. However, the fact is that this girl is way too creepy and with her messed-up genes, especially if she inherited her father’s mental illness, then you’re in big trouble if she knocks on your door begging for a babysit.
Eli from Let the Right One In
First, let’s make it clear that Eli is nowhere near as evil as some other kids on this list, but regardless of her not so bad intentions she is still one eccentric, frightening little girl. Her favorite habits include sucking human blood among other “pleasant” games she likes to play.
Carol Anne from Poltergeist
This sweet-looking girl is way too wise for her age and has some really scary habits. For example, she often knows what is happening before anyone else around her does; yep, she can predict the future, especially the macabre things that are going to happen.
At the age of five, she began corresponding with a host of ghosts through the snowy static of the television set without even knowing it. Odds are I don’t think she’d be good company, especially during the night.
Sean from Birth
So one day at a family birthday party, a ten-year-old, creepy-looking boy wanders into the house, and no one knows who he is. He says his name is Sean. He’s very mysterious and doesn’t say much, which gives him the necessary supernatural aura to convince the unhappy widow Anna that he is who he says he is—her dead husband reborn.
Aidan Keller from The Ring II
If you’ve watched the first movie then you are familiar with Rachel but in the sequel it’s time to meet her eerie son, Aidan Keller. This boy has a psychic link with Samara or to be more precise, he’s possessed by Samara. It wouldn’t be much of an overstatement to say that this boy made the word “mommy” sound as scary as anything and, as a matter of fact, at the end even Rachel begs him to call her by her name, probably because she was too disturbed by hearing Samara call her mommy through him.
Charlie from Firestarter
Way before The Prodigy came up with one of the most epic songs of the nineties there was Charlie, the original firestarter. Her parents were injected with experimental hallucinogens that bestowed psychic powers on them and as a result of this, Charlie was born with pyrokinesis and now she’s on fire—literally. Especially when she’s hungry, pissed off, or frightened, she lights fires and burns whole houses without knowing she is doing it.
Santi from The Devil’s Backbone
El espinazo del diablo or The Devil’s Backbone is a Spanish-language supernatural thriller filmed quite beautifully by the great Guillermo del Toro. In this spooky ghost story Santi is a ghost in the body of a sinister little boy who haunts his school. The young actor’s excellent performance is what marks the film as so unique and what also gave me nightmares for the whole month after watching it.
Esther from Orphan
Esther has a lot of issues to deal with: she suffers from a rare disorder that causes her to be a proportional dwarf. Because she is physically not quite a grown woman and not quite a child she can’t develop a normal relationship with a man. Add in the mix that her father sexually abused her as a child and that to exact revenge for this she killed him and his girlfriend and, well, you get the picture about this “girl.”
Patua Brückner from Phenomena
Phenomena is the kind of film that you will remember mainly for two reasons: one, it’s the movie that introduces us to a young Jennifer Connelly, and two, for one of the most frightening, disfigured boy characters you have ever seen on film. The scenes involving Patua Brückner, the mentally ill and monstrous-looking boy, elevate the film to a level it would’ve otherwise been unable to achieve and trust us when we say you would never want to see any kid who looks like this knocking on your door on Halloween night, or for that matter, any night of the year.
The Midwich Cuckoos from Village of the Damned
In John Carpenter’s Village of the Damned you don’t only have to deal with extremely bizarre-looking children but children that are from another planet; yep, evil and alien too. These children look like albinos with white-blond hair and flashing eyes, have no emotion, and consider themselves to be superior to the human race, which they would like to exterminate. One could easily speculate that they are Hitler’s offspring with a female alien, couldn’t we now?
The Grady Twins from The Shining
Some say that these two are the scariest kids in horror film history, while others find even stranger the fact that the girls are played by real twin sisters Lisa and Louise Burns. Even though the gifted little boy named Danny is supposed to be the only one who could see the Grady twins since he possesses the power of “shining,” it’s us, the fans, who can’t get over the sight of the Grady twins staring back at us chanting, “Come play with us Danny. Forever and ever and ever” after all these years.
Michael Myers from Halloween
We must admit that after watching John Carpenter’s classic Halloween (1978) we can never see kids the same way again. At the “innocent” age of six Myers murdered his older sister just for the fun of it and then almost fifteen years later he went back home to murder some more naïve tennagers. Michael Myers is for creepy young murderers what Mozart was for classical music—a true child prodigy.
Joshua Cairn from Joshua
Joshua is a very clever, smart kid; a true child prodigy but there’s a problem: his eccentric, problematic soul seeks perfection in everything he does and when people around him fail to deliver, there will be blood. If your babysit isn’t up to his standards, and let’s be realistic here, it definitely won’t be, then you’ve got a serious problem on your hands.
Damien Thorn from The Omen
On Damien’s first birthday a woman committed suicide just to “celebrate” the occasion while a series of other evil events happened to people around the little boy as he grew up, but I won’t go into any more details here so let’s just say that Damien’s the son of the devil, so why would any sane man or woman babysit such evil offspring?
Henry Evans from The Good Son
Here’s the case of a boy with an angelic face who is literally nuts and the personification of evil. Why would you ever babysit a kid who kills dogs for a hobby, drowned his brother, and attempted to kill his sister and his own mother? Imagine what he would do to a stranger like you.
Gage from Pet Sematary
Do you remember the evil, ugly creature named wendingo from the “25 Mythic Creatures That Never Existed but People Believed in Anyway” list? Well, that’s the creature involved in the story of our next little fellow named Cage from the horror classic Pet Sematary.
Cage is hit by a car and dies but a wendigo possesses his body and so “Cage” returns from the dead. He does one evil thing after another but his father, who has been in severe denial since the loss of his child, keeps seeing this demonic force as his son. I guess sometimes it’s the parents who just don’t know any better.
Samara Morgan from The Ring
Samara’s spirit is really shy and discreet so she will not knock on your door asking for any favors, but will just leave a cursed videotape she made just for you. Shortly after you watch the tape the phone will ring and, when you answer, in a ghostly voice Samara will say, “Seven days.” True to her word, seven days after you have watched the tape you will suffer a terrible death if you weren’t wise enough to make a copy of it. What a lovely girl, huh?
Barto from The Unborn
To make a long story short, the boy in this film is not even technically human but a dybbuk, a malicious, body-possessing spirit believed to be the dislocated soul of a dead person according to Jewish mythology, who seeks to use the death of another human as a gateway to a renewed physical existence. Yep, that pretty much means that the only thing Barto really wants from you is your life.
Regan MacNeil from The Exorcist
Do we really need to give any reasons why it’s a terrible idea to babysit Regan MacNeil especially on Halloween night? If you go for the “trick” you will most likely see her head do a 360, or maybe she’ll vomit pea soup all over you as she’s flying; if you go for the treat she will most likely kill you for being too nice to her. I guess your hands are tied here, no?
Rhoda Penmark from The Bad Seed
In this pioneering film for the “killer child” genre (it was released back in the fifties) we meet one of the very first evil, heartless children in pop culture, Rhoda Penmark. The scariest part of all is that the actress who played the role, Patty McCormack, was so good at being evil that she earned an Oscar nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.
A Bunch of Kids from Them
If you watch this French horror masterpiece originally named Ils (Them), your view on teenagers might change forever. They don’t just murder or intimidate people; instead they sadistically torture others, and get incredible pleasure from doing evil things and hurting others. The troubling part is that they are demonic and evil enough to create a supernatural atmosphere so their victims get the sense that they have to deal with monsters or evil spirits, even aliens, but definitely not with humans and especially not children.
Jamie Benjamin from The Pit
Here you have a very creepy and strange twelve-year-old boy who has a really hard time fitting in with kids his age. What makes matters worse is that every kid in his neighborhood is a bully and totally hostile toward Benjamin so his only friend is a stuffed bear named Teddy. So far so good, one might think. Well, here’s the thing. Teddy gives Jamie some very evil orders that he obeys and enacts. Pile onto this that little Jamie has an unhealthy obsession with boobs and girls and when he stays alone with his young, beautiful babysitter things get a bit nasty.
And if you thought things couldn’t get any worse, we hate to mention that in his spare time Jamie discovered a pit in the nearby woods that is home to four carnivorous monsters to which he systematically feeds people he doesn’t like.
David from Whisper
If you ever felt the need to feel some sympathy for kidnappers and amateur criminals who try desperately to make some bucks by committing petty crimes, this is the movie to watch. A not-too-bright man and an even dumpier woman are hired to kidnap eight-year-old David who looks like an angel but is actually a demon, literally. David “whispers” instructions to his weak-willed kidnappers to commit evil acts and kill each other. Keep in mind that even his mother can’t deal with her manipulative little boy and wants him dead too. I know it sounds cruel but once you watch the movie and see David in action, you’ll definitely understand.
Kevin from We Need to Talk About Kevin
Even though little Kevin isn’t as evil as some of the kids on this list we can’t overlook the fact that this movie, and thus Kevin’s character, is based on a true story and if you exclude a few little details what you see is pretty much true. This boy is extremely furious, violent, and disturbingly detached, and again we remind you that the scariest part is that he’s not a fictional character like the children in the other twenty-four entries.
If you don’t want to lose your faith in children’s innocence you will need to skip this movie or otherwise you’ll have nightmares about kids for the rest of your life, especially if you recently became a parent.
Isaac Chroner from Children of the Corn
Okay so this is probably one of the worst film adaptions based on a Stephen King story even though it had great potential as a plot. A young couple is supposedly trapped in a small town somewhere in Nebraska where a dangerous religious cult of children believes that everyone over the age of eighteen must be killed.
The leader of the bunch, Isaac Chroner, killed both his parents when he was only seven and then moved to Gatlin, Nebraska, to the cornfields so as to not be disturbed while making plans on how to execute every adult in the world. By the age of eleven he started working on his plan but thankfully for humanity the adults won this war!