So let's take a look at some of the most famous tropes, including some of the ones featured in The Cabin in the Woods and how some movies used them to their advantage. However, we are gonna do this is in a topic per post format because as I started writing this I realized there is far too much to include....so for now I am gonna start with one of the very most common...
What is it about kids in horror movies that make them so darned creepy!? I mean...they're little! They're not full grown human beings! Surely you could put Samara or Damien in their place right...right!? Okay maybe not so much when it seems almost all of these kids are for whatever reason PURE evil. And heaven help you if they are singing!
Before we get into the nitty gritty of stuff done well vs. cliche garbage I present to you....
THE TOP 5 KIDS YOU WOULD NEVER WANT TO ADOPT
5. Cole Sear - The Sixth Sense. Nice kid, but it wouldn't be too fun having non stop ghosts stopping by the house in hopes of him helping clear up unfinished business
4. Esther - Orphan. When she's not trying to kill you she's hitting on your husband!
3. Samara - The Ring. You just can NOT discipline this girl. She will put images in your head if you do...and plus...she never sleeps! How can you combat that!?
2. Damien - The Omen. Not so keen on the anti-Christ.
1. Regan - The Exorcist. I would like my child NOT to be possessed by Satan...
THE CREEPY CHILD HOW TO
DO give them depth and a backstory. Cole in The Sixth Sense is probably one of the most interesting child characters I can think of in any film. His story is compelling, and so the audience cares for him...which makes the scares all the more effective.
DON'T just put them in the movie as a plot device. The Wickerman is an offender of this. I feel like this is one of the problems with the ghost kids found in The Grudge.
DO give the characters a personality and highlight their complexities. Again Sixth Sense is a great example of humanizing what would be a supposed evil kid in any other film. But also take a look at the kids from The Others. Their illness and upbringing have made them very different from other kids...and in their own way they are kind of fascinating.
DO let them discover something mysterious...or be at the center of it all. I like it when kids are the first ones to know something is up. When I was a kid I always thought it was like this :) I appreciate this in Let Me In, The Orphanage and The Ring
DON'T put them in danger just for a cheap scare. Now the operative word is cheap. Sometimes kids can be used for the most effective scares! But sometimes...in something as mediocre and ridiculous as The Wickerman, it induces an eye roll as opposed to genuine concern. And above ALL..... DON'T do THIS in your movie:
That oughtta do it! Tune in next for the segment on new houses :) Did I miss any? I wanted to include a few Simpsons clips about creepy kids but couldn't find them. haha! Next time....