13 Scariest Children In Horror Movies, Ranked

Vampires, zombies, ghosts, and masked psychos are all terrifying staples of horror, but there’s something familiar and almost comforting about these old-fashioned villains. And there’s one scary protagonist that remains consistently terrifying, and that’s children. The innocence of children, and the fact that adults are supposed to protect them, rather than run away screaming, has ensured a wide variety of creepy kids over the years.

Of course, horror movie kids can be scary for a variety of reasons. Some are just plain evil and are driven to carry out terrible and murderous acts. What marks these children out is that they are often working insidiously within the family unit, using the fact that no one would believe that their angelic offspring could in fact be a deranged psychopath.

There are also those children under the control of some malevolent force. The Exorcist’s Regan is the most famous example of this, but there are other plenty of others too, innocent kids who are possessed by a demon, ghost, or evil spirit. These children often evoke audience sympathy as much as fear and skilled horror directors know how to manipulate the emotions of their audience for maximum effect.

The third distinctive group of scary kid are ghosts. Japanese horror in the ’90s and ’00s in particular featured ghost children prominently, often with tragic backstories that caused them to die tragically young. But in all cases, there’s no doubt that the creepy kid is a popular trope that filmmakers will return to again and again. So with Halloween upon us, here’s our look at the scariest children in horror….

13. Marco (Shock)

The 1980 Italian chiller Shock was the final release from Mario Bava, the godfather of Spaghetti horror. It’s a creepy tale of madness and possession, in which the spirit of a dead man has enters the body of his young son Marco; when his widow starts living with a new man, the possessed Marco sets about trying to stop the relationship. There is something deeply weird about Marco from the very start–aided by the typically stilted dubbing in the international versions of this movie–and it’s easy to see why actor David Colin Jr’s two-film filmography was spent playing possessed kids.

12. Tomas (The Orphanage)

The sack-headed ghost boy in J.A. Bayona’s outstanding chiller The Orphanage comes with a terrible past–deformed at birth and tormented by other kids in the orphanage he grew up in, he drowned and now haunts the building many years later. Tomas is a tragic victim and doesn’t mean scare to anyone, but it doesn’t stop him from taking part in some really terrifying sequences.

11. Henry (The Good Son)

Although we’re used to seeing adult actors play against type, it’s rare for a child star to do the same thing. But in 1993, the most famous young actor in Hollywood–Home Alone’s Macaulay Culkin–took on the role of Henry Evans, the psychopathic cousin of pre-Hobbit Elijah Wood. At the time, Culkin’s casting came in for criticism, as his close association with Home Alone and Uncle Buck made the movie seem more comedic than scary. But viewed many years later, it’s an impressively creepy performance that works because Culkin looks so angelic as he’s pushing people off cliffs and causing car pile-ups.

10. Esther (Orphan)

This one is a slight cheat because, as anyone who has seen this ridiculous movie knows, Esther is not in fact a child. Orphan’s insane twist reveals that the the evil killer kid we’ve been watching for two hours is in fact a psychopathic 33-year-old former sex worker born with a rare hormonal disorder that gives her the appearance of a nine-year-old girl. Nevertheless, Esther is so weird and creepy that we have to include her.

9. Michael (Halloween)

The creepy kid with the least amount of screentime on this list, young Michael Myers nevertheless casts a small but scary shadow across the horror genre. The opening sequence of John Carpenter’s classic Halloween opens from the POV of eight-year-old Michael, as he creeps around his house and ends up butchering his sister with a knife. There’s only one actual shot of Michael, as he stands outside his house in his Halloween costume and still holding the weapon, but the dead look in eyes tells us everything we need to know about this force of evil.

8. Rhoda (The Bad Seed)

Released in 1956, The Bad Seed is the earliest movie on this list, but it’s still one of the most effective slices of creepy kid chills ever made. 11-year-old Patty McCormack was Oscar-nominated for her role as the evil pigtailed Rhoda Penmark, a psychopathic girl who tap-dances her way through a series of chilling murders. McCormack’s unnerving skill in the role came from having previously played it hundreds of times on Broadway in the stage adaptation of the same source novel. The movie’s ending might have been softened (in the play and the book, Rhoda gets away with her crimes), but it was still a deeply shocking experience for audiences to see small girl behaving this way in 1956.

7. Toshio (Ju-On/The Grudge)

Scary children are a big part of Japanese horror, and Toshio from the Grudge (aka Ju-On) series is one of the most notable. Toshio Saeki is the one of the ghostly “enactors” of the franchise’s central curse–basically if you see this freaky, dead-eyed boy then there’s a good chance a violent death awaits. A variety of actors have played Toshio, but throughout the series, the filmmakers have chosen the most innocent-looking actors possible, making Toshio’s purpose all the more terrifying.

6. Isaac (Children of the Corn)

This adaptation of the Stephen King story doesn’t feature just one scary child, but a whole town of ’em. The kids of the Nebraska community of Gatlin kill all the adults and worship the mysterious corn-loving demon known as He Who Walks Behind The Rows. Their leader is young Isaac Chroner, through whom the demon speaks. He’s a chillingly authoritative figure who dresses like a 19th century preacher and uses his weirdly intense charisma to command his young flock to commit terrible acts.

5. Mercy and Jonas (The Witch)

The creepiest movie twins since the Grady sisters in The Shining, Mercy and Jonas are two of the five children being raised in the harsh world of 19th century New England in Robert Eggar’s breakout hit The Witch. This pair start the movie’s cascade of madness and horror by declaring that their older sister Thomasin is a witch, and then form a weird attachment to Black Philiip, the film’s possibly demonic goat. It’s actually a relief when this shrill, unpleasant pair are taken from their family, presumably snatched by the evil coven that lurks in the woods.

4. Sadako/Samara (Ringu/The Ring

The moment that cemented the ghostly Sadako in her place as the scariest child in J-Horror was when she emerged from the TV in the original Japanese movie Ringu. She was renamed Samara in the Hollywood remake The Ring, but in either movie, this long-haired, floor-crawling girl, who brings death to anyone who watches the movie’s videotape, is one of the scariest characters in modern horror.

3. Grady Twins (The Shining)

Who’d have thought simply standing still could be so damn scary? The Grady Twins are the ghostly apparition of two girls who were hacked to death decades earlier in the The Shining’s Overlook Hotel. Only gifted Danny Torrance can see them, and the sight of them standing motionless at the end of the Overlook’s long, ominous corridors provided some of the movie’s most unnerving moments. “Hello Danny. Come and play with us. Forever, and ever, and ever,” they intone as director Stanley Kubrick intercuts images of their mutilated bodies.

2. Regan (The Exorcist)

There had been scary children before 1973, but no one had ever seen one quite like Regan O’Neill in The Exorcist. Director William Friedkin’s adaptation of William Peter Blatty’s novel was a box office phenomenon, and at the center was the Linda Blair’s portrayal of a demonically possessed 12-year-old girl. Regan’s head-spinning, vomit spewing, foul-mouthed, crucifix-desecrating behaviour is so over-the-top it could have become laughable, but the combination of Blatty’s writing, Friedkin’s masterful direction, and Blair’s committed performance ensured that a new standard was set for scary kids in horror. Special mention too for Mercedes McCambridge, the unsung hero of The Exorcist, who provided the unforgettable voice of the demon.

1. Damien (The Omen)

While Regan is undoubtedly terrifying, the fact that she is possessed by a demon means that she can’t be blamed for her terrible acts. The same can’t be said for The Omen’s Damien Thorne. Perhaps the best known scary kid in horror, Damien is the son of Satan, who was born from a jackal on the sixth day of June at 6am, and ends up being adopted by wealthy ambassador Robert Thorne. What makes Damien so scary is not so much what he does, it’s the effect he has on those who get too close to discovering the truth about him. This leads to some of the most iconic horror set-pieces of the ’70s, from the priest who is impaled on a falling lightning rod to the legendary slow-motion decapitation by a pane of glass.

For Honor Gets New Marching Fire Hero Next Week

For Honor‘s Wu Lin faction, introduced in the Marching Fire expansion, will get a new hero as part of the game’s Year 3 Season 4 content next week.

Immediately accessible to Year 3 Pass owners on November 7, the Zhanhu comes with devastating new Feats and a long, single-edged blade to deal damage with a bit of distance. The hero, playable as both male and female, is fast and powerful, relying on quick dodges and even quicker strikes to outmatch opponents. Those who don’t have For Honor’s Year 3 Pass can acquire the Zhanhu for 15,000 Steel starting on November 14.

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Season 4 also introduces a new Breach map showing off a great Wu Lin fortress perched on a narrow mountain pass, as well as various Hero tweaks and Feat balances.

A Halloween event is preparing to wrap up in For Honor. Fangs of the Otherworld runs until November 1 and brings with it a plethora of themed loot, a new game mode, and much more.

Publisher Ubisoft has confirmed its plans to implement cross-platform play in “all the PvP games” it has. CEO Yves Guillemot said that the feature is “well on the way” during the company’s latest earnings call. Only two of Ubisoft’s games support cross-play at present: Brawlhalla and Just Dance 2019.

Pokemon Go Adding First Gen 5 Legendary, Cobalion, Next Week

Pokemon Go‘s Halloween 2019 event wraps up on November 1, which means Darkrai will soon no longer be available in Raids. The Legendary Regi trio will briefly replace it from November 1-4, but after that, a new Legendary will make its debut in the game: Cobalion.

The Iron Will Pokemon from the series’ Black and White versions will appear in five-star Raid Battles beginning November 4, making it the first Gen 5 Legendary to arrive in Go. Cobalion is one member of the Swords of Justice–a group of Legendaries that also includes Virizon, Terrakion, and Keldeo, which suggests the other members will likely debut in the game soon.

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As usual, before you can catch Cobalion, you’ll first need to team up with other players in-person and defeat it in battle. Cobalion is a Steel/Fighting-type, which makes it vulnerable to other Fighting Pokemon such as Machamp, as well as Fire- and Ground-types like Entei, Garchomp, and Rhyperior.

Cobalion will be available in Raids until 1 PM PT / 4 PM ET on November 26. You can read more details about the Legendary on the official Pokemon Go website.

Cobalion isn’t the only Legendary making its debut in November. Regigigas is also set to appear in EX Raids for the first time later in the month. Niantic is giving players a chance to catch it early through a Special Research story event called “A Colossal Discovery,” which takes place on November 2, but you need to purchase a ticket in order to participate.

Meanwhile, Pokemon Go’s November Community Day takes place on November 16–the day after Sword and Shield launch for Nintendo Switch. The featured Pokemon this month will be Chimchar, the Fire-type starter from the series’ Gen 4 entries, Diamond and Pearl.

Every Call of Duty Single-Player Campaign, Ranked

Call of Duty is still going strong 16 years later with its latest iteration, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. While the franchise is known primarily for its fast-paced, twitchy multiplayer combat, each COD (with the exception of last year’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 4) has also included a robust single-player campaign that explores boots on the ground combat and the harsh realities of war.

While early entries focused primarily on WWII combat, Call of Duty has taken on many other popular time periods since, including the Vietnam War and Cold War eras, as well as fictional wars in the future. But which Call of Duty campaign reigns supreme? Check out our gallery below.

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Destiny 2’s Pinnacle Gear Drops Are Getting Fixed

Expect some changes to the Destiny 2 endgame in Bungie’s next update for the game. In particular, the developer is changing how players work through the very top of the game’s Power grind in the new Shadowkeep expansion. The tweaks should make it easier to hit the peak of your abilities in Destiny 2 as you take on its toughest activities.

The latest This Week At Bungie blog post details the changes that players can expect to see coming next week. In short, Bungie is going to increase the speed of its toughest gear climb, toward the “hard” Power cap of 960. Right now, you need Pinnacle drops to reach 960 once you hit 950, and those will only drop at 1 Power point above the gear you already own–meaning for the hardest-core Destiny players, reaching the top of the climb is a slog. Bungie is changing Pinnacle drops to come in at +2 Power for each slot starting on Thursday, November 7, and adjusting how it calculates your average Power over 950 to help players climb faster.

Right now, Destiny 2 carries several “soft” Power level caps that change your progression as you work to gain the game’s best gear and increase your overall stats. From 750 to 900, any gear you earn from any activity will increase your overall Power stat, which is an average of all your gear’s Power numbers. Over 900, however, you need to complete weekly activities to earn Powerful drops. These include running through a certain number of competitive Crucible matches, completing Strikes and Nightfalls, handing in bounties to specific vendors, and more. The Powerful climb isn’t too difficult, but it does require more effort than hitting 900.

Things change again when you reach the soft cap of 950. At this point, Powerful drops no longer advance you to the final gear cap of 960, and you need to switch to “Pinnacle” activities to get more boosts to your gear stats. Pinnacles include earning 100,000 points on Nightfall Strikes, completing the Garden of Salvation raid, and running through the new Pit of Heresy dungeon. There are a lot fewer Pinnacle opportunities than Powerful ones, because the Pinnacle Power climb is meant to represent the toughest, most elite activities Destiny 2 has to offer.

Right now, Pinnacle gear drops only give you one additional Power point for their gear slot, and in order to raise your total average Power, you need one Pinnacle for each of your eight equipment slots. That means that the journey from 950 to 960 is a slow one, especially because there are generally a lot fewer opportunities to earn Pinnacles each week. Players have also complained about getting multiple Pinnacle drops in the same slot each week, further slowing their progression.

Pinnacle drops going to +2 instead of +1 should make progression go a little quicker and easier. Bungie is also changing how it calculates your total Power level once you’re in the Pinnacle band–instead of needing all eight gear slots to hit 951 before your total Power is 951, as it is now, you’ll only need four gear slots at 951 to advance. That should mean that drops for your other slots will start to come in at 951 once you’ve achieved four Pinnacle drops, allowing you to catch up your other gear more quickly. That way, Pinnacle drops for slots that are lagging behind won’t slow your progression as much. Once all your gear is 960, you can still advance your total Power by leveling up your Seasonal Artifact by gaining experience points.

It seems like this is a change that should address a lot of player complaints about the top-tier endgame of Destiny 2 as it stands right now. You’ll still have to work hard to get all your gear up to 960 and participate in Destiny 2’s toughest activities, which was Bungie’s overall goal for the system. But hopefully, these tweaks will make that climb less prohibitive, so that players who are trying to reach the absolute peak of their abilities in Destiny 2 will be able to show off their commitment a little more easily.

Netflix’s Witcher Trailer 2 Breakdown: First Looks At Dandelion, Cahir, And More

The Witcher arrives on Netflix December 20.

We’ve been waiting a long time for a concrete release date for Netflix’s Witcher adaptation, and now it’s finally arrived: The show based on the books that spawned the popular game series will hit the streaming platform December 20.

That leaves you nearly two months to catch up on the books if you’re so inclined, or two replay The Witcher 3 on Switch. If you just can’t wait for the show, though, don’t worry–we’re going through the second trailer frame-by-frame to pick up on every last detail so we can find out everything we can about what Netflix is leaving the same and what they’re changing from the original source material.

Our breakdown is below. You might also want to check out why the showrunner has chosen not to adapt the games’ story, and our writeup from the show’s Comic-Con panel.

A Bunch of Corpses

Based on the fact that we know Netflix’s The Witcher is adapting parts from the first Witcher short story collection, The Last Wish, this seems like it could be a shot of the Striga’s lair from the story “The Witcher.”

“Something More”

Based on the cart in the background, this shot could be from the story “Something More” in Sword of Destiny, the second short story collection. In the story, Geralt protects a man named Yurga from monsters and receives an important reward.

Violet Eyes

Yennefer’s eyes are described as “violet” in the books. It looks like the show will be staying true to that description–unlike Game of Thrones did with those books’ purple-eyed Targaryen characters.

“I’ve heard tales of your kind, Witcher”

It’s not clear what Geralt has in his hand here. Any guesses?

A Battle

It’s not clear what battle this is. In the books, Geralt isn’t present during the sacking of Cintra.

Thanedd, Again

This shot was present in the show’s first trailer. We still believe that it shows Thanedd, a location at which some major events occur.

Geralt’s Origin

“You’re a mutant, created by magic, roaming the continent, hunting monsters for a price,” someone says in the trailer. It seems the show will get into Geralt’s origin. Witchers are created through a combination of training, spells, rituals, and alchemy, as we can see in these shots.

Hi Dandelion

This is definitely our first look at Geralt’s faithful adventuring companion, the poet and bard Dandelion–although in the Netflix series, he’s going by his original Polish name, Jaskier.

The Aard Sign

We get a glimpse of Geralt’s powers here. He’s using the Aard sign, which is basically a blast of telekinetic energy. Witchers aren’t sorcerers, but they can use these basic spells. Also, this shot appears to be from the scene that we’ve speculated is the infamous fight at the marketplace in Blaviken, at which Geralt earned his nickname “The Butcher of Blavekin” in the short story “The Lesser Evil.”

Prejudice

Witchers may perform important services in ridding the countryside of dangerous monsters, but they’re often feared, disliked, and outright hated by villagers and other common folks. That prejudice comes from the simple fact that Witchers are alien in their appearance and abilities–plus the rumor that they’re incapable of normal human feelings.

Monsters

Given the dark setting, this is likely another shot from the scene glimpsed earlier that we speculate is from the short story “Something More.” Geralt fights off several monsters–you can actually catch a brief glimpse of a second one in the shot above, in the upper left corner.

The Butcher at Work

This may be another shot from the battle at Blaviken.

Is That You, Triss?

Because of the mask and poor lighting, it’s not totally clear who this character is. She may be Yennefer, or she may be Triss. Based on the dialogue, this seems like the first time this character is meeting Geralt–in which case, it doesn’t make sense for this to be Yennefer, based on their meeting in the books. This appears to be at some kind of orgy. In the books, we never saw Geralt and Triss’s first introduction, so this is one area where it seems the show could take some liberties.

“I had them filed down.”

Clearly, Geralt’s sardonic sense of humor is well intact in the show.

An Obelisk

This might be the memorial for the sorcerers who fought during the battle of Sodden. Then again, in the books, it’s described as being on a hillside, which doesn’t completely fit here. And it’s unclear why a line of people would be marching toward it.

Geralt Looking Good

In the books, Geralt only carries one sword on his back. The other, his silver monster-slaying sword, mostly stays on Roach. In the games, the witcher carries both swords on his back. Clearly, the show is going with the books’ version.

Getting Stoned

In the story set at Blaviken, Geralt is run out of town for his deeds there. This seems to fit.

Princess Renfri

This appears to be Princess Renfri (played by Emma Appleton), who plays a part in an early Witcher story.

Nilfgaard on the Attack

Based on their black livery, this appears to be the Nilfgaardian army on the attack, likely invading Cintra.

Farewell, Calanthe

This is actress Jodhi May, who’s playing Queen Calanthe of Cintra (you may recognize her as Maggy the Frog if you’re a Game of Thrones fan). Unlike in the books, it appears we’ll get a firsthand view of the moment she and Ciri parted ways. After this, Ciri will set out to find Geralt, but if the show’s storyline goes anything like the books, it will be a long journey before they’re united.

The Feast

We saw this scene in the first trailer as well. We’d bet money it’s the feast at which Geralt first meets Calanthe in the short story “A Question Of Price.”

Bath Time

In the books, Yennefer teases Geralt by taking a bath in front of him when they first meet. In the show, that situation might be reversed.

The Bath Meme

Geralt taking a bath is a meme that has emerged from the games. They must have realized that when putting this trailer together, right?

Nilfgaard, probably

This large marching army is most likely Nilfgaard’s forces.

Calanthe Dying Some More

In the books, Calanthe commits suicide by jumping to her death during the sack of Cintra. The show appears to be changing that.

Hi Cahir

This is the first shot we’ve seen of the Nilfgaardian knight Cahir Mawr Dyffryn aep Ceallach, played by Eamon Farren.

Hi Mousesack

This is Mousesack, a druid and friend to Queen Calanthe who is instrumental to several stories in the books.

Sodden?

We’re not entirely sure, but these shots might be from the Battle of Sodden, during which several sorcerers fought and died against Nilfgaardian forces.

What in the World

We’re not sure what’s going on here. It might be some sort of vision, because there generally aren’t a lot of events in the Witcher books that cause the ground to split open.

Cintra Burning

This is most likely Cintra after the attack.

Hi Fringilla

This is actress Mimi Ndiweni, who’s playing the Nilfgaardian sorceress Fringilla Vigo.

Yenn in Action

Yennefer is fleeing a large spider in the desert with another woman by her side. This may be a shot from Yennefer’s past, as it doesn’t call to mind any particular events from the books that we can recall.

Mousesack Laying Down Some Truth

“Princess Cirilla is your destiny,” Mousesack tells someone offscreen (definitely Geralt). The druid is instrumental to this storyline, being present at the feast and also influencing the witcher later.

Sorcerer’s Ball

This may be from the banquet Geralt and Yennefer attend on Thanedd, though that occurs later in the books than most of the story that the show is adapting.

Another Sorceress

This woman appears to play a role in Yennefer’s backstory. She may be a new character not from the books.

A Vision

This is most likely Ciri having a vision. Among her many abilities is a healthy helping of prophetic clairvoyance.

A Huge Battle

Given the unreal-looking setting, this battle may be part of one of Ciri’s visions.

Drunk on Potions

Geralt doesn’t mess around when it’s time to fight a monster. We actually glimpsed a longer shot of this scene, in which the witcher is gearing up to fight what looks to be a large Arachas, in the show’s first trailer.

New Witcher Images Reveal More About The Netflix Series, Including First Look At Renfri

It’s a big day for Netflix’s upcoming series The Witcher, based on the popular Polish novels by Andrzej Sapkowski. The latest trailer for the show has arrived, and you can check out our breakdown for detailed information on the series. In the new trailer, we get to see the classic Witcher 3 moment of Geralt in a bathtub in all its live-action glory.

But that’s not all new we got. New imagery from the upcoming show was revealed by Netflix detailing some of the moments from the first season, one of which is more of a behind-the-scenes shot. You check them all about below.

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In the main photo, it looks like Geralt (Henry Cavill) is trying to stop Renfri (Emma Appleton) from killing herself. There is also a picture of Ciri (Freya Allan) inside of a hall. We also get a look at Yennefer (Anya Chalotra) protecting a woman, child, and guard. It almost looks like Geralt is in the background standing next to a carriage. Aside from other shots of Ciri and Yennefer, there’s also a behind-the-scenes picture featuring Chalotra looking through one of the show’s cameras, and Yennefer is looking pretty beaten up.

The Witcher debuts on Netflix on December 20, and aside from the aforementioned actors, the series also stars Johi May as Calanthe, Anna Shaffer as Triss, Adam Levy as Mousesack, and Eamon Farren as Cahir.

The Witcher Trailer #2 Breakdown: 34 Book and Game Easter Eggs

The second trailer for Netflix’s The Witcher is here, and it blew us away like a blast of Aard!

Before we get into our breakdown, which you can read below or click through the slideshow to see (and we have a video version coming soon), be warned that we’re going in armed with the knowledge of everything that happens in the books, and that means we’ll be pointing out what some may consider MASSIVE SPOILERS! For those brave enough to remain, welcome to Rewind Theater!

The trailer opens on the aftermath of a great battle. And considering a scene later in the trailer, this could be the slaughter of Cintra by Nilfgaardian soldiers, a major turning point for the series. Most importantly, Cintra is the home of Princess Ciri.

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