By Sam Allen
If you’re not careful with your birth control be prepared for three more glorious reasons to run to the Wellness Center for condoms! This week’s Monster of the Week deals with creepy children. From the curious children who wander aimlessly into an abyss of horrors to the straight up satanic, these films will have you squealing at the sight of kids.
Where is your mother?!
Alice is a 1988 Czech adaption of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland that takes a disturbing turn. The film stays faithful to the original story with one bizarre exception: All the wondrous creatures of Wonderland are taxidermy animals. Alice uses stop motion to create the movement of the creatures and other objects in them film, which adds to its overall creepiness. The White Rabbit alone is nightmare fodder!
Though Alice is not a creepy child herself, you’ll find yourself fidgeting uncomfortably at her complete lack of self-preservation. She puts just about anything into her mouth, including ink and what looks to be embalming fluid. Once consumed, instead of literally shrinking in size, Alice travels wonderland in the form of a porcelain doll. If Alice in Wonderland was a creepy story before, the skeletal creatures and the mindless wandering on Alice’s part makes this film downright horrifying.
The film has minimal dialogue so there are no subtitles to worry about. The few lines spoken are dubbed in English. Like many foreign films, Alice’s pacing is much slower than the average American horror flick, so this film requires a bit of patience. It is, however, worth watching. I can pretty much guarantee that Alice is unlike anything you’ve ever seen.
Let The Right One In (2008)
These kids have some bite!
If you’re looking for a vampire film that breaks the mold, look no further. Let the Right One In (2008) is a Swedish horror film about a 12-year-old boy named Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant) who falls in love with a vampire named Eli (Lina Leandersson). This romantic horror film is no Twilight, it’s as gruesome as it is original. Oskar is obsessed with serial killers, he keeps a scrapbook of murders in his area and constantly practices threatening those who bully him with a knife. At the beginning of the film, the lonely Oskar finds a friend in Eli, who has just moved in with her “father” Håkan (Per Ragnar). Håkan is a serial killer, who murders local townspeople to keep his vampire “daughter” subdued.
The film becomes thrilling when Håkan botches a murder, putting Eli’s safety in jeopardy. Håkan has to kill more and more people to feed his bloodthirsty companion, causing unrest in the town. The film ends with what appears to be a happy ending for the two demented child lovers. However, if you pay close attention, you’ll realize that Let the Right One In is incredibly tragic. For those of you who can’t stand subtitles, Let the Right One In was remade in the United States in 2010 under the name Let Me In and is a rarity among remakes in that it’s just as good as the original. Though Let Me In is no longer streaming on Netflix, it can be rented through Netflix’s DVD service.
The Omen (1976)
Devil child doesn’t even cover it.
A classic among horror films, and one of my personal favorites, The Omen (1976) tells the story of a family who adopts a baby that turns out to be the devil. The adoption itself is pretty shady, Katherine Thorn (Lee Remick) goes into labor at the beginning of the film, but doctors tell her husband Robert (Gregory Peck) that their child has died. The doctors advise Robert to adopt another baby whose mother died in labor the same day, so Robert adopts the child and decides not to tell his wife. As the child, who they name Damien (Harvey Spencer Stephens), grows older, things start to get strange.
Hell hounds appear at the Thorne residence and insist on guarding their demonic heir. Damien refuses to go inside a church with his family and later in the film his nanny even commits suicide. Robert goes on a journey to discover the origins of his adopted son after the local priest Father Brennan (Patrick Troughton) tells him that his son might be the antichrist. Together they go to Rome and Israel on a quest to save his family from this demon in human flesh.
This film stands the test of time. Though it is older, and by today’s standards relatively tame, it’s still a thrilling story that will keep you at the edge of your seat. The Omen brings us back to a time in which the story of a horror film mattered more than the cheap jump scares.
Sam Allen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.