Samara was not scary.
There, I said it.
Think that little ghosty Jodie from the Amityville remake is scary? Or the dehydrated, zombified equivalent of the Bubblegum Gang from Sinister is as good as it gets? Well you're wrong. Wrongface McWrongFucker from WrongVille, wronging your wrong way down the wrong street in your WrongMobile. You can stay there and continue to be wrong, or you can read on and accept the fact that I am always right.
"Children can be nasty, don't you think?"
Kids in the fifties, especially little girls, were made of sugar and spice, starched and ironed and sweet as candy. In her neat pigtails and flouncy little dresses, Rhoda Penmark couldn't be more precious if she was stuffed with rainbows and kittens. But her mother Christine knows something is wrong. She's had suspicions all along. Much like Tilda Swinton in We Need To Talk About Kevin, Rhoda's mother can sense that her baby girl is lacking something, hiding something, missing a critical human ingredient - a soul. Little Rhoda is cold, emotionless and utterly without pity. She's a pure sociopath, and is promising to be quite the prolific serial killer when she grows up. She's already killed a couple of people, too bad so sad. But no one wants to believe the paranoid suspicions of Christine, including Christine herself. But the truth can't be ignored forever. And if Christine won't do something about Rhoda, God will.
Village of the Damned, 1960
"You have to be taught to leave us alone."
An isolated English village. A seemingly normal afternoon. Suddenly, everyone in town passes out cold and stays out for several hours. Upon awakening, all of the women in the village who are capable of bearing children find themselves pregnant; married, unmarried, underage, etc. Nine months later, all of the pregnant women give birth simultaneously, producing a dozen eerie children with white blonde hair, glowing eyes and no emotions. Sounds about par for the course in England, except for the glowing eyes thing. They never cry, they don't give a shit about toys and they do not like to be messed with. By the time the village schoolmaster figures out that the kids are in fact the product of an alien intelligence bent on taking over the world, it's almost too late. Almost. If only the 1995 remake could have been stopped before it was made.
The Innocents, 1961
"They live, and know, and share this Hell."
There's nothing more pure and innocent than a child. And there was no more innocent time and place to be a child than the English countryside of the mid 1800s. So, is there something wrong with Miles and Flora? Were they corrupted by their deceased governess and her abusive lover? Are they even now possessed by their sinful spirits? Or are they victims of their new governesses insanity and her flair for Münchausen syndrome by proxy? Ultimately it's left up to you to decide. But it's obvious that the children - in particular, little Miles, who has been kicked out of school for "molesting" another student and thinks nothing of wringing the necks of his pet doves - are seriously disturbed.
The Children's Hour, 1961
"And then suddenly, one night a little girl gets bored and tells a lie, and there, for the first time, you see it. Then you say to yourself, did she see it? Did she sense it?"
Teachers get such a bad rap. They're not allowed to discipline their students or give out bad grades anymore for fear of being accused of sacrificing babies to Baphomet during recess. Back before preschool Satanic masses became all the rage, there were private girls schools in New England, run by women, staffed by women and devoted to instructing girls who would someday be women. And then one spoiled rotten little snotnose bitch gets her grimy little mitts on a copy of Mademoiselle de Maupin and sees an opportunity - get revenge on the teachers who punished her for her brattiness by accusing them of rampant lesbianism. The result - slander, scandal, ruination and suicide.
Lord of the Flies, 1963
"We've got to have rules and obey them. After all, we're not savages. We're English! And the English are best at everything!"
Why are British kids always so much scarier than American kids? Maybe because they've been raised to be prim and proper with impeccable manners and stiff upper lips. But just drop a boatload of them on an island with no parental supervision and watch them descend into absolute savagery at warp speed. Soon the snotty little cretins are decapitating pigs, dancing around bonfires wearing loincloths and warpaint and committing murder. This is what happens when you take away a regularly scheduled tea time - absolute insanity.
Kill Baby Kill, 1966
Kicked by a horse and left to bleed to death because the villagers didn't like her family, the ghost of little Melissa is back with a vengeance, driving the local virgins to suicide. She's kind of like the Brits "Lady In Black" except she's Italian in White. Or Carpathian, whatever. Directed by Mario Bava, I could find no quotes listed from this films script, nor could I find out who the hell played little Melissa. However, I strongly suspect that she was the inspiration for Fellini's short film Toby Dammit and King Diamond's album Melissa. I could be wrong about both. I don't care. I will always associate both with this film and the unnamed actress who portrayed the Baby who is doing all of the Killing.
The Night Child, 1975
I've never seen this movie. It's not easy to find. There's no quotes to pull and reviews are mixed. All I do know is that it's about a little girl who becomes possessed by the spirit of a dead child who was once a killer. Apparently, little Emily there wasn't all that innocent to begin with and was showing signs of being twisted long before she donned a cursed medallion, hence the films alternate title (The Cursed Medallion, duh). But I don't think a viewing is necessary. LOOK AT HER!!! She's freaky looking! That ginger hair and those pale eyes and that dead white skin, GAH!!! There wouldn't be a bitch this creepy again until 1981, when Fulci did The Beyond.
"My mother thought you could use some cake, fatty."
So, for the greater part of this film we're duped into thinking that 12 year old Alice Spages may have murdered her younger sister out of jealousy. Alice is a shitty little bitch, disrespectful, sadistic and vindictive. She's not a killer, as it turns out - not yet anyway. But you know she's headed down that path. Sure as shit, she'll grow up to be a hard drinking, chain-smoking, cold hearted, gold digging man-eating, castrating Queen Bitch of the Universe, breaking hearts and stripping wallets long before she's 21.
Who Can Kill A Child?, 1976
"Something strange had happened to the kids on the island."
An English couple encounter an island off the coast of Spain populated entirely by children. Well, almost entirely. It's Lord of the Flies meets Children of the Corn...minus the corn. Most of the adults have been killed by the kids and the ones that are left are simply biding their time until they too are turned into human piñatas. And no, that is not a euphemism.