Right, so it’s Friday the 13th and I feel like Hell with a slightly lower temperature, so let’s self-indulge!
Being a horror film buff (I wrote my Honours thesis on “Representation of the Devil in contemporary film”. It wasn’t very good, but I got to watch horror movies all day every day for a year) I love these films, but you’ll notice that there are no films in this list from the past 6 years. Since having kids, my ability to watch horror films has plummeted to zero. Although I suspect every one of these would make me want to go and give my kids a big hug and be thankful they are not possessed by the Devil.
- The Exorcist (1973) – I did my thesis on this film, so it will be forever fond in my heart. That sounds wrong. Husband and I went to see the remix of it a few years ago at the cinema (the first time for him) and it gave him nightmares. I saw it for the first time when I was about 12 (WTF were my parents thinking?) and have seen it close to 100 times and it still scares the shit out of me.
- The Omen (1976) I had such a crush on the actor who played Damien when I was about 10. Clearly, I’ve always had a thing for the younger men.
- Ju-on (I and II) – holy man, these are terrifying. We saw Juon II in Tokyo at the cinema (one of the very few Japanese films that was subtitled in Japan) and I had nightmares that Toshio was sitting on my futon for weeks afterward. It was so fucked up, but so rewarding. In a fucked up kind of way.
- Village of the Damned (1960) – officially before my time, but still chilling (probably because of the lack of bells, whistles and special effects). Storytelling at its best.
- Battle Royale (2000) - the Japanese do evil children films unnervingly well. They do evil teenagers even better.
- The Bad Seed (1956) - there is something about this era of film-making, the Alfred Hitchcock era, that makes evil-child films so creepy and satisfying.
- Children of the Corn (1984) – 1984 was a great year. That is all.
- Communion (1976) Does anyone remember this film? I saw it when I was, like, 11 and used to scare the crap out of all my school friends with it when they came over for sleepovers. I think this says more about me than it ever could about the movie.
- The Innocents (1961) – a black and white classic, the movie version of “The Turn of the Screw”.
- Damien Omen II (1978) – the thing that freaks me out most about this movie is the massive aneurysm Damien “gives” his cousin Mark in the snow. This movie made me terrified of aneurysms from a wee age – they seemed so sinister, so painful, so silent. They weren’t lying.
Do you have a favourite Evil Child film?