The Book of Lists - Horror: F.X. Feeney's Ten Essential "Children of Horror" Films

by MinaGrentham | created - 06 Sep 2014 | updated - 06 Sep 2014 | Public

F.X. Feeney is best known for his writings on film for L.A. Weekly and the Z Channel. Feeney's credits as a screenwriter include Frankenstein Unbound (1990), which he wrote for director Roger Corman, based on the novel by Brian Aldiss.

I was tempted to call this list "Children, Grandchildren, and Stepchildren of the Damned." One scary kid on film breeds legions of others, it seems, in hit after hit--though it's fascinating to note that monstrous children never appeared onscreen until after 1945. Strictly speaking, the arrive in the late 1950s: but that's in keeping with the rebuilding of the world which followed Spain's civil war, the Nazi genocide against the Jews, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the whole of World War II. Humanity had never been obliged to consider so many displaced, lost children at one time before. The notion of "mutation" (for which we can thank our friend the atom) was also new. How better to dramatize these terrors and potential horrors than by focusing on children, whose potentials are by definition limitless?

 Refine See titles to watch instantly, titles you haven't rated, etc
  • Instant Watch Options
  • Genres
  • Movies or TV
  • IMDb Rating
  • In Theaters
  • On TV
  • Release Year
  • Keywords



IMDb user rating (average) to
Number of votes to »




Reset



Reset
Release year or range to »




































































































1. The Spirit of the Beehive (1973)

Not Rated | 98 min | Drama, Fantasy

87 Metascore

In 1940, after watching and being traumatized by the movie Frankenstein (1931), a sensitive seven year-old girl living in a small Spanish village drifts into her own fantasy world.

Director: Víctor Erice | Stars: Fernando Fernán Gómez, Teresa Gimpera, Ana Torrent, Isabel Tellería

Votes: 14,122

2. The Bad Seed (1956)

Approved | 129 min | Crime, Drama, Horror

A housewife suspects that her seemingly perfect eight year-old daughter is a heartless killer.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy | Stars: Nancy Kelly, Patty McCormack, Henry Jones, Eileen Heckart

Votes: 10,915

3. Village of the Damned (1960)

Not Rated | 77 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

In the English village of Midwich, the blonde-haired, glowing-eyed children of uncertain paternity prove to have frightening powers.

Director: Wolf Rilla | Stars: George Sanders, Barbara Shelley, Michael Gwynn, Laurence Naismith

Votes: 12,437

4. Spirits of the Dead (1968)

R | 121 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

Anthology film from three European directors based on stories by Edgar Allan Poe: a cruel princess haunted by a ghostly horse, a sadistic young man haunted by his double, and a alcoholic actor haunted by the Devil.

Directors: Federico Fellini, Louis Malle, Roger Vadim | Stars: Jane Fonda, Brigitte Bardot, Alain Delon, Terence Stamp

Votes: 4,677

Segment "Toby Dammit"

5. Don't Look Now (1973)

R | 110 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

A married couple grieving the recent death of their young daughter are in Venice when they encounter two elderly sisters, one of whom is psychic and brings a warning from beyond.

Director: Nicolas Roeg | Stars: Julie Christie, Donald Sutherland, Hilary Mason, Clelia Matania

Votes: 39,897

6. The Exorcist (1973)

R | 122 min | Horror

82 Metascore

When a teenage girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter.

Director: William Friedkin | Stars: Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Linda Blair, Lee J. Cobb

Votes: 315,922 | Gross: $232.91M

7. The Shining (1980)

R | 146 min | Drama, Horror

63 Metascore

A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers

Votes: 728,576 | Gross: $44.02M

8. The City of Lost Children (1995)

R | 112 min | Fantasy, Sci-Fi

73 Metascore

A scientist in a surrealist society kidnaps children to steal their dreams, hoping that they slow his aging process.

Directors: Marc Caro, Jean-Pierre Jeunet | Stars: Ron Perlman, Daniel Emilfork, Judith Vittet, Dominique Pinon

Votes: 60,034 | Gross: $1.51M

9. The Sixth Sense (1999)

PG-13 | 107 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

64 Metascore

A boy who communicates with spirits seeks the help of a disheartened child psychologist.

Director: M. Night Shyamalan | Stars: Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, Toni Collette, Olivia Williams

Votes: 806,235 | Gross: $293.51M

10. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

R | 118 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

85 Metascore

A young F.B.I. cadet must receive the help of an incarcerated and manipulative cannibal killer to help catch another serial killer, a madman who skins his victims.

Director: Jonathan Demme | Stars: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Lawrence A. Bonney, Kasi Lemmons

Votes: 1,057,272 | Gross: $130.74M

(Listed together with Manhunter as #10.)

11. Manhunter (1986)

R | 120 min | Crime, Horror, Mystery

75 Metascore

Former FBI profiler Will Graham returns to service to pursue a deranged serial murderer named "the Tooth Fairy" by the media.

Director: Michael Mann | Stars: William Petersen, Kim Greist, Joan Allen, Brian Cox

Votes: 56,721 | Gross: $8.62M

(Listed together with The Silence of the Lambs as #10.)



Recently Viewed