The Book of Lists - Horror: F.X. Feeney's Ten Essential "Children of Horror" Filmsby 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?
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1. The Spirit of the Beehive (1973)
Not Rated | 98 min | Drama, Fantasy
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.
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.
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 an alcoholic actor haunted by the Devil.
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.
7. The Shining (1980)
R | 146 min | Drama, Horror
A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where a sinister presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from both past and future.
Votes: 855,149 | Gross: $44.02M
8. The City of Lost Children (1995)
R | 112 min | Fantasy, Sci-Fi
A scientist in a surrealist society kidnaps children to steal their dreams, hoping that they slow his aging process.
Votes: 63,484 | Gross: $1.51M
10. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
R | 118 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
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.
Votes: 1,216,519 | Gross: $130.74M
(Listed together with Manhunter as #10.)
11. Manhunter (1986)
R | 120 min | Crime, Horror, Mystery
Votes: 63,044 | Gross: $8.62M
(Listed together with The Silence of the Lambs as #10.)