From The Exorcist‘s Regan to Orphan‘s Esther and literally all those kids from Children of the Corn and Village of the Damned there’s something downright disturbing about the children in horror movies. Whether simply victims of circumstance or outright antagonists nothing makes the skin crawl like a dead-eyed child destroying everything in their path or, worse yet, a delighted one giggling as they murder. The question is, why? Why is it that, more than freaky monsters and cold-as-ice serial killers, do tiny tots with smiles and eyes all aglow strike us as utterly terrifying?
When most hear of killer children they usually think of school shooters…those frequently of high school age and qualifying for the mass murder category (killers of multiple people in one central location at one time). While sad and disturbing to hear about it’s not terribly shocking anymore; many schools now have metal detectors, bag checks, and other safety precautions just to prevent such things from occurring. However, what really can’t be prepared for by a school (or anyone) and is still rare enough to shock others is the child serial killer. Those pretty little girls and bright young boys who target, hunt, and kill those around them just as Dahmer, Bundy, and other adult serial killers would.