When it comes to horror movies, bodies are a given. Adults and adolescents (over the age of sixteen) are killed, sometimes with wild abandon, by the monster or alien or psycho. But kids tend to be spared the bloody end their babysitter receives; Child’s Play, Leprechaun, Godzilla and Jurassic World (I know, the last two aren’t technically horror but they do feature monsters-on-the-rampage so for this, I’m counting ‘em) all have young ‘uns who survive even as the grown folks end up six feet under.
But, as anyone who has seen It knows, not every horror film sticks to this rule; sometimes, a child is just as much a victim as their elders and when that happens, no one is safe. Below are some of the films where the writer and director took a shocking turn and took out a character not even old enough to see them. Oh, and spoilers. Duh.
When the 1975 hit first hit theaters, nobody could’ve foreseen some little kid floating along on a raft would end up inside the killer shark’s belly yet in one of the most shocking scenes in history, that’s exactly what happened. The scene, which may be rather tame by today’s standards, was originally meant to be far more gruesome but the filmmakers opted for the less gory version. Did they make the right choice? Who knows? Either way, the scene is classic and one of the strongest in the entire series.
“Kids in peril” is a pretty common theme in horror. Most times, the child survives the evil’s onslaught (Insidious, Cujo) but in this “gem” from 2011, Nat isn’t so lucky. The film isn’t top notch by any stretch of the imagination but the final death shows creative courage the rest of the flick lacks.
Christmas is supposed to be about food and presents and drunken family brawls, not a barely-teenager ending up in hell yet that where we find Max by the time the credits roll on this 2015 creeper/slasher. Beyond the dead kid rule-break, this film also flounces the “lone survivor” when it kills off everyone in holiday-themed scenes of violence.
Unlike that other campsite killer, the one in this 1983 cult classic doesn’t just kill counselors; the kids are just as likely to end up a bloody corpse. Quite a few kids bite it in this one but its Paul’s death and the shocking revelation that follows that makes this one a must-see. Granted, the kids’ deaths are off screen but don’t think it’s still not full of “holy shit” moments.
Scouting is supposed to be a fun, safe character-building experience but in this 2014 flick, it’s anything but. Pretty much everyone dies and there’s even a kid-on-kid fight to the death scene just in case mass-child-murder isn’t enough to raise your eyebrow. Like Sleepaway Camp, the youngest deaths are not seen but the result is still disturbing.
I know there are other films out there where the shortest cast members end up on the wrong end of the killer’s knife. You know of any? Let me know below.