Children Are The Damned
June 5, 2011 7:58 PM   Subscribe

A film professor friend is trying to compile an exhaustive list of pre-1968 films where children (NOT teenagers) are characterized as evil. Suggestions?
posted by Bobby Bittman to Media & Arts (11 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
The Bad Seed
posted by Obscure Reference at 8:00 PM on June 5, 2011 [5 favorites]

The Village of the Damned
posted by cazoo at 8:04 PM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

It's a Good Life (not a film, but an excellent Evil kid Twilight Zone episode)
posted by phunniemee at 8:12 PM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]

Mildred Pierce (the original)? She starts out as a child anyway.
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:23 PM on June 5, 2011

The Children's Hour
posted by sweetkid at 8:28 PM on June 5, 2011

The taggers at IMDB have labelled these as having an "Evil Child"
posted by CrunchyFrog at 8:31 PM on June 5, 2011

From tvtropes: Enfant Terrible
posted by catwash at 8:36 PM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

Lord of the Flies

Movies tagged with these plot keywords:
child killing child
evil child
child murderess
bad seed
killer child

(You can run a search by date-range plus keywords, to get the pre-1968 ones. Of course, the accuracy of the keyword tagging for older movies is somewhat lacking.)
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:38 PM on June 5, 2011

I don't have the book handy, but there is a list of exactly this in the book 13th Gen along with a contrasting list of cute baby films of the 1980's. The authors were contrasting media depictions of babies and young kids as Gen X was being born versus when the Millenials were being born, and it was pretty stunning.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 9:23 PM on June 5, 2011 [3 favorites]

Children in general, or particular children? Evil or just amoral? Is it okay if they're redeemed in some way by the end?

Frank Borzage's No Greater Glory (1934) depicts a group of boys having an inter-gang "war" and actually killing one of their number. No individual is depicted as entirely evil, as I recall, but the general depiction of childish viciousness is disturbing (even if it's just a metaphor). Cecil B. DeMille's totally weird and excellent This Day and Age (1933) has a somewhat similar (but way weirder) storyline, but with (young) teenagers instead of children.

Mouchette (1967, Robert Bresson) depicts a 12 or 13 year old girl who is bullied by pretty much her whole village, including other children (while also not being so nice herself). Though this might be considered to cross the line from child to teenager, it's probably the closest I can think of.

I'd be curious to see what's already on the list.
posted by bubukaba at 11:38 PM on June 5, 2011

Dammit, Communion is from '76.

Seconding Bad Seed. My dad showed me that movie when I was 6 (seriously, that's an askme therapy question right there) and I still have nightmares about it. I can still conjure up the piano song the girl was practicing throughout the movie. Gah.
posted by 8dot3 at 5:48 AM on June 6, 2011

« Older Newbie to Spin Class   |   Can you help me stop twitching? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.