Sunday, 28 June 2009

You brought them into the world. . .

We watched The Orphanage tonight. Here is the trailer, with the most ridiculous voice over you are ever likely to hear. It was a good film - though I'm not sure the story would bear too much analysis. There are so many horror movies in which children are the threat; so many in fact that it must surely point to some deep-seated fear of children.

The Innocents (based on the novella The Turn of the Screw by Henry James) has creepy children in it, as does Village of the Damned (based on the Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham). The 1970s M R James adaptation, Lost Hearts, absolutely freaked me out when I saw it, with its blue-skinned ghost children. The Omen revolves around the sinister boy/Antichrist. The Shining has a sympathetic child (who is creepily gifted) but also has scary twin girl ghosts. The Ring has that terrifying boggle-eyed girl ghost.

As well as The Orphanage recently, there has been Let the Right One In with its girl vampire and I saw a trailer for a what looked like a spectacularly awful horror movie actually called The Children. It had the unintentionally hilarious tag line (adopt gravelly voice): You brought them into the world. . . .Now they will take you out.


It is all of interest to me, of course, because I have been writing so many creepy stories with child protagonists. It is different though. These movies seem to tap into an adult fear of children not behaving as children should. The children in the Tales of Terror books are often reprehensible, but they are usually victims of creepiness, rather than creepy in their own right - at least at first.

It is harder to sell a story to a child on the basis that children are inherently creepy, for some reason.

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