From Rosemary's Baby to Children of the Corn, wicked children in cinema have been giving audiences the creeps for decades.
Midnite Movie Mamacita and Madcap Theaters director Andrea Beesley-Brown knows how scary demonic, knife-wielding kids can be -- she's seen dozens of films depicting terrifying juveniles. Here are five of her favorites.
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When this came out, there were all these movies at the time with evil children, like Rosemary's Baby and The Exorcist. Gregory Peck is in this, and he's a Hollywood icon. He does a great job with it. The parents in the movie notice, "Hey, there's something wrong with our child," but they're in denial. Then this mysterious character named Mrs. Blaylock arrives - she's like the Satan caregiver that looks after their child, Damian. Totally creepy lady. This was a big budget film, so it's beautifully shot. I like the sequels, too, where Damian's older, but this movie starts at the beginning of his story.
Devil Times Five a.k.a. Peopletoys (1974, Barrister Productions, Inc.):
This is completely low-budget, and I don't really know where they were going in making this film. It's about five children who are traveling to a facility, and their bus crashes. Leif Garret plays one of the kids, which is weird in itself. The kids are like devil children, and they come upon a house where some couples are staying. Basically, the kids start killing all the adults in the house. An alternate title was Peopletoys, which is fitting, because at the end of the film, the kids dress up the people they killed and play with them. I don't know what the point was, but it was a bizarre film.
Flowers in the Attic (1987, Fries Entertainment):
I love this movie. This is one of those movies I remember watching at a sleepover with my girlfriends. It's really creepy, and has all these underlying themes of incest and family betrayal. Four children, who are basically completely innocent, are sent to their grandmother's house. Their grandmother just tortures the heck out of them and poisons them. There's unspoken chemistry between the brother and sister, too. The movie is very '80s, too. Oh, and it stars Kristy Swanson -- whatever happened to her?
A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989, New Line Cinema):
This is definitely not known as one of the best Nightmare on Elm Street movies. It was basically like the filmmakers said, "What crazy scenario can we come up with for Freddy Krueger?" So in this film, the main character, Alice, is pregnant, and Freddy's using the foetus' dreams to wreak havoc on her and her friends. The cinematography is very MTV, like a music video, with all these crazy scenes. It's campy, but it fits the whole "Sins of the Children" theme because Alice's foetus is being used to bring Freddy into her world.
Flowers in the Attic and A Nightmare on Elm Street 5 are showing Friday and Saturday, June 18 and 19, at 8 p.m. at Madcap Theaters in Tempe. Tickets cost $8. For more information, visit www.madcaptheaters.com or call 480-634-5192.