The Terror of Little Girls: The Roundup

Check out all of the posts for our The Terror of Little Girls Theme Week here.

Femme Fatale in a Training Bra: ‘Orphan’s Esther and The Questionable Motives of Lolita Haze

The unnerving poster for Orphan

Movies where young girls are victimized are generally our idea of real world horrors, movies that are too sickening to sit through, but as much as they unsettle us, we expect them. We see these stories in the news every day. What is made truly terrifying and shocking in our culture is the advanced young girl already aware of her powers, and what she can get with them–a girl who knows how to move, how to dress, and how to manipulate.

Little Girls in Horror Films: Setting the Stage for Female Double Standards

Grady Sisters

Little girls are often what we associate with innocence. Girls are said to be born out of “sugar, spice, and everything nice,” which attaches a stigma to women from birth that is unrealistic. Society is conditioned to believe this ridiculous myth, which changes the way we value little girls over little boys.

The Terror of Little Girls: Social Anxiety About Women in Horrifying Girlhood

Horror films hold a mirror up to these ideals, distorting the images and terrifying viewers in the process. The terror that society feels while looking at these little girls echoes the terror it feels when confronted with changing gender norms and female power.

Call For Writers: The Terror of Little Girls

The films that depict terrifying little girls are acting out the deep-seated fear of the loss of our culture’s goodness and purity, virginity and innocence. There’s also a collective discomfort surrounding the fact that little girls become women, and that womanhood is unpredictable and uncontrollable. Little girls in films like ‘The Exorcist’ and ‘The Bad Seed’ embody a premature, preternatural womanhood that is powerful, sexual, and taboo.

Women with Disabilities: The Undiscussed Horror Staple of Female Characters

"God closed my eyes so I could see only the real Gwynplaine"

The slut, the virgin, the bitch, the girl next door, the mother, the creepy old lady, the evil little girl, and the final/survivor girl. Female archetypes and stock characters within the horror genre are rampant and well known. From a movie poster alone, we can often times figure out exactly what a woman’s place and purpose is in a horror film. However, there’s another “type” of woman that we frequently see in horror films that no one seems to want to talk about.

Horror Week 2012: That "Crazy Bitch": Women and Mental Illness Tropes in Horror

Vivien (Connie Britton) in American Horror Story Ladies, how many times have you been called a “crazy bitch?” Once? Twice? 5 thousand times?? Or is that just me? This oh-so-not-lovely term of endearment gets tossed around waaaaayy too often. It’s bad enough when we get labeled the sexist term “bitch” — and it’s very different […]

Horror Week 2012: The Nervous Wife: Horror Stereotype or Statement on American Masculinity?


This is a guest review by Tamara Winfrey Harris. Includes spoilers for Paranormal Activity (2007) and Orphan (2009). There, outside the window, in the dark, are those eyes again. Yellow. Animal, but at the wrong height to be a coyote or fox–human height. And those amber, animal eyes are locked on hers. She slams shut […]