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.
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.
Halloween is upon us, so it’s time to contemplate the prolific theme of demon/spirit possession in film and on TV. Why is this such a prevalent theme? In many ways, possession explains evil as something separate from ourselves, something that infects us, which dichotomizes good and evil.
Horror films have a long-standing tradition of commenting on the social fears and anxieties of their time. Another universally recognized truth of horror is that scary children are terrifying–especially little girls. While an analysis of “creepy children” in horror films usually proclaims that they are providing commentary on a loss of innocence, and it would […]