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.
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.
The nightmare that Jack and George share signifies their innate fear—the possibility of destroying the family they, as men, have built.
Jack is both a victim and perpetrator of domestic violence. Jack’s father was an abusive alcoholic who beat and berated him. When Jack drank he used to parrot his father’s words (“take your medicine” “you damn pup”). He is primarily verbally abusive. The last incident of drinking that pushed him to sober up was accidentally breaking Danny’s arm. Wendy, perhaps like Jack’s mother, lied for him but swore she would leave if he didn’t sober up.
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If only she could scream louder! It might defeat Ro-Man In the 1953 B-movie, Robot Monster, protagonists Alice (Claudia Barret) and Roy (George Nader) attempt to engage in post-apocalyptic frolicking and fornicating. This is all while being pursued by a gorilla-suited socialism-spewing space man (John Brown). This space man, or as he calls himself, Ro-Man, […]
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 […]