Horror's Creepiest Movie Kids

Close up of Eden Edwards with blood on her face in movie Children of the Corn
See Children of the Corn at Regal


By the time the film adaptation of Stephen King's Children of the Corn released in 1984, the author's reputation as the king of horror was well underway. King published the short story in 1977, and since then, the tale has spawned over a dozen film adaptations and sequels — including the 2023 prequel. 

The film stars a slate of young actors, including Sisi Stringer as Tanika, Elena Kampouris as Boleyn Williams, and Kate Moyer as Eden Edwards, the apparent ringleader of the creepy group of kids. Given that Children of the Corn features a host of unsettling cult-like kids, it's impossible to have a conversation about spooky horror kids without including the film in the conversation. So, here are some of the creepiest kids the horror genre has to offer. 


Isaac Chroner (Children of the Corn)

The only thing creepier than one horror kid is a slew of children in a death cult that kill off any adult over the age of 19 — including their own cult members. While most audiences haven't met Moyer's Eden yet, fans of the original movie have had nightmares since Isaac Chroner (John Franklin) first graced the screen in 1984. 

Up until the 2023 film, audiences never meet the entity known as He Who Walks Behind the Rows in his genuine form, making the kids the corporeal antagonists. The most fascinating and haunting aspect about Isaac and the other kids from the franchise stems from the ease with which a charismatic individual can convince a group of people (or kids) to commit unspeakable acts. It's cult brainwashing 101 and a cautionary tale on the perils of religious fanaticism. Even though a not-so-human entity influences the kids, cult leaders can produce the same kind of sacrificial loyalty, adding a level of realism to the story. 


The Grady Twins (The Shining)

Sometimes, the impact of horror characters spans decades, with countless parodies and references throughout pop culture. Although the Grady twins only show up briefly in The Shining, they're two of the most-spoofed characters in pop culture history. 

Between a painting in Coco, a Simpsons appearance in "Treehouse of Horror V," and the twins in Us, the Grady twins have inspired countless projects — both in and out of the horror genre. Hell, OG actresses Jacqueline and Joyce Robbins have appeared in several projects themselves to pay homage to their stint as the Grady twins. For instance, the episode of Psych called "Heeeeere's Lassie" features the Robbins twins with a parody of The Shining, and the twins' arc in the Netflix iteration of A Series of Unfortunate Events emulates their original The Shining role. Sure, the Grady twins mostly just stand there, but they do it so well


Cole Sear (The Sixth Sense)

A kid doesn't have to be downright evil to make our hair stand up. M. Night Shyamalan's The Sixth Sense is one of those movies you wish you could forget and rewatch for the first time. For years after the film released, kids would delight themselves by sneaking up on friends and unsuspecting adults and whispering, "I see dead people." Yeah, creepy. Thanks a lot, Cole. 

Haley Joel Osment's haunting portrayal of Cole makes the character so effective because audiences don't know what's real or in Cole's head for a significant chunk of the movie. Beyond having one of the best plot twists in cinematic history, Mischa Barton's performance as Kyra Collins is equally chilling — and taught an entire generation the meaning of Munchausen syndrome by proxy. 

Shyamalan is still going strong these days, just having released the horror film Knock at the Cabin


Samara Morgan (The Ring)

Anyone with long dark hair coming out of a pool has probably been compared to Samara (Daveigh Chase) from The Ring at some point. The Ring takes tragic backstories to the max, slowly unfurling Samara's tortured and abusive childhood. Samara's powers existed long before her death, leading to an isolated and deadly childhood.

Samara couldn't control her abilities when she was younger, but instead of trying to help her, her mother tried to drown her daughter. The young girl's adoptive parents didn't do any better, sending Samara off to get studied and prodded. After secluding Samara in a barn, her adoptive mother ultimately finished what her birth mom tried to start. 

In the film's current events, Samara infuses her essence on a videotape in an attempt to finally find her voice. Unless they copy the tape, she kills everyone who watches it within seven days of viewing it (the amount of time it took her to die in a well). Eventually, Samara can crawl out of TVs in a way that makes even jump-scare pros flinch. The minute you see that long messy hair come out of the TV, you're done. Don't watch this one alone. 


Gage Creed (Pet Sematary) 

Supernatural's Dean Winchester said it best: "What's dead should stay dead." Chances are, when you resurrect your child from the dead, they're not going to come back the same — just ask Stephen King. His short story Pet Sematary has delighted (and creeped out) both readers and film audiences for decades.

Naturally, the original 1989 film has become a horror classic. And while some of the special effects feel a little outdated these days, one thing's for sure: Gage Creed (Miko Hughes) is creepy, and his giggle is downright haunting. We'll take the resurrected cat over the homicidal kid any day. 

Children of the Corn (2023) is coming to Regal March 3. 


See Children of the Corn at Regal

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