10 Terribly Terrifying Evil Baby Movies!
Once a child has hit the prepubescent stage, it’s rather easy for a filmmaker to turn them into walking, talking nightmares. In fact they can be just that, away from the cameras (experience speaking here!), but a baby... well... it’s far more challenging to make a baby frightening. They’re cute, cuddly and completely innocent. They haven’t even learned to manage their own plate of food yet. We want to pinch their cheeks and yank their little hands around like human puppets. We want to shoot the most adorable moment ever and post it to youtube in the hopes that Ellen Degeneres spots it and squeezes it into The Ellen Degeneres Show.
How do you make something so delightful so sincerely frightening? Perhaps that’s a question best answered by the likes of Roman Polanski, David Cronenberg or Larry Cohen. They seem to have a unique understanding of the dark side of the infant.
Here are 10 films that feature gnarly, frightening little suckers that’ll have young couples really contemplating parenthood.
It’s Alive: Make no mistake, Larry Cohen’s 1974 offering It’s Alive is a messy movie. Technically it’s all over the place and from time to time the cheese becomes thick enough to take a bite right out of it. But for all its faults, it works as something of a cautionary tale, and it’s got some chilling moments to behold. It’s Alive isn’t a stellar piece of film, but it’s a great addition to the killer kid sub-genre that still works to entertain nearly 40 years after initially shocking viewers.
The Stranger Within: While The Stranger Within is certainly reminiscent of the great Rosemary’s Baby, it’s just different enough to really immerse yourself in. Shot for television, the flick has gone generally forgotten over the years, but it’s well worth a look if you stumble upon it. There are some marked differences between The Stranger Within and Rosemary’s Baby, so don’t let the comparison turn you off. This isn’t what I’d deem a rip-off. The twist is drastically different and the chemistry between the film’s two leads also varies significantly from what we witnessed in Polanski’s treasure. It’s disturbing, and leaves me pleased to have been born with the piping I was born with.
Grace: Unlike many of the pictures to grace this list, Grace (let’s see how many times I can squeeze the word ‘grace’ into one paragraph) has a few visuals that really do leave the stomach rolling over. No joke. There’s something highly disconcerting about the damage this vampiric baby does on mommy’s nipple, and I still can’t easily shake the image from my mind. Bleak from beginning to end, Grace flew under the radar after a quiet release in 2009, but it’s one of the most disturbing features to hit the market in years. Quite different from your typical evil baby work, Grace is a treasure waiting to be unearthed. That’s a total of five ‘graces’ (now six) in less than half a dozen sentences!
Rosemary’s Baby: When you can make nearly every single character in your film awkward and outright hair-raising, you’ve got some serious skills. That’s exactly what Roman Polanski made happen back in 1968 with Rosemary’s Baby. The only person to enter frame during the entire film that calls for sympathy is Rosemary herself, as everyone else – even her husband, Guy – forces the goosebumps to jump to the flesh. It should come as no surprise that this is a piece of artwork that thrives on paranoia and severely depressing situations. It’s also a nice reminder that neighbors should be kept at a fair distance.
The Omen: Sure Damien grows up into prepubescent years throughout the course (okay, really quickly) of the first The Omen picture. But, he starts out as a baby, and he starts out evil. The damned kid is the Antichrist, come on – of course he starts out evil. Damien has bodies piling up at an early age, and he leaves two parents struggling to maintain their own existence as breathing human beings. The Omen is a horrifically dark film that shines through a stellar script, top notch performances and a couple scenes that cannot be unseen once they’ve unraveled on the screen before your eyes. No one can forget the impalement of Father Brennan, no one!
The Brood: If you’re familiar with David Cronenberg’s work, you know the man brings some unbelievable ideas to the screen, and he tends to support those ideas with a couple of aesthetically revolting moments. The Brood is no exception on the man’s ledger. This one sticks to the psyche, confuses a little and ultimately scares the crap out of viewers. Just what are those nasty little murderous bastards offing anyone with a reasonable notion in their head? I still don’t know... I mean yes, they’re essentially experiments gone horribly awry, but what the hell are they, really? This one moves fast enough to keep the audience thinking and disgusted simultaneously, thus proving one thing: David Cronenberg is a seriously consistent filmmaker.
Splice: Splice hit the Sundance Film Festival and seemed to win over early viewers. Plenty of positive word made its way online and it seemed the general public was on the cusp of catching another inspired indie effort. Then the film made its official theatrical arrival one year later and the masses wailed with displeasure, branding the film a certified dud. I didn’t see a dud in Splice, I saw a fairly well-written story with a couple kick ass performances and some ultra-disturbing scenes. Splice is a little bit like It’s Alive, if It’s Alive had an infinitely more complex backstory and showcased the full growth cycle of the monstrous baby. That said, It’s Alive doesn’t boast an awkward, almost-incestuous scene that leaves the jaw glued to the floor.
What to Watch Out for:
After Birth: The initial teaser for Tara Robinson’s After Birth looks repulsive. The visual approach to the quick cut is interesting in the fact that it does indeed show us a little bit of the nasty, but it’s the imagination that does most of the work for us. That’s not your typical find in a trailer. Will the film as a whole prove to be as riveting as the initial (and brief) promo? Who knows, but with a synopsis that reads like this: When the beautiful Bethany finds herself homeless, she takes up residence in an old, condemned building, not knowing it's already occupied by an evil beyond her worst nightmare. She quickly realizes she's pregnant, but the violent birth she endures is just the beginning of the gruesome battle she must fight against the hungry newborn with a taste for human flesh. – it’s hard to ignore the allure.
Bad Milo!: I’ve always liked pictures that aren’t afraid to be outlandish. Bad Milo! definitely, definitely looks like that kind of flick. Whatever this baby... monster... thing, is, it looks awesomely hilarious, and the flick looks like it intends to have a blast with this critter and the poor fools surrounding it. Check out the synopsis for this one and tell me two things: a, it doesn’t look like a riot, and b, you feel miserable for the orifice about to allow that thing entrance to earth! A horror comedy centered on a guy who learns that his unusual stomach problems are being caused by a demon living in his intestines.
And the Honorable Mention Goes to:
Dawn of the Dead: Dawn of the Dead isn’t about evil or monstrous babies, at all. We all know this one is a remake of one of George Romero’s finest zombie features. Zack Snyder did an amazing job breathing life back into this tale, adding enough twists in the story to keep our eyes wide open. One of the finest moments of the film? That repugnant zombie baby Luda pushes out in the shopping mall. Holy crap was that shocking!
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