20 horror movies starring children

Children are not recommended to watch horror films, but no one forbids boys and girls to act in horror films, catching fear on adults. A fragile psyche is vulnerable to intrusion from the outside and can easily let in dark forces. Our selection of the best horror films about children will introduce you to excellent horror films where the main characters, despite their very young age, find themselves in the center of terrible events.

Son (2021)

A young woman is raising her son alone. One night, the mother finds mysterious strangers in the boy’s room, and then the child begins to have convulsions and psychoses. Medicines do not help with a mysterious illness. The key to healing the mother will have to be sought in her own past. The young actor who plays the boy is no stranger to horror – he previously played Linus, a member of a group of child murderers in The Walking Dead.

What do you think, is it worth filming a sequel, and what should be in it?

Original title:
Son

Actors:
Andy Matichak, Emil Hirsch, Luke David Bloom…

Country:
Ireland, USA, UK

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.1, IMDb – 5.5

Age restrictions:
18+


I hear voices (2020)

A married couple makes a living repairing and reselling houses. In another old mansion, an eight-year-old son begins to hear ominous voices. To understand what is happening, the parents invite a specialist in paranormal phenomena. A house captured by evil forces is a hackneyed plot device in scary films about children, but the director of this new movie refreshed the hackneyed topic by adding national color to the Spanish horror movie .

Original title:
Voces

Actors:
Rodolfo Sancho, Ana Fernandez, Ramon Barea…

Country:
Spain

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.9, IMDb – 6.1

Age restrictions:
18+


Let’s Play (2020)

An autistic boy avoids communication with peers, preferring to spend his free time with a tablet and smartphone. A lonely child finds an imaginary friend – a monster who has not received understanding from his relatives. Friendly relations with the monster gradually develop into a real nightmare. An extraordinary horror film about a boy grew out of a short film shot three years ago about a monster who dreams of making friends.

Original title:
Come Play

Actors:
Ezhi Robertson, Gillian Jacobs, John Gallagher Jr….

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.5, IMDb – 5.7

Age restrictions:
16+


Burn, burn bright (2019)

A childless couple finds a capsule with a baby that fell from space. The couple decide to adopt an alien . With age, superpowers awaken in a child , but a new superman will not work out of a boy. The forces lurking in the messenger from outer space are aimed at death and destruction. A non-trivial approach to superheroics has firmly secured this interesting film high positions in the lists of the best horror films about children.

Original title:
Brightburn

Actors:
Elizabeth Banks, David Denman, Jackson A. Dunn …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.7, IMDb – 6.1

Age restrictions:
16+


Omen: Rebirth (2019)

A young couple has an heir, who from an early age demonstrates the makings of a genius. The boy is destined for a school for gifted children and a bright future, but disturbing features appear in his behavior. Behind the eerie voices in a dream and aggressive actions, an ancient evil emerges. The tempting title of an American horror film is a cunning publicity stunt by Russian translators: the film has nothing to do with the cult horror franchise.

Original title:
The Prodigy

Actors:
Taylor Schilling, Jackson Robert Scott, Peter Mooney …

Country:
USA, Hong Kong

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.6, IMDb – 5.9

Age restrictions:
16+


Eli (2019)

Due to a serious illness, the boy is forced to live in isolation, and go out into the street in a special spacesuit. The mother takes the child to a country laboratory for experimental treatment. Ghosts suggest that the doctor is going not to heal, but to destroy the little patient. Like many young stars of thrillers about children, the lead actor has appeared on the screen more than once – the actor’s filmography includes more than a dozen films and series.

Original title:
Eli

Actors:
Charlie Shotwell, Kelly Reilly, Max Martini…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.9, IMDb – 5.7

Age restrictions:
18+


Z (2019)

The boy invents an imaginary friend. Parents at first did not suspect anything wrong. Under the influence of a fictional friend, an ordinary child turns into a malicious bully with a craving for violence. Behind the children’s fantasy lies a real monster – ruthless and almost invulnerable. The director and screenwriter already had experience working together – they had previously released the atmospheric horror film Gemini.

Оригинальное название:
Z

Актеры:
Киган Коннор Трейси, Джетт Клине, Шон Роджерсон…

Страна:
Канада

Рейтинг:
Кинопоиск – 5.2, IMDb – 5.6

Возрастные ограничения:
16+


Другой (2018)

Молодая женщина вместе с сыном поселяется на окраине маленького городка. Непоседливый сорванец убегает, заставив мать изрядно поволноваться. Огромная дыра в земле, встречи с местной сумасшедшей и странности в поведении ребёнка указывают, что семья столкнулась со сверхъестественными силами. Интересный фильм ужасов про мальчика стал дебютом в большом кино для ирландского режиссёра, прежде снимавшего только короткометражки.

Original title:
The Hole in the Ground

Actors:
Shana Kerslake, James Quinn Markey, Kati Outinen …

Country:
Ireland, UK, Belgium, Finland

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.3, IMDb – 5.7

Age restrictions:
16+


Visit (2015)

Brother and sister go to visit their grandparents for the first time. Many years ago, the mother quarreled with the old people, because of which the family did not communicate for a long time. It’s time to restore family ties. But pensioners behave too suspiciously, as if real madness is hidden under a benevolent appearance. The horror film was shot in the genre of “found film”, and therefore devoid of the original soundtrack.

Original title:
The Visit

Actors:
Olivia DeJong, Ed Oxenbould, Deanna Dunagan, Peter McRobbie, Katherine Hahn …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.2, IMDb – 6.2

Age Limits :
16+


Babadook (2014)

One of the most famous foreign horror films starring children tells the story of a widowed woman and her young son. After reading a scary children’s book, the family is haunted by a creepy monster with threatening intentions. Despite high ratings and commercial success, the director, and concurrently the copyright holder, flatly refused to give permission to create a sequel or shoot a sequel on her own.

Original title:
The Babadook

Actors:
Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman, Haley McElhinney …

Country:
Australia, Canada

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.7, IMDb – 6.8

Age restrictions:
16+


Somnia (2014)

The firstborn of a young couple tragically dies. To return to their former lives, the couple decide to adopt an orphanage. A smart little boy is very afraid to fall asleep. Soon, parents will find out the source of the phobia: dreams come true and if he has a nightmare, mortal danger hangs over all loved ones. According to the director himself, in terms of genre, the film is more of a supernatural drama than ordinary horror.

Original title:
Before I Wake

Actors:
Kate Bosworth, Jacob Tremblay, Thomas Jane …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.1, IMDb – 6.2

Age restrictions:
16+


Mom (2013)

The bank clerk, in a fit of rage, killed his wife and was about to deal with the children. A strange creature that stood up to protect the girls prevented the bloody plan from being realized. The supernatural “mother” intends to continue to take care of the sisters. Even when the little ones grew up and wanted freedom, the otherworldly patroness does not intend to weaken guardianship. The role of the demonic “mother” in the sensational horror movie about girls was played by a man with a rare genetic disease.

Original title:
Mama

Actors:
Jessica Chastain, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Megan Charpentier…

Country:
Canada, Spain

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.4, IMDb – 6.2

Age restrictions:
16+


Curse Box (2011)

Buying a vintage box at a fair turns into a real disaster for a girl . An ancient evil contained in an old thing takes possession of a young lady. Divorced parents will have to join forces to prevent black magic from destroying their beloved daughter. The filmmakers claim that many inexplicable horrors also happened during the filming process – for example, after the completion of work on key scenes, all the props mysteriously burned down.

Original title:
The Possession

Actors:
Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Natasha Kalis, Kira Sedgwick …

Country:
USA, Canada

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.9, IMDb – 5.9

Age restrictions:
16+


Astral (2010)

One of the most famous horror films with the participation of children, included in the tops of the best examples of the scary genre. Moving to a new home for a young family turns into nightmares in the range – from strange sounds and moving objects to full contact with unknown forces. The cult film, which is worth seeing for all connoisseurs of supernatural horror, laid the foundation for a horror franchise about the confrontation between psychics and demons.

Original title:
Insidious

Actors:
Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Ty Simpkins…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.8, IMDb – 6.8

Age limits :
16+


Let me in. Saga (2010)

A touching horror film about a strange girl who lives next door to an outcast guy. A quivering friendship develops between young people. The hunted nerd does not even suspect that the new acquaintance is a real vampire. American horror film based on the book by Swedish writer Jun Lindqvist. This novel also has a Swedish film adaptation, much darker and more intense.

Original title:
Let Me In

Actors:
Cody Smith-McPhee, Chloe Grace Moretz, Richard Jenkins…

Country:
UK, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.7, IMDb – 7.1

Age restrictions:
18+


Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (2010)

The daughter comes to her father, who is working on the restoration of an old mansion. The owners of the building disappeared under mysterious circumstances over a hundred years ago. While exploring the area, the girl accidentally releases scary creatures. Toothy monsters prey on children and turn them into their own kind. Thinking over the visual image of the monsters, the director thoroughly studied the appearance and habits of rodents from the family of diggers.

Original title:
Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark

Actors:
Bailey Madison, Katie Holmes, Guy Pearce, Jack Thompson…

Country:
USA, Australia, Mexico

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.8, IMDb – 5.6

Age Limits :
16+


Dark Child (2009)

The family, after trying in vain to have a child, decides to adopt an orphan from an orphanage. A charming girl in a cute dress at first seems like an ideal creature, but gradually strangeness is revealed in her behavior, turning into off-scale cruelty. The young actress did not at all correspond to the type declared in the script, but on the tests she made such a strong impression that she was approved for the role without a doubt.

Original title:
Orphan

Actors:
Isabelle Furman, Vera Farmiga, Peter Sarsgaard…

Country:
USA, Canada, Germany

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.9, IMDb – 7.0

Age restrictions:
16+


Case No. 39 (2007)

A social worker picks up a girl who has been abused by her parents. It quickly becomes clear that adults were not tormentors, but victims, because something frankly terrible is hiding under the guise of a harmless child. Several young actresses with a fairly extensive filmography claimed the role of a sinister girl at once, including Chloe Moretz and Isabelle Fuhrman, well-known to horror fans.

Original title:
Case 39

Actors:
Renee Zellweger, Jodelle Ferland, Ian McShane, Bradley Cooper…

Country:
USA, Canada

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.6, IMDb – 6.2

Age restrictions:
16+


Omen (2006)

The father of a respectable family hides from the mother the death of a child during childbirth and brings another baby. Changelings show strange features as they age. The boy easily subjugates people to his will and is ready to kill. The fantasy film is a remake of the 1976 cult horror film. The producers of the film, in order to attract a teenage audience to the cinema halls, made all the characters younger than in the original.

Original title:
The Omen

Actors:
Liev Schreiber, Julia Stiles, Seamus Davy-Fitzpatrick …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.1, IMDb – 5.5

Age restrictions:
16+


Whisper (2006)

A group of criminals is tasked with kidnapping the son of a rich and powerful woman. An obnoxious little boy brings discord into the ranks of kidnappers. Conflicts begin between gang members , and then it comes to murders. In an inconspicuous-looking boy, powerful black magic is hidden. One of the villains will have to confront the power hidden in the child, but the victory over the terrible spell will require enormous efforts and sacrifices.

Original title:
Whisper

Actors:
Josh Holloway, Sarah Wayne Callies, Joel Edgerton …

Country:
USA, Canada

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.0, IMDb – 5.7

Age restrictions:
16+


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Jared Lambert/ author of the article

I’ve been writing about movies, TV shows and anime for over 3 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.

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