9 Impressive Child Performances in Scary Movies
Oct 19, 2018
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In most movies, children are sweet and innocent, which is why the contrast of a horror movie kid being scary is genuinely frightening. That’s what a lot of horror movies draw on, so we’ve listed some of the most recent horror flicks with spectacular performances from young actors.

We have switched on the KidsCasting.com spook-o-meter because some of these shows should be watched only when the kids are sound asleep.

A Series of Unfortunate Events (TV Series 2017–)

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Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events is a black comedy-drama Netflix series, based on children novel series of the same name. It’s a story of the Baudelaire orphans who face various challenges, trials, and the evil Count Olaf in their quest to unlock family secrets.

Actors Malina Weissman and Louis Hynes give great performances as Violet and Klaus Baudelaire. It’s the first big role for Louis Hynes, while Malina Weissman has some more acting experience — most notably as young Kara in Supergirl.

Stranger Things (Netflix series 2016–)

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This award-winning sci-fi horror series centers on the mysterious disappearance of young Will (portrayed by Noah Schnapp), who vanishes in the woods while biking home from a Dungeons & Dragons session with his friends.

Noah Schnapp is in a central role in season 2, and it is his versatile performance that makes this season so mind-boggling and intense. Watch to find out how Noah prepared for his role:

A Quiet Place (2018)

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The 15-year-old actress Millicent Simmonds has earned praise in recent months, thanks to her impressive work in A Quiet Place, an original, disturbing thriller about a family that avoids deadly monsters by staying quiet and communicating via American Sign Language. Millicent delivers a powerful performance as part of a family trying to survive in utter silence. Like her character Regan, the actress is deaf in real life.

It (2017)

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In the summer of 1989, a group of bullied kids set out to destroy a monster which disguises itself as a clown and preys on children. Though the horror film centers on a group of pre-teens, audiences couldn’t help but be drawn to the ‘It’ girl Beverly, portrayed by Sophia Lillis. More than just being the only girl in the group, Sophia stood out for her well-weighed performance as the tomboy who suffers not just from clown Pennywise but also is tormented in her home life.

Sophia has received 9 nominations for her role as Beverly.

Orphan (2009)

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In this movie, two parents become suspicious of their adopted daughter when she exhibits increasingly erratic behavior. 12- year-old actress Isabelle Fuhrman plays Esther and gives a terrifying, chilling performance that’s truly worthy of praise. This role brought Isabelle Fright Meter Award of the Best Actress.

The Haunting of Hill House (TV Series 2018– )

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The Haunting of Hill House is a modern reimagining of the iconic novel about 5 siblings who grew up in the most famous haunted house in America. The middle child, Theodora, is played by actress McKenna Grace who is a big horror movie fan herself. She starred in The Bad Seed and is set to play in Annabelle 3 in 2019.

See what method McKenna used to prepare for her role in this series:

Annabelle: Creation (2017)

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This skillfully made sequel requires nerves of steel -- it has a lot of gory scenes and lots of scares. Annabelle: Creation is a part of the Conjuring franchise that takes place before the events of Annabelle and The Conjuring. A family who lost their only daughter 12 years ago, opens their home to provide shelter for a nun and six girls left homeless by the closing of their orphanage. Talitha Bateman and Lulu Wilson play two of the orphans, Janice and Linda. Terrifying things start happening in the house once Janice finds a doll in the closet.

Talitha Bateman was nominated for MTV Movie + TV Award for the Most Frightened Performance. Lulu Wilson was previously known for her terrific performance in another horror film Ouija: Origin of Evil, and she also plays one of the siblings in The Haunting of the Hill House.

Hereditary (2018)

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This year the critically acclaimed Hereditary introduced yet another terrifying child character in the horror genre: Milly Shapiro’s Charlie, a deeply troubled girl with peculiar hobbies (making toys from dead pigeons’ heads) who is devastated by grief. Vanity Fair has called Charlie the “scariest child we will see on screen this year.”

The Babadook (2014)

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Noah Wiseman became best known for his eerie portrayal of little Samuel in the Australian horror movie The Babadook, a dark, creepy, yet masterful horror film about a family on the edge of sanity. Noah’s character Sam becomes an insomniac and has an obsession with monsters and magic tricks.

Noah Wiseman is terrific in the lead role, and he was only six years old when the movie was shot. Essie Davis, who plays Sam’s mother Amelia, and the writer/director Jennifer Kent made sure he wasn’t present for the more horrific scenes and shots where Amelia was abusing Sam verbally. “We had Essie yell at an adult stand-in on his knees,” Kent told Film Journal. “I didn’t want to destroy a childhood to make this film — that wouldn’t be fair.”

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