If there’s one thing you can say about this blog, it’s that we keep you informed about important, need-to-know parenting advice. So, as a head’s up, we thought we’d give you a rundown of the Top Ten Evil Children.
Feel free to see it as a piece of fun or a handy behaviour guide. But if your child starts showing demonic tendencies, it might be time to trade them in. So without any further delay, let’s begin the countdown…
A pretty bog-standard evil child thriller, complete with the usual tropes of animal maiming, sibling killing and the sinister manipulation of credulous adults by a sweet-faced little kid with a black heart. Not a classic by any means, but notable for starring Macaulay Culkin—sweet, funny, adorable Macaulay Culkin, fresh from My Girl, Home Alone and Uncle Buck—as a vicious psychopath.
9. The Kids in ‘Village of the Damned’
Two months after a strange episode of mass unconsciousness, the women of a small British village all find themselves pregnant. The resulting children are decidedly odd. By the age of three, they look like 12-year-olds. They’re all blond, precocious and well-spoken. Oh, and they have weird eyes, telepathic powers and a proclivity for making people kills themselves. An accurate portrayal of rural England.
8. The Creatures in ‘The Brood’
David Cronenberg’s 1979 masterpiece was, worryingly, inspired by his own divorce and custody battle. Weird children in snow suits bludgeon people to death with hammers and meat tenderisers: the creations of an estranged wife who, thanks to an extreme form of therapy, is able to turn her rage into flesh. In one notorious scene, she is seen plucking a tiny mutant foetus from a womb-like sac on her body and licking it clean. Probably best not to watch it while eating dinner.
7. Kevin in ‘We Need to Talk about Kevin’
Lionel Shriver’s novel is a compelling study of a mother who can’t love her child. Written in the form of letters, Eva tells the story of her relationship with her son Kevin, the killer in a Columbine-style school shooting. Driven, independent and career focused, Eva resented her son. He in turn was cruel, destructive and manipulative. Was Eva’s dislike for Kevin the cause of his nihilistic violence, or was he an evil little sod all along?
6. Stewie Griffin in ‘The Family Guy’
After Stewie’s birth, plans for a bombing campaign in Europe were found inside his mother Lois. And that was just the start. Stewie is both a clever supervillain and useless baby: he can construct teleportation machines and a weather control device, but he can’t use a toilet. He spends his time attempting to murder his mum—resenting his nine month stay in her “ovarian Bastille”—planning world domination and being best friends with a dog.
In this brilliant, disturbing, Gothic novel by Doris Lessing, a happy family in the late 1960s is torn apart by the arrival of a fifth baby, Ben: ugly, hairy, cruel, insatiably hungry, possibly not even human. He abuses his mother Harriet, terrifies his siblings and, in classic psycho style, kills the cat. But despite the horror, his mother Harriet simply cannot let go of her maternal instincts. Whatever else he may be, Ben is her child. Even if he does need a stern word from Super Nanny.
4. Rhoda in ‘The Bad Seed’
Rhoda is perfect: all blond pigtails, cutesy charm and piano recitals—the kind of kid of you should always be suspicious of. When her friend Claude drowns in a terrible accident, one detail is hard to explain: the crescent-shaped marks on his face and hands. Then Rhoda’s mother discovers her trying to incinerate her tap shoes, complete with crescent-shaped metal cleats, and everything becomes clear: the perfect girl is a psycho.
3. Veruka Salt in ‘Charlie & the Chocolate Factory’
In a book full of awful children, Veruka Salt is easily the most smack-able. The daughter of a legume millionaire, she bullies her father into finding her a Golden Ticket. At the factory she wants everything she sees: an Oompa-Loompa, a chocolate river, a pink boat. When she tries to grab one of the squirrels trained to select the best nuts, she is deemed a “bad nut” and sent spinning down a garbage chute.
2. Rosemary’s Baby in ‘Rosemary’s Baby’
If you think your pregnancy was rough, just be glad you weren’t carrying the spawn of Satan (even though it probably felt like that at times). In Roman Polanski’s horror classic, Rosemary, played by Mia Farrow, eats some drugged chocolate mousse at a dinner party and finds herself being impregnated by Old Nick himself. Her pregnancy involves terrible pains, a craving for raw liver, and the attentions of a sinister cult. You don’t get that in What to Expect When You’re Expecting.
1. Damien in ‘The Omen’
The ultimate little brat. While his wife lies unconscious after losing their son in childbirth, an American ambassador secretly adopts a baby without telling her. That would be bad enough. Even more annoyingly, the baby turns out to be the actual Antichrist. Young Damien has a fear of church bells, a 666 birthmark and a propensity for unleashing killer baboons, vicious dogs and all other shades of merry hell onto unsuspecting people.
So there you have it, the crème de la crème of monstrous kids. Feel free to put forward your suggestions below, or via our Twitter page. Feel free to nominate your own children, so long as they don’t find out!