“Your Daughter IS The Devil”
Another familiar creepy little white girl conceit is “your daughter (or son) is the devil/evil.” Evil, as in either sociopathic, as in The Bad Seed (or the boy version, The Good Son) – or that your child is the literal embodiment of evil.
Of course the image of a dangerously evil child is just inherently creepy. How can you fight what you cannot control, what you don’t understand and worst of all, what is yours to protect?
Sometimes the little girl is evil due to circumstances outside of her control – like being turned into one of the undead at an impressionable age. Such is the case for poor doll-like Claudia in Interview With The Vampire. The bloodthirsty little wench is easily the film’s most compelling character and arguably Kirstin Dunst’s best performance to date.
The latest little blood sucker brought to celluloid is of course Abby from the soon to be released Let Me In, the remake of the Swedish film Let The Right One In, which featured one creepy little white boy and one sexually ambiguous creepy little white… Eli. Now Abby may not be evil in the strictest sense of the word, but I won’t be running out to grab her a “#1 PLAYDATE” mug any time soon.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the weirdest (and most nonsensical) “creepy little white girl” of recent years – Ester from Orphan.
Ester was actually a 33 year-old lunatic trapped in the body of a little girl, who as a result of her impairment, finds it necessary to dress as if it’s 1933… and kill folks. Of course the actress who played Ester (Isabelle Fuhrman) was actually a creepy little white girl playing a sociopathic dwarf… which actually makes the whole thing even creepier when you think about it. She almost did too good of a job in that role.
Creepy Little White Kid Gangs:
From time to time, the children of rural or suburban America find it necessary to gather together to terrorize and/or slaughter all of the adults in the surrounding area. It’s just one of those things.
Perhaps the two most quintessential examples of this phenomenon are Children of the Corn and Village Of The Damned (see above). If you thought the Hitler Youth weren’t scary enough – just add active parental mind control. As a nation obsessed with youth, where the toddlers so often rule the roost, this trend speaks to an understandable fear of the amount of power we give to the young.
Creepy Little Girl Meets Boy:
This combination offers a bit of creepy little romance. There is no overt mention, but some may infer that puppy love is coming Pet Cemetery-style for these boys. The “redrum” ragamuffin himself, Danny from The Shining, scored with twins his first time up to plate! That is if the “plate” is an old, rickety, vacation lodge that houses a gateway to hell.
The Mischa Barton character in The Sixth Sense is set nicely against Haley Joel Osment’s broody little white boy. She is of course the “little ghost girl” in need of retribution, reaching out to the living boy for help. Another “little ghost girl” haunting of an angsty little boy can be seen in Lady In White, which makes amazingly eerie use of the song “Did You Ever See A Dream Walking.”
The romantic element is far more overt in Lady In White.
Though she may not be evil herself, the creepy little girl often displays some feeling of malevolence against the creepy little boy’s preternatural sense… ah, women. Can’t live with em’, can’t kill em’ as they are previously murdered ghosts with a bone to pick.
Creepiest Little White Girl EVER:
There are plenty of qualified candidates for this honor listed here and still more that could be included. Yet the one big eyed, sweet dress wearing child that this girl considers the creepiest little white girl of all has to be Samara from The Ring.
The Ring performed a quasi bait and switch with the character of Samara. She embodies several aspects of the CLWG archetype. She (seemingly) steps out of the grave as a “creepy little ghost girl” in need of saving – and retribution against the parents who failed her. Naomi Watts plays the lioness mother saving her (seriously creepy) son, Aidan. She believes she is also meant to save little Samara from the clutches of a nefarious past – only to discover that sweet, lost Samara is in fact the embodiment of the monster in the closet that the boogeyman runs screaming from.
Samara personifies all the underlying fears that fuel the “Your Daughter IS The Devil” version of the CLWG archetype. In addition she represents one of the darkest notions the human mind can grapple with. She is inexorable, meaningless evil. She is relentless, she is without cause or reason, and the only way to stop her is to commit an act of evil yourself. This tale does not follow the traditional rules of other more moralizing horror films, and as a result it taps into what is perhaps the deepest human fear: that the world is without order or causality, that you are not protected, and that beneath the layers of self-created meaning there is only a void that cares nothing for you or your life. Alrighty then!
Such an abundance of creepy white kids begs the question, why is the devil always and forever after whitey? As a creepy little white girl myself, I am just killing to know.
The Last Exorcism hits theaters August 27th
Case 39 and Let Me In follow a month later on October 1st