Horror is known for delivering the creepiest kids imaginable. Whether their dead eyes are locked on your every move or they’re saying the scariest thing you’ve ever heard, the genre is bursting with scary kids. But, what about the badass kids? The ones who face off against monsters while their parents are nowhere to be found. In fact, horror is one of the few genres unafraid to put children in active peril and even harm them. But more often than not, these kids come out triumphant in the face of evil.
One such boisterous youngster is Becky, a young girl who kills Nazis with reckless abandon, especially when they threaten those she loves. We saw her destructive power in Becky in 2020, and now she’s back with an even bigger arsenal in The Wrath Of Becky, which is out now in theaters. If you thought the first film was bloody, then co-directors Matt Angel and Suzanne Coote have a treat for you.
In honor of Becky’s glorious return, we’re looking back at eight of horror’s most badass kids who aren’t afraid to get a little bloody.
Wednesday Addams, The Addams Family
Wednesday Addams has always been a badass, but Christina Ricci made her the horror icon she is today when Ricci took the role for The Addams Family and Addams Family Values. Not only are her blunt bangs and perfect plaits aesthetically iconic, but her no-nonsense attitude makes her even more admirable. She isn’t afraid to speak up against adults and never lets anyone push her around. Plus, as seen in Netflix’s Wednesday, Jenna Ortega gave us even more attitude as we see the iconic character grow into teenagerhood.
The Whole Cast of the Chucky TV Show
Just when we thought Don Mancini couldn’t make Chucky any more entertaining, he went and made the Chucky television series. Starring an all-star trio of young actors as Jake (Zackary Arthur), Devon (Bjorgvin Arnarson), and Lexy (Alyvia Alyn Lind), each of these kids is smart, resourceful, and deeply traumatized by the doll with the red hair. Jake, Devon, and Lexy go through A LOT, to say the least in just two seasons, and yet they endure, thinking of ways to outsmart Chucky and thwart his evil plans. And honestly, for young high school students, they do a pretty stellar job. On top of that, Jake and Devon even find time to fall in love.
Ofelia, Pan’s Labyrinth
Oh, Ofelia. Just thinking about her brings a tear to your eye. The young protagonist of Guillermo Del Toro’s masterpiece Pan’s Labyrinth doesn’t just have to face down fantastical monsters, but human monsters like her sadistic stepfather. Ofelia possesses more strength than most adults as she navigates a hellish home life and bloodthirsty monsters. There’s no way we couldn’t include her on a list of badass kids in horror.
Jennifer Connelly, Phenomena
In this house, we love and adore Dario Argento’s Phenomena, starring a young Jennifer Connelly in one of her first roles. Yes, even before Labyrinth. She plays the young Jennifer who has the ability to telepathically communicate the bugs. After she arrives at a fancy Swiss boarding school, she meets a doctor and his pet chimp Inga and helps them find the identity of a serial killer. Even at a young age and in a whole new country, Jennifer is assured of herself even in the face of harassment from both her peers and instructors alike. Plus she gets to take a dip in horror’s most disgusting pool.
Dylan, The Djinn
Ezra Dewey’s performance as Dylan in The Djinn is nothing short of spectacular. As essentially the only actor on screen for the entire runtime, Dewey carries the full-length horror film on his young shoulders. Plus, his character Dylan is mute. So not only is he the sole actor on screen, but he also must rely on his physicality. Dylan is smart, constantly thinking of ways to outsmart his paranormal stalker, and while he’s terrified, he never backs down.
Fool, The People Under The Stairs
Wes Craven’s 1991 The People Under The Stairs is perhaps one of the director’s most twisted films. Brandon Quintin Adams plays Fool, a young boy who breaks into the home of his family’s greedy landlords the Robesons. But when the two adults he came with are incapacitated, Fool is on his own in a house of sadistic horrors as he discovers the Robesons have trapped their children in the house’s walls. Fool is resourceful even in the face of two deranged adults. Honorable mention goes to Alice, who has endured trauma after trauma at the hands of her parents, and how she has the courage to stick up for them despite their abuse.
Estrella, Shine, Pop, Tucsi, and Morro, Tigers Are Not Afraid
Issa Lopez’s Tigers Are Not Afraid is another example of young kids in horror facing down monsters both supernatural and human alike. Each of these kids has suffered at the hands of Mexican cartels and is forced to grow up too fast. Yet they’re still able to hold onto their imaginations, to escape their reality for just a moment. And they possess the strength to stand up against corrupt politicians. Nothing’s more badass than that.
Mimi, Psycho Goreman
If at first you don’t like Mimi in Psycho Goreman, try, try again because this little badass is a contemporary horror queen. She doesn’t care about conforming or appearing feminine or girlie. I mean, she’s so self-assured that she’s able to exert control over a literal destroyer of galaxies. She’s the young girl I aspired to be and honestly, still aspire to do. Long live Mimi.
Special shout out to Esther of Orphan franchise fame, but sadly she doesn’t make the list because she isn’t TECHNICALLY a kid. But she still deserves a shout-out for making us believe, for a moment, that a child was capable of such calculated violence.
The Wrath of Becky is out now in theaters.