From left: ‘The Sixth Sense,’ ‘The Ring’ and ‘The Shining’
Buena Vista/Photofest; Dreamworks SKG/Photofest; Photofest
Oftentimes, the most unnerving part of a horror film isn’t the monster in the closet, but the child it affects. Once a little kid appears on the big screen of a horror flick, anything becomes an instrument of fright: a doll, a book, a board game, even a crayon — a la Anabelle.
It’s a smart move by directors to employ children as puppets of terror. Doing so amplifies a film’s shock value since little ones are expected to be pure and innocent, so when we see a possessed little girl’s head spin around … well, you get the picture. In horror movies, instead of playing with action figures and dolls, these demonic offspring play with our heads and toy with our emotions. In the midst of a chiller, even the simple sound of a child’s coo can make even the bravest of souls jump out of his or her skin.Below, take a look at what the actors who played these nightmarish characters look like today.