“Dream House” is being sold on a poster and commercials that heavily trade on an unconscious or conscious connection to “The Shining.” Those two little girls holding hands who blend into the wallpaper like something from a story by Charlotte Gilman cannot help but bring to mind the two little girls who terrorized Danny Torrance inside the Overlook Hotel.
Word has it, however, that those little girls pass by so quickly and are of such little importance that the poster is nearly as big of a cheat as a dead Bruce Willis seemingly engaged in conversation with the living. One thing is for certain: Whether onscreen for a few seconds or several minutes, the two little wallpaper girls from “Dream House” follow in a long line of creepy girls in horror flicks.
No question but to honor those two little girls with the Joan Collins accent as The Creepiest Little Girls in Horror History. ” The Shining ” has left quite a mark upon the collective consciousness of moviegoers for a film that was considered a box office disappointment. Is there anyone out there who is not totally creeped out by the little girls? What exactly makes them so terrifying? That accent? Their appearance, which makes them look like something from a Diane Arbus photograph? Or just the way that they invited Danny out to play?
If any little girl can come close to outcreepying those girls from “The Shining,” it is the little girl in the Korean horror film “Phone.” Whereas those girls in “The Shining” are creepy additions mainly as a result of the way Stanley Kubrick chooses to compose the shots in which they appear, the little girl in “Phone” has a creepy quality that is essential to the plot. In fact, creepy may not be the most adequate description of the little girl character in “Phone.”
No; in fact, she passes creepy on her way to disturbing. The little girl is directed brilliantly and one may even feel a bit of nausea at just how incredibly affecting her performance is. This child is called upon to express a certain incestuous sexuality that is integral to the story that somehow manages to avoid being as repellant as it should be.
“The Ring” is the only Hollywood remake of an Asian movie that is better than the original. Truth be told, that woman brushing her hair in the “death video” is actually the creepiest character in the movie, but Samara, the child at the center of the horror, is a close second. That long-haired, creepy ghost character in Asian horror flicks is not a question of repetitive unoriginality: The character is referred to as an onryo and it goes way back in Asian mythology. You will find a number of very creepy onryos in original Asian versions, but this is the scariest American version.
There is a young girl in this Spanish horror film that is probably the best example of the handheld “found footage” horror genre yet made that will creep you the hell out. If you have not yet seen “[Rec]” or have only seen the American remake — which is up there with “The Ring” in terms of being a good remake of a foreign horror film — then you need to do yourself a solid.
If you think they don’t make really scary movies anymore, watch this one and prepare yourself for the last 20 or 30 minutes which are, hands down, the most unnerving and disquieting 20 or 30 minutes of film produced so far in the 21st century.
For more articles by Timothy Sexton, check out:
Where are They Now: The Shining Twins
How “The Shining” Proves Horror is the Most Penetratying of All Movie Genres
Will “Grave Encounters” Become the Best Handheld Horror Film Since “[Rec]”?
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