10. The White Ribbon: This 2009 offering from Haneke is a tense, slow burning drama set in a rural German Protestant village just prior to WW1. A series of strange and ever more tragic and horrible accidents begin to take place in the village. Attempts to uncover what is truly going on meet with confusion and failure, until it begins to be suspected that the children of the village are perpetrating the crimes in some sort of macabre punishment ritual. Not particularly frightening, but lingeringly disquieting.
9. Village of the Damned: Beware the Stare! A small English village becomes infested with demonic blond children who, through their eerie glowing eyes, manipulate and murder the adults around them. Allegedly, these children are the product of aliens who one day decided to impregnate every woman in the village with their energy beams. You'd have a job talking your way out of that one.
8. Children of the Corn: Based on a Stephen King novella, Children of the Corn centres on a small American town in which all the children come under the sway of a boy preacher; they worship an evil presence which resides in the corn fields and set about murdering every adult they can find. I'm starting to see a theme developing.
7. Night of the Living Dead: Romero's original and classic; over forty years old and still probably the best zombie movie ever made, it makes the list purely because of the scene in which a small girl, after succumbing to zombism of course, stabs her own mother to death with a garden trowel. They don't make 'em like this anymore, kids.
6. The Wicker Man: (Orginal, of course, not remake - pisses me off I even have to specify) A devout Christian policeman visits a small island in search of an allegedly missing girl called Rowan. Not only is Rowan not actually missing, but her entire 'disappearance' is part of an elaborate plot to lure the policeman into becoming a human sacrifice to the Pagan Gods worshipped by the islanders. The children of the island, raised in a world where death doesn't exist and a toad on the tongue can cure a sore throat, are creepy as hell. Check out the classroom scene for evidence; also, Rowan happily dancing and singing as the man who thought he was about to save her burns alive.
5. The Ring: A dead girl left to drown in a well who, if you watch her avant garde short film, climbs out of your television and frightens you so badly that your heart stops and your face instantly rots in the most horrifying way imaginable. And if that wasn't bad enough, she rings you up to let you know this is going to happen a week in advance. At least you'd have time to get the house nice.
4. The Exorcist: possessed by a demon claiming to be the Devil Himself, twelve year old Reagan has a wild time of it peeing on her mother's expensive carpet, murdering her mother's friends, taunting priests with 'your mum' jokes and doing unspeakable things with crucifixes. They wouldn't get away with this one today. Well, they probably would, but nobody would have the nerve to try. Has to be seen to be believed.
3. Rosemary's Baby: in third place, one of the greatest directors of our time (leaving aside the whole rapist thing) Roman Polanski, and the Devil's Own Son Adrian/Andy Woodhouse. Rosemary's (Mia Farrow) husband sells her body to the devil without her prior knowledge or approval in order to further his acting career. She unknowingly carries and gives birth to the demon child under the ministrations of a coven of elderly Satanists who happen to congregate in her block of flats. Never trust anyone over sixty who tries to get friendly with you; they're almost certainly after your fertile uterus to house the Anti-Christ.
2. The Omen: The Anti-Christ takes both third and second place; Damien Thorne, the son of the Devil, born of a jackal, terrorises Gregory Peck and Lee Remick, along with diverse others. Some tricks he gets up to: ramming into his mother on his toy bike so that she falls off a balcony, going apeshit when they try to take him into a church, and driving his nanny to throw herself out of a window with a rope around her neck. Eventually Peck makes up his mind to kill Damien, but loses his nerve in the horribly heart wrenching "no daddy, no!" scene, and then himself dies in a hail of police bullets. Damien ends the film at his own parents' funeral, smiling evilly into the camera as he clutches the hand of the US President.
1. The Shining: In first place, the Grady Twins; axed to death by their father after he is driven mad by the malevolent presence which lurks within the Overlook Hotel, the twins decide to hang around for a while so that they can stand in corridors blocking the way and inviting unsuspecting young boys to come and play with them, forever and ever and ever...