Oh Dear God, Won’t Someone Please Think Of The Children!!!

Why do so many horror stories involve children? Children aren’t supposed to be scary.

Aren’t supposed to be…

I think the thing that scares me more than animals with problem-solving capabilities are children, or if truth be told, children scare me more…why? Because children aren’t supposed to be scary. I am currently working on my 2nd anthology, and like And They All Lived Happily Ever After!  this collection is also inspired by fairy tales, not exactly by the moral of the story but more so of the children who star in them.

There is something so unsettling about children committing vile acts of violence, or witnessing them as victims of such yet from the Brothers Grim to mid-century illustrator Edward Gorey, from The Bad Seed to Cooties it seems we can’t get enough of creepy little kids doing creepy cunning stuff. Why is that? Is there something wrong with us?

**An anonymous user on Stack Exchange made a really interesting point, in a mini think piece he says:

This is a topic of which there is a huge body of work, circulating different theories of why children are such a prevalent theme of horror, so its unlikely you will find a single comprehensive answer/theory, but there is one unifying reason that all parties are in agreement upon:

Kids are scary, yo.

Children are able to operate as Microcosm for social anxieties. They are largely denied ‘a voice’ (particularly if they are infants), or when they do have a ‘voice’ it is distorted by the ‘inexperience of youth’, and so something that should sound innocent can come across as sinister. Think of “They’re here” from Poltergeist, “1 – 2 – Freddy’s coming for you, 3 – 4 – better lock your door..” from Elm Street and “I see Dead People” from The 6th Sense…. but there are plenty more.

As a personal aside (but a good example!) a friend of mine once told me that when he was tucking his son into bed, his 3 yr old son said “Goodbye”. He said, “No, its Bedtime now, so we say “Goodnight”. His son replied, “I know Dad, but this time it’s Goodbye”… He slept with the light on that night.

Children are something that are familiar, but still refracted through their own experiences; under-developed and ‘alien’. There is no equivalent word in the English language for this apparent dichotomy, but the German word is ‘Unheimlich’, meaning un-homely (the opposite of what is familiar – or not right within the home, as a place of safety). This is to say the fear doesn’t come from something being obviously sinister grotesque, but just slightly not right, but without being able to fully explain why.

German culture actually has a legacy of being slightly obsessed with the “Unheimlich”, and Freud wrote a great deal about it (claiming it is where our fear originates). The idea of a Doppelganger originates from the “Unheimlich”, and as such there are sinister connotations associated with twins. Twin children, as in the Grady Twins of “The Shining”, are perhaps the ultimate representation of “Unheimlich”.

Children are not governed by the norms of society, as they are not yet participants of it. As our general notions of safety are governed by our shared assumptions to ‘play by these rules’, and children are outside of this, they are considered ‘unpredictable’, which can create anxiety, often turning them into ‘folk devils’.

As an opposing theory to this (which is particularly pertinent to Horror) children who have a supernatural or sociopathic understanding of the rules of normality but elect to disregard them are a classic origin of horror.

Damien from ‘The Omen’ is an example of this type of fear, as he is considered the ultimate ‘The Possessed’ child who demonstrates and awareness and is complicit of his own evils. The book “You’re only Young Twice” by Theorist Tim Morris features a chapter ‘Panic Attacks: Children as Adults, Adults as Children in the Movies’ which explores the origin of Horror within these parameters, and will be able to provide you with a long history of terror being extracted from children in this way.

Film Theorist, Mary Jackson identifies this films with their own nomenclature as a sub-genre ‘Children as Horror’, and identifies our fear of these ‘Evil Children’ as the representation of our societal fear of failing the younger, emergent generations:

‘Not surprisingly, in the run of child-as-monster films, frequently the real point is not the evil of children, often the victims of demonic possession themselves, but rather the ineffectiveness of the family, church, and state – America’s most highly valued institutions – to guard themselves against deception and impending destruction.’

Regan from ‘The Exorcist’ is a similar case, although her’s is a story of the corruption of innocence as penance for her mother’s implied heresy/blasphemy/impiousness. Her’s is a meta-religious allegory to the Angel of Death taking the children of the impious, but much more sinister: The devil ‘takes them’, but the terror is not through removal but through defilement.

The most obvious (perhaps) reason for children being so numerous in Horror needs little explanation:

Children aren’t supposed to be scary.

By subverting our expectations of children as non-threatening entities, Horror is able to force doubt into our natural assumptions, which is a staple of effective horror.

Of course, it’s become so common place for Children to be ‘Evil’ in Horror movies, and this genre tradition has become so entrenched, that its hard not to automatically consider children as the de-facto evil in a horror movie. Such is the way of postmodernism.**

I couldn’t have said it better, which is why I posted it here. It’s a really interesting thread, a deep pool of information if you have some extra time you should check out the conversation: Kids are scary, yo.

Kids are hella scary and not only in fiction but have the potential to become extremely dangerous … in real life. So why do we keep having them? Why won’t we just leave them alone? We are through songs, images, and rhyme and reason we are warned of the hazards. So, armed with this knowledge why do we dare to thread were angels won’t?

Again, I have to ask Is there something wrong with us?

No. Like the true HorrorAddicts that we are, we just keep coming back for more, drinking from the fountain of youth despite the evidence that the water is tainted.

See what I just did there, ‘fountain of youth?’ lol

Zombie Month Movie List by Crystal Connor

Live Action Reviews!

January is zombie month here at horroraddicts.net the problem with that is, I am not big of a zombie fan. I know. I know, but stay with me for a second I can explain. See what had happened was…lol

But seriously all jokes aside anyone who follows my reviews here or Horror Addicts or my blog knows that when it comes to horror, I am not easy to please and my chief complaint about the zombie genre is that there seems to be just one or two stories being told over and over again. And on top of that I am not a gore hound.

But I would be lying if I said I never enjoyed a Zombie movie. So in the spirit of the month here are my top 15 zombie movies, that not only were original enough to pique my interest, but that I actually enjoyed.

If you’re a hard core zombie fan you’ve probably already seen all of these, but if you not a zombiephile or haven’t seen a few of the movies listed below, hopefully your enjoy them as much as I did. Ok, let’s count them down to one.


Yep, Fido. This movie is over the top in slap stick, I was laughing my ass off. This movie worked for me is because even though the jokes are raunchy, it’s basically a boy and his dog movie that the whole family can enjoy, just like Cujo.


This is an amazing dark little tale of revenge and the Sheriff’s son who was kidnapped 10 years ago returns as the spear head of the mayhem that ensues.


The vector for this virus are the airwaves and it rapidly spread through the speakers of the radio. This movie stressed me out, the tension in the film is taught and doesn’t let up. I knew something bad was going to happen but I still didn’t look away. I couldn’t.

Mulberry Street

This movie made me cry at the end. The original zombie at the beginning of the film are the rats, but quickly spreads to the human population. Unlike most zombie movies where the entire world collapses, the power goes out and the water is contaminated moments after a bite, officials were able to contain the outbreak from escaping the city. Even during the 1st stages of the outbreak people were still going about their daily business. It took a while before everyone started barricading themselves. New York is huge but this entire story revolves around a single family.


Mutants follows all the rules of the plotline of the oversaturated plotline that plagues the genre (get it … plagues the genre…lol) with one powerful deviation. A married couple who’s expecting a baby is desperately trying to get to the safety of the army base. But along the way the husband gets bit. His transformation from man to monster is slow, which switches the focus from the zombies outside to the incredibly brutal conflict this man is having within himself. This woman loves her husband and the choices she makes are equally heart wrenching.

The Crazies (2009)

I hate remakes. So I was really, really reluctant to watch this movie and because of that I almost missed out on a gem. Again it follows all the rules all the way up until what you think is the end.

The Crazies (1968)

This was the very 1st movie I watched by George Romero and what 1st impressed me was the forcefulness of the US Army, but then enters onto the screen Colonel Peckem. This was the very 1st black man that I had seen in a horror film that wasn’t the token, sacrificial lamb, that always dies first and that was just the cherry on top of an already kick ass horror movie.

28 days later

The pacing and cinematography of this movie are off the rails! I could go on and on about how awesome I thought this movie was but I’m not. And just like The Crazies circa 1968 the casting of a black female lead who was extremely significant to the storyline sent me over the moon!

28 weeks later

Two words: Idris Elba! lol j/k This movie stayed on my best sequels list for years … until I saw The Descent Part 2

6 The Retreat

What I loved most about this movie is how it makes you feel claustrophobic on a wide open plain, and on top of that, there isn’t a horde of the undead trying to relentlessly claw through every little crevice. This is movie rests square on the shoulders of psychological horror.

5 GP506

This is another excellent psychological horror movie. This team was sent to Guard Post 506 because there hadn’t been any communication from them for days. When they get there the only thing they find are blood smeared walls. Everyone is gone. Except for one person…

4 Short film: Play Dead

This frightening little zombie story is told through the POV of dogs and the ending is absolutely insane! It was perfect.

3 Short Film Cargo

I cannot believe that this short was only a finalist at Australia’s 2013 Tropfest. A finalist. Really?!

2 The Signal

This movie has been on my top ten best list every single year since I 1st saw it. The virus in the movie is being transmitted through the TV, your cell phone and radio. I’m not sure if this is can technology be considered because no one dies from the virus directly but everyone who’s been inflect go on a killer spree, so I think it might be close enough. Though this movie runs continuously it was written by three different writers and its one hell of a ride. If you haven’t seen it yet I hope that you will.

contracted I want to throw in a couple of honorable mentions before we get to #1 on the list. These aren’t zombie movies but there zombie-ish enough to add to this list 1st up

Eric England’s Contracted:

After a breakup, she goes to a party, has too many drinks and ends up having unprotected sex in the back of some guy’s car. She starts to feel a bit off the very next morning and thinks she may have caught a sexually transmitted disease. She didn’t but by the end of the movie whatever the she did catch turns her into a zombie-like creature. What really bothered me about this movie is how unbelievably how incredibly selfish her friends and family were. This woman lugging around all kinds of emotional baggage and was in the early stages of recovery. She needed support from those around her, but no one could be bothered unless getting something from her. The things that she went through were beyond terrifying. Made worse by the people she needed most.

creek Joel Schumacher’s 2009 Blood Creek:

The undead in this movie have been awaked by a necromancer, not a virus, but that didn’t stop it from being a kick ass flick.

Trent Haaga’s 2008 DeadGirl

I don’t not have the mental capacity to understand why, when lists are being compiled in regards to the most disturbing films ever made this title is absent from the majority of those catalogs. DeadGirl is by far one of them most unsettling movies that I have ever seen.

deadgirlDrum roll please…and the #1 spot on Crystal Connor’s All Time Favorite zombie movies go to:

1 Danger Word

This movie destroyed me. Absolutely destroyed me. I even watched it again before I started writing this and I was such a blubbering mess, that I had to go take a nap, lol. This is a movie that I immediately connected with and it’s a story that I find myself thinking about out of the blue. The mere idea of a zombie is terrifying on its own, and then to have a 13 year old girl out there wandering around on her own. And my vivid imagination doesn’t help.

Before I let you go, and in spirit of Zombie month, I am gonna take this opportunity for a little shameless self-promotion. I too, have a Zombie story to tell. And you can download it free, along with the rest of the stories included in my horror anthology …And They All Lived Happily Ever After! I know…shameless =D Have a good one guys!




Washington State native Crystal Connor has been terrorizing readers since before Jr. high School and loves anything to do with monsters, bad guys, rogue scientific experiments, jewelry, sky-high high heel shoes & unreasonably priced hang bags. She is also considering changing her professional title to ‘dramatization specialist’ because it’s so much more theatrical than being just a mere drama queen. Crystal’s latest projects can be found both on her blog and Facebook fan page at:








13 Questions with Crystal Connor

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It’s that time of year again addicts, time to fulfill your blood thirsty urges for guts, gore, movies, books, vampires, zombies, and everything else your horrific black heart desires!IMAG0753

To get the 8th apocalypse started, we have the one and only The Darkness author, Crystal Connor! And, as a true HA fan she was more than happy to talk with me for an exclusive interview for all her fellow fans out there. “I’m crazy excited about being interviewed for Horror Addicts. I’m a connoisseur of all things horror so this is like a milestone for me”

For episode 85 of Horror Addicts, Crystal was kind enough to share with us her short story, Best Friends Forever. “[The story is one] that I wrote for my anthology …And They All Lived Happily Ever After! It’s in the process of becoming an audio book narrated by the amazing Kay Richardson who has the most amazing voice. I’m really excited about the audiobook, even though I wrote the stories every time I hear a story it’s like a whole new experience and only serves to take my excitement to even a higher level.”

Crystal didn’t want to give too much about Best Friends Forever away but she was kind enough to give us a little sneak peek into her story. “BFF tells a story of an end of a relationship and the dark and unsettling places a person will go to in order to keep the person they love, or escape.”

Now, like I mentioned above, Crystal is well known for her novel The Darkness. For those of you unfamiliar with the dark tale go out and get it HERE. And for the rest of you, Crystal would like to share with you the beginning of The Darkness. “When I 1st wrote The Darkness I thought it was a short story. I was working in a boat yard at the time, the wielding instructor there is a big prize winning author and he heard I was a writer and asked if he could read my work. So I took him The Darkness and basically flipped out and told me that it wasn’t a short story, that I was being lazy and I needed to start taking my writing seriously because it was more than just a hobby.  That turned out to be the best advice anyone has ever given me.”

Crystal_MorganBook two of the trilogy is also available, if you haven’t heard of it yet then you are in for a treat. You can find book two: Artificial Light on Amazon.

“I currently have three publications. The Darkness and Artificial Light, books I & II of the Spectrum Trilogy and my anthology …And They All Lived Happily Ever After! The Darkness and Artificial Light are available in both print and e-book format. …And They All Lived Happily Ever After! is only available in print because the unique interior design does not translate into a digital format which is why …And They All Lived Happily Ever After! will be available in an audio format.”

Having churned out three publications and other short stories, I just had to know how writing has affected Crystal’s life lately. This was her response:

“It’s my full time job. Right after the release of Artificial Light I started really talking seriously about quitting my job to write full time and what was surprising is how much support I received from my family and friends. They’re not kidding when they say starving artist and it’s been hard but I have a really good circle of support and things are starting to get a little easier.

My writing affects everything else. I write at night, so I really don’t have that much of a social life; everyone I love lives normal lives and sleep during the night. The way you’re supposed to haha. But the transition from punching a clock and being financially secure, to trying to carve out a life on the earnings of book sales has really shown me who my friends Front Coverare. And luckily for me everyone who was around when I was spending money like there was no tomorrow are still with me today.

Sometimes when I think about how much my family and friends mean to me and how they’ve all supported and continue to support me I get so overcome with gratitude that I literally burst into tears. I don’t know why I do that.”

Crystal is looking forward to the day that she can “earn enough fans to be able to make a decent living doing something that [she loves].”

Be on the lookout for future work by Crystal Connor! Being a full time author, there is a lot that she is currently working on. “Well like I said, the production is underway to turn my anthology …And They All Lived Happily Ever After! into an audio book and I am currently working on the final book in the Spectrum Trilogy. I do have some other projects simmering on the back burner but I would like to get these two finished and out the door before I starting talking about what’s next.”

For more information on Crystal Connor…be sure to check out these sites!



And as a special Thank You to all you Horror Addicts out there, here is her interview for the …And They All Lived Happily Ever After! launch party!