In honor of the release of The Disappointments Room, we look at 5 contemporary haunted kids movies
Opening tomorrow in theaters nationwide from
Relativity Studios is director D.J. Caruso’s haunted kids movie , a wrenching domestic Gothic horror movie starring The Disappointments Room and written by former Underworld’s Kate Beckinsale Prison Break star-turned-writer Wentworth Miller, whose 2013 chiller Stoker was one of the best horror films of that year.
Dana (Beckinsale) and her husband Dave are trying to save their ailing marriage and move, with their son Jeremy, into a dilapidated country manor near an aging Eastern seaboard town. In the course of renovating their new home, Dana discovers a small locked door in the corner of the attic that hadn’t appeared in the house’s blueprints. The ghost of a young girl appears and beckons her to open the door. But the spirits of those who protect the rooms terrifying secret return to make sure that the room remains closed forever.
The Disappointments Room is yet another in a very long line of genre films where spectral kids come back from the beyond to seek assistance from the living, using all manner of ghostly trick to convey their messages.
In honor of the film’s release we found five of our favorite haunted kids flicks from the past 20 years and now present them for your perusal. Enjoy and share your thoughts in the comments section below.
The Sixth Sense (1999)
One of the most notable contemporary films involving the paranormal is M. Night Shyamalan’s 1999 masterpiece, The Sixth Sense. Young Haley Joel Osment delivers a brilliant performance as a boy with abnormal supernatural abilities. The film, along with Osment’s signature line continues to haunt audiences to this very day.
Eight-year-old Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment) harbors a haunting secret, a secret that he feels comfortable only sharing with his psychologist Dr. Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis). “I see dead people…,” Cole confesses, and Dr. Crowe’s quest to uncover the ominous truth about Cole’s paranormal abilities begins. Dr. Crowe suggests that Cole should try talking to the ghosts that appear before him, and it turns out that Cole has a knack for helping spirits with unresolved problems finally find their peace. But Cole isn’t the only one with a haunting message, as the ghosts that look to Cole for help all have harrowing messages of their own to share. In the end, nothing will prepare Dr. Crowe for what he is about to discover about himself and the true meaning behind Cole’s supernatural abilities.
The Others (2001)
This brilliant Alejandro Amenebar ghost story is an amalgam of Henry James’ Turn of the Screw (aren’t all of these films indebted to this tale, really?) and The Sixth Sense and it offers one of the greatest performances of Nicole Kidman’s career. In its, she plays the troubled, possibly widowed, matriarch of a looming Gothic mansion during WW1, living alone with her photosensitive children. When the kids begin claiming they here “The Others” and strange supernatural phenomena takes place, the mother is pushed to her already fragile psychological limits. A mesmerizing movie with a soul-shaking twist.
The Ring (2002)
When her niece Katie (Amber Tamblyn) is found dead, newspaper reporter Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts) begins to look into the details surrounding her mysterious death. The rumor is that a deadly videotape is supposedly responsible for Katie’s death, as well as the deaths of others who watched the tape before mysteriously dying 7 days later. Rachel is skeptical. But due to her inherent curiosity as a journalist, naturally she thinks it’s a good idea to track down the video and watch it for herself. The tape is filled with a collection of disturbing images that include a young girl, and before Rachel can even gather her thoughts about what she had just seen… the phone rings. To Rachel’s disbelief, an eerie child-like voice whispers a short, cryptic message into the phone that contains two words— “7 days…”And this is when things start to get really creepy. Strange occurrences within the next few days after viewing the tape have Rachel thinking that the urban legend might not be a legend after all. And to her horror, Rachel finds her son Aidan watching the same nightmarish images on the TV after he discovered the tape in their home. Now, Rachel has less than 7 days to unravel the mystery of the killer tape and the identity of who exactly the young girl in the video is… and why she wants them all dead in exactly 7 days. Just as creepy – maybe more so – as the Japanese original film Ringu on which this was based.
The Haunting in Connecticut (2009)
When their son Matt (Kyle Gallner) is diagnosed with cancer, Sara (Virginia Madsen) and Peter (Martin Donovan) Campbell move their family to Connecticut in order to be closer to Matt’s doctors. Soon after moving in to their new home, Matt begins to suffer from a series of disturbing visions involving corpses with strange symbols carved into their skin. They soon learn that the house was a funeral home in the past, and that a room behind a mysterious door in the basement where Matt sleeps is actually a mortuary. Matt continues to exhibit bizarre and horrifying behavior that endangers the safety of him and his family. It seems as though someone is trying to communicate something to Matt through his visions. But who? And what do the spirits want with him?
Mama - produced by Guillermo del Toro - was a pleasant surprise to audiences and critics alike when it was released in 2013. Centered around two young girls with a strange and mysterious past, the film is a story of motherly love, loss, and everything in between. And you know what they say: nothing is stronger (or deadlier?) than a mother’s love…
After the death of their parents, sisters Lilly and Victoria vanish in the woods. Five years later, their Uncle Lucas (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and his girlfriend, Annabel (Jessica Chastain) find the girls in a decaying cabin. To their uncle’s relief, the girls are alive; but to his horror, both girls exhibit strange and animalistic behavior that make them practically unrecognizable. What exactly kept them alive all these years… or better yet, who? Lucas and Annabelle welcome the girls into their home as their own, determined to give them a normal life. However, something or someone is not happy with Lilly and Victoria’s new caretakers, which is evident in the unexplainable horrors that begin to befall on Lucas and Annabel. After Lucas is mysteriously attacked and put into a coma, it is up to Annabel to care for the girls, but Victoria’s chilling and cryptic references to “Mama” have Annabel fearful for her life and all of their safety. Who exactly is Mama? And what does she want with Lilly and Victoria?