When we think of kids, it often brings to mind images of laughter, playgrounds, and first days of school…not graphic scenes of murder. However, there are always exceptions, particularly in the realm of fiction. Whether they fight for the side of good or evil, these ten kids prove you don’t have to be an adult to leave a trail of bloody carnage.
Here are ten killer kids from film and TV who definitely deserve a time out or two or three…hundred!
CAUTION: Spoilers ahead!
10 Brandon Breyer (Brightburn)
Brightburn (2019) is a Superman-style horror film that follows the story of young Brandon Breyer and his parents. Brandon is like any other kid his age, except his parents found him in a small alien ship that crashed on their farm late one night. Besides that, he’s a totally average, well-adjusted preteen. That is until puberty hits, and everything falls apart. (A common experience for many adolescents.)
As Brandon’s birthday approaches, he begins to develop other-worldly powers, such as super-strength, flight, super-speed, and, yes, laser vision. These new powers also bring some major attitude changes and a taste for gore and violence. Oh yeah, and demon-like voices that whisper to him in an unknown language while he sleeps. No biggie.
As the film progresses, Brandon grows increasingly hostile and uncontrollable. He stalks, kills, maims, and tortures the residents of his hometown. In one particularly gory scene, Brandon even terrorizes his own uncle before graphically murdering him. A definite departure from the usual superhero flick we’ve been inundated with in recent years.
9 Charlotte (The 100)
Charlotte was a minor character who appeared early in the first season of the sci-fi drama series, The 100 (2014–2020). The show’s first season primarily focused on a group of delinquent young adults who are forced to become the first humans to return to Earth in the aftermath of a nuclear apocalypse.
Charlotte was among the 100 juveniles sent down to Earth from the Ark (an orbiting space station that contains the last survivors of humanity). Haunted by nightmares of her parent’s execution by the Ark’s Chancellor, Charlotte initially appears as a scared and frail little girl. However, her story quickly takes a dark turn when she misinterprets advice that another character named Bellamy tries to give her. Bellamy tells her to “slay [her] demons” while she is awake so that they can’t get her in her sleep.
Charlotte takes this advice literally and fatally stabs the Chancellor’s delinquent son in the throat, hoping it will end her bad dreams.
8 Hit-Girl (Kick-Ass)
Mindy McCready, aka Hit-Girl, is the secondary main character in the comedy superhero flick Kick-Ass (2010). With her father being framed for a drug deal he didn’t take part in and her mother later committing suicide, Mindy’s early life was a rocky one. Upon his release from prison, Mindy’s father trains her from a young age in martial arts and weaponry skills. Together the two become a crime-fighting duo known as Big-Daddy and Hit-Girl.
Hit-Girl is a brutally efficient fighter and an expert in weapons like firearms, knives, spears, and explosives. Her fighting abilities are showcased in a partially first-person point-of-view scene where Hit-Girl single-handedly takes out an entire room of armed men attempting to light her father on fire.
7 Ashley Oswalt (Sinister)
This 2012 horror film follows a true-crime writer named Ellison Oswalt, who moves into the house of a mysteriously murdered family with his wife, son, and daughter Ashley. Ashley starts as a sweet and creative little girl who is scared by the ghost children that begin to appear in the house shortly after Ellison finds reels of footage in the attic.
The footage depicts not only the murders of the family that once lived in his current house but also the murders of other unnamed families. Ellison begins to investigate the murders, finding drawings on the inside of each box of reels. The illustrations are in crayon and appear to be recreations of each murder, with an ominous figure named Mr. Boogie always standing close by.
At the film’s climax, it’s revealed that each family has been murdered by one of their own children. The children carry out the bloody act while under the influence of an ancient pagan deity named Baguul, who seeks to consume their souls. Ellison reaches this conclusion a little too late and soon realizes he’s been drugged by his daughter. Ashley then films herself murdering her entire family with an ax and proceeds to paint the walls with their blood.
6 Number Five Hargreeves (The Umbrella Academy)
Five Hargreeves is one of the main protagonists of the Netflix comic book-inspired series, The Umbrella Academy. The series follows a group of estranged super-powered siblings who are reunited after the death of their abusive adoptive father.
Five, though 13 years old on the outside, is actually a ruthless 58-year-old assassin on the inside. As a child, Five’s botched attempt at time travel stranded him for decades in a futuristic apocalypse. He was later recruited by a mysterious organization that governs the flow of time and then shaped into a lethal assassin who quickly rose to fame among his peers. Five eventually defected and again attempted time travel in order to stop the oncoming apocalypse. Unfortunately for him, he made a vital miscalculation and accidentally landed himself back in his 13-year-old body.
However, that doesn’t stop the now-pint-sized killer from being one of the most brutal characters in the show. Throughout the series, he kills many of his opponents with his bare hands, gouging out eyes and snapping necks with relative ease. He even has a habit of going on killing sprees when the occasion calls for it, the most graphic of which occurred in the second season where Five gleefully slaughtered a room of time-traveling executives with an ax.
5 Lilith (Supernatural)
During the third season of the CW drama Supernatural, the demon Lilith (a recurring character in the show) briefly possessed a little girl and held her entire family captive. During that time, the girl (portrayed by Sierra McCormick) forced her mother, father, and grandpa all to celebrate her birthday every day and eat cake for dinner every night. She also killed the family pet, murdered a babysitter, and later snapped her grandfather’s neck.
Her tiny reign of terror eventually came to an end when she deserted the young vessel for a different one. However, that version of the character appeared again a season later as a hallucination. She terrorized and taunted one of the main characters of the show as he had a paranormal-induced heart attack.
4 Eleven (Stranger Things)
Another number-themed murder child from Netflix’s lineup is Eleven from the streaming service’s hit series, Stranger Things (2016 – ). Eleven (El for short) was locked away by a mysterious figure referred to as “Papa” and experimented on as a child. As a result of Papa’s tampering, Eleven was endowed with telekinetic and telepathic powers, which often make her nose (and sometimes her ears) bleed when she uses them.
Despite being a mostly kind girl and avid lover of waffles, Eleven and her psionic abilities have racked up quite the body count. She has killed guards attempting to lock her in a dark room and even was responsible for destroying the titular monster of the first season, the Demogorgon. One of the most notable incidents occurred when Eleven caused an entire room of government agents (“bad men”) to hemorrhage to death using only her mind. She has also used her powers to flip a moving van several feet in the air while she and her friends were attempting to escape capture.
3 Janice (Annabelle: Creation)
Janice is one of the main characters in the second installment of the Annabelle trilogy from 2017. Having to use a wheelchair after a bad case of polio, Janice begins the movie as a kind girl who cares deeply for her best friend, Linda. Janice and Linda are a part of an orphanage run by Sister Charlotte. After their old orphanage closed, Sister Charlotte and her six young girls are welcomed into the home of a doll maker named Mr. Mullins.
However, it quickly becomes apparent that the house and Mr. Mullins himself harbor dark and deadly secrets. Soon after moving in, Janice is targeted and later possessed by a demon attached to the doll Annabelle. Janice’s entire personality soon changes, and she even regains her ability to walk. The demon that is now attached to her then goes on to murder Mr. Mullins and later crucify and mutilate his bedridden wife.
As the movie comes to a close, we see that Janice’s atrocities aren’t just confined to her adolescence. As a teenager, Janice (now Annabelle Higgins) joins a satanic cult and then later returns home to murder her parents, who had adopted her years before, unaware of her dark and gruesome past.
2 Village of the Damned (1960)
Next on our list of prepubescent terrors is not just one child but a whole brood. Though, due to their telepathically connected nature, they could easily be considered a unit. This ’60s black-and-white film is based on an earlier book called The Midwich Cuckoos, which tells the tale of a group of eerie alien children conceived under inexplicable circumstances.
The children, born with strange eyes and platinum-blonde hair, quickly begin to grow at an unnatural rate and exhibit telepathic powers. By the age of three, their appearance is that of a nine or ten-year-old. They are also abnormally intelligent and have a cold and unkind nature, causing many of the townspeople to resent them.
It also doesn’t help that the children are responsible for many vicious acts, such as forcing one of their mothers to stick her hand in boiling water as a form of punishment. They also kill a man by making him crash his car and then later force his brother to shoot himself in the head.
1 Lizzie Samuels (The Walking Dead)
Appearing in the fourth season of the AMC series The Walking Dead (2010–2022), Lizzie was a disturbed young girl who could not come to grips with the reality of zombies or “walkers.” She often did not see the flesh-eating walkers as threats and had a habit of naming them and referring to them as her “friends.” She even tried to play games with them and would get upset when they had to be killed.
Lizzie’s flawed perception ultimately came to a head when she tried to prove once and for all that walkers weren’t dangerous. She did this by stabbing her younger sister Mika to death and attempting to make others wait for her to reanimate, claiming that she wouldn’t hurt anybody. Lizzie would have done the same to another infant named Judith had two other adults not intervened.