There’s just something about diminutive monsters that go for the feet first. From the undead Gage in Pet Sematary to Chucky in Child’s Play, they all strike a chord of terror in us that is so primal that it makes us pull up our feet and sit on them while we watch the movie.
So, why not take a look at our list of the top 13 scariest tiny terrors in horror:
Ghoulies is a campy 80s horror film in which demonic tiny terrors are summoned during a magic ritual. The acting is pretty bad, but the monsters make it worth it.
Critters is about a monstrous alien species that lands on Earth and proceeds to terrorize a family living in rural American. This was one of those horror movies that I saw before I should have as a kid. There’s just something about unstoppable eating machines that are nothing but teeth and stomachs that is just creepy. I guess that’s why people don’t like sharks.
Subspecies is a cult classic about an evil vampire who sends out his ghoul minions to kidnap people for him to eat or seduce and then turn into other vampires. Either way, vampire Radu Vladislas won’t stop until he gets his girl. The little creatures in this movie don’t speak, but their presence is so important that they became the iconic monsters of the series.
10. The Gate
The Gate uses the time-proven urban legend that playing a record backwards will allow you to hear the band speaking Satanic rituals. In this case, it opens a gateway to hell, and little demons soon crawl out of it and invade a kid’s home.
This is one of those classic 80s horror films that actually had child actors playing the part of kids!
Three simple rules, and yet, Billy Pelzer can’t manage to follow a single one of them. Gremlins is quite possibly the best movie that Joe Dante has ever directed, and that’s saying something! It is a horror comedy that manages to be equally scary and funny at the same time, and it has a Mogwai in it, so you know that it has to be good.
8. The Hand (1981)
The Hand is both a tiny terror film and a psychological horror film all wrapped up into one neat package. Is Jon Landsdale losing his mind, or has his severed hand become a reanimated, unstoppable killing machine?
Directed by Oliver Stone and starring Michael Caine, this movie is based on “The Lizard’s Tail” by Marc Brandell and is about a comic book artist who loses his hand in a terrible car accident. The hand takes on a life of its own, and soon begins to terrorize the people that are making Jon’s life a living hell.
7. Cat’s Eye (1985)
This is an anthology horror movie based on the stories of Stephen King. In this horror movie, the tiny terror is an evil troll.
The last story of the anthology, “General” is named after the main character, which happens to be a cat. The evil troll wants to suck out the soul of General’s owner, a little girl played by Drew Barrymore.
7. The Brood
David Cronenberg made a career out of audiences way past their comfort zone and this 1979 horror pushes furthest. In this film, man tries to uncover an unconventional psychologist’s therapy techniques on his institutionalized wife, while a series of brutal attacks committed by a brood of mutant children coincides with the husband’s investigation. Yeah, the children are terrifying!
5. Puppet Master
Puppet Master features killer puppets that have been animated by dark magic. They are attempting to get revenge for the death of their creator, Toulon. When a group of psychics meets up in a hotel where the puppets were hidden, all hell breaks loose as the puppets start to kill them off, one by one.
4. Pet Sematary
Quite possibly the most depressing and terrifying movie I have ever seen, Pet Sematary has one of the most memorable tiny terrors in film history. The Creeds move into a new home, and soon learn that an ancient Indian burial ground lies behind their property. When tragedy strikes the family, they soon learn of the burial ground’s evil powers. Remember, sometimes, dead is better. Pet Sematary has two tiny terrors in it, the resurrected cat Church, and the evil undead Gage.
3. Child’s Play
Child’s Play is about a killer who uses a voodoo spell to send his soul into the body of a toy. When Charles Lee Ray finds a gullible kid to help him, he goes on a killing spree and attempts to transfer his soul to a living, breathing body.
Chucky is the epitome of creepy dolls. This movie came out when electronic talking toys like Teddy Ruxpin were popular. Chucky became the icon of nightmarish children’s toys, and remains as one of the scariest tiny terrors in horror films to date.
2. Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark
Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark is one of the most underrated horror films of recent years. It features tiny evil fairies that are trying to kidnap a young girl and turn her into one of them.
Sally is sent by her mother to go live with her father when he purchases a large mansion that he intends to fix up and sell in order to make money. She soon finds that she is not alone in the house, and that the little people that live in the walls of the home aren’t as friendly as they appear to be. These faeries are the stuff of nightmares.
1. Trilogy of Terror
Trilogy of Terror has one of the scariest tiny terrors ever to appear on film – and it was a made-for-TV anthology! The third story of the anthology “Amelia” features Karen Black as a woman who receives a strange gift in the mail and unknowingly unleashes a monster in her apartment. But you don’t have to take my word for it. Here’s the Zuni Fetish doll in action, in all his terrific glory:
What’s your favorite ‘tiny terror’ in a horror film? Share it with us for our next list!