dread­ful a- z of Hor­ror

Penny’s monthly dic­tio­nary of doom

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Penny dreadful -

K is for... K IDS Who Can Kill A Child?

( Nar­ciso Ibáñez Ser­rador, 1976)

Har­row­ing Span­ish chiller where a smug Bri­tish cou­ple are ter­rorised on a re­mote is­land by feral lit­tle dar­lings. Packed with un­for­get­table im­agery in­clud­ing one trau­ma­tis­ing scene in­volv­ing a hu­man piñata. See also Come And Play, Vinyan, The Chil­dren and Chil­dren Of The Corn.

Vil­lage Of The Damned

( Wolf Rilla, 1960)

But­toned down, night­mar­ish adap of John Wyn­d­ham’s The Mid­wich Cuck­oos where a vil­lage is over­run by plat­inum- haired, an­gel‑faced tyrants of un­known pa­ter­nity when all the women of child­bear­ing age simultaneously fall preg­nant. Re­made in 1995 by John Car­pen­ter with Christo­pher Reeve star­ring.

The In­no­cents

( Jack Clayton, 1961)

Gor­geous, chill­ing adap­ta­tion of Henry James’ The Turn Of The Screw, where a skit­tish governess takes charge of two an­gelic chil­dren who seem to be un­der the in­flu­ence of the ghosts of two for­mer ser­vants. Themes of sex, mas­culin­ity and in­san­ity abound – haunt­ing, im­por­tant and open to end­less in­ter­pre­ta­tions.

Or­phan

( Jaume Col­let- Serra, 2009)

Flawed but orig­i­nal and un­de­ni­ably freak­ish fable about a fam­ily who take in an or­phan girl who turns out to be, um, some­thing else. Col­let- Serra went on to make lu­di­crous Liam Nee­son ac­tion­ers Un­known and Non- Stop, while su­per- tal­ented young star Is­abelle Fuhrman bagged a role in The Hunger Games and is set to ap­pear in new Stephen King adap Cell.

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