There’s something about a creepy kid that makes a horror movie even more gripping. We think of children as something innocent and happy, a way to free us from the dark side of the world. To see a child turned into a monster of some sort is unsettling and movies have used that well over the years. Who can forget those blonde-haired twisted telekinetics of Village of the Damned? Or the sight of young Damien, who’s the son of the Devil in The Omen? Sometimes, the horror is that there’s nothing supernatural but a regular kid who’s a twisted sociopath like The Bad Seed. Seeing a little kid carrying our murderous actions just makes the horror worse and the movie itself more effective.
Over the years, we’ve seen a lot of these child actors freaking you out but like many child stars, they’ve gone on to grow up amazingly well. Several are now major stars, most incredibly hot and sexy to boot, far more than you would have imagined in their original roles. It’s astounding to see them taking that rise and letting you imagine those original roles in new ways. Here are 10 ladies who scared the hell out of you when they were young but you can’t take your eyes off them today.
Warning: there are some SPOILERS in these.
10 Daveigh Chase
2002’s The Ring kicked off the entire “American versions of Japanese hits” formula and did a great job. The chilling movie told of a mysterious videotape that would kill whoever watched it. The scenes shown to audiences included a horrific girl in white played by Daveigh Chase called Samara. Those images and the shots of the girl crawling out of a screen were powerful in trailers and posters and helped add to the film’s already big buzz to make it a smash hit. 11 when the movie was shot, Chase has since gone on to have a good career, voicing the young Lilo in the Disney smash Lilo & Stitch and its cartoon spin-off, as well as having a major role in the HBO series Big Love. She’s quite attractive now with lovely brown hair and a bright smile, showing off on Instagram, a far cry from the specter that horrified audiences.
9 Drew Barrymore
After becoming a star with E.T., Drew Barrymore followed it with this adaptation of a Stephen King bestseller, Firestarter. Thanks to drug tests by her parents, young Charlie McGree is able to start fires with just her mind. She tries to control it with the aid of her father but when the government starts hunting her, she’s forced to cut loose. The sight of the young and cherubic Barrymore standing tall while flames ignite people around her was the selling point of the film and it's still gripping to watch. Barrymore would have a serious issue with drugs and alcohol but emerged stronger and hotter, flashing her body in several films before settling into rom-coms and working as a producer. It makes sense that Barrymore today is more than capable of firing up audiences better than ever.
8 Christina Ricci
Instead of being based solely on the old sitcom, 1991’s The Addams Family took its cue from the original magazine cartoons to be dark and gothic along with sly humor. It boasted a great cast of Raul Julia, Angelica Huston and Christopher Lloyd but the true scene-stealer was Christina Ricci. As Wednesday, the budding sociopath daughter, Ricci was hysterical with her deadpan delivery of bitter lines and nonchalance about committing possible murder, even of an infant. The bits of her in summer camp in the sequel were great as the scene where she tries to smile is terrifyingly funny. Ricci was stuck in kids films like Casper for a while but has since moved to more adult fare: a stunning brunette who’s shown off her body in movies like Black Snake Moan and played merry murderess Lizzie Borden for a Lifetime series. Her original role was scary and funny while Ricci is now a lady hot enough on any day of the week.
7 Chloe Grace Moretz
Moretz was pulled into horror films at a young age, usually the innocent girl in the thick of things in The Amityville Horror and Wicked Little Things. In 2010, she came to stardom, first as Hit-Girl in Kick-Ass and then Let Me In. In the latter, a remake of an acclaimed Swedish film, Moretz played a 12-year old who was really a centuries-old vampire, building a friendship with a young body even as she continues on her bloody spree. The mix of innocent girl and throat-ripping monster was jarring but she made it work well to boost the entire film up majorly. Since then, Moretz has grown up very nicely as a cool blonde in films like a remake of Carrie and the upcoming Neighbors 2. Proof that when a gal is able to kick adult butt at a young age, she can move you in different ways years later.
6 Michelle Williams
As much horror as it is sci-fi, 1995’s Species had scientists using DNA from space to create a half-alien hybrid that grew into childhood in just days. Code-named Sil, the girl was played by Michelle Williams whose behavior has the scientists deciding she’s too dangerous and has to be destroyed. She escapes the lab and goes on the run, murdering a bum on a train and calmly eating food right over his corpse. While attractive, you still get her alien nature as proven when she morphs overnight into the gorgeous Natasha Henstridge. Williams would go on to play Jen on Dawson’s Creek before morphing into an acclaimed actress with three Oscar nominations. She’s also showed fantastic hot scenes from that show and movies, going nude often and even playing Marilyn Monroe, proving herself worthy of being that bombshell and a talent that often seems other-worldly.
5 Jodelle Ferland
One of the few successful movie adaptations of a video game, 2006’s Silent Hill had Naomi Watts as a woman trapped in a nightmarish town and hunting her missing daughter, Sharon, played by Jodelle Ferland. Sharon is the dead ringer for Alessa, a demonic child who’s the cause of all this horror. It’s complicated and a dark ending but Ferland was compelling in the dual role to make this a truly terrifying experience to go through for even non-game fans. Ferland has done horror a lot since then like Case 39, The Tall Man, Cabin in the Woods and more. Now 21, she’s quite the growing hottie in dark hair and later roles showing more of her body off and looks ready to continue that trend to make her a star worth talking about.
4 Isabelle Fuhrman
The 2009 movie Orphan starts with a couple, Kate and John, adopting a young Russian girl named Esther in hopes of saving their marriage. Soon, Esther is causing trouble, making attacks on the couple’s real son and forcing Kate to be put in a hospital. Esther then dolls herself up to try and seduce John who naturally pushes her away. It’s at this point that the movie unleashes its huge twist: Esther is actually a 33-year old woman with a hormone condition that’s trapped her in a child’s body. She’s also a lunatic who’s pulled this stunt before and when rejected, snaps and kills the family in question. The sequence where she wipes off her makeup and removes her false teeth to reveal her age is gripping and makes for a terrific final showdown ending in her death. The original ending had her survive with the idea of her pulling the same act but a sequel was never made. That’s probably for the best as Isabelle Fuhrman has grown up in a major way, playing Clove in The Hunger Games and nice scenes showing off her body in the Showtime series Masters of Sex. Ironically hotter now than as the “grown-up” in the movie, Fuhrman continues to compel.
3 Jodie Foster
While she’d had numerous TV credits before, the 1976 film The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane was really the role that brought Jodie Foster to prominence. She played Rynn, a young girl whose home is filled with mysterious occurrences, people going in but never coming out and seems to possess a dark power while sleeping with an older man posing as her father. It’s truly dark with a harsh climax that shows Rynn is a true murderess but Foster’s kind face is compelling enough to make you believe in her innocence. Foster, of course, would go on to a fantastic career, winning two Best Actress Oscars, an acclaimed director and incredibly beautiful to boot with several truly steamy roles to flash her body off. The little girl grew up all right and into one very compellingly sexy mature woman.
2 Asia Argento
When your father is Dario Argento, one of the most acclaimed horror directors of all time, it’s only natural you’d follow in those footsteps. Asia was only 10 when she appeared in the film Demons 2 as a child involved in the demonic attacks, usually in distress but the hints she may be drawn to the darkness as well. A few years later, she was in The Church as the daughter of a reverend who’s also pulled into a demonic attack which she survives. However, the film’s ending has her looking at the source of the demons and smiling wickedly to show she may have more in common with them then it seems. Since then, Asia has starred in numerous films by her father as well as roles in XXX and other films. Most of them involve showing off her fabulous body which includes her winged tattooed stomach and no shame in getting involved in bloody times. Horror runs in her blood so it’s no surprise Asia enjoys rolling in it so much.
1 Kirsten Dunst
When Interview With the Vampire came out in 1994, the big focus was on Tom Cruise playing the character of Lestat against Brad Pitt. However, the true breakout was Kirsten Dunst in her debut role as Claudia, a young girl transformed into a vampire. From the moment she whispers “I want some more,” Dunst captivates as the film continues with the realization she’s an adult in a child’s body driving her to extreme actions with some ruthless kills. She wins you over so you feel for her final brutal death by sunlight and the movie feels less after she’s gone. Dunst has since gone on to grow into quite the hot number from a cheerleader in Bring It On to May Jane in the Spider-Man films, going naked in the movie Melancholia and her acclaimed turn on the series Fargo. Even at that young age, Dunst had bit so no wonder she’s grown into a hot vamp in the years since.