Why do so many horror movies star children?
A few hypotheses (I’m sure I’m missing some):
It’s safe to assume that audiences are wired to care about a tyke’s wellbeing more than they would an adult’s. If I show you a random bloke getting fictionally terrorized, you might want more information before deciding whether he deserves your full sympathy (context is queen).
But if the victim’s prepubescent? SAVE THAT INNOCENT SOUL AT ALL COSTS!!! (This logic also explains why so many cinematic haunted households include pets).
Speaking of innocence, perhaps underagers are so prominently featured — particularly in supernatural horror — because of the notion that society hasn’t yet conditioned their psyches to perceive reality “normally,” according to how it’s conventionally understood to operate. This “ignorance” may open them up to experiencing the unknown, kind of like the idea that the young can see and hear frequencies which we oldies can’t access (again, this applies to dogs as well).
One more theory: horror revels in the fucked up, and fucking up a kid? Very fucked up. Or a fucked-up kid fucking up others? Even more fucked up.
Hit me up with any reasons I’m overlooking…