Horror movie kids who grew up to be stunning

A surefire way to increase the scares in any horror movie is to add a creepy kid — nothing weirds people out more than a child who may be evil or tormented or just not quite right. Remember those platinum blond ankle-biters in Village of the Damned? How about that emo-awful well-dweller in The Ring or the not-so-cute-and-cuddly toddler in Pet Semetary? From rebellious vampires to bad babysitters to dolls — seriously, what's with the dolls?— we've caught up with the child actors who probably should have been scarred for life after playing their parts in these frightening flicks and slasher films. 

How did they fare? Did they make it out alive? Though movie history is chock full of little freaks, you'll be happy to learn that a lot of the children from your nightmares grew into adults who might show up in a different kind of dream, if you follow.

Felissa Rose

Sleepaway Camp (1983) is arguably one of the greatest low-budget slasher films of all time, with possibly the most insane twist ending ever put to film. Say what you will about the closing scenes of The Usual Suspects (1995) or The Sixth Sense (1999), when the final reveal happens in this flick, you're left picking your quivering jaw up off the floor. That's thanks to actress Felissa Rose, whose absolutely terrifying expression will be seared into your subconscious for the rest of your life.

While Rose's teenage performance may give you nightmares for a few weeks, checking her out these days isn't half bad. She went from nightmare fuel to that hot city chick who could probably still kick your ass, but at least you'd enjoy it.

Danielle Harris

In the '70s and '80s—before Rob Zombie bought the rights to Halloween—the third movie disgruntled a lot of audiences because there was no Michael Myers. Getting back to form in Halloween 4 (1988), Myers returns, and this time his niece Jamie, played by Danielle Harris, is on his hit list. As one might expect, it seems that Michael has been dispatched by the end, but then—twist!—Jamie becomes the creepy villain just as little Michael had all those years ago. Complete with clown costume and bloody scissors, the film ends with the promise of a new generation of killer.

If you saw Halloween 5 (1989), you know Jamie's storyline went in another direction, but if you've seen Harris recently, you don't care so much. She's become a gorgeous scream queen with roles in numerous horror films, including the bloody Hatchet trilogy (2006-2011). We suppose horror just agrees with some girls.

Thomas Dekker

The Village of the Damned (1995) is one of those movies that bets its entire success on just how creepy children can be. The movie features villainous, platinum-blond ankle biters who use their psychic powers and total lack of human emotion to destroy their enemies. It's kind of like a photo-negative version of the Kardashians.

One standout among the little ones was David, played by Thomas Dekker. David is presented as the "good" boy since he stands against the other children, but he's really just as creepy as the rest and the one we should be watching out for by the end. Plus, David's creepy grandpa hair will haunt your dreams. Lucky for Dekker, he grew up to be the sort of guy who can stand with his hair blowing in the breeze and make his fans swoon.

Isabelle Fuhrman

Isabelle Fuhrman is the sole reason the movie Orphan (2009) is memorable. Her turn as a psychotic little girl elevates what would be an otherwise forgettable film to a horror movie definitely worth checking out.

Isabelle turned 18 in 2015 and has turned into quite the looker. She returned to the horror scene in 2016 with a starring role in Stephen King's Cell.

Miko Hughes

If you had to pick one pint-sized monster who was a little more memorable than all the others from the '80s, Miko Hughes would probably win the prize. He stars in Stephen King's Pet Semetary (1989) as Gage, the impossibly adorable little boy who becomes the impossibly terrifying villain toddling around at 2'10" with a scalpel and an insidiously sweet laugh.

These days, Miko is still acting, but he's less "scary little doll man" and more "handsome indie film guy." He's even done some directing.

Jodelle Ferland

Silent Hill (2006) has the distinction of being one of the few decent film adaptations of video games, and it's also a supremely creepy horror movie in its own right. While characters Pyramid Head and the Nurses appear in all their unsettling glory, the real strength of the film rests on the tiny shoulders of Jodelle Ferland, who tackles the roles of sweet Sharon DaSilva and sinister Alessa Gillespie.

It seems like Ferland spent the entirety of her childhood being creepy in one film or another. While Silent Hill was undoubtedly one of her best and scariest performances, she was also in Wes Craven's They (2002), Terry Gilliam's Tideland (2005), the unsettling Case 39 (2009) opposite Renée Zellweger, and the made-for-TV remake of Carrie (2013). Ferland even had a small role in Cabin in the Woods (2012) as the one-armed, backwoods zombie girl. Basically, Ferland grew up giving people nightmares.

Ferdelle is still acting and maintains a big presence on social media. She's grown from creepy, bloody, barbed-wire monster girl into a very pretty young woman—who just happens to have green hair sometimes.

Kirsten Dunst

Given the long and impressive career of Kirsten Dunst, it's entirely possible you forgot that her first major motion picture role was one of the creepiest ever tackled by a child actor. She played vampire Claudia in Interview with the Vampire (1994) opposite Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise. As a forever-child with an adult and predatory intellect, Dunst spends the better part of the movie as a carnivorous living doll, with tight curls, fancy ball gowns, and fangs. As her story arc progresses, the off-putting hints of adult desires trapped within a child's body make her all the more creepy.

Obviously, Dunst went on to garner great success in numerous roles, from the original Spider-Man trilogy (2002-2007) to the hit TV series Fargo (2014—). Dunst clearly transformed from creepy kid to beautiful woman—need we remind you of the upside down kiss in the rain scene from Spider-Man? It was pretty memorable.

Matthew Helms

The creators of horror movies know that blending humor in between scenes where characters are mutilated and horrifically murdered is a great way to cleanse the palate. In that spirit, one of the greatest and most absurdly funny scenes from any horror movie ever has to be the "Pancakes!" scene from Cabin Fever (2002). Played to weird perfection by Matthew Helms, his character, Dennis, screams out the name of his preferred breakfast order then does some slo-mo karate before chomping down on James DeBello's (Bert's) hand. It's hilarious and creepy at the same time.

Helms only did one more film—as an uncredited extra—after Cabin Fever, and it's probably because he switched his creative pursuits to ballet. According to his bio page for the Boulder Ballet, Helms is an accomplished dancer who has also been practicing martial arts since he was 3. And without that crazy homemade haircut, he's pretty easy on the eyes now as well.

Drew Barrymore

Everyone knows Drew Barrymore was catapulted to fame after her role as Gertie in E.T. (1982), but two years later, she also starred in the campy adaptation of Stephen King's novel, Firestarter (1984). Barrymore plays Charlie, the little girl you wouldn't like when she gets angry. Okay, that's The Hulk's catch phrase, but we feel it also applies to a 9-year-old who will telekinetically set you ablaze if you piss her off.

Anyway, Barrymore obviously turned into quite the stunner, becoming one of the queens of romantic comedies in the 90's and early 2000s, as well as landing a role in the Charlie's Angels (2000-2003) reboot films.

​Emily Perkins

Emily Perkins is probably best known for playing Brigitte in the Ginger Snaps series (2000-2004), the horror trilogy that apparently felt the classic tale of the werewolf could only be improved with a healthy dose of teenage girl drama. But don't forget her role in the It (1990) mini-series, specifically the scene where a blood-filled balloon bursts in her bathroom sink while a psychotic clown taunts her mind with terrifying threats.

Not only did that somehow not ruin her for life—like it probably did for many, many viewers—it obviously kickstarted a lifelong love of the genre. She's also landed parts in projects such as The X-Files (1998), The Twilight Zone (2002), and Blood: A Butcher's Tale (2010). The hot horror heroine hasn't had a screen credit since 2014, but that's because as of 2016, she's taking a breather from acting for a new role: being a mom.

Will Sandin

When you think of Michael Myers, you probably think of a hulking monster in coveralls and a mask, not an adorable little kid in a clown costume, but that was how Will Sandin got to play young Michael Myers in the original 1978 slasher flick, Halloween. Then, Sandin literally retired from acting at just 6-years-old.

According to Horror Society, no one knows much about what Sandin did with his life after Halloween until the early 2000s, when he started attending panel discussions for the original flick. He's attended a bunch of those, including this one in 2015, during which he said he still gets attention on social media from diehard fans. Sandin looks remarkably similar to his 6-year-old self, except now he's got that boyishly handsome thing going on. Combined with the fact that he's clearly put in some time at the gym, there's no doubt Sandin could have pursued an acting career if he'd wanted to.

Lindsay Haun

Like Thomas Dekker, Lindsay Haun played one of the nightmare-eyed children in Village of the Damned (1995). She was actually the leader of the platinum blonde kid crew who was hell bent on uniting with a worldwide contingent of demon child colonies to overtake the human race. They say the darndest things, right?

Speaking with Cosmopolitan in 2016, Haun said she drew on Jack Nicholson's performance in The Shining (1980) for her portrayal of Mara Chaffee, the emotionless evil wunderkind. She also revealed that the film crew actually bleached the kids' hair instead of just letting them wear wigs, which seems insane, and borderline criminal if you ask us. Anyway, the experience must not have been too traumatic for Haun, who not only matured into a complete knockout but also continues to maintain a successful acting career.

Brandon Quintin Adams

At 12-years-old, Brandon Quintin Adams starred in The People Under the Stars (1991). He played Fool, the kid hero who saves Alice from her incestuous parents—who grossly refer to themselves as "Mommy" and "Daddy"—and who have systematically stolen children and turned them into a freakish cannibal camp in their basement. It's wasn't exactly light fare, but Adams went on to a relatively robust career in movies and TV sitcoms until basically disappearing from Hollywood around 2001.

Adams isn't too active on social media anymore, but the above pic is from Instagram circa 2014. His IMDb page indicates that he's logged a few voice acting credits for video games in recent years, as well as a short film in 2014. Obviously, he's still got the looks to pull off an acting career if he wants, and with Hollywood's current trend of returning to old classics, maybe we could see him in The People Under the Stairs 2: Mommy and Daddy's Revenge.

​Alex Vincent

Alex Vincent is as integral to the plot of the Child's Play series (1988-2017) as the "Good Guy" Chucky doll itself. As of this writing, Vincent has starred in five incarnations of the movie about a doll possessed by the maniacal soul of serial killer, thanks to a voodoo spell.

Though Vincent no longer bears a striking resemblance to his adorable 6-year-old self, he's still a good-looking dude. Speaking with Cosmopolitan in 2016, Vincent said he runs a Florida-based recording studio, called AV Productions, and still makes a decent living traveling to horror conventions all over the world.

Kyle Richards

By now everyone knows two things about Kyle Richards. 1.) She's on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. 2.) She's Paris Hilton's aunt. What a lot of people may not realize is that she's been an actress since she was 5-years-old, and she even had a part in the original Halloween (1978). She played Lindsey, the little girl Annie was supposed to be babysitting until she made the fatal error of shirking her responsibilities to meet up with her boyfriend.

Speaking with Halloween Daily News in 2013, the now grown-up and gorgeous Richards said she loves being a part of a film that she calls "timeless" and "classic," even though she was traumatized the first time she watched the entire movie at the premiere. "It was just really scary, and I really did sleep with my mom until I was 15 years old after that. I was terrified," she said. Funny, some of us feel the same way after watching her Bravo show.

David Dorfman

For as creepy as Daveigh Chase's performance was as Samara in The Ring (2002), David Dorfman gave her a serious run for her money as Aidan, Naomi Watts' character's dead-eyed son. Dorfman also freaked audiences out as bucktoothed inbred, Jedidiah, in the 2003 Texas Chainsaw Massacre reboot.

While Dorfman had the looks and intensity as a young kid to pull of such creepy performances, he felt a different calling as a man. According to a 2017 interview with Refinery 29, Dorfman, who is now clean-cut and suave-looking, is now a Harvard Law-educated attorney who's practiced in a variety of areas. "From Hollywood to Harvard, from the Boston bombing prosecution to ISIS prosecutions to actually being able to write some laws in the Philippines, I'm just really incredibly grateful for all these great opportunities," Dorfman said. So he's attractive and gainfully employed? Nothing scary about that.

Daveigh Chase

Few movies manage to create a creepier series of images than the sketchy black-and-white footage of The Ring (2002). Samara Morgan crawls out of a well and through your TV screen to VHS you to death. You don't want to know what she looks like beneath all that soggy, black hair, and yet you can't look away. All that creepiness was brought to life by 12-year-old Daveigh Chase.

Since The Ring, Daveigh's most notable role was in HBO's Big Love (2006-2011). While she may not be appearing in a ton of movies and shows these days, the upside is that she's gone from undead well rat to smoking hot social media presence.