But in horror movies, murdering children is still one of the very last taboos — with a few notable exceptions.
One example that comes to mind is Halloween III: Season of the Witch, which kill a young child by way of murderous mask filled with snakes and insects:
Jaws makes the audience believe a maniac is sitting in the director’s chair, ramping up the stakes by killing a young lad who had his whole life stretched out before him. Chomp:
One of the earliest child-killing scenes demonstrates that Frankenstein isn’t always deserving of a “Plays Well With Others” badge. Glug:
Stephen King’s Pet Sematary — the book as well as the film — goes there, too. Beep:
But Stephen King’s mammoth horror novel It is a crazed beast of a book that clocks in at over 1,000 pages and involves the exploits of a jovial shapeshifting child-butchering clown. And there are dead kids splattered all over those pages.
Though it was turned into a comparatively subdued television miniseries in 1990 (starring Tim Curry as Pennywise the Clown), it’s now getting the full Hollywood movie treatment, and time will tell how close the end result hews to its unusually brutal source material.
The first full trailer for the film offers a nice, long, coppery taste of the film; a dizzying mosaic of pancake makeup, paper boats, fangs, terrified kids, dead kids, and good-old fashioned mordant terror.
Perfect timing, too. For some reason, a fable about an orange-hued clown thoughtlessly gutting the promise of young lives without pity or remorse strikes us as particularly prescient at the moment.