There's just something about diminutive monsters that go for the feet first. From the undead Gage in "Pet Sematary" to the tiny creatures from "The Gate," they all strike a chord of terror in us that is so primal that it makes us pull up our feet and sit on them while we watch the movie.
Here's my list of the top 13 scariest tiny terrors in horror films.
"Ghoulies" is a campy horror film in which demonic tiny terrors are summoned during a magic ritual. I'll warn you, the acting is pretty bad, but the monsters make it worth it.
"Critters" is about a monstrous alien species that lands on Earth and proceeds to terrorize a family living in rural American. This was one of those horror movies that I saw when I was a little kid that scared the bejeezus out of me. There's just something about unstoppable eating machines that are nothing but teeth and stomachs that is just creepy. I guess that's why people don't like sharks.
"Subspecies" is a cult classic by Full Moon Entertainment. It's about an evil vampire who sends out his little minions, or ghouls, to kidnap people for him to eat, or seduce and then turn into other vampires. Either way, vampire Radu Vladislas won't stop until he gets his girl. The little creatures in this movie don't speak, but their presence is so important that they became the iconic monsters of the series.
10. The Gate
"The Gate" uses the premise that playing a record backwards will allow you to hear the band speaking Satan rituals. In this case, it opens a gateway to hell, and little demons soon crawl out of it and invade a kid's home.
This is one of those classic 80s horror films that actually had child actors playing the part of kids. I know, it's crazy, isn't it?
Three simple rules, and yet, Billy Pelzer can't manage to follow a single one of them. "Gremlins" is quite possibly the best movie that Joe Dante has ever directed. It is a horror comedy that manages to be equally scary and funny at the same time, and it has a Mogwai in it, so you know that it has to be good.
8. The Hand (1981)
"The Hand" is both a tiny terror film and a psychological horror film all wrapped up into one neat package. Is Jon Landsdale losing his mind, or has his severed hand become a reanimated, unstoppable killing machine?
"The Hand" was directed by Oliver Stone and stars Michael Caine. It is based on "The Lizard's Tail" by Marc Brandell and is about a comic book artist who loses his hand in a terrible car accident. The hand takes on a life of its own, and soon begins to terrorize the people that are making Jon's life a living hell.
"Cat's Eye" is an anthology based on the stories of Stephen King. In this horror movie, the tiny terror is an evil troll.
The last story of the anthology, "General" is named after the main character, which happens to be a cat. The evil troll wants to suck out the soul of General's owner, a little girl played by Drew Berrymore.
"Aliens" is one of my favorite Sci-Fi horror films. While it is more Sci-Fi than horror, it definitely has enough horror elements in it to make it on my list.
The tiny terror of "Aliens" is the face hugger.
5. Puppet Master
"Puppet Master" features killer puppets that have been animated by dark magic. They are attempting to get revenge for the death of their creator, Toulon. When a group of psychics meets up in a hotel where the puppets were hidden, all hell breaks loose as the puppets start to kill them off, one by one.
4. Pet Sematary
Quite possibly the most depressing and terrifying movie I have ever seen, "Pet Sematary" has one of the most memorable tiny terrors in film history. The Creeds move into a new home, and soon learn that an ancient Indian burial ground lies behind their property. When tragedy strikes the family, they soon learn of the burial ground's evil powers. Remember, sometimes, dead is better.
"Pet Sematary" has two tiny terrors in it, the resurrected cat Church, and the evil undead Gage.
3. Child's Play
"Child's Play" is about a killer who uses a voodoo spell to send his soul into the body of a toy. When Charles Lee Ray finds a gullible kid to help him, he goes on a killing spree and attempts to transfer his soul to a living, breathing body.
Chucky is the epitome of creepy dolls. This movie came out when electronic talking toys like Teddy Ruxpin were popular. Chucky became the icon of nightmarish children's toys, and remains as one of the scariest tiny terrors in horror films to date.
2. Don't Be Afraid of the Dark
"Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" was one of the most underrated horror films of 2010. It features tiny evil fairies that are trying to kidnap a young girl and turn her into one of them.
Sally is sent by her mother to go live with her father when he purchases a large mansion that he intends to fix up and sell in order to make money. She soon finds that she is not alone in the house, and that the little people that live in the walls of the home aren't as friendly as they appear to be.
These faeries are the stuff of nightmares.
1. Trilogy of Terror
"Trilogy of Terror" has one of the scariest tiny terrors ever to appear on film, the Zuni Fetish Warrior doll. The third story of the anthology "Amelia" features Karen Black as a woman who receives a strange gift in the mail and unknowingly unleashes a monster in her apartment.
But you don't have to take my word for it. Here's the Zuni Fetish doll in action, in all his terrific glory.