Monstrous Children and Childish Monsters: Essays on Cinema’s Holy Terrors, edited by Edited by Markus P.J. Bohlmann and Sean Moreland, with cover art by MANDEM.
Perhaps because of the wisdom received from our Romantic forbears about the purity of the child, depictions of children as monsters have held a tremendous fascination for film audiences for decades. Numerous social factors have influenced the popularity and longevity of the monster-child trope but its appeal is also rooted in the dual concepts of the child-like (innocent, angelic) and the childish (selfish, mischievous). This collection of fresh essays discusses the representation of monstrous children in popular cinema since the 1950s, with a focus on the relationship between monstrosity and “childness,” a term whose implications the contributors explore.