Picture it: The movie opens with a shot of a young woman brushing her teeth in the bathroom. But wait? Does she look nervous to you? And then, from offscreen, you hear it. A voice pitched so high, it raises goosebumps on the back of your neck.
“Mommy? I want to play with you, Mommy. Let’s… play.”
Cue the scary violins! Cut to a close-up of the woman’s left eye, trembling with fear— or is it twitching with anxiety?
This is a horror that parents know too well. The way in which the most innocent of comments “I want to play with you, Mommy” — take on a menacing, ominous tone. Especially when they’re repeated again and again as the day goes by, with increasing urgency, so that what starts as a cute plea transforms into a dastardly threat. I. WANT. TO. PLAY. WITH. YOU. NOW.
Oh, little kids seem so cute in small doses, don’t they? Spend eight hours cooped up with one on a rainy day, though, and The Children of the Corn begins to look like a documentary instead of a fantasy. Kids can be ridiculous, of course. But they’re also demanding, and maddening, and downright creepy.
With that in mind, here are 8 horror movie titles based on things that my son Felix says on a regular basis.
Kids say the cutest things… 1 of 9
...until they say them about five thousand times, at which point things take a turn for the horrific.
The bathroom door creaks open, and a soft voice whispers… 2 of 9
There has to be an easier, cleaner, more hygienic way of teaching kids how to clean their bottoms, right? Currently we're in the stage where Felix leaves soiled scraps of toilet paper all over the bathroom floor. Which means that when I hear these three words, I come running.
All is well, until he looks up and shrieks… 3 of 9
Whatever this emergency entails, I'll tell you one thing: It's not going to be pretty.
You find him staring into space, muttering to himself over and over again… 4 of 9
The answers to this one usually goes from "I don't know," to "I still don't know," to "You just asked me that," to "Why don't you like spending time with me?" Eventually, I'll curl into a fetal position on the bed, weeping because my little Norman Bates doesn't love me.
Dinner time isn’t safe anymore, not with this burning question on the boy’s lips… 5 of 9
Sometimes, this is all we talk about during dinner. All we talk about.
A tiny hand tugs on your leg, and then he sinisterly announces… 6 of 9
Oh, they try so hard, don't they? But often a kid offering to lend a hand is the harbinger of mess and disaster, more work for the parent.
"It's ok," I sometimes tell Felix. "Daddy's got this."
"No, Dad," he says. And then he gets that dangerous, crazy glint in his eyes. "I SAID I'M HELPING."
Uh, whatever you say, kid!
When you tell him to relax and "say cheese," he bellows… 7 of 9
When Felix smiles like this I ask him, "Why so serious?" And then I remember: I sent him to The Joker school for modeling! Kidding aside, hearing Felix insist that this garish mockery of a grin is his real smile, all the while stretching his lips further and further until he can barely talk, gives me the chills.
You wake up to find a small figure staring at you from the side of the bed, a figure that whispers… 8 of 9
If I hear this at 3AM, then I know I'm in for a long night, because hearing it once means that I'm going to hear it again, and again, and again...
He seems to be playing calmly with his toys, but all the while he’s wondering… 9 of 9
Some days I come this close to throwing that television out the window. I've even tried setting an alarm, so that Felix can count down the minutes to TV time himself, but no... he prefers asking me, every one to two minutes, if it's time for him to watch TV now. What about now? What about now? Until finally, my chin slicked with drool and my hair lying in fluffy piles at my feet, I turn on the tube, just to shut him up.