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Trick or Treat: Surprisingly Well-Mannered Children in Genre Film

Imaginary friends from films

A standard tradition on Halloween is for the kids to dress up in costumes and set out for the trick or treat festivities as the evening sets in. Usually these kids end up in groups for safety reasons while traveling door to door. While it would be easy to set up a list of evil kids that you would not want to see when you open up your door, this list is to celebrate some of the surprisingly well-behaved trick from treaters in cinematic horror. If these kids were to come to your door they should definitely receive something better than candy corn or pennies in their sacks. Unlike Damien, Samara, or Rhoda from The Bad Seed, the following list spotlights a series  of well-mannered children in genre film we wouldn’t mind seeing on our front porch this Halloween.

Tommy Jarvis in Friday the 13th:The Final Chapter

As portrayed by Corey Feldman, Tommy was a resourceful character in the fourth film in the Friday the 13th franchise. The Tommy Jarvis character was one of the few targets of Jason Voorhees that had an arc spanning more than a single film. In his initial appearance, he was a creative young man that enjoyed designing horror movie masks and memorabilia. Using that creativity and keeping his wits about him ultimately allowed for him to confuse Jason and help to (seemingly) defeat him. Tommy Jarvis, you would be welcomed with open arms and all the candy you could eat if you showed up to trick or treat at our house!

Tad Trenton in Cujo

Tad Trenton (Danny Pintauro) was terrorized by one of the scariest dogs in the horror genre. While one could easily argue that his experience with Cujo made him a cat person, Tad would still know which houses on Halloween to avoid due to overly aggressive canines taking up residence. A little help from his “Monster Words” could also be used to assist in dispensing with any lurking monsters in the closet. Tad, if you stop by the Wicked Horror offices this year, we will hook you up!

Andy Barclay in Child’s Play

Alex Vincent as Andy in both the original film and its sequel was a kid that had his eye on the best toys. He was also a kid that knew exactly what to do if one’s toy came to life as the reincarnation of a serial killer wanting to steal one’s soul. Even without much help from the adults in his life, Andy always kept a clear head and knew that he had to believe in himself. With the progression of each film he understood that no matter what others thought, it would be up to him to stop Chucky. As such, it would be our honor to pass out candy to little Andy Barclay on Halloween.

Sally Hurst in Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark

Considering that those related to Sally do not always give her the proper attention she deserves, Sally (Bailee Madison) is one that deserves to be in a group with some friends. Her biological family would rather label her as crazy or in need of medication, and it is only a non relative (her father’s girlfriend) that is willing to listen to her. While Kim (Katie Holmes) meets with an unpleasant demise, if everyone had just listened to Sally from the start, Kim’s fate could have been avoided. As yet another young person using their own wit to defeat threatening forces, Sally would likely benefit from some fun with a group of kids her own age on Halloween.

Tommy Doyle in Halloween

Tommy (Brian Andrews) was naïve to all information regarding The Boogeyman. However, after a little research and his own harrowing experience with the notorious Michael Myers he is more than equipped to be on the lookout for any suspicious looking fellows. This would be especially true when trick or treating. Also, as is evidenced by his interactions with Lindsay Wallace (Kyle Richards), we learn that he is good for a pulling a prank from time to time.

Mark Evans in The Good Son

Definitely an asset in identifying any bullies out on Halloween, Mark (Elijah Wood) has had plenty of experience dealing with troubled kids. He is relentless in his commitment to making sure all others are safe. He would make sure any dangerous looking candy was shoved down the garbage disposal without giving it a second thought. Not only would he be excellent at identifying  bullies, Mark is also loyal to a fault. If he shows up on your doorstep, please make sure to fill his bag with whatever the hell he wants.

Jamie Lloyd in Halloween 4 and Halloween 5

Portrayed by Danielle Harris, Jamie Lloyd always managed to find a way to give the holiday a chance. Even though Halloween was a day predominately reserved for bringing out all the skeletons from her family’s collective closet, Jamie managed to always pick out a costume and attempt to get into the spirit of the holiday. In addition, Jamie was resourceful, good at finding hiding places, and could run very fast. As long as all the kids manage to steer clear of her crazy uncle, Michael, Jamie would be a great addition to any group of trick or treaters. In fact, with her history, one could argue that she deserves all the best candy to make up for some of the bum shots the holiday has given to her in the past.

Bill Denbrough in It

Every group of kids that goes out trick or treating needs a strong leader. And Bill Denbrough (Jonathan Brandis) certainly demonstrated the skills needed for good leadership amongst his peer group. While all the members of the Losers’ Club would definitely be a welcome addition to hang out with on Halloween, Bill is the man with a plan. He knows how to handle those things lurking in the darkest parts of our imagination that are always threatening to do us harm. If Bill shows up at your door, make sure to give him the best you’ve got to offer: That means no Mounds, no Almond Joy, no Payday, and no raisins. Don’t even think about giving this boy an apple.

Charlie McGee in Firestarter

Drew Barrymore’s performance as Charlie in Firestarter depicted a normal youngster with high hopes. She was still susceptible to the occasional tantrum but that was outweighed by her  superhuman ability to start fires with her mind. Being that she is on the side of good and usually only a victim of circumstance, she is definitely someone that one would want on their team for trick or treating. Any corrupt strangers offering suspicious looking candy would quickly find their temperatures rising. If they were unfortunate enough to succeed in harming any of Charlie’s friends, Charlie would have no problem making sure that child was avenged and that it would be the stranger who was ultimately getting burned.

Danny Torrance in The Shining

After his experiences with losing his father and dealing with the malevolent forces at the Overlook Hotel, Danny (Danny Lloyd) is definitely in need of some light-hearted trick or treating this Halloween. While he may be a bit on the quiet side and more used to the company of his spirit friends, he would probably be the best addition to any group on Halloween. After all, he does have the ability to Shine. With his proclivity for reading minds, he’d be sure to pick up on any evil in the area, and he would be able to see through to the future to clear the safest path for all of his friends to take, both living and non.

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Written by Justin Steele
Justin Steele is a graduate of Bowling Green State University. His focus was the representation of women and minorities in contemporary media. In addition to writing, he hosts the 411popCulture channel on YouTube. He enjoys Rep Theatre and once performed on Broadway. He currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio with his 15-year-old cat. He is a die-hard horror fan with a particular affinity for slasher films.
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