20 Worst Horror Movie Parents

Honour thy father and mother

Arthur Kipps, The Woman In Black (2012)

Meet The Parents: Arthur (Daniel Radcliffe) is a lawyer and a widow. He leaves his kid with a nanny while he goes off to settle the affairs of an elderly recluse, and ends up walking straight into the clutches of a supernatural monster who preys on kids. And then he lets his son walk in front of a train. Useless.

Are The Kids Alright? Despite the film’s attempt to frame a horrific accident as a touching family reunion, no, not really.

Rachel Keller, The Ring (2002)

Meet The Parents: Another single parent, Rachel (Naomi Watts) is a journalist investigating the mysterious death of her niece. Turns out she was the victim of a cursed videotape. Rachel watches it herself, which is bad enough, but then she carelessly leaves it lying around where her son can watch it and get cursed too.

Are The Kids Alright? Well, Rachel figures out the tape’s loophole in time to stop a vengeful ghost claiming her son, but in the sequel, he ends up possessed, which probably doesn’t count as “okay”.

Oliver Reed, The Curse Of The Cat People (1944)

Meet The Parents: Not content with driving his first wife to suicide in Cat People, Oliver Reed (Kent Smith) very nearly gets his daughter killed in the sequel. First he ignores and punishes her for making friends with a ghost, and then he lets her run off in a snow storm.

Are The Kids Alright? Despite nearly getting strangled by a stranger, Amy (Ann Carter) somehow survives, and Oliver promises he’ll believe her stories in future. His track record doesn’t make this look very likely, though.

Guy Woodhouse, Rosemarys Baby (1968)

Meet The Parents: Technically, Guy (John Cassavetes) isn’t a parent – vain and self-centred, Guy hands his wife over to a powerful cult to give birth to the anti-Christ. But during Rosemary’s pregnancy, he couldn’t be completely sure the kid wasn’t his, and his parenting skills were definitely lacking. Handing your step-child off to the neighbours isn’t model behaviour, either, is it?

Are The Kids Alright? As alright as devil spawn can be, considering.

Ellison Oswalt, Sinister (2012)

Meet The Parents: Ellison (Ethan Hawke) is a fading crime writer desperate for another hit. So he moves his whole family into a house where a violent and mysterious murder recently took place, planning to write a book on it. This turns out to be a really bad idea.

Are The Kids Alright? Unfortunately, “Mr Boogie” got to them.

The Marchese and Marchesa di Fiore, Blood For Dracula (1974)

Meet The Parents: It’s probably not surprising than an aristocratic couple with four daughters and no money would be keen to marry one of their girls off to a wealthy gentleman. But you’d think they’d want to know a bit more about said gentleman’s background, especially if he comes from Transylvania and is very, very insistent on a girl’s purity.

Are The Kids Alright? Two of them end up enslaved by Dracula (Udo Kier), another gets turned into a vampire, and another is raped. So no, on all counts.

Michael Williams, The Cursed Medallion (1975)

Meet The Parents: Here’s another artist putting his child at risk for his career: Michael Williams (Richard Johnson) is working on a documentary on depictions of the devil in art, so he packs his bags and takes his daughter Emily (Nicoletta Elmi) off to a remote Italian village to see a painting of the devil. Which turns out to be cursed.

Are The Kids Alright? Nope. Poor Emily ends up taken over by the painting, and it all ends badly for both of them.

Dr Norman Boyle, The House By The Cemetery (1981)

Meet The Parents: Dr Boyle (Paolo Malco) hears that one of his colleagues has murdered his lover and committed suicide, and decides the best way to come to terms with this is to move his own family into the house where it happened. As you do. Despite his wife’s pleas, though, Boyle doesn’t want to move, even though his son is terrified of the zombie in the basement.

Are The Kids Alright? No, it all ends badly for everyone, once again.

Pamela Voorhees, Friday The 13th (1980)

Meet The Parents: Mrs Voorhees (Betsy Palmer) works as a cook at Camp Crystal Lake, where her son is tormented by other kids thanks to his deformities. The bullying leads him to sneak out to the lake in the middle of the night and drown. Admittedly, that’s pretty tragic, but Pamela makes everything worse by murdering camp counsellors – even ones who had nothing to do with the accident.

Are The Kids Alright? Jason comes back from the dead, but he ends up following in his mother’s murderous footsteps, which isn’t ideal.

Grace Stewart, The Others (2001)

Meet The Parents: At first glance, Grace (Nicole Kidman) seems like a great, if slightly over-protective mother, doing everything she can to make sure her poorly kids never come into contact with anything that might hurt them. The truth is a lot more unsettling, though, as it turns out the biggest danger they face is Grace herself.

Are The Kids Alright? Very much not, no.

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