Everyone loves coming of age stories because they’re relatable and bring all the feels to the table, but did you know that coming-of-age is also one of the themes highly used in the horror movie genre? If you want to dive into stories about young people growing up and trying to figure out their lives while also dealing with monsters, supernatural beings, and generally scary stuff; this list is for you!
7 Coming of Age Movies Disguised as Horror/Thriller Films
A movie about children who fight off an evil clown, It is teeming with coming-of-age themes, most especially concerning the only girl in the group, Beverly. Both in the ’90s version and in the more modern adaptation, Beverly is often followed by images of blood and the color red. This often translates to a girl getting her period, which in a lot of cases, especially traditionally, means that she has already ‘come of age’. On the other hand, ‘It’ is also just a campy summer movie about friends growing together and fighting their fears.
6. The Craft
This classic from the 90s is about a group of girls who learn witchcraft in order to get what they want in life. It has themes of escapism, which young people often resort to when they don’t feel like their lives are all that good. Together, the young witches find friendship in each other while also trying to figure out their relationships with other people.
This creepy film by Park Chan-wook (The Handmaiden) tells the story of India Stoker, a teenager who has hypersensitive senses whose world turns upside down when her father dies tragically of a car accident. Her world is shaken even more by the return of an uncle she didn’t even know existed. The film follows how a time of confusion could push or pull a person when they’re at a tipping point in their lives.
4. It Follows
Most of the time, coming of age involves the introduction of sex. Sex is one of the key devices used in ‘It Follows’, even though it’s never explicitly shown to the audience. It follows a group of young people as they try to evade a sort of paranormal STD that is passed onto people they have sex with.
3. The Beguiled
Not really a horror or a thriller, but with enough thrill in it to be included in this list, ‘The Beguiled’ is a movie by acclaimed director Sophia Coppola about a group of women who live quietly in the country during the war. The women aid a soldier from the other side after they find him injured in front of their house. Tensions rise as the young women start to take an interest in the man. This film is beautiful and so eerie that it’ll just keep drawing you in despite its pace.
2. The Witch
This haunting film about a family that’s been shunned by their community will stay with you long after it has ended. ‘The Witch’ is a story about a girl who gets accused of being responsible for the mishaps that happen to the family while in exile. There’s also a strong urge to grow up that the parents put on the girl’s shoulder. By the end of the movie, you’ll see just how grown up she gets.
A classic, and another one of Stephen King’s, ‘Carrie’ tells the story of a girl with special powers. Because her mother is some sort of religious nut (as she is presented, at least), she doesn’t know that she’s going through puberty until she gets her period and freaks out about it. This film is full of layers and is also pretty scary despite these underlying themes.
Which coming-of-age horror/thriller films are your favorite?