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Infant Immortality: Film
Played Straight

  • Averted in Little Sweetheart. Or not.
  • 2012 - Nothing bad will happen to you, so long as you keep hold of one or more children, or the dog. The Russian trophy wife learned this lesson the hard way.
  • Armageddon: Many people die in the opening cataclysm. A small pug is spared.
  • Taken to semi-extremes in Blade: Trinity. Dracula kidnaps an infant, and threatens to throw it off a skyscraper. He doesn't though, but instead tosses it in the air, letting it fly for roughly twenty feet, and then is caught hard by Blade. The infant survives all of this.
  • In the 80's, uber low-budget yet oddly entertaining Mexican supernatural slasher titled Cementerio del Terror, various characters are introduced, and ultimately twelve of them are put in the path of the psychotic killer and his army of zombies. They are three male college students and their three girlfriends out partying, five children out on a dare (the oldest being of about 14 years old and the youngest about 8), and a Dr. Loomis-esque doctor in search of the sadistic killer. Now, take three guesses as to which five characters survive the killer's rampage.
  • Cube is an example of a mentally handicapped adult being the only survivor of the nastiness. If one takes Cube Zero into account, it's very likely he too was murdered.
  • In the disaster movie Dantes Peak, the dog (an adorable Picardy Shepherd) disappears about halfway through the movie, while the family are escaping from the erupting volcano. At the end, it turns up alive and unharmed about of absolutely nowhere. This is the film that gave Grandma third-degree burns with sulphuric acid.
  • The movie version of Stephen King's Cujo ends, well, differently to the book.
  • The titular monster of the B-Movie The Giant Gila Monster gets a lot less scary when it completely fails to catch and eat a crippled nine-year old.
    • Which is a shame, as Giant Gila Monsters are so inherently terrifying.
  • Hard Boiled: An extreme case - A baby rescued by the hero not only avoids blowing up or getting shot at, he saves the hero's life by putting out his pants, which caught on fire.
    • Especially considering that adult innocents get shot and killed with disturbing regularity.
  • Hellboy II: The Golden Army had Hellboy fighting a monster while jumping around on a building, all the while juggling a baby. Most people would set it down or hand it over to the numerous bystanders for safekeeping but thanks to this trope, heroes are free to engage in these theatrics without ever actually harming a child.
    • Done in the first Hellboy film as well, only this time with a box full of kittens. Baby + Cat= Immortality
  • In Independence Day, both the child and the dog of the protagonist survive all of the events, including a ridiculous scene where the dog manages to leap out of the way of a nuclear blast wave just in the nick of time.
  • Also averted in M, the plot of which revolves around a child murderer. This was a departure for Fritz Lang's films in general, which would often put children into dangerous situations but always save them.
  • Everyone remembers the tragic aversion in Frank Darabont's The Mist.
  • Woman in the Moon includes a young stowaway on the moon rocket who doesn't get injured during liftoff in spite of his lack of restraints, and is narrowly missed during a gunfight.
  • Metropolis features a horde of children trapped in a flooding underground city, all of whom are saved at the very last minute. (In the book, however, it's implied that at least a few of them drown.)
  • Mad Max: there is a high-speed car chase and a baby wanders onto the road. After playing the suspense for all it's worth, both cars miss the child by centimeters. Later in the movie, a mother and her 3-5-year old are brutally run down off-screen.
  • Played with in Men In Black, in which James Edwards, in a live-fire exercise with other potential MIB trainees, shoots a cardboard cutout of a little girl instead of the scary aliens. In a subversion, he justifies this by claiming one alien was simply exercising on a streetlight, the other was sneezing, and the little girl was out late at night, eight years old, with a college-level textbook in her arms, so she was up to something bad.
    • And, judging that he was chosen to join the organization, this reasoning was absolutely correct.
  • Despite decorating his boiler room with dismembered dollies and crushed tricycles, infamous dream-haunting child murderer Freddy Krueger was never shown on screen in the act of killing a child. Menacing them, yes, and their apparent ghosts do turn up in dream scenes, but actual murders were confined to teenagers and adults.
  • Almost averted in Orphan although originally Daniel was supposed to die after Esther smothered him with a pillow.
  • In Predator 2, the eponymous alien bounty hunter spares a pregnant cop, and later lowers his sights on a child with a plastic gun after realising the harmless nature of the kid's "weapon." This is justified by the creature's personality as an honour-bound warrior; there's no challenge or sport in killing unarmed children.
  • Averted in RoboCop 2, in which the child gangster Hob, for once a deliberately unlikeable underage character, seems to be on his way to a redemption storyline (Robocop cannot bring himself to shoot Hob, even as the kid fires on him with an SMG, because he resembles Alex Murphy's son)...until the titular "Robocop 2", a hulking war machine, guns the kid and all his goons down with a minigun.
  • Scarface (1983): Tony Montana fails to kill one of his enemies after seeing his little kids in the back seat of his car. Tony "never fucked over anyone who didn't have it coming to him".
    "I don't need this shit in my life!"
  • In the classic The Shape of Things to Come, during the prelude to war, the young son of one of the main characters is shown marching and playing his toy drum. As the war breaks out, we see the same boy lying dead amid the rubble, still wearing the toy drum.
  • In Shoot 'em Up, Paul Giamatti's Affably Evil villain Hertz has no qualms about killing babies if that's what he's been told to do, and seems to gleefully enjoy running over his target in his car. He's then Squicked out when he discovers that the "baby" he ran down was only a decoy. (The real baby, meanwhile, survives being in the thick of gun battles over and over without so much as a scratch.)
  • In the famous "Garbage Day" Rampage in Silent Night Deadly Night Part 2, Ricky shoots a bunch of people, but spares a little girl with a speech impediment on a tricycle.
  • Snakes on a Plane: the baby is saved from the vicious snakes despite being a handy size and ending up on the opposite side of the plane from the last time we saw it. The person that saved the baby is shortly rewarded with death (and it was her last day on the job, too). It's then subverted with a man throwing an annoying dog at a snake to save himself; he's also promptly rewarded with death and as he was such an ass nobody cared.
  • In Speed, it looks like the bus is going to hit a baby carriage, and it does. It turns out the carriage is full of cans.
  • Star Trek: Generations — Spot the cat survived the crash of the USS Enterprise (much to the distaste of the actor Brent Spiner, who played Data (the cat's owner) and who in real life hates cats).
  • In Volcano, all the small children survive. And so does a small Jack Russell named Bill. Just in case that wasn't enough to assure you no innocents were harmed there is even a brief news report on vets setting up an emergency pet shelter.
  • This trope (especially as it applies to dogs) was identified by Roger Ebert in his review of (the 2005 Tom Cruise version of) The War of the Worlds.
  • Subverted and played straight in The Witches, the Grand Head Witch (as is the case with any witch) hates children and wishes to ride the world of them. While they seem to never kill children outright though, they still have no problem turning kids into food to be eaten, turning them into stone, turning them into animals that will be killed soon after, or trapping them in paintings. The book also implies that several transformed children (including two frogs and Bruce) would be killed shortly after in various ways and the Witches' main plan in the book and movie involves turning children into mice so that they will be killed by their parents and teachers. On the other hand, the main character survives and the movie has a scene in which the Grand Head Witch seems quite taken with an infant in a carriage - before pushing it down the hill. The hero saves it (justified in that it was mainly to serve as a distraction, rather than trying to kill it).
  • Kids in Marvel movies can count on Stan Lee to pull them out of harm's way. (Lee, in turn, can count on Matt Murdock.)
  • Averted (though not shown) by Fat Bastard in the 2nd Austin Powers movie to show just how bad he is:
    Well listen up, Sonny Jim - I ATE A BABY! Ohh, aye, baby - the other other white meat! Baby - it's what's for dinner!
  • Averted in The Way Back. Out of a group of eight gulag escapees, only half of them survive, and the sole young girl isn't one of them. She doesn't just die, either; she dies horribly of heatstroke and dehydration in the desert.
  • Brianna in Mystery Team. She barely appears once the film grows darker and the conflict more dangerous, preventing her from being kidnapped by either Leroy or Roger. A more literal example with Eric, who has apparently been shot three times.
  • Lampshaded in the film of Inkheart. When they are captured, Mortimer tells his daughter, Meggie, to pretend she is in a book, since "children always survive in books." She then reminds him that the rule doesn't always apply, such as in "The Little Match Girl".
  • In Halloween II (1981), Michael Myers ignores a maternity ward filled with sleeping babies, instead choosing to kill the doctors, nurses, and security guards. On the other hand, one has to imagine that the explosion at the end of the film couldn't have been good for those sleeping babies.
  • Brazilian horror icon Z do Caixo aka Coffin Joe tends to be a vicious sadistic against adults, but won't tolerate any harm inflicted to children, whom he sees as the hopes for a better (or, in his case, I'd rather say superior) world.
  • Baby's Day Out. A bloody construction site.
  • In Midnight Movie the only survivor is the Bridget's little brother named...Timmy.
  • Played straight in Con Air. It seems like Garland Greene, who is tauted as a horrific serial killer, is about to kill the little girl he runs into near the abandoned airfield, but he doesn't.
  • Averted in the Feast trilogy. I think the second film. Crowning Moment of Funny.
    • The first one too. In the introductions, a child is left by his mother in the bar, watching TV. When she runs up the stairs, she doesn't see him, not to reveal he was hiding in the closet. As they have joyous reunion, the beast comes through the window nearby and swallows the kid whole before ripping off his shoes, foot and all.
  • Played straight with Jonesy the Cat in Alien, in the Animal Immunity version of this trope. Ripley leaves Jonesy behind when the Alien surprises her, and it curiously looks at the cat as if it's about to eat it. When Ripley gets back the Cat is unharmed.
  • Averted with the little brat in the film version of The Day Of The Locust.
  • Iron Man 2 : Did anyone really think that hammer drone would kill that kid?
  • In all the zombie attacks in World War Z not a single child is bitten, nor is a child zombie shown. Tomas survives improbably even after his parents are turned and a young boy in Israel who is seemingly doomed is spared as the zombie horde ignores him due to their inability to see the sick.
    • Of course, the kid is terminally ill and we never see him get treatment. Subverted Trope ?
  • Averted in Pitch Black. One of the first victims is a youngster.
  • Completely ignored in Grave Encounters 2, where, during a scene, the undead satanic doctor slices a baby and spills its blood all over a tied up patient. While you don't see the wound on the baby itself, it's still very visceral from the angle it's shot.
  • The Cabin in the Woods. Played for Black Comedy when a group of nine-year old Japanese schoolgirls defeat a Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl by turning it into a frog. It's reported they have zero fatalities whereupon one of the Punch Clock Villains responds with a Cluster F-Bomb, as they require a Human Sacrifice.
  • Big Ass Spider features a scene where the titular creature stalks a young girl at a city park, but just misses spearing her with one of its legs. (Elsewhere, lots of adults get speared/webbed/devoured..)
  • Zoe, the little girl standing in front of the tsunami and Akio, the little boy with Ford during the MUTO attack both live through the moments of peril that they experience in Godzilla (2014).

Exceptions
  • Low-grade monster movies tend to avert this trope with glee, killing young children to show how Badass their monsters are.
    • Averted in the 1988 remake of The Blob. The heroine rescues her child brother and his friend. Right before they climb out of the sewer, the friend is pulled underwater screaming. Moments later, he pops out of the water again. Half melted. Still screaming.
    • Lampshaded in Feast, where a timid boy is introduced with the captioned advantage "Fits into small spaces", a common rationale for this trope in film ... but the "small space" he fits into turns out to be a monster's gullet.
    • Broken rather spectacularly twice in Feast 2: Sloppy Seconds. In the opening scene of the film Biker Queen, one of the protagonists of the film, kills a dog with a shotgun, and the camera lingers on the dog's mostly blown apart corpse. Later in the film, another character, Greg Swank, heroically attempts to save an infant from imminent doom. Regretfully, he is unable to save the baby, and, in fact, throws the infant into the air as a distraction, at which point the infant strikes the asphalt and is summarily devoured by monsters.
    • Aliens Vs Predator: Requiem really goes against the trope. A father and his son have gone into the woods, where facehuggers give them both a Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong. Later, the predalien finds its way into a maternity ward, where it impregnates a pregnant mother and several babies with soon-to-be chestbursters. The resulting bodies are partially seen later on in the movie.
    • Averted in Dinocroc when the monster eats the protagonist's 12-year-old brother, leaving nothing behind but his head.
    • Piranha 3 DD ends with a mutated piranha that can crawl on land decapitating a young boy taking photographs of it. Director John Gulager says he received multiple petitions to not include this scene in the film.
    • The Swarm showed a grammar school under attack by killer bees. Not all of the children made it inside in time.
    • In Mimic, the two kids are horribly slaughtered.
  • The scene in Titanic immediately after the sinking of the titular ship shows, among the frozen bodies floating in the ocean, a dead woman still cradling her frozen infant.
    • About three times you see a curly-headed Irish girl named Cora, who doesn't look much older than seven or eight-years-old. A deleted scene shows her and her parents, screaming and crying, trapped behind a third-class gate and being submerged by water. Cameron stated that he cut the scene because it was just too upsetting.
    • This happens a couple more times: first, a woman comforts her two young children before their cabin is submerged; and second, a boy whom Jack and Rose tried to save earlier is swept away by a current along with his father.
    • Another woman caresses her son just before the ship breaks up, telling him that it'll be over soon. A few other children can be glimpsed in the background as well.
    • This is also Truth in Television. At least half of the children aboard Titanic perished in the real-life sinking, including many of those in third-class like mentioned above.
  • Averted spectacularly in the zombie film Automaton Transfusion. In one scene, a pregnant woman answers the door to find a zombie, who tears the baby out of her womb and eats it in front of her.
  • Averted in Mulan. When walking through the ruins of a raided village, a single doll is found, as a G-rated signal that there were children killed here.
  • Averted in The Hunger Games - both the film and novels. The entire premise hinges on twelve to eighteen year old kids brutally killing one another.
  • Averted over and over in Sinister. The main villain kills entire families in a variety of ways, each murder preserved on a Super 8 reel. They still cut away from the most graphic child-deaths, though, or only show them out-of-focus.
  • 28 Days Later has children among the many discarded bodies around the manor house- presumably Infected- and we see quite clearly a dead infant in the arms of its mother with a pacifier in its mouth, part of a multi-generational dead family. There's also an attack by a preteen boy Infected.
    • The sequel plays this completely straight, as this trope is the only reason that makes any sense to explain why the two child stars (actually explicitly stated to be the only children in Britain) are the only ones to survive the entire movie.
      • The child in the very beginning of the movie. He escaped his Infected parents, but it's implied he's dead as the Infected burst into the farm and killed everyone but Don and Alice.
  • The 2011 adaptation of The Whisperer In Darkness averts this trope with Hannah, the little girl whose father shoots himself (in front of her, no less). Wilmarth really, really tries to save her (since she even reminded him of his own dead daughter), but after she bravely throws a gas cylinder from a plane into a Mi-Go's face (?), another one simply picks her out of the cockpit and drops her to her death. This marks the point where Wilmarth decides to kill himself by crashing the plane into the Mi-Go portal... What? It's Lovecraft. You weren't expecting a happy ending.
  • The original John Carpenter directed Assault on Precinct 13 (1976) was considered quite violent for its time, mainly because of the scene that triggers the plot. A young girl walks up to an ice cream truck just as a gang leader kills the driver for not paying protection money. In any other movie, she would have gotten away and become the MacGuffin of the story. Instead, the gang leader shoots her through the heart right on camera. Her father witnesses the act, kills the gang leader, and he becomes the MacGuffin.
    • The ice cream truck scene plays out like a very black comedy.
  • In the original Dawn of the Dead, after escaping from the news broadcasting station, two zombie children attack one of the police officers as the party tries to refuel their helicopter. Both are shot at point-blank range.
  • In the 2004 version of Dawn of the Dead (2004), a zombie baby is born. Anna has to put it down. In the Edited for Syndication version, there's a lingering shot of the baby's unnatural eyes looking innocently up at Anna before Anna does what must be done to zombies.
    • In the beginning of the film, it is a very young child that attacks the main character and her husband in their bedroom.
    • Romero even averted this trope in the 1969 Night of the Living Dead, where the young Cooper girl is in the basement, ill. She eventually turns into a zombie and kills her own mother using a spade, which is shown by silhouette.
  • The adorable almost-five Jess is killed off in a car crash just a few minutes into The Descent, traumatizing her mother for the rest of the film.
  • Averted in Die Hard 2, where the main villain actually crashes an airplane full of people by giving wrong landing instructions. Before the plane crashes, we see a little girl playing with a little doll, and after it crashes, we see McClane (the hero) walking through the wrecked airplane and soon finding the half-burnt doll. It is later stated nobody in that plane made it out of there alive, adding insult to the injury.
  • In Dogville, everyone dies. Seriously. Grace's gangsters lay waste to the town, opening fire on a number of children and firing into a baby basket. However, Grace stops them from killing the Dogville dog, because a dumb animal hasn't the capacity for evil that the townspeople showed. Besides, he was only mean to her because she took his food.
    • " Wait, one of children, the oldest, his name's Jason. Kill him first. Tell his mother if she can hold back her tears you won't kill any more." Damn.
    • Which was revenge for the mother having destroyed all Grace's possessions and told her if she could hold back her tears she wouldn't smash any more.... which either makes it less or much more horrifying.
      • The dolls Vera destroyed symbolized Grace's contributions to the village (She spent all the money she earned from the townsfolk on them), and, thus, her acceptance among the townspeople. I'm just saying...
  • One part in Bram Stoker's Dracula has Dracula give his brides an infant and they carry it off, presumably to feed on it.
  • Drag Me to Hell averted this trope in three minutes with the kid who was... well, you can probably guess.
  • Face/Off begins with Castor Troy attempting to assassinate FBI Agent Sean Archer, only to accidentally kill Archer's young son in the process.
  • The B-horror movie Flesh Eating Mothers averts this. The titular mothers are turned into cannibals, and one mother eats a character's baby brother.
  • For a Few Dollars More: Indio invades an enemy's house, and asks his companions to kill the guy's wife and baby outside (off-screen). He shoots the guy later.
  • The beginning of Freddy vs. Jason has Freddy (himself a former child rapist and killer, whose victims now consist primarily of teens) murdering a little girl offscreen. What is presumably her spirit shows up later in the Dream World, missing eyes.
  • The 1954 film Gojira features a scene which shows a mother comforting her two children during Godzilla's rampage in Tokyo. It's heavily implied that they were killed by the titular monster.
    • Likewise, the extremely unnerving scene where two soldiers use a Geiger counter on the body of a little girl...and it goes berserk.
  • Sergio Leone obviously liked averting this trope. At the beginning of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Lee Van Cleef's character shoots a man he was paid to kill, then shoots his young son, who was rushing down the stairs with a rifle to investigate. True to this trope, however, the younger son does survive.
    • He only killed the elder son because the kid would have shot him. Angel Eyes may be a bastard, but he doesn't kill just for fun.
    • Henry Fonda's character Frank from Once Upon a Time in the West kills Jill's family in his introduction scene, including a little boy.
      • Not only that, but he saves the little boy for last (though it might be just because the kid happened to be inside at the time, and only came out after the others were killed). Also while the others were sniped from a distance, Frank goes right up to the boy, and smiles as he pulls out his gun.
  • Averted in Halloween III: Season of the Witch, where the aim of the Big Bad is killing America's children with Halloween masks.
    • Animal-wise, it's subverted in the original Halloween (1978) where Michael chokes a dog to death to stop his barking and avoid being detected.
  • The Happening plays this straight and subverts it rather horribly. The little girl (around 10 or so) with the protagonists (and the protagonists themselves, so Plot Armor might be more appropriate) lives through the entire film. The two slightly older kids they pick up halfway through the film, get themselves killed when they harass some people who have barricaded themselves inside their home. They get a rather brutal treatment, too. The first kid takes a buckshot blast point blank in the chest, and you get to see it come out his back. The second thankfully gets a Gory Discretion Shot when he gets the same treatment to the head, but we're treated to the wound afterward.
  • The Host
  • The entire plot to In Bruges is driven by the fact that Colin Farrell's character accidentally shot a five-year old.
  • The shark in Jaws averts this twice in a single scene. The first victim is a dog, which disappears after chasing a thrown stick into the ocean. Mere moments later, a young boy on a raft is gruesomely devoured on-screen.
  • Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome: A bunch of abandoned children in a desert outpost. What could possibly happen? Swallowed up by sand, for one.
  • In The Final Conflict, new ambassador Damien Thorn orders all newborns in the area killed in the hopes that the newly born Christ will be among those murdered; we're shown baby after baby being killed, with one actually being hit by a car after its carriage is knocked into traffic.
  • Can anyone say Pan's Labyrinth? Not only does the heroine get shot at the end, the Pale Man's lair is decorated with paintings of him killing and eating babies.
    • It does partially play the trope straight, with Ofelia's little brother surviving.
  • Averted in No se Aceptan Devoluciones , in which little Maggie dies at the end.
  • Pay It Forward: Everything's more fine and dandy with the world thanks to young Trevor, the main character, until he's stabbed to death by bullies.
  • In Planet Terror a mother hands her son a gun, instructing him to use it in case his father shows up. Being the curious little bugger that he is, the kid blasts his own face off in five seconds flat.
  • In Uwe Boll's film adaptation of Postal, there is a particular shootout scene where the camera focuses on only the ridiculous number of children being shot. Later the replacement TV reporter, whilst gloating over her predecessor's death, is standing in essentially a massive pile of dead, at least a good 30 of them were under 15.
    • Plus one scene involving a baby stroller hit by a vehicle, sending the kid flying.
    • The "cat silencer" game mechanic from Postal 2 is also copied by putting a gun up a cat's butt to use it as a pistol silencer. Though for some odd reason, the cat walks away unharmed after several shots.
  • In one of the most disturbing scenes ever, in Rambo 4 there's a sequence where Government soldiers attack a rebel village, and kill EVERYONE. Young kids are bayoneted, infants are beaten with blunt objects, and a baby is taken from its mother and thrown into a fire, and the remains are gunned down with heavy machine gun rounds. Which makes it all the better when Rambo manages to get a hold of the ones responsible.
  • Resident Evil: Apocalypse. The characters enter an elementary school. One doesn't survive when -child- zombies pounce her.
  • Alfred Hitchcock's Sabotage features a scene where a young boy is given a package to deliver, which is really a bomb. He dwadles en route, and it goes off, killing him and several other people on a bus. Hitchcock later said he regretted doing the scene this way, although it might have still been an example of this trope.
  • Schindler's List the girl in the red coat. Though justified because of the subject matter.
    • There is also a scene where a truckload of children are taken away from their parents; it's implied that they are killed.
  • The Sixth Sense: Among the dead people seen is a preteen girl poisoned to death by her stepmother.
    • Also at one point Cole encounters the ghost of a pre-teen boy who had showed his friend his father's gun and accidentally shot himself, and we see the wound in the back of his head.
  • In Sleepy Hollow, Lady Van Tassel has the Headless Horseman massacre the Killian family, including the young son because she overheard the young wife speaking of a certain "inheritance." Before the boy's time comes, he gets to see the severed head of his mother stare at him. Tim Burton has gone on record to state he disagrees with the trope.
  • In the exploitation film SS Hell Camp, Nazi soldiers have no problem snatching babies out of their mothers' arms and tossing them in the air for target practice.
    • Sadly, based on real survivor accounts.
  • Edgy variant: In Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, the newly-appointed Darth Vader steps into a room full of kindergarten-aged Jedi with his lightsaber. After the cutscene, there are no more Jedi. You do the math. The movie manages to Never Say "Die" around the issue to soften the potential impact, with such Unusual Euphemisms as "Younglings," (although the novel adaptation explains this is a catch-all term for young members of any species, so it incorporates children, pups, kittens, etc; also, the word is used in the same context in Episode II). The word kill certainly comes up anyway.
    • I'll never look at a sunflower the same way.
    • And the population of Alderaan in Ep IV probably weren't all grown up.
    • Though the only two babies seen on-screen in the entire trilogy are also the only two characters shown in Episode 3 who survive to the end of Episode 6 (not counting Chewbacca).
  • A Night to Remember:
    • There was a moment towards the end where a little boy is seen looking for his mother. An elderly waiter tries to comfort him, but it is only a few minutes later that the ship finally sinks into the ocean, and its implied that both either drown or freeze to death.
    • There was also a later scene where two of the Irish steerage passengers show up at an overturned longboat with a child. One of the officers looks under the child's hood, realizes its dead and sets it adrift.
  • Logically averted in The Element of Crime, since the movie is about a child killer, yet we still manage to get unexpected infant deaths.
  • Trainspotting has a drawn out, closeup shot of baby Dawn lying dead in her crib, having been neglected by her junkie mother and starving to death.
  • Subverted in Serenity: the Operative is not above to killing children, as he flat out informs Mal. As proof of this, when the characters arrive at Haven, Kaylee (the crew's most soft-hearted member) comes across a dead little boy about 10 years old (one whom she was briefly seen interacting with affectionately, earlier in the film). The Operative is aware that this is his Moral Event Horizon, but argues these deeds as being Necessary Evil.
  • Averted to Tear Jerker extent in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. The first scene features a large group of accused pirates/accomplices being hanged—including a ten-year old boy, who has to stand on a barrel in order to be at noose height (which means a short drop, causing at least a few seconds of agony, at worst a lot more). If you didn't think Beckett had hit Moral Event Horizon before...
  • In Enemy at the Gates, Sacha, the Russian tween who's been reporting German positions to Soviet snipers during the siege of Stalingrad, is hanged by Major Koenig to bring rival sniper Zaitsev out of hiding.
  • In The Professional, her little brother's murder (onscreen, but not clearly shown) is the reason Mathilda hires Lon to kill the men responsible.
  • In Warlock, the titular villain strikes up a conversation with a young boy when he learns his family aren't church-goers. In the next scene, the heroes come across two constables and a grieving mother, staring at the boy's off-screen body and assuming coyotes must have skinned him.
    Redferne: There's only one reason he'd need the fat of an unbaptized male child.
    Kassandra: Why?
    Redferne: Flying potion.
  • Funny Games averts. The family dog is the first to go, and next to die is the son. Both die in pretty brutal ways too.
  • The turning point in King Vidor's silent classic The Crowd comes when the protagonist's little daughter is run over and killed by a truck.
  • In For Colored Girls, Crystal's two young children are killed by their father because his PTSD-fueled delusions have led him to believe that the children aren't his and that this was the reason why Crystal refuses to marry him. he drops them from the sixth-floor of their apartment building
  • In Aliens, Newt's brother is said to have died before the Colonial Marines reach the planet. In Alien, not only does Newt die in the very beginning, we get to see the autopsy.
  • Viciously averted in Uwe Boll's Darfur No one is safe from the Janjaweed, children get killed just as often as adults, and at one point a baby is impaled on a wooden spike, and it's shown in full detail What makes this even more heartbreaking is that it's Truth in Television.
  • In Downfall Frau Goebbels personally poisons her six children to "save" them from a world without Naziism. Also a real life example. The (admittedly somewhat older) Hitler Youth carrying the battle on the streets don't fare too well either, though it's implied that one (who left his post) survived.
  • In some versions of Superman II, there is the infamous "He was just a boy!" "He will never be a man." scene, which cements the Kryptonian outlaws Zod, Non and Ursa as evil in a big way.
  • The otherwise forgettable Beware! Children at Play ends with a five-minute sequence of an angry mob murdering the feral children.
  • Heroic Trio
  • Averted in Machine Gun Preacher when a child whose village was destroyed chases his dog through the brush only to step on a land mine.
  • Averted in Lord of War, which begins with a child soldier being shot in the face by a 7.62mm round, which the camera has followed from its manufacture up to that moment.
  • In Creation, an aversion causes a Heroic BSOD for Charles Darwin.
  • Averted with a vengeance in the Anvilicious 1970s western Soldier Blue. The finale features several young Native American children (along with everyone else in the village) brutally murdered by crazed U.S. Calvary soldiers. Children are graphically shot, stabbed and trampled by horses all while the soldiers cheer on their own actions.
  • Averted (though off-camera) in Session 9.
  • In The Raid, one of the first people killed by the SWAT Team in the apartment complex is a child, who tries to alert the mobsters to the police's presence.
  • Them! began with a very young girl wandering the desert in a catatonic state. It was later discovered that she had been in a camper with her family, including a brother of about the same age. None of the others survived.
  • Tower Block has two young children murdered by a Cold Sniper at the beginning of the film; their mother is Driven to Suicide as a result. Later, a young teenager is murdered by the same sniper. And the events of the film are set off by a 15 year old being kicked to death.
  • Played for Laughs in the British TV movie Bernard and the Genie. When the title characters take over for the shopping centre Santa they start granting wishes for the children who visit them. At one point a boy and his baby sister make their wishes and just after their mother asks the toddler what she wished for and she answers "Snow" and the brother gives a mischevious look she explodes, implying that's what the brother wished for.
  • In The Good Son we find out that Henry's toddler brother Richard died before the events of the film Henry killed him, later Henry dies after his mother chooses Mark over him after they end up dangling from a cliff.
  • In Demon Knight Danny is a young boy who joins the heroes after his parents were murdered by the Collector, near the end he is transformed into a demon and explodes after being thrown into a barrier.
  • In The Children, all of the kids possessed by the fog are eventually killed.
  • Subverted and played with in Ghost Ship. Katie survives the razor wire murder scene, but only because she is too small. She is later murdered anyway by two insane crew members, and she becomes a ghost.
  • Averted in Fearless: Carla's infant son and several other children are killed in a horrific plane crash.
  • Averted in Hellraiser: Inferno. Joseph's case is to look for a missing child who is slowly being killed by the serial killer the Engineer by cutting off the boy's fingers one by one and Joseph's daughter is frozen to death right in front of him. Neither of them were real however, but part of Joseph's torture in Hell.
  • Averted in The Sacrament as we see among the Jonestown-esque mass suicide a mother poisoning her own infant.

Partial Aversions

  • In The Incredibles, Elastigirl warns her children that bad guys will actually try to kill them (as opposed to what the kids might have seen on TV). The children are not actually killed, but they do come darn close a few times.
    • In fact, Syndrome's unwillingness to hold to this rule is the first thing that starts to shake Mirage's faith in him — having him try to goad Mister Incredible into killing her immediately after doesn't exactly help matters.
  • Averted, but also played straight in the Final Destination series.
    • Averted in Final Destination when both an infant AND a mentally handicapped individual die in the plane crash/explosion, even when one of the characters declares that the plane can't possibly crash due to this trope:
    [Alex sees a crying baby upon boarding the plane]
    George: That's a good sign. Younger, the better. It'd be a fucked up God to take down this plane.
    [they see a mental patient in the front row]
    George: A really fucked up God.
    • The trope was supposed to be averted in Final Destination 2. Tim was originally going to be a little kid but the director wanted to keep the movie "fun" and thus bumped up his age to 15 so we wouldn't be subjected to seeing a little kid being splattered by a falling pane of glass. Although another younger kid is decapitated by an exploding barbecue in the final scene.
    • Played straight in Final Destination 3 when a group of young boys try to bluff their way onto the roller coaster, but are kicked off by the carnival staff for not being tall enough to ride it. Thus, the boys avoid dying in the crash, without any need for psychic visions to warn them away.
    • Played straight in The Final Destination. One of the victims is a mother of two and her kids are seen escaping the accident at the start while she gets separated and killed off.
  • The Butterfly Effect is almost an exception: a baby and a dog both suffer gruesome deaths, but the movie's protagonist uses freshly-discovered revisit-the-past skills to go back in time and prevent either death from happening. In the Alternate Ending, however, the main character travels back in time to when he was a fetus in the womb and strangles himself with his own umbilical cord to prevent all the suffering he has unwittingly caused. Almost certainly the only pre-natal suicide scene ever.
  • In Wild at Heart we have Lula, who realizes she's pregnant halfway through the movie: she's a healthy mother of a young child in the ending.
  • In The Movie of V for Vendetta, we see a girl of about ten shot by a police officer, who is presumably killed by the people who see it. (She is seen at the end, yes, but so are all the others who died in the movie).
  • In Shoot 'em Up, Hertz (Paul Giamatti) and his Mooks are gunning for baby Oliver, but Smith (Clive Owen) foils him at every turn with gun(s) blazing, starting from Oliver's delivery, and Smith even fakes Hertz out with an animatronic baby that Hertz runs over in the street with his van.
    • We also find out that several other babies were not so lucky.
  • At the end of Pan's Labyrinth, 11-year-old protagonist Ofelia dies. Or does she?
    • Either way, that's after she refuses to let the faun stab her baby brother. So it could be argued that the movie does uphold the trope, with Ofelia being over the upper age limit.
  • A classic aversion took place in the Russian film Battleship Potemkin, in which a mother and her wounded child are charged over by governmental soldiers while other people are being gunned down all around them. This was a classic theme in quite a few Russian films with political influences during the 30's.
  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street has no kids dying on screen, but it does depict a child being sentenced to death for theft (by the film's villain). Interestingly, the ending also contains an inversion, with a child (Toby) committing murder (of Todd).
  • Eraserhead's climax starts with Henry's baby being murdered by him.You'll wish it had stayed dead.
  • Played semi-straight in Tropic Thunder: despite the movie subverting Children Are Innocent, by having the two children in the film being a 12-year-old ringleader of a massive drug ring and a toddler who stabs one of the main characters repeatedly on the neck, they managed to survive unscathed from being apparently crushed by a falling Jack Black and being tossed off a bridge respectively. However, the latter could count as a lampshade/parody seeing as when the toddler is shown to be OK, he crosses his arms and pouts.
  • The bomb that sets off federal investigations by Elliot Ness in The Untouchables goes off in the hands of a well-meaning little girl ("Mister, you forgot your bag!"). This trope is later honored with an actual infant, who emerges unscathed from a shootout at the train station, despite flying lead and a bumpy baby-carriage ride down the staircase.
    • Ironically, the baby carriage rolling down the staircase is a visual reference to Battleship Potemkin, mentioned above.
  • The outset of The Hunchback of Notre Dame has the main villain almost tossing baby Quasimodo into a well. Doubly subverted when the Archdeacon shows up to just in the nick of time to stop him. Later he, villain that is, sets alight a house with a whole family inside.
  • 9 subverts this trope by having 9 come across the corpses of a mother and her baby but sort of plays it straight by having 3 and 4, the most childlike of the group, surviving.
  • In the fourth, fifth, and sixth Halloween films, Michael's main targets are two children: His six-year old niece, Jamie, and later (when the niece is about fifteen), her infant son. He manages to kill Jamie in the sixth film, by which time she is a teenager, but fails to kill her child.
  • In The Godfather Part II, 9-year-old Vito Andolini is the last survivor of his family but the local crime boss has put a price on his head. He escapes. The crime boss' vendetta begins when Vito's dad insulted him. The dad is killed. Vito's older brother tries to avenge his father but is also killed. His age is not given but he seems quite young (his body is found onscreen).
  • In The Birds, groups of children are attacked by the birds several times, but none of them die.
  • Averted and played straight in Alligator.
    • Averted when on a dare, a kid jumps off the diving board of his backyard swimming pool at night while the alligator is momentarily staying in it. He realizes at the last moment what is happening and tries to step back, but his friends push him in anyway because they didn't see it and think he chickened out.
    • However, it was played straight when a little girl toddler was in the back yard with her mother's wash. Mom hears the phone ring, goes in to answer it, and along comes the beast. Mom sees the monster leave the yard, screaming and crying as she looks for her child. Then the little girl lifts up the clothes basket she was hiding under!
  • In the 2005 House of Wax remake, Paris Hilton's character is going through a pregnancy scare. She is killed before it's confirmed whether or not she is pregnant.
  • In The Great Mouse Detective Olivia survives the film but she is put in life-threatening danger several times. She comes quite close to being squashed by the gears in Big Ben - and is literally saved at the last second by Basil. Professor Ratigan also threatens to kill her when he kidnaps her.
  • In Jumanji Judy is shot in the neck with a barb from a poisonous plant. It's heavily implied that she is dying. But time resets itself back to 1969 so she is alive at the end.
  • Journey To The West: Conquering The Demons zigzags this trope in the opening sequence. The infant in the crib is saved, but the adorable little girl from the beginning it eaten alive by the fish demon.
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