Would Hurt A Child / Live-Action Films
"Tell your boy it's going to be all right, Gordon.
Lie, like I lied."
- Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter: On America's Vampire Monarch Adam's orders, his sister Vadoma infiltrates the Lincoln household in the White House during Abe's presidency to kill his little boy.
- Alien: The xenomorphs kill anything.
- Assassins: Invoked by Miguel Bain when he prepares to snipe a nearby girl playing football to make his rival Robert Rath back down, knowing that he holds the opposite view.
- In Batman, Jack is perfectly happy to gun down young Bruce as well as his parents, and is only stopped by the insistance of his partner.
- Batman Returns: The Penguin crosses the Moral Event Horizon when he tries to have every firstborn son of Gotham City, including very young children and babies, kidnapped and drowned in the sewer as revenge for his parents having tried to do the same to him long ago for being different.
- Big Game: Morris has no problem punching a thirteen-years-old Oskari in the face and would likely deliver him a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown if Moore didn't stand in his way, taking the beating for the boy.
- Bradleys Summer: Notable for being made by kids, so naturally the taboo against hurting them doesn't hold. The bad guys hold a knife to a girl's threat, then later hold a gun to a kid's head.
- The Cabin in the Woods has the organization behind the monsters. Their Kyoto branch, invoking J-Horror tropes, has unleashed a Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl into a class of nine-year-old schoolgirls. Amazingly, the children manage to contain her with no casualties, despite that branch previously having a 100% success rate, leading the organization director to ask "How hard is it to kill nine-year-olds?"
- Cape Fear: Max Cady spends the entire movie plotting to rape a little girl, and he almost succeeds at the end.
- Children of the Corn (1984): Said children have been brainwashed into thinking anyone over 19 should be killed. Burt and Vicky mostly attack the older children but the ending has a hilarious moment where they knock out a girl no older than eight (she was coming at them with a scythe).
Burt: Should we do something for her?
Vicky: Let's send her a get-well card from Seattle.
- Cold Sweat: Katanga threatens to shoot Joe's 12-year-old daughter first if she and her mom try and escape.
- Come Out and Play: As with the characters in Who Can Kill a Child?, which it is a remake of, the protagonists are forced to this as the children are all killers.
- Cyrus the Virus from Con Air has Poe at gunpoint and tells him this:
- The Crow: City of Angels: Kali (Rare Female Example), The Dragon to Judah Earl, kills Ashe's very young son without batting a lash.
- Cruel and Unusual: Julien drowned his children to punish their mother for something.
- Cry Freedom: The South African police put acid on some T-shirts trying to promote black activist Steve Biko, and send them to the main character's family. The children put them on and are burned, though they eventually recover. They also gun down unarmed black children just for peacefully protesting.
- The Dark Knight: Two-Face flips a coin to decide whether or not to shoot Gordon's son.
- The Day of the Locust: Homer Simpsonnote ends up trampling Enfant Terrible Adore Loomis to death after the boy throws a rock at him, snapping him from a Heroic B.S.O.D. straight to his Rage Breaking Point.
- The Devil's Backbone: Jacinto threatens and harms the children of the orphanage. He threatens Carlos by cutting his cheek with a knife, and that's the least of his offenses. He drowned an injured boy because he feared he will be blamed, and ultimately blows up the orphanage, killing some and injuring many children just to get to open a safe.
- From Dick Tracy: Steve the Tramp certainly would, but he finds out quickly that Tracy does not like guys who beat up kids. Nor is Steve very good at standing up to someone who can fight back, it seems.
- Dirty Harry: The Scorpio Killer, a psychopathic criminal whose mere existence seems to be to rob, kill, extort ... whatever, and humiliate San Francisco Police Inspector Harry Callahan in the process, has no qualms about using violence against children. In one scene, he shoots a young African American boy (offscreen); in another, he kidnaps a young teen-aged girl, rapes her, and buries her alive (before daring Callahan to find the girl, all for his own amusement). Later, he holds hostage a school bus full of children and ... when several of them refuse to sing "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" he slaps them hard (including at least one girl and two boys). In the climatic scene, Scorpio holds a young boy hostage and threatens to kill him if Harry refuses to surrender; however, Callahan sees an opening and shoots Scorpio, badly wounding but not (instantly) killing him.
- After Mina rises from her grave as a vampire in Dracula (1979), her first order of business is to feast on the blood of a baby of one Dr. Seward's patients. To drive in further the horror of the deed, poor boy's bloodless corpse is shown in a closeup.
- In Dracula Untold, Mehmet demanded a thousand boys to use as "soldiers" for their war, and planned to use brutal methods to train them, including making them fight to the death and use the survivors.
- The Eagle: Both Marcus and the Seal Prince kill boys in the film. Marcus to stop him bringing other Rogue Warriors, the Seal Prince as the punishment for betrayal (the boy is his son in fact).
- The setting of Evil Laugh used to be an orphanage until its caretaker Martin killed all the children when he was accused of molesting them.
- The whole film Evilenko revolves around a serial killer who targets children.
- Eyewitness (or Sudden Terror in the US): The film is about a young boy (Mark "Oliver Twist" Lester) who witnesses an assassination, and the assassins will kill anyone in their path to get him - including our hero's friend Ann-Marie, a little girl around his age.
- Final Destination: There's a baby onboard the plane that Death blows up in the first movie.
- Final Destination 2: Death crushes a young teenage kid under a plate glass window.
- In For a Few Dollars More: El Indio ordering his men to kill a baby, setting the tone for how horrible he really is.
- Freddy Got Fingered: Played for "laughs" in a scene where Gordon (Tom Green in the key "protagonist"(?) role) takes the umbilical cord of a newborn baby and - while still attached to the infant - twirls him around like a toy, as though it would do no harm.
- Full Metal Jacket: The machine gunner in the helicopter is asked by Joker how he can shoot women and children. He misinterprets the question (probably deliberately).
Gunner: Easy! Ya just don't lead 'em so much!
- Ghost in the Machine: The killer starts the movie by murdering a whole family, tries to kill Terri's adolescent son Josh multiple times, and at one point even attempts to murder an infant.
- Ghost Ship. The two murderous crewmen and by extension, Ferriman, during the mass murder montage on the Graza have no qualms towards killing Katie, a scared young girl.
- The Hard Way: The Party Crasher, whose previous victims include a four-year old.
- Hellraiser: Bloodline: Pinhead decides to torture John Merchant's son to compel him to undo his designs that could destroy the Cenobites.
- Heroic Trio: The Big Bad is kidnapping babies in order to raise an evil army. At one point, he pretty randomly kills a baby.
- Home Alone (the first movie): Harry and Marv repeatedly threaten to kill Kevin, and would have managed it at the end if Marley hadn't stopped them. In the second Home Alone movie, Harry has a gun at Kevin's head and is about to do him in once and for all (right before the pigeon lady distracts the crooks by dousing them with birdseed and letting the pigeons do the rest).
Harry: I never made it to the sixth grade, kid. And it doesn't look like you're gonna, either.
- Jonah Hex: Several of the villains. Quentin Turnbull deliberately waits until some unsuspecting families come up to his bombs before detonating them.
- Kick-Ass: Frank D'Amico in the final showdown.
- Also done to Hit Girl by her own father (it was just training).
- Killer Klowns from Outer Space: An Affectionate Parody of movies like The Blob (1958) and Invasion of the Body Snatchers, a moment of true suspense occurs when one of the klowns tries to lure a young girl out of a burger joint so it can kill her. Luckily, her mother steps in at the last minute and saves her.
- Kingsman: The Secret Service: Under the influence of the Hate Plague, Michelle tries to murder her infant daughter.
- Last Action Hero: "I've killed boys younger and smarter than you."
- The Lineup has Ax-Crazy Villain Protagonist Dancer, who in the second act is a hop and a skip away from murdering a little girl after he finds out that she used the heroin he wanted to powder her priceless Japanese doll's face, and in the climax attempts to use her as a human shield to get away from the police.
- Long Pigs: Anthony has eaten a kid before, and the only thing stopping him from doing so again is the heat missing kids bring.
- Looper: Much of the plot revolves around Old Joe finding and killing kids he thinks might grow up to become the future leader of the criminal organization he used to work for, and Young Joe trying to protect one of those kids.
- Lucky Number Slevin: Mr. Goodkat was brought in for one last job in New York City because nobody else, not even the rest of the muscle, would accept the assignment of killing a kid. He could not do it, either, and he wound up raising the child and helping him take revenge.
- Malice: It's revealed that Tracy got pregnant for the sole purpose of miscarrying and therefore looking even more sympathetic to the jury in her medical malpractice case—she's suing her surgeon for removing a healthy ovary, thus causing her not only to miscarry but robbing her of her chance to ever have children of her own. The viewers soon learn that she and the doctor are in on the scam together, and when her estranged husband threatens to reveal their scheme, she plans to kill the child who he claims has witnessed her and the doctor's nefarious activities
- The Matrix Revolutions: It is heavily implied that Smith assimilated Sati.
- Men in Black had the man who would be "Agent Jay" shoot a target that looked like a little girl named "Tiffany." Jay quickly points out the school books "Tiffany" is holding are WAY too advanced for her to be studying (one is "Relativity" and another is "Quantum Physics") and she could be up to something. Zed shakes his head and leaves. (Kay rags that Jay was right.)
- Moonwalker: The bad guy, Mr. Big, is pushing around and slapping a girl right in front of Michael Jackson simply to piss him off.
- The Mummy Returns: Ankh-Su-Namon threatens to put poisonous snakes in Alex's bed and Lock-Nah actually does stab his hand and only misses because Alex is wearing the bracelet of Anubis. He always manages to escape serious damage, but there's still plenty of evidence that evil does not have standards here.
- Freddy Krueger of A Nightmare on Elm Street. Prior to his death by fire, he was a serial killer who targeted little kids.
- In fact, Freddy vs. Jason opened with him murdering a little girl in his boiler room. There's a Gory Discretion Shot as we hear her scream, but much later the girl appears in Final Girl Lori's dreams with her eyes gouged out. The same film reveals that Freddy's hell is being surrounded by the photos of past victims and being tormented by the fact that he can't kill more children. Freddy is so evil that this is the worst punishment Hell could inflict upon him.
- This is made double by the fact that Freddy was intended by Wes Craven to not only be a child murderer, but also a child molester. The remake goes more in depth on this than the original series, however.
- Night Nurse has Nick and a doctor slowly starving two little girls, so they can get their trust fund money.
- The Night of the Hunter: Reverend Powell threatens his stepchildren with torture in order to find out where they hid the money their dad had stolen in a bank robbery. He would have done it, too, if they hadn't escaped. The worst part? He wasn't just going to torture them. He was going to torture them in front of each other so that one of them would spill the beans in order to get him to stop torturing the other.
- Omen III: The Final Conflict: A now-grown Damien (Sam Neill) gets his followers to kill all babies born on a certain date, in order to stave off the Messiah. These followers include Scouts ("We're here to do our good deed for the day") and a priest who drowns a baby (offscreen) during a baptism.
- Once Upon a Time in the West: One of the earliest evil deeds Frank does is kill a child. He doesn't plan to, but when they find the boy, one of his men ask him what they're going to do. Frank's response, as he takes his gun out: "Well, now that you've called me by name..."
- Pan's Labyrinth: Captain Vidal who fatally shoots his 12 year old stepdaughter in the stomach, which makes his comeuppance right afterwards even more satisfying.
- Pete's Dragon (1977): The Gogan clan make this clear in their opening number, singing about torturing and killing Pete after he escapes from their clutches.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End: Cutler Beckett. And it's a short drop. With a sudden stop.
- Zigzagged with Count Rugen from The Princess Bride. After he killed Indigo's father, he wasn't rotten enough to kill the ten-year-old Indigo or injure him seriously when the boy challenged him, but he did give Indigo two permanent scars on his cheeks, just to "teach him a lesson", as he later described it.
- The Professional: Mathilda's young brother is killed off-screen.
- ¿Quién puede matar a un niño? (Translation: "Who can kill a child?"): The entire premise of this 1976's infamous Spanish horror film. A subversion, in a way, since the Kids Are Evil, of course - and how.
- The Raid: One of the SWAT troopers shoots a young lookout in an attempt to stop him blowing their cover. Unfortunately, it fails.
- Richie Rich: The villains are more than willing to shoot children, turn them into bedpans and blast them with lasers.
- Road to Perdition: Connor Rooney tries to murder his father's enforcer's elder son and murders the younger one instead, along with the boys' mother.
- Ronin: Gregor will kill anyone, and his onscreen victims range from a teenage girl to an old man. At one point he tries to shoot a young girl to prove the point.
- Rumble in the Bronx, some mooks beat the shit out of a little boy in a wheelchair.
- Serenity: The Operative is not above 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.
Capt. Malcolm Reynolds: I don't murder children.
The Operative: I do. If I have to.
- Silent Hill: In both the original film and its sequel a major element of the back story includes a group of cultists burning a small child alive. The age of the child and the reason behind the attempted murder differ between the two films, thanks to a Retcon intended to keep the second film closer to the video game series, but both are examples of this trope..
- Sleepy Hollow (Tim Burton's): The Headless Horseman is sent to murder the midwife of the town and her family. He gets the dad right away and the midwife hides her young son under the floor to protect him. She's killed next. The Horseman seems about ready to walk away...before stabbing his sword into the floor. The next scene shows him dropping something into his sack as he leaves the house.
- Another scene involves an autopsy of one of the female victims. When examining her abdomen, they notice a strange stab wound. It turns out the Horseman also beheaded her fetus.
- Averted in a flashback scene where the Headless Horseman merely shushes the Archer girls rather than kill them.
- Spider-Man: The Green Goblin breaks the cable on a lift car housing a group of school children in order to present Spider-Man with a Sadistic Choice. He lefts go of the cable, leaving the car to fall and crash. When Spider-Man grabs the cable, the Goblin attempts to beat him until he drops it.
- Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith: A group of Jedi younglings turns to Anakin Skywalker for advice during the raid on the Jedi Temple, unaware that Anakin is the one leading the raid. Cue the ignition of Anakin's lightsaber.
- That wasn't Anakin's first time, either; in Attack of the Clones he slaughtered a tribe of Sand People ("Not just the men, but the women and children too!") in revenge for his mother's death.
- Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street: Judge Turpin sentences a little boy to death by hanging.
- Plus Sweeney himself; though he doesn't actually end up killing Toby he demonstrates his willingness to do so on two separate occasions.
- In Superman II, Zodís crossing of the Moral Event Horizon (at least on-screen) was murdering a young boy for simply disobeying his order not to leave town, furiously hurling a police car siren he had torn free at the youth, who was fleeing on horseback. (The death wasnít shown, but given the great distance the impact could be seen and heard from, it likely wasnít pretty.)
- In Ted, John nonchalantly sucker-punches Robert, a Creepy Child charging at him. His girlfriend is horrified, to which he responds that someone had to Joan Crawford that kid.
- Terminator 2: Judgment Day: The T-1000 is perfectly willing to murder a ten-year-old boy if it means killing the future leader of the human resistance before he can grow up.
- Unthinkable: Invoked by "H" to make the captured terrorist believe that the torture expert truly has no lines he wouldn't cross to get the information out of him that H needs to save the lives of millions. He brings in the terrorist's children and pretends to take them to a seperate room to torture them to death, which is enough to make his subject crack. H doesn't go through with it, but leaves it ambiguous whether he would really be prepared to do something that extreme.
- The Third Man: The dead Harry Lime faced allegations of racketeering in diluted penicillin, which was lethal. Said penicillin made its way to children's hospitals to treat meningitis, and he allegedly continued the trade knowing where the fatal drugs were going. All these allegations are true.
- The Untold Tale: The main character kills a family due to a money dispute. It would be one thing if the family only had one child but the filmmakers saw fit to give the husband and wife as many kids as possible.
- The Untouchables: In the opening scene, gangster Frank Nitti leaves a bagful of bombs in a soda bar, right next to a little girl who's talking to the barkeep. Although the bombing was a for-profit crime, there's no obvious reason why he couldn't have waited until the girl left the premises before blowing the place up.
- The Usual Suspects: A Hungarian gang visit Keysor Soze's house and takes his wife and children hostage, and to make sure he gets the message they murder his son in front of him. Soze responds by killing the rest of his own family and then taking out all but one of the Hungarian villains.
- Warlock: The title character skins a young boy because he was an unbaptized firstborn son, which means he can use the boy's fatty tissue for a spell that will allow him to fly unguided. He also takes note of a priest's pregnant wife, and threatens to kill the man's unborn children if he doesn't cooperate.
- Watchmen movie: There's the child abductor the Rorschach kills, as in the comic version listed above, and also the Comedian, who gives us this line:
Comedian:"I've done some bad things.. I've done bad things to women..(sob) I even shot kids! But that was fucking war..."
- In White House Down, one of the terrorists slaps the 11 year old daughter of the protagonist because she recorded the terrorists faces and uploaded it online in an attempt to help the government figure out what was going on. Throughout the film, she is threatened with guns and roughly dragged around by very strong men. Later, towards the end, the leader of the terrorists threatens to shoot her in the stomach if her father doesn't give up the president and kill her if the president doesn't give up his nuclear launch codes.
Stryker: I'm a scientist, Sgt. Lyman. When I build a machine, I want to make sure it's working.
- In X-Men: The Last Stand, Magneto's assault on Alcatraz involved killing Leech. When Juggernaut is ordered to do it, he replies "With pleasure."
- Bolivar Trask and the people working on the Sentinel program in X-Men: Days of Future Past. It's subtly confirmed when Mystique finds the autopsy reports, one of which belongs to Sean Cassidy (Banshee). It's very likely that Sean was still a teenager when he disappeared.
- X-Men Origins: Wolverine also has an example with Scott (Cyclops) in high school—presumably fairly early, since he's taking Spanish I. Sabretooth is, naturally, not above kidnapping him to be used in experiments and kept in a cage.