Imagine a ghost story that featured the deceased spirit of a homicidal madman. A tall, crazed apparition, wielding a jagged, bloodstained knife, which it uses to carve out the souls of its victims. No one knows where the blood comes from; the knife enters the body and tears out the spirit without breaking the flesh... and yet, the blade is always tainted red.
Now, instead of the ghost being a raving adult, imagine it was a giggling child. Same capabilities, same method of attack, but in the shape of a cute little girl, with a knife in one hand and a broken doll in the other.
How much creepier would that be?
Sure, the adult ghost would be larger and more viscerally intimidating, but there's something about innocence that heightens the effect of anything that contrasts it.
Violence is worse when it's inflicted on a child. Same for sexual harassment and assault. And when a child is DOING these things instead of having them done to her, it adds a whole new level of wrongness to an already horrific situation.
The contrast between childlike innocence and unchildlike malevolence creates a disturbing dissonance, and it probably plays into a lot of peoples' fears about their children being harmed, turning out badly, or both. Childhood is supposed to be a time of cuteness and happiness and fun, not broken dolls and soul-stealing knives.
This dynamic is a big factor in my latest music video. In it, Scorpius from Farscape hunts the increasingly scared protagonist in reality and in his own mind... and in the background, a young girl sings cheerfully about her playful search for her terrified prey.
Click the player below to watch the video, and once you're done, please take a moment to let me know if you enjoyed it.