An Incomplete List of Zombie Children Found in Film
Zombie children are very rare in both films and television, and when you do encounter them, they tend to have (had) names, i.e. we met them when alive, and watched them turn. Maybe it’s because dead children are singularly upsetting, or maybe it’s because working with child actors is a pain in the ass. Kids can only be on set so many hours, then throw in however many hours in make-up, and they become an even bigger pain in the ass to shoot around. Either way, if a zombie child appears in a narrative, they tend to be freighted with meaning. You’re just not going to squander the shock value of young lives snuffed out and murderously reanimated. So I’m going to go through and document the zombie children I can think of, and see if we can’t say anything about death, childhood, and the nuclear family.
Before that, lemme get all wonky for a bit. I don’t particularly like getting into the weeds arguing about the taxonomy of a zombie (which is a lie because I’m about to do it at length). They’re made up creatures; the criteria aren’t going to be hard and fast. However, I think I should probably make some broad stabs at it, given how often I end up arguing with dudes on the Internet. Whether a zombie is technically alive or undead is less important for me than if that creature violently attacks people in mobs. So a blood-borne rage virus which renders a living person violently feral, like the one found in 28 Days Later, counts as a form of zombiism. By contrast, Claudia from Interview with a Vampire, while technically an undead child, is a calculating killer, and she has an emotional life beyond just killing. Just to make this complicated: sometimes there are zombies whose emotional states are the same as breathing humans, like Liv in iZombie or Murphy on Z Nation. They are always undead, not technically alive like a rage-zombie, and, unlike vampires, their bodies putrefy and decay. Often, technically alive zombies will be fully dead in a relatively short matter of time, as whatever fuels their murderous behavior renders them incapable of caring for themselves. The corruption of both appetite and flesh, a degradation of form and purpose, is ultimately what typifies a zombie, and that animating idea is more important than fast/slow, alive/dead, magic/science, or other nitpicky details.
An interesting edge case is the creatures in the Will Smith version of I Am Legend, which are zombie-like in their swarming murderous mobs, but then appear to be technically living, capable of emotional bonds, and can care for themselves (and others) in at least a rudimentary way. In the source material, the same-named novel by Richard Matheson, these creatures were referred to as vampires, which might be a better fit. They do look an awful lot like the vampires in The Strain or The Passage. I would argue that the arc of the film is uncovering the creatures’ true nature, from being seen as members of a mindless mob to creatures driven by more complex motivations than braaaaaains. Because of this, the film opens with all the earmarks of a zombie film: decaying urban landscapes, the living under siege, a nostalgia for the present. As Smith learns the people he’s been experimenting on are at least partially cognizant of themselves as people, the real horror sets in: he’s the real monster. Anyway, long story short: I’d include I Am Legend in a list of zombie movies, even if I think the creatures are bad zombies, because the film purposely invokes so many tropes of zombie narratives. Genre isn’t just defined by the actors in the story, but by the construction of the narrative itself.
Couple few caveats:
I think zombie babies are in a different category, narratively speaking, so I wouldn’t include them in this list. They are even rarer in film than zombie children. I can only think of three in film, two of which are in Zach Snyder movies: Dawn of the Dead, which is included in this list, and Army of the Dead, which is not. The third is in this dreadful rip-off of 28 Days Later called Solar Impact. (There’s also a zombie baby in the first episode of Z Nation, and the whole sequence is incredibly silly.) ETA: Another incredibly silly zombie baby is in Peter Jackson’s splatter-stick film, Dead Alive. I am also excluding adolescents — which are much more common — because when I say children, I mean pre-pubescent, not under the age of 18. Additionally, in the process of researching this post, I discovered at least four instances of zombified classrooms so I’ll round them up separately. Though I’m focusing on movies so they wouldn’t be included anyway, I’ve detailed all the child zombies in The Walking Dead here. Maybe that’s a lot of caveats, but it’s my list so I make the rules.
Night of the Living Dead (1969)
The very first OG undead child, the one who had chased me through my nightmares since I encountered her in my adolescence, is the one in George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead. Harry and Helen Cooper, along with their daughter, Karen, take refuge in the same farmhouse in which the lead Ben, the catatonic Barbra, and a pair of young lovers are sheltering. The girl has been bitten, and her parents take her down to the basement to care for her. Ben and the girl’s dad are at loggerheads from the first: Ben is convinced the basement is a death-trap; Harry wants to hole up down there for the duration.
I’d kind of forgotten the specifics of this whole sequence, so I recently watched it again. I was bolted by the scene where the zombie child overpowers her mother — not because she’s stronger than her, but because the mother can’t defend herself against her own flesh and blood. I also had forgotten that Romero’s zombies are tool-users: the girl stabs her mother over and over and over again, in a scene reminiscent of the shower scene in Psycho, before she settles in to feast on her corpse. After her father betrays Ben, he’s shot by him, and stumbles down to the basement. There, he encounters his zombie daughter, who finishes him off. Ben ends up having to dispatch the whole zombie family, one after the other, when he, against his better judgement, retreats to the basement.
I’ve said this a number of times, but I think it’s true: You can almost read the farmhouse in Night of the Living Dead as a Freudian psychological structure: attic as superego, main floor as ego, and basement as id. It’s also a microcosm of the American body politic, as all of these archetypes bounce off each other and as their inevitable destruction bangs against the flimsy, permeable glass. That this family annihilation plays out, twice, in the id-based basement of the American subconscious is something indeed. Night of the Living Dead was written in the flux of the Vietnam war and the first American Civil Rights movement, and Karen’s reanimation is definitely a bellwether and a harbinger for the stressors that will bring down the myth of the American nuclear family.
Dawn of the Dead (1978)
This follow-up to Romero’s Night of the Living Dead includes a couple unnamed zombie children who try to attack one of the characters in an airport charthouse. They are played by the niece and nephew of Tom Savini, the man behind the special effects, and appear to be in the film more because of that relationship than because the narrative specified zombie children. Which is to say: the kids are extras, not characters. They’re also not actors: imbd trivia claims they are the only zombies in Romero’s whole oeuvre who spontaneously run. Apparently the kids couldn’t be bothered with the undead shuffle. These kids are somewhat notable because they are extras. Other than a brief glimpse of a zombie child on The Walking Dead while Alexandria is being overrun, I can’t think of many other zombie children who are part of the background cast exclusively.
Night of the Comet (1984)
Honestly, I don’t really get why the zombie in this delightful 80s apocalypse is a zombie child. A comet passes over the earth, desiccating most of the population to red dust. If you’re shielded by steel, you’re fine, but if you’re only partially shielded, you will eventually desiccate. Before that, you’ll move from huge asshole to zombie. A pair of sisters and a trucker called Hector are the only people at first in the film who survive the comet un-zombified. The girls know their family is gone, but Hector was on the road when the comet came. So he goes home to see if anyone made it. While there, a zombie child semi-knocks on the door, and then chases Hector all over the house when Hector opens the door. It’s an odd sequence because it’s mostly played for comedy. Hector keeps making quips — stuff like “there goes the neighborhood!” or “you’re lucky I like kids!” — as the kid chases him around. Eventually Hector slams enough doors behind him, makes it out of the house, and escapes back to the overt plot, and the zombie kid is never mentioned again. Paradoxically, maybe it’s because Night of the Comet is closer to a comedy that they use a zombie kid here, because usually zombie kids are super upsetting. Hector isn’t in any serious physical danger due to the zombie kid, and can dispense with any anxiety about his immediate family without overtaxing the viewer with worry. Strange.
28 Days Later (2002)
Bike messenger Jim comes out of a coma alone in a trashed hospital and an empty London. He soon learns that a rage virus has swept through the population. Eventually, he and three other survivors strike out for the countryside, following a repeating broadcast promising a cure for infection. They stop at a diner outside of Manchester to refuel, and Jim’s traveling companions tell him not to go inside the diner. He does anyway, and encounters an infected boy, the only living person in a building heaped with corpses. We don’t see Jim kill the child, but he leaves the diner wiping off his baseball bat. As far as I’m aware, this is the only person — infected or not — which Jim kills before they reach the source of the broadcast, a manor house fortified by a rogue army unit.
That Jim has killed a child comes up in his confrontation with the leader of the soldiers, Major West. Rhetorically, West tries to morally equate Jim’s act of self-defense with West’s plan to force the women into sexual slavery. (I should really say girl and woman; Hannah is just a child herself.) Both are necessary for survival, in West’s schema: the killing of the boy because of his immediate threat, and the rape of a woman and girl for the perpetuation of the species. Narratively speaking, I believe it is important that Jim has gotten his hands dirty in this new rage-filled world. He could have easily made it to West’s grotesque fiefdom having left the violence to the others in his group. That the rage-zombie Jim killed was a child adds freight to the guilt he must feel, and somewhat short-circuits his ability to respond to West’s monstrous equation. I can easily see a stupider version of 28 Days Later, one without Jim’s encounter with the infected child, in which a righteous Jim delivers a Rick Grimes-style homily about maintaining one’s humanity in the wake of violent inhumanity or whatever, but that is thankfully not what happens.
Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Now, in this Zack Snyder remake of Romero’s original movie — which was itself a sequel — there is a full on zombie child who, like in The Walking Dead, is the first zombie we see on screen. (For context: The Walking Dead’s first episode, which also features a zombie child as the first zombie we meet, was six years later in 2010.) We first meet Vivian, yet another pretty blonde white girl, when nurse Ana comes home after a long shift at the hospital, where there was a lot of weirdness going on in the background. Vivian shows off her rollerblading skills, and Ana praises her. We see Vivian again once Ana and her husband have gone to bed. Vivian creeps up the dark hallway, which wakes up the husband. When she steps into the light, her face is torn and you can see her teeth exposed (again, almost exactly like the first zombie on The Walking Dead.) The husband goes to help the girl, she tears his throat out, and Ana intervenes, throwing the girl into the hallway and slamming the door shut.
I think Snyder uses a child here for two reasons. First, I think the shock value of having a pretty blonde girl be the bloody introduction to the zombie apocalypse is pretty high. (And something The Walking Dead exploits further by having said child zombie summarily shot.) But then also, by having an undead child annihilate Ana’s husband, we are well and truly shoved out of the domestic sphere. Snyder is telling us this movie isn’t about the nuclear family, something he’ll underline again, gruesomely, when Luda and her baby zombify. I wouldn’t say Snyder’s remake captures much of the social commentary about consumerism of Romero’s original Dawn of the Dead, but there are still flashes of social commentary in moments like this. I don’t think, generally, Snyder is in control of his material, semiotically speaking, but he’s still capable of putting his grubby, pulpy fingers on the pulse of the moment.
Wicked Little Things (2006)
Look, I said I didn’t want to get into a big thing about the taxonomy of zombies, but the little undead shits in this film are really, really bad zombies. I think a dead giveaway is that they are referred to in-text as zombies, which actual zombies almost never are, paradoxically. Anyway, the set-up isn’t dissimilar from Ghostbusters: Afterlife, the most recent largely forgettable outing in the Ghostbusters franchise. A mom and her two kids — one in high school, the other younger — inherit a creepy-ass house in the middle of nowhere; supernatural tomfoolery ensues. In Wicked Little Things, it’s that a bunch of kids killed in a local mine during ye olde robber baron times come out at night to kill people and eat them. Turns out, the kids’ now deceased dad was related to a mining family, so the zombie kids won’t chomp the family, except maybe the mom because she’s not blood-related. The minor miners have been all stirred up because the descendant of the dick who ran the mine (and a dick himself) is trying to buy up all the land to build a ski lodge or whatever, and furthermore there’s some weird lease on the property that expires if all the descendants die or something, and … honestly, you can see where all of these Scooby Doings are going, down to the land-owning asshole getting chomped by some Victorian children.
Horror is a rule-bound genre. These kids are something like hungry ghosts crossed with zombies, and the film is never clear which which rule-set they operate under, other than what is narratively convenient. The younger kid in the family befriends one of the minor miners, a girl called Mary, in a trope found in ghost stories: Mary is dismissed as an “imaginary friend” until the grown-ups admit weird shit is happening, whereupon she imparts important exposition. The ghost kids are corporeal enough to eat guts occasionally — like a zombie — but then seem to blip in and out of existence because of the sun or the necessity of a jump scare. They are also able to be vanquished by the usual ghostbusting method of completing unfinished business, not by headshots. I found this film both incredibly frustrating and frustratingly predictable.
Jennifer Carmen, Tristana Medeiros, & an unnamed boy
Spanish film [REC] and its sequels actually have scads of zombie children — and, indeed, a zombie child antagonist — which makes it something of an outlier. There’s two in the first film, which is a found-footage affair with an after-hours camera crew following a group of firefighters on a midnight call. The first we encounter, a girl called Jennifer, before she turns. In the initial interview by the late night tv crew, Jennifer’s mother explains she’s got tonsillitis, and that the family dog is at the vet with an undiagnosed illness. Eventually a health inspector explains the dog has an illness “like rabies” — which is why the building has been quarantined — just in time for Jennifer to turn and bite her mother’s face. (Zombie children attacking their mothers is something of a theme.)
The backstory is hella confusing, and it only gets more complicated, opaque, and unsatisfying as the series progresses, but: The source of the rabies-like illness is a girl named Tristana Medeiros, a Portuguese girl identified by the Vatican as being demon-possessed, and also maybe there’s an enzyme some Vatican agent identifies? She’s the last child zombie we encounter in the narrative, when the last two survivors make it up to the attic, where the priest has been keeping Tristana prisoner so he can experiment on her or something. There the survivors turn into not-survivors when they’re attacked by first a zombie boy and Tristana, who has turned into a massive monster. All of this is shot in night-vision and very upsetting.
The science/religion cross doesn’t make a lot of sense, and the overtly batshit Catholic iconography of the latter installments — especially [•REC]³: Génesis — gets hard to follow and stupid. I think there’s probably something in these films which, for Catholics and people in Catholic-majority communities, speaks to the ongoing child sexual abuse scandals perpetrated by the church. The abused child reanimates and destroys everything she can get her hands on in enclosed, domestic spaces, pitting families and neighbors against each other. The authorities are worse than unhelpful, and simultaneously abet the outbreak and cover it up. Nasty stuff.
Maureen & Colleen
The zombiism in Pontypool is a rage virus transmitted by language, and not the more classic Romero shambler. The events in this excellent film occur almost completely in the confines of a small town radio station. Disgraced shock jock Grant Mazzy and his beleaguered producer, Sidney Briar, field reports of escalating violence as it spreads, mouth to mouth, through the Ontario countryside. At one point early, a local music group called “Lawrence and the Arabians” — in full on brown face — shows up to sing a song or somesuch, which is the exact kind of folksy local color which Mazzy considers himself way too good for. (The Lawrence of the Arabians is none other than Tony Burgess, who wrote both the screenplay and the novel the film is based on.) The group also includes two children, who are identified in imdb as Maureen and Colleen, though I’m not certain their names are ever used in the film. Either way, they appear later in the film having succumbed to the language virus, and Mazzy and Sidney have to push past them to lock themselves in the relative safety of the utility closet slash break room.
I don’t think these zombie kids perform a specific narrative function — not like a lot of the other named undead children in this list — but I do think they are purposefully in the narrative. I’ve read a fair amount of Burgess’s novels, and many of them deal with outbreaks of civic violence and “people suddenly being absolutely not what you think they are.” These stories are largely set in the tiny towns in rural Ontario where he lives, and this convulsive violence often occurs in those liminal spaces we pass through in our rote and somnambulant interactions with the quote-unquote community: a gas station at a crossroads, a parking lot outside a big box store, a diner. Kids are just there, because kids are always just there: in the back seat while mom pumps gas, hanging onto the cart while mom distractedly shops, or, in Pontypool, going along with dad’s dog-and-pony show to get on the local radio. Violence inevitably affects children, and that violence doesn’t necessarily have meaning; it just is. There are zombie kids in Pontypool because there are kids in the town of Pontypool; as above, so below.
Probably a little bit of a cheat, because Quarantine is the American remake of [REC], so I’ll just note the differences. Quarantine only has one zombie child, Briana (played by a tiny baby Joey King), who is basically the same character as Jennifer Carmen, down to attacking her own mother. The source of the illness is no longer Vatican demon possession, but a doomsday cult member (played by none other than Doug Jones!) stealing a genetically modified rabies virus and releasing it in the apartment building. This localization makes perfect sense to me, as Americans are much more millenarian and paranoid about the gumment and have a different relationship with the Catholic church than the Spanish.
An entire birthday party
We only see child zombies in Zombieland during Cincinnati’s enumeration of his rules, specifically number 4: seatbelts. They end up being a visual punchline more than anything (and, weirdly, the same visual punchlines as in a The Walking Dead webisode called “Torn Apart”): they’re children zombified during a child’s birthday party. A somewhat dowdy woman with bad hair jumps into her van and frantically rolls up the window while while zombies in party dresses bang on the windows. She peels out of this suburban subdivision overrun with child zombies while Jesse Eisenberg intones that one must repress all humanity to survive zombieland. (The bouncy house in the background is a nice touch, tbh.) When she’s clear of the child zombies, her attention is drawn to one of the dozens of beanie babies all over the dash, at which point she t-bones a truck and is launched through the window, which presumably kills her. It would probably be easy to overthink this because I don’t think there’s much to this other than the macabre humor of girls in princess dresses trying to kill you. I do think the woman’s characterization — such as it is, as it’s limited to dowdy clothes, a bad haircut, and a weird relationship with plushies — evinces a sort of mean-spiritedness which has made Zombieland not age all that well. Cincinnati’s incel vibes are impossible to ignore now, for example.
The Girl with All the Gifts (2014)
This is one of the four movies that have classrooms full of zombies — the others being Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Little Monsters, and Cooties. I said I wasn’t going to include them here, but Melanie is such a distinct character that I’m making an exception for her. The film (based on the same-named novel by M. R. Carey) takes place 10-ish years after the zombie apocalypse has overtaken Britain. Like The Last of Us, the zombie pathogen is fungal in nature. In an installation outside of the main human settlement, the military is experimenting on a dozen or so zombie children they have captured out in the wild. Unlike children turned in the initial outbreak, these children are capable of instruction, and don’t pose a threat to regular people as long as the living remain slathered in a scent-blocker. These children are strapped down and wheeled into a classroom every day, presided over by the empathetic Miss Justineau.
The film largely focuses on the relationship between Miss Justineau and her zombie student, Melanie. (The film also reverses the racial dynamic that was in the book: Melanie is Black and Miss Justineau white, which I think is a more interesting dynamic, Pedagogy of the Oppressed-style.) After the installation is inevitably breached, Melanie, Justineau and a collection of soldierly types end up road tripping through a zombified Britain. They encounter even more zombie children who have clearly self-organized into a sort of community, but they lack language & anything but the most rudimentary culture. Melanie ends up annihilating the human race by making the zombie plague airborne, while preserving it through Miss Justineau, who ends up the instructor of an entirely new race of people.
When zombie stories include children, they can potentially comment on generational conflict — and zombie classrooms, doubly so. Looking at this film post-Brexit and Britain’s continuing self-sabotage, you can see all of that coming. Glenn Close’s character, the military general in charge of the installation, is absolutely furious that people like Melanie exist, and prioritizes destroying her over even self-preservation. Humanity is dead. Long live humanity.
What We Become (Original Danish title: Sorgenfri) (2015)
Unlike many zombie movies, What We Become focuses on a nuclear family, not a found family, and it largely takes place in the family home. The zombie apocalypse itself is a pretty slow burn: The dynamics between the family members and the larger community (most specifically, their neighbors) are very carefully detailed. (The nuclear family consists of parents Dino and Pernille, and their kids are Gustaf, who seems like he’s 17-18, and Maj, who’s probably around 10.) During this extended prelude, there are constant background events, which, for someone paying attention, presage the zombie apocalypse. An elderly neighbor disappears; the radio mentions a virus centered in their suburb. Interestingly, I’m not sure the family even sees a zombie before the military rolls in and forces everyone to quarantine in their homes. (The plastic sheeting reminded me strongly of [REC], with people trapped in their homes and subject to escalating civic violence.)
The beginning of What We Become is also its ending. The very first scene is a distraught Pernille whispering platitudes to someone offscreen: Everything is going to be alright; it’s all a dream, etc. She reacts to banging, “Dino, is that you?” We see this scene again with much more context at the very end of the film. Pernille has retreated to an attic bedroom. Her daughter, Maj, is dead; this is who she is cradling in her arms. Her husband Dino is indeed the one banging on the door, which he breaks down. He shoulders a rifle with a scope and tells her to move away from the girl. She refuses. Looking down, she sees Maj open her eyes. A moment of hope flashes on Pernille’s face before she’s bitten and killed by her daughter. Dino points the gun first at Maj, and then at himself, but he’s out of bullets. Maj attacks and kills him as well.
In the particulars, the demise of the child, her reanimation, and then deaths of the parents isn’t dissimilar from Karen Cooper and her parents in Night of the Living Dead. The key difference is that the focus of the film has been on this nuclear family though the whole film. The Coopers are emblematic of the American nuclear family on the rotten end of the 60s; Maj and her family are less emblems and more distinct characters.
Blood Quantum (2019)
As far as I know, Blood Quantum is the first and only First Nations zombie film. The action of the film takes place in and around the fictional Mi’kmaq reserve of Red Crow. In a telling metaphor, Native people are immune to the virus which causes zombiism, but they can still be torn apart by their white zombie neighbors. As graffiti scrawled on the doors of the refuge says: If they’re red, they’re dead. If they’re white, they bite. After an extended prologue which takes place in the days just as the outbreak is beginning, we skip forward to 6 months into the zombie apocalypse. The reserve is one of the very few places not overrun with the undead.
The film follows brothers — the fuckup Lysol and his earnest much younger brother Joseph. Joseph and his pregnant white girlfriend have been bringing people from the outside into the reserve, and in the scene establishing the new normal, they return with a middle-aged white guy carrying his daughter in a blanket. Lysol and Joseph get into it: Lysol doesn’t want any more mouths to feed, and points out the daughter is obviously infected. The father denies this, but Lysol pulls down the blanket she’s wrapped in to reveal a bite. Joseph and his girlfriend get high and mighty about helping people, and tensions run over into a scuffle, just in time for their father, Traylor (played by the wonderful Michael Greyeyes) to wade in and bust up the fight. Tribal members discuss what to do about the infected girl in their native language, which increasingly upsets the father, who begins shouting, “Speak English!” Meanwhile, the girl dies. The father is ushered into the reserve, but his daughter cannot be taken inside. Just as she begins to stir, Traylor spits her skull with an axe.
Blood Quantum is so very much about the colonial relationship, and the confrontation at the gates of the reserve throw a lot of complicated interrelations together. Lysol is increasingly violently retaliatory as the movie goes on, but in this situation, he’s absolutely not wrong about the need to be cautious about letting people in. Joseph’s white girlfriend huffs at him, “We’re supposed to be helping people!” which feels whiney and entitled in the moment. Interestingly, it’s the level-headed Traylor who shoots back, “We’re not supposed to be doing anything. We’re supposed to survive.” White refugees trying to get into a First Nation — which typically were placed in land unwanted by white people — is an ironic reversal. Building on that central irony, this scene layers irony on irony — everything from the white father demanding they speak English while requesting asylum in their nation, to the white refugees being referred to as “boat people.” Most zombie movies end on bummers, but Blood Quantum is much more open-ended bummer than most.
Zombi Child (2019)
There is not actually a zombie child in Zombi Child. I suspect it may be a translation problem, as this francophone film deals with the legacy of colonialism in France through the story of a Haitian man turned zombie in the 1960s intercut with a contemporary story of a Haitian girl going to a boarding school in France. Haiti is, of course, the source for the original zombie lore, a creature which functions more like a golem under the control of a sorcerer than the undead cannibalistic mobs we see from Romero on. Thought I should address the film, given the name and all.
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (2021)
Girl in the road, neighbor boy
I know that no one saw this reboot of films based on the Resident Evil video games — which heretofore have been closely associated with Milla Jovovich and Paul W. S. Anderson — but I thought it was ok. Too reliant on dark-o-vision which made most of the action muddy, but with way more fidelity to the video games, if that’s your bag. (I know some of the game fans were unhappy with the previous series because those movies take a lot of liberties.) Anyway, Welcome to Raccoon City follows the initial outbreak in the titular city due to Umbrella Corp’s fuckery. Claire Redfield returns home to Raccoon City to warn her rookie RCPD brother, Chris, about the Umbrella Corp’s evil experiments.
When the trucker she’s hitching a ride with decides to make a gross pass at her, his attention wanders and he hits a girl in the road with his truck. (I couldn’t quite clock her age; it’s possible this is a teenager.) While he and Claire are arguing about what to do about the body, the girl gets up and wanders into the forest, where she stands, just out of sight, being a creeper. On her way to her brother’s house, Claire has several weird encounters with townspeople doing stuff like bleeding from the eyes. This culminates in Claire seeing a mother and son next door to her brother’s who appear to be bleeding and loosing clumps of hair. Chris is like, whatever, I’m not interested in your conspiracy facts, and leaves her to go to work. Claire hears a noise, and discovers the boy looking real rough and hiding under Chris’s table. “Do you need help?” She asks. “You need help,” he responds, as his mother, in full on zombie mode, crashes through the glass door and attacks Claire.
When I rewatched, I was surprised how little screen time the second zombie child had — in my mind he was the one who attacked Claire, not his mom. It’s possible I got this sequence messed up with the one in Night of Comet, which has similar blocking. I admit this kid isn’t completely zombified yet, though he’s clearly well on his way. Both the child zombies in Raccoon City seem to be children for their uncanny creepy factor mostly. But the children are also emblematic of the moral depravity of Umbrella, and by extension, the entire town. The population of the orphanage where the Redfields were raised was a convenient source for disposable test subjects, and the unnaturalness of preying upon your own young comes to full concrete metaphor with the death and reanimation of the town.
So that’s what I’ve got! Judging from this list, the most common child zombie is a white girl who will kill her mother in the story. I don’t really have a theory as to why that is the case, though it may just be as simple as children are often with their mothers, and a white girl is the avatar for imperiled innocence. And hey, if you can think of other zombie children I missed, I’d be happy to add them.