October 31, 2013

Top 10 Favorite Horror-Movie Inspired Baby Names

An actual conversation between a friend's husband and a guy he didn't know very well, while watching a particularly disobedient kid at the playground:

Random Guy: "That kid should be named Damien, you know, after the evil kid in The Omen!"
Friend's Husband: "Um, that's my son's name."
Random Guy: "Oh. Sorry."

I'm here to prove Random Guy wrong. First of all, he's just not very funny, and second of all, Damien isn't the kind of name that says "evil" anymore. Wouldn't you agree with me?

It's true that some parents did learn about a name they loved via an unbelievably revolting character in a horror movie. But then they considered that name and all of its positive attributes, and defied that stereotype to use it for their sweet little one. And it worked.

I'm not declaring that parents should or are really naming their child after an evil villain. But some names catch on regardless of a less-than-stellar namesake, and many of these names are great examples of that. In fact, lots of parents aren't even be aware that the name they love is used in a slasher film. I'm not a fan of horror movies, but I do love many of these names. So what's the appeal of names from horror movies, you ask?

Horror movies have given us lots of beautiful, intriguing, and decidedly cool names since the genre really took off in the 70s. Writers seem to give careful consideration to naming their terrifying (or terrified) characters, looking for qualities like:
  • sounds that are similar to another evil creature or figure
  • an "old" sound
  • an unusual name
Of course, this isn't true all of the time. Some of the scariest fictional bad guys out there have names like Michael, Jason, Jack, and Freddy. But here is a collection of the more interesting and inspiring names from horror movies that don't make us very, very afraid.

  1. Samara ~ The demonic child from The Ring, the name Samara gained a whopping 476 places in the popularity charts the year after this movie came out.
  2. Damien ~ The name of the antichrist in The Omen, Damien, Damian, and Damon are just not that scary anymore. Damian is now a top-100 name for boys in the US.
  3. Malachai ~ An alternate spelling of Malachi, a sweet name gaining popularity that happens to be featured in Children of the Corn.
  4. Regan ~ Pronounced REE-gan, this is the name of the girl in The Exorcist.
  5. Adrian ~ The name of the unborn child from Rosemary's Baby. Adrian has been in the top 100 for more than a decade now. Other interesting names from this movie include Rosemary, Guy, Roman, and Minnie.
  6. Roman ~ The villain from Scream 3 was given a name many of us love. 
  7. Lila ~ Lila Crane is the victim from Hitchcock's thriller Psycho. Norman didn't make the list, but I couldn't help but include Lila, even though she is the scare-ee in this scenario.
  8. Dalton ~ A child who is tormented by evil spirits in the movie Insidious.
  9. Victor, Viktor ~ Victor Crowley is the villain from the slasher film Hatchet. The spelling Viktor is used in the Underworld series.
  10. Shaun ~ From the satire zombie movie Shaun of the Dead, I love this spelling of the name.
Whether we like these names because of their dark associations or in spite of them, I think even the most iconic names from horror movies begin to detach from their frightening image once enough people use them. A person who knows a little girl named Samara, for example, is likely to forget all about The Ring after a few interactions with her. In fact, I bet that person would begin to think "that girl has a beautiful name!"

So take that, Random Guy! Take that!

1 comment:

  1. My favorites are Samara, Adrian, and Lila. These are nice names and it doesn't matter where they came from! Very cool list.


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