We’ve all been there: Teenagers sitting in class, listening to a teacher drone on and on about unimportant things, wishing we could simply fly away. Or, in my case, wishing I could convert the teacher’s DNA to that of a drooling, mutated monster that I could squash with a cosmic hammer of doom.
We’ve all be ostracized at one point or another, in one degree or another, isolated, confused and embarrassed by just about anything up to and including the wind blowing funny. I think it’s these feelings of confusion, of not fitting in, that make the supernatural teen such an enduring movie genre. Not popular in class? What the hell do you care, you’re a witch. Or a vampire. Or a werewolf. You can (and often do) literally eat your classmates and teachers for lunch. Snotty homecoming queen giving you a hassle? No worries, you’ll call down a mini plague of locusts to mess up her hair. You’re busy trying to stop an invasion of demons — does that trig test really matter all that much?
Edward Cullen from Twilight, Scott Howard from Carrie … many movies, many characters, but who is the greatest of them all? Well, Dear Reader, that’s up to you to decide. We’re taking nominations! Simply post your pick in the comments field below this column. The characters with the most nominations will make up the field of sixteen contenders, who will be announced on January 15. Your votes will determine the contenders. Your votes will decide the result of each head-to-head battle. The fights will continue in daily columns on this site, until we crown the Greatest Supernatural Teen on February 13.
1. Movie!: The supernatural teen has to be from a movie. You know, the
kind that played on a big screen at one point or another? Yes, we all
love Sarah Michelle Gellar, but you’re not nominating her as Buffy (the
TV series), you’re nominating Kristy Swanson (the movie).
2. Make that teen “supernatural.” We want the character to have a
supernatural element, or one that fights or interacts with supernatural
elements. So, of course, Harry Potter counts, as does David (Kieffer
Sutherland’s vampire from The Lost Boys ). The Transformer‘s Sam Witwicky (Shia LeBeouf) would not count, but Edgar Frog (vampire hunter teen from The Lost Boys) would.
3. Characters from pure scifi movies are out: Transformers (space robots), Star Wars (future scifi), Men in Black (high-tech aliens), X-Men (science detailed within the context of the story) and Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (future time travel) would be out. Weird Science (no way you can call that “science fiction”), Carrie (teleknesis with zero scientific explanation) and Night of the Comet (zombies are supernatural, it’s just the way it is) would be in.
4. Teenager! We’re looking for teens, not kids and not
twenty-somethings. The kids/pre-teens/teens factor, however, is darn
hard to judge. Does Cole Sear ( The Sixth Sense ) count? Ofelia, from Pan’s Labyrinth ?
Those two are awful close to the “teenage” or maybe “pre-teen” level.
We’ll play it by ear and use common sense, so nominate away.
5. Is that movie really supernatural? The vast majority of the
slasher flicks are out. Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees, these guys are
very resilient, true, but not really “supernatural.” Freddy Krueger is,
as is Chucky, so you’re looking for characters that battle them on the
supernatural level — like Heather Langenkamp in Goonies
is supernatural, but are there any actual ghosts in there? Nope, just
physical traps. It’s a thriller, not a supernatural flick, so Chunk is
6. When in doubt: Nominate! Admittedly, there is a ton of gray area here. Drew Barrymore’s Charlie McGee ( Firestarter ),
is she supernatural or scifi? Not sure? Then just nominate. If enough
like-minded people nominate, we’ll see if there’s room for the
Get on It:
There you go, a classic tournament in the making. Bust out your IMDB
research, hit that DVD collection, IM your friends, whatever it takes
to jog the memory and get your favorite characters into the ring.
Sixteen teens enter… only one leaves with the title.
Scott Sigler writes tales of hard-science horror, then gives them away as free audiobooks at www.scottsigler.com. His new novel, Contagious,
hit bookstores on December 30. If you don’t agree with what Scott says in this blog, please
email him firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include all relevant personal
information, such as your address and what times you are not home, so
Scott can come visit and show you his world famous “Chicken Scissors.”