A couple of years ago my girlfriend insisted that I watch The Bad Seed as it is one of her favorite movies. It stars, Oscar nominated, Patty McCormack as the adorable and vicious Rhoda Penmark.
On the surface Rhoda is the ideal young girl with her impeccably clean dress, perfect curtsies, and penurious nature. She likes presents and tap dancing.
However, there is a sense that her overly proper disposition is masking a sinister side. We learn Rhoda did not win the penmanship award in her class and that side rears its ugly pigtails. And when her classmate that won the award is mysteriously drowned, Rhoda goes about without a care or feeling.
Her mother begins to struggle as evidence about her daughters guilt surfaces while Rhoda's wickedness amplifies.
I can see how this film would have been considered controversial during its time. McCormack carves out one of the most cute, compelling, and creepy characters in cinema.
An absolutely fine film for the Halloween month. While the subject matter is heavy there is no reason that this can't be enjoyed by the whole family.