Thursday, June 25, 2009

Not to be read alone, or in the dark

SpoutBlog (found via Pajiba) posted a great list of the 10 creepiest kids' movies, and it inspired me to dust off an old draft I had sitting around on a similar topic.

I haven't seen all of the movies chosen for SpoutBlog's list, but I did see and agree with the inclusion of Something Wicked This Way Comes (Have you seen it? It is, at times, HOLY SHIT scary, as is a movie that is for some reason forever associated with it in my memory, The Watcher in the Woods.), The Witches, and The Peanut Butter Solution. I probably would agree with the Care Bear movie if I could remember it. I didn't find the Tim Burton Wonka creepy so much as annoying. My only major disagreement came with the inclusion of The Dark Crystal, but only because the author said my beloved Landstriders were the creepiest part. Let's compare, shall we?

Landstriders (ugly but cute, in a weird otter / walrus sort of way):

Podling slaves / Skeksis:

And finally, Aughra:

Now, I love Aughra (even though this must be an out-take, because she sounds like Yoda, not Aughra), but dude, come on. She can remove her eyeball. How is this less creepy than a Landstrider?

That said, even though I adore it, The Dark Crystal definitely makes the list of Movies That I Loved as a Child, Which Scare the Bejesus Out of Me as an Adult.


The Secret of NIMH
(particularly the owl that Mrs. Frisby goes to see)

(I can't embed, but here's a video. The owl appears at the 5:50 mark.)

The Dark Crystal
Haggard, the Red Bull, Mommy Fortuna, the freaking harpy? All pretty creepy, but somehow the talking skeleton is the worst. I used to think he was hilarious when I was little. Now he creeps me the hell out. Just thinking about how he screams "Unicorn" is giving me the heebs.

Rankin / Bass's 1987 Wind in the Willows
As creeped out as I am by the scenes of Moley in the Wild Wood and the stoats overrunning Toad Hall, for some reason it's the scene of Badger talking about Pan that makes the hair on my arms stand up. I can't find clips or photos for any of these, unfortunately.

The Neverending Story
The loss of Artax in the swamp is horrible, and the Nothing is scary, but the talking wolf thing is first-rate freakout material:

The Watcher in the Woods

Really, looking back over these, it's amazing all people who grew up in the 80s aren't in therapy. The movies back then were scary as hell!


  1. I grew up in the 80s and remember watching all those movies. While not in therapy, I've certainly had my troubles. Never thought to attribute it to the kids movies...

  2. is it weird that i've only seen one of those movies?

  3. My sister had nightmares for years after seeing 'Labyrinth' as a child. Gee, what's creepy about having David Bowie romance a teenage girl with the words: 'Just love me, worship me, obey me and I will be your slave'?!

  4. I agree that Dark Crystal is creepy, as are some of the characters in the Last Unicorn (the tree always freaked me out the most), and Labyrinth is extra creepy...but one thing no one has mentioned is the Rankin/Bass Hobbit cartoon movie. That freaked me out so much as a child that I didn't want anything to do with Lord of the Rings until the recent movies came out.

    Never saw the Wind int he Willows movie, or Watcher in the Woods, to be honest. And I'm cool with that.

  5. watcher in the woods WAS pretty scary back then.

  6. I loved Neverending Story. I remember my daughter being creeped out, but my son probably loved it. He was into the dark and twisty from a young age.

    When we saw the Jim Henson traveling exhibit earlier this Spring, they had a whole section on Dark Crystal..a TV running a loop of clips, some of the pupppets and a lot of the props.