Part of the fun about being a kid is susceptibility to just have the crap scared out of you. At least, that’s the way it was when we were kids. I remember being freaked out by kids’ movies like Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, Ghostbusters 2, and probably a whole batch of others, but I kept going back for more. Nowadays, kid movies forget that kids are okay with getting a little freaked out. These movies, on the other hand, are the movies that scared us more than we appreciated: The Movies That Scared Us As Kids.
Dan’s Pick – Child’s Play
I grew up with two sisters. Younger sisters. One of the things younger girls tend to have are dolls, and my sisters had boat loads of them. Ranging from Barbie dolls to those American Girls doll, my house was packed to the brim with them. So naturally seeing a movie about a murderous doll kept me up many nights. It was a very silly thing to be afraid of obviously since I could have easily overpowered any of the dolls that my sisters had, but just knowing that there were so many and they were all over the place freaked me the hell out. Later installments of the series made it easier for me to finally watch the original since it became more cartoony with each sequel, but I’ll be damned if it didn’t take me until I was at least 13 or 14 when I finally got around to watching it. Chucky may not be the most terrifying movie monster out there, but to a kid with a house full of dolls he was as close to the worst as they come.
Mark’s Pick – It
Our subconscious is the most confusing thing on Earth. Why do certain things scare us? What scars our psyche? There are some things that should leave a wound but don’t, while other things we irrationally avoid. This is where I stand with Stephen King’s It. I’ve only watched it two times to completion, but not since I was seven. Even to this day, I can’t watch more than ten minutes without changing the channel. As a guy who’s never found a jump scare that, uh, well didn’t make him jump, it is It’s creepiness that makes me bailout sooner than I probably should.
Whether it’s some deep-seeded fear of clowns, or that I saw this at too young of an age, the Stephen King classic has done something to me on a subconscious level. It has even seeped into all movies with Tim Curry in them — miss you, Rocky Horror Picture Show. I can’t explain it but something about that clown makes me want to do anything but look at it. I have seen plenty of other horror movies — some considered scarier than It — and have never had the thought to actively avoid them.
Wish I could point to a scene or a moment, but I’ve tried to forget most of them. Honestly, all it takes at this point is looking at the poster and I get creeped out. It is probably not as bad as my memory makes it seem, but I’m not about to find out.
Anthony’s Pick – Candyman
When I was a kid, one of the foremost urban legends going around school and anywhere else was Bloody Mary. I’m not sure how popular the legend is, but if you’re unfamiliar, it’s basically a game in which you go into a pitch-black bathroom (or any room with a mirror) and say “Bloody Mary” three times into the mirror, then, Bloody Mary appears and murders you (?). I can’t remember what the backstory to Bloody Mary, but I’m sure it was something pretty gruesome. Regardless, it made me deathly afraid to sleep in the same room with a mirror for quite a long time.
The premise of Candyman was essentially the same idea as the “Bloody Mary” game, but with the Candyman, a black artist that was murdered by a mob via bee stings. The movie came out in 1992, so I was a mere lad of seven, so I didn’t actually see the movie until years later. However, I remember that the trailer played on television around the clock back then, so I knew enough about the movie to be legitimately ruined for a few nights.
What movie scared the crap out of you as a kid? Let us know in the comments.