Movies That Scared Me As A Kid

This about all the movies that scared me as a kid and why.
March 04, 2010
When we were kids, we often found ourselves being scared of something. It could've been anything from the dark, clowns or loud noises. For me, being an aspiring filmmaker, I grew up with movies, so most of my fears came from movies. These are movies that scared me as a kid. Also just as a word of warning, this article contains spoilers to the films mentioned.

First, I'll start with a film that seemed to scare other kids, besides me: Return to Oz. The whole movie didn't scare me, it was just once scene. It was the part when Dorothy is trying to escape from Mombi's castle, but in order to escape she needs the Powder of Life to bring a moose head attached to a chair with leaf wings, to life. Mombi has a collection of changeable heads in cabinets. Dorothy goes to the headless body of Mombi and steals the key to the cabinet to get the powder. Once she does so, she goes to cabinet 31, which not only holds the powder, but also Mombi's original head. When she opens it, she successfully grabs the powder, but at the same time, she accidentally awakes the head. With the head awake, it wakes up the body of Mombi as well as her other heads in the clear windowed cabinets. Dorothy runs to escape and as she does so, the heads start to yell at her and the headless body is reaching for her and her head. Dorothy successfully escapes despite almost getting caught. This whole sequence scared me as a kid. Just the way the heads are screaming at Dorothy as the camera swoops through the hall of the heads. It's a frightening image for a child. Even though I was scared, I still watched it, but I would just hide in another room, until it was over. However, as I watch it now, it's not scary. I actually really enjoy the this movie and think it's a fantasy film classic. It showed Oz in a darker post apocalyptic kind of way that the 1939 film didn't. This is where this sequel wins over the original film. Granted, I do think the original is better, but the sequel is interesting for being different. It's visually beautiful and the effects are top notch. It really is too bad that it didn't do well upon it's release. It's an underrated, but very good film.

Next, is a film that wasn't even scary, but for some reason it scared me. That film was Jack. Again, not the whole movie scared me, just one scene. Jack is a 10 year old with a disease that makes him grow 4 times faster than normal, thereby making him look 40 years old. So, in his attempt to go to his fifth grade dance, he asks his teacher to go with him, since they look to be the same age. After rejecting him, Jack is heart broken and angry. As he leaves the classroom feeling hurt, he's about to go down a flight of stairs to leave, but with his body working overtime, his old heart starts to give up on him and he falls down the stairs having a heart attack, and one of his 10 year old friends tries to help him and screams for help. This scene really scared me as a kid. I'm not even sure why. I think maybe I had a problem with seeing people get hurt. It's just the way he fell down the stairs and how his friend is yelling for help and dramatic music plays in the background. As I watch it now, it isn't scary. Actually, the whole sequence, including asking his teacher out is a pretty sad scene and works well for a film that really isn't all that good. Robin Williams is my favorite actor, but this one isn't his best. Some of the jokes don't work and it's a little sappy. Despite it's flaws, though, I still kind of enjoy it. I guess it's a bit of a guilty pleasure.

Next, is a film that has one scene that still disturbs me 'til this day: The Muppets Take Manhattan. It's the scene where after Kermit finds out his show will be going on Broadway. Out of excitement for his accomplishment, he calls up his new friend Jenny and Miss Piggy to tell them the good news. After speaking to his friends, Kermit is still excited. Out of that excitement, he's about to cross the street to get back to his friends and unknowingly steps into the path of oncoming checker cab and gets stuck by it. This results in people crowding around his motionless body in the street and with a case of amnesia. I'm ashamed to admit, but it still disturbs me. I just love the Muppets so much and to see my favorite Muppet get hurt like that is just hard to watch. I just skip over that part, but the rest of the film is great. It's just the way it all happens. I mean first we get a shot of the "Don't Walk" sign and the car beeps at the in danger Kermit, as he realizes what's going on and yells in fear. Then, we get a shot of the car getting closer to the camera and people look on at what's happening, as we don't actually see Kermit getting hit. The icing on the cake is when we get a bird's eye view of Kermit just lying motionless in the street as people are crowded around him and the music as it happens doesn't help. I get sad just thinking about it. I know it sounds really pathetic, but I can't help it. Still though, it's a fun and entertaining film and the second best Muppet film, in my opinion.

Finally, we have a film that took me a long time to get over and it was just one scene that made me scared of the whole movie. It's Short Circuit 2. For some reason I saw this film before the first one, but it scared me for some time. The scene that scared me is when the robot star of the film, Johnny 5 helps the bad guy, Oscar, steal jewels from a bank safe, but he doesn't realize that Oscar manipulated him to do so, until after the fact. Oscar now realizes that Johnny is a witness, so he and his goons chase after him through the city. After the chase, Johnny hides in a tree and as they're looking for him, Johnny pops from down from the tree using a rope from his utility pack on his back and grabs Oscar and demands to know why he's after him. Then, Oscar's goons sneak up behind Johnny and strike him with a crow bar. The blow causes sparks to fly out of Johnny and fall out of the tree. The goons then bring him down to the ground and Oscar orders them to destroy Johnny, but what they don't know is that this robot is unique because he's alive, which happened in the first film, by a bolt of lightning. Anyway, with the order given, the goons beat up Johnny. Meanwhile, the damaged robot is pleading for his life. One goon hits Johnny and causes blood like battery fluid to spray out of him and hit one of the goons in the shirt, who's shocked. Johnny is pleading "No disassemble! Am alive! Can die!" Oscar then yells "Smash the damn thing!" With that, the other goon smashes Johnny with an ax. The beating continues as a graphic close up shot of Johnny being hit in the eye with a crowbar, worsens the damage of the robot. Johnny tries to save himself by sending out signals to near by RC airplanes that could possibly attack the bad guys. After several attempts Johnny stops the beating as the bad guys run away from the planes. This scene scared me so much that I wouldn't even watch the movie. Not only did that scene scare me, but then the robot scared me for some reason. If I saw it on TV I would hide. I even had nightmares about the robot. There was a time when I would check the TV guide just to make sure it wasn't going to be on TV, and if it was I would take control of the TV, so my family wouldn't see it was on and possibly make me face my fear. It just the yelling, the music and Johnny's plea that really got me and just the way he's being beaten. It's pretty graphic for a family film. Well, one day last year, I got curious and decided to watch both movies and I enjoyed them and my fear was gone. They're both fun and entertaining films. They're not great, but very good. Ironically, I actually think that the second film is better than the first one. It just has a better story and better character depth and development. It's also because of this scene that it's better because family films really don't make an attempt to be dramatic and to see this happen to a main character is shocking and sad. The first one seemed more like an E.T. rip-off. Despite their flaws though, they're good. I guess I could also call these films guilty pleasures.

So, these are all the films that scared me as a kid. However, it wasn't always films that scared me, sometimes movie posters would scare me, like Dead Alive, The Cable Guy and Almost Famous. I don't why. I think as a kid, I had a problem with up close faces. It's weird, I know, but they don't scare me anymore. Actually, now when I look at these films,I think it's good that some of these scary scenes were put in, because it shows kids that not everything is happy and that some things can be scary. Some kids should get a little scare once in a while. Some might even liked to be scared. Personally, I never did, but that's just me. So, what movies scared you as a kid?
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