13 Genuinely Frightening Scenes In Family Movies
I'm sure that the majority of us can think of a kids film that scarred us for life, and later wondered 'why would they even include that??' Today I am going to be looking at 20 of the most upsetting and outrageous scenes (for children) included in supposed 'family friendly entertainment' that incredibly managed to get a G/U or PG rating.
Some of these scenes can be looked upon from a mature perspective as being a bit of dark humor, and often very cheesy. From a child's perspective however, most of these scenes will probably be seen as very frightening. Please note that these are not in any order!
Traumatizing Transformation - The Witches (1990)
"You may remove your shoes, you may remove your wigs" - and then you may remove your faces! Okay, so this scene was intended to be a bit of a gross out moment, but it just ended up just freaking out kids across the globe. These seemingly normal looking woman remove their shoes, wigs and their faces all at once, revealing their freakish natural forms, and creating instant nightmare fuel.
Marv gets fried - Home Alone 2 (1992)
Now I'm just going to be honest here, and say that this scene still disturbs me a bit even now. I've always HATED seeing people get electrocuted in films, and that all started because of a scene later on in this list. Seeing Marv getting electrocuted wasn't so bad, but then that little shit Macauley Caulkin TURNS UP THE POWER so that his skeleton was showing, and in all honesty it just scared me so much I was shaking for a good ten minutes. Needless to say, I have never watched a Home Alone movie since!
Suicide and Clowns - The Brave Little Toaster (1987)
Now this one is definitely weird. The film is cute, animated and child friendly. Except for this one scene. The 'Brave Little Toaster' dreams that he is smoking (from burnt bread) and then suddenly there is a homicidal clown trying to kill him with 'water forks' and then he's hanging from a pole over a bath full of bloody looking water, before falling to his death. Child friendly? I think not.
Donald's Axe Rampage - Mickey and The Beanstalk (1947)
In this 29 minute Disney short, we get to see the scariest Donald Duck scene in history. 3 Peasants (Mickey, Goofy and Donald) are seen sitting round a dinner table, enjoying (or possibly not in Donald's case) their meal of ONE pea. Donald couldn't quite take it any longer, grabs and axe off the wall and tries to murder the pet cow, eyes glowing red.
A meal for two - The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)
Now although this one is not too graphic, I'm sure it could quite possibly have a strong psychological impact on a child. A man is trying desperately to save his friends that are hanging off a cliff from their impending doom, when suddenly two massive Rex's turn up, snatching him up by his legs, flipping him over and then ripping him into two pieces to share.
Melting flesh - Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1981)
What the actual f*ck, Steven Spielberg? You included this... In a family movie? But why? Although there are quite a few gory scenes in this movie, this one tops the cake as being the most inappropriate for a PG rated film. Although the effects don't quite hold up nowadays, there's still no denying that this scene still scares kids everywhere.
Librarian Ghost - Ghostbusters (1984)
True story - The first time I watched this (when I was about 7) I got so freaked out by it that I had to skip the first ten minutes of the movie next time round! Although it's quite funny to watch now (which is the case for the whole movie) this scene was genuinely frightening as a child, and put me off libraries for some time.
Pink Elephants On Parade - Dumbo (1941)
Now first off, I'd like to say that I find it mildly inappropriate (okay, a LOT inappropriate) that Dumbo the baby Elephant gets so off his face that he starts seeing 'Pink Elephants On Parade' dancing around his head. Put that aside, and you still have a generally frightening scene (perhaps more so for the younger audience) where we have these pink elephants jumping and dancing around the screen, multiplying and doing all sorts of things. The scariest part? Got to be when a silhouette is made completely out of Elephant heads.
"Antoine got a little hot under the collar" - Batman (1989)
"Well, Tony, nobody wants a war. If we can't do business, why, we'll just shake hands and that'll be it." The first time I saw this movie (when I was about 7 or 8), I kid you not, I threw up all over the floor! I thought I'd give it a go again some time ago, and I laughed so hard throughout this entire scene that I ended up crying. As I said earlier, this is the scene that made me have a fear of electricity for quite some time. Hmm... Perhaps this one shouldn't be rated PG?
I guess what I should also mention is that graphic scene from 'Batman Returns' where Christopher Walken gets fried, and then we get a close up of his extremely charred face. Although this was definitely a brief scene, it was incredibly disturbing, and considering the fact that we already had this fellow in the original movie electrocuted, I'm sure Tim Burton could have thought of something a little more creative.
The Blender, The Microwave, The Creepypasta and The Melting. All in one classic kids movie. - Gremlins (1984)
Okay, so Gremlins IS classed as a 'comedy horror', but I would still advise maybe a PG-13 rating? There are many scenes in this movie that could be considered frightening to kids, but there are definitely some that are worse than others. I think for a family movie, the melting gremlin at the end was far too graphic, and then we also had the gremlin that was shredded in the blender, and the one that exploded in the microwave. In all honesty though, I would say that the 'creepypasta' story the girl tells of her father falling down the chimney, breaking his neck and decaying in their chimney for days is probably the most unnecessary disturbing thing about this movie, which so didn't need to be added!
Heads mounted on a stick - Ghostbusters 2 (1989)
Another one from the Ghostbusters series that always freaked me out (more so than the library ghost) and probably shouldn't have been included. Although to be fair, I don't have a problem with it nowadays and actually find it quite comical, but I know it had a big effect on me as a kid. The gang are walking down an old abandoned railway, when suddenly a big group of heads mounted on poles surround them in an epic jump scare. Child friendly? Hmm maybe not.... Should be okay with kids aged 10+, but saying this a lot of the people who watch the Ghostbusters films are under the age of 10!
THE WHOLE F**KING MOVIE - Watership Down (1978)
Oh lordy, where do I even begin? This movie is in NO way suitable for children, yet it has a PG rating!!! I can guarantee that this is the bloodiest, most violent animated movie that you will ever see. Non stop blood, death, fights, rabbits being torn in half and killed by dogs, cats, spades, birds, killing each other, being caught in traps, suffocated underground, it is absolutely AWFUL. I find it hard to imagine that anyone of any age would enjoy this movie, as it is for some reason aimed at kids, yet would scare the crap out of them. When I was a child, my brothers and I were bought the movie (divided into 3 parts) and we were only ever allowed to watch the first section. At the time I couldn't understand why, but seeing the whole movie now I TOTALLY can!
(Music is the soundtrack from The Omen)
"There's no earthly way of knowing, which direction we are going" - Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory (1971)
"Is it raining, is it snowing, is a hurricane a blowing" Now of course I just had to include this on a list like this one! This is probably one of the weirdest, out there scenes in a family movie to date. The scene starts off fairly innocently, with all the guests going on a boat ride down a chocolate river, but then suddenly some really weird shit starts happening. Willy Wonka is singing like a madman, there's pictures of chickens being decapitated, centipedes crawling over peoples mouths, and all kinds of scary weird things appearing on the walls of the tunnel. The boat keeps getting faster and faster, and people are freaking out - and all the while Mr Wonka is just sat there yelling "AND THEY'RE CERTAINLY NOT SHOWING, ANY SIGN THAT THEY ARE SLOWING! AHHH" So a little bit scary for kids? Yeah, I would say so.
So there you have it. Do you agree with my list, or was I just a little too sensitive as a child? I know that I haven't been able to list them all, but otherwise I'd be writing forever! Tell me what you think of my choices in the comments below! :)