ByKarly Rayner, writer at
Movie Pilot's celebrity savant
Karly Rayner

Children getting kidnapped and eaten. Psychadelic, strobing acid trips. Actual child abuse... welcome to the wonderful world of Roald Dahl! Don't get me wrong, I adore every single movie adaptation of Roald Dahl's wonderful kids' books, but sometimes I'm amazed by just how vicious and terrifying certain moments are...

These terrified me as a kid - how many Roald Dahl movies do you remember being scared of?

1. The Witches (1990)

The Kids Aren't Alright

Theme: Child Murder

What Happens Exactly? This adorable little kid called Erika gets murdered (and, the implication is, EATEN). What is this shit - CSI: Norway?

Bill Gumb Called - He Wants His Skin Suit Back

Theme: Body Horror

What Happens Exactly? A bunch of normal-looking ladies start peeling off their skin to reveal the terrifying, child-eating monsters they really are.

2. Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)

It's Electrifying!

Theme: The inexorability of death

What Happens Exactly? Rat is electrocuted to death. What a way to go.

3. James and the Giant Peach (1996)


Theme: The inexorability of death. Again.

What Happens Exactly? Sweet little James' parents are horribly killed by a Rhinoceros and he has to go and live with his abusive aunties. Sad times.

4. Matilda (1996)

Children Should Be Seen and Interred

Theme: Child Abuse

What Happens Exactly? A child is thrown from a window. Oh, and let's not forget The Chokey - a cupboard rammed full of sharp nails and shards of glass so that children have to stand, cramped, to avoid cutting themselves on the walls!

5. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1971)

The Snozzberry Wall

Theme: This Is What a Penis Tastes Like

What Happens Exactly? Willy Wonka encourages the kids to lick a 'snozzberry' flavored wall. Years later, the author himself revealed in one of his more adult works that 'snozzberry' means penis. Yup, dick-flavored wallpaper. Nice!

The Tunnel

Theme: Tripping Balls in Abject Terror

What Happens Exactly? The kids are taken on a charming little boat ride... into the very tunnels of madness. Flashing lights, creepy sound effects and a crazy old man singing... how many kids has this sequence terrified?

Sources: Youtube


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