ByRicky Derisz, writer at
Staff Writer at MP. "Holy cow, Rick! I didn't know hanging out with you was making me smarter!" Twitter: @RDerisz.
Ricky Derisz

It's no surprise when watching an adult horror film to be unsettled or scared by what you see. After all, like comedies being judged on how funny they are, horror films are judged on how much they strike fear into viewers.

However, when watching horror films aimed at children, most of us adults will go to great lengths to hide our unease and ultimately to protect our egos.

But fear not. We believe the films below are justifiably horrifying, despite them technically being films aimed at children. So next time you watch, don't hold back, cover your eyes and cry for help.

1. The Witches (1990)

It had been a tough week for Miss Ernst
It had been a tough week for Miss Ernst

Based on a Roald Dahl novel of the same name, as an adult you'd fully expect to be able to watch without hiding behind the sofa. Well, you'd be wrong.

Anjelica Huston, known for also scaring kids in The Adams Family, plays the role of the Grand High Witch perfectly.

No matter what age you are, the unmasking scene below is guaranteed to give you chills!

2. Hocus Pocus (1993)

The new edition of Harry Potter had just arrived
The new edition of Harry Potter had just arrived

Another early 90s film with ghastly witches, this cult classic has held the test of time and is still just as disturbing to watch now as it was as a child.

The bewitching trio of Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy are captivating as The Sanderson Sisters.

One of the eeriest aspects of the film is the soundtrack. The song "I put a spell on you" is probably etched in the memory of adults everywhere, occasionally resurfacing around Halloween or while watching Sex in the City.

3. Wizard of Oz (1939)

The final of the X Factor made for riveting viewing
The final of the X Factor made for riveting viewing

Some films don't age well, others mature like fine wine. The classic musical fantasy is definitely in the latter category, with its technicolor vintage effect adding a disturbing extra definition of unease in recent viewings.

From Flying Monkey's to Talking Trees, there's almost an element of a loss of childhood innocence that results in this being more creepy as time goes on.

4. Gremlins (1984)

Warning: Don't buy these for your children
Warning: Don't buy these for your children

Awh, isn't that little mogwai simply adorab-... OH MY GOD WHAT JUST HAPPENED?!

Gremlins tells the story of a innocent looking toy that releases a group of monsters into a small town.

The dramatic switch from cute to simply hideous makes Gremlins a classic in the child and adult scaring ranks.

5. Fantasia (1940)

Mickey had a tough crowd to please
Mickey had a tough crowd to please

The third Disney feature, following Snow White and Pinnoccio, includes different segments, with one in particular being particularly disturbing.

The Night on Bald Mountain tells the story of that one crazy Disney character we all know and love: Satan.

Yep, that's right, Bald Mountain is the stomping ground of Satan and his followers, where they can summon evil spirits and consign people to a life of hell.

See the video in all its horror below:

6. Casper (1995)

This isn't creepy at all
This isn't creepy at all

Although Casper is a friendly ghost, the film itself still has plenty of moments that frighten those above the age of 10.

The premise itself is often overlooked—our protagonist is a dead child who roams the earth looking for friends, but is unable to bond due to the fact he's essentially a dead child.

7. Coraline (2009)

Eye can't see anything wrong with this world
Eye can't see anything wrong with this world

In this stop-motion fantasy, Coraline finds a secret entrance in to another world. This alternate reality seems perfect, to begin with, with only one minor setback: her parents have buttons for eyes. Yes, buttons. For eyes.

We're taken on a visually stunning, albeit terrifying, journey as Coraline tries to return to normality. There's something about stop motion that has the uncanny ability to make the bizarre seem even more sinister.

Director Henry Sellick has a knack for making films aimed at children that also distress adults, leading us on nicely to our final flick...

8. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

He had a bone to pick over the decorations
He had a bone to pick over the decorations

Shown almost religiously in many households before Christmas Day, Tim Burton's story is another stop-motion feature film that delivers on the fright front.

Even our lovable anti-hero, Jack Skellington, is a walking skeleton with no eyes and an interesting choice in fashion.

Disney executives believed Jack should have had eyes, due to concern that the film was already dark enough, and they felt some classic Disney peepers would make him more likeable.

Burton and Sellick didn't back down though, and the character went ahead as planned.

Source: IMDB, Wikipedia


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