In the spirit of the upcoming Paranorman (whose trailer has already scared the scrap out of my 5-year-old niece), here’s a short (and not-so-sweet) list of 11 family-friendly movies that can scare the crap out of someone just well as any of those “grown-up” horror flicks.
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory: Naturally, I’m referring to the original (not the Johnny Depp-starring version) that scared the living hell out of me. Especially when Violet Beauregarde was carted off to the juicing machine. Yikes!
Arachnophobia: This one had a shower scene that was scarier than the one in Psycho.
Igor: “Mommy, why does that rabbit keep trying to kill itself?” “Because Steve Buscemi voices that motherfucker.”
The Wizard of Oz: Flying monkeys and a melting witch! Enough said.
The Neverending Story: If that scary wolf didn’t make you jump out of your seat at least a few times, then I’m sorry, but you have no soul.
Beetlejuice: Most people would characterize this as more “funny” than “scary,” but very little kids would beg to differ.
Labyrinth: The notion of wishing one’s baby brother away is truly terrifying. And that wig on David Bowie is the stuff from which nightmares are made.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: This movie was slightly scary but did an immense public service concerning the dangers of strangers with candy.
Dumbo: Never mind the circus atmosphere … those crazy pink elephants were enough to inspire a bad acid trip on their very own.
Coraline: My own daughter was petrified of the “other” mother who replaces her children’s eyeballs with buttons.
Toy Story 3: Sure, the tearjerking moments got all the attention with this sequel, but did anybody else notice those clowns? Bloody hell.
Agent Bedhead lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She and her little black heart can be found at Celebitchy.