As a strange and presumably brain-damaged kid, my favourite thing to do in whole world was to sneak downstairs when my parents were asleep, sift through their collection of VHS tapes, find the ones that had the most terrifying covers, and – with my face pressed against the TV screen – sit and awe at the horrors unfolding before me. The movies that I remember frequenting? Hellraiser, Pet Semetary, The Evil Dead. Don’t misunderstand me: I wasn’t some superior or mature child who could handle horror movies like an adult. They scared the hell out of me.
The reason I made a habit out of doing this before I’d even hit puberty spurred from the simple fact that I loved movies, and the movies that I was “supposed” to be watching looked dumbed down when you glanced at the box covers and compared them to that of Dawn of the Dead. In essence, I suppose my younger self couldn’t quite believe that movies were allowed to be about things like zombies and demons and people getting their heads chopped off. Little did I know, I was probably better off sticking with those movies aimed towards my age group. Seriously.
Why? Because looking back at children’s movies with an adult’s gaze, I’m not sure how or why I missed some of the genuinely horrific moments embedded in flicks aimed for small people. Some of these moments did scare me, of course, as they might well have done you, but when you actually consider that they were created to appeal to younglings, it’s kind of terrifying. Take, for example, the 10 horrific death scenes I’ve assembled here, all of which are taken from movies that children were supposed to have “fun” watching. How did anybody get away with these?
This article was first posted on June 26, 2013