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Creepiest Childrens Movies from the 80’s

I think I’ve figured out why our generation grew up to be afraid to let our kids play outside alone.

While I would argue that the 80’s had some of the best family hour sitcoms out there, I would counter that the 80’s made up for it by serving up a serious dose of creepy when it came to the big screen.

Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure

Technically made in 1977, but viewed by children in lethal amounts in the 80’s. Seriously, a drug trip from start to finish.

Never Ending Story

“A troubled boy dives into a wonderous fantasy world through the pages of a mysterious book.”

What the movie description left out is just how depressing the entire film is. Everyone talks about the scene where Artrax drowns  in the Swamps of Sadness. But what about the part where the “The Nothing” just starts killing everything?

Remember the Rockbiter that couldn’t save his little friends? “They look like big, good, strong hands . . . my little friends.” And then the big rock biter says he’s going to just leave himself for the Nothing to take away. I clearly still need therapy.

Labyrinth

“Fifteen-year-old Sarah accidentally wishes her baby half-brother, Toby, away to the Goblin King Jareth who will keep Toby if Sarah does not complete his Labyrinth in thirteen hours.”

You are babysitting your little brother and you lose him to the Goblin King. Great.

I had serious nightmares about the goblins in this movie.

Escape to Witch Mountain and Return to Witch Mountain

“Two mysterious orphan children have extraordinary powers and are chased by a scheming millionaire. But where do these kids really call home?”

This movie was technically made in the 70’s but lived on in it’s glory through the 80’s. The whole movie was just creepy. The kids are taken to an orphanage. They don’t have a family, just a cat. They are on the run because of their powers that grown ups want to take advantage of. But I think the creepiest part was the music.

The Peanut Butter Solution

“Peanut butter is the secret ingredient for magic potions made by two friendly ghosts. Eleven-year-old Michael loses all of his hair when he gets a fright and uses the potion to get his hair back, but too much peanut butter causes things to get a bit hairy.”

My flashbacks seemed to include a kidnapper wearing the kid’s hair as a coat. Yep. That happened.

The Peanut Butter Solution - Creepy 80's Movies

Lady in White

“Locked in a school closet during Halloween 1962, young Frank witnesses the ghost of a young girl and the man who murdered her years ago.”

Yeah, that’s not scary. Why were we watching this? Anyone else remember Mona from Who’s the Boss as the ghost lady in white!

Gremlins

“A boy inadvertantly breaks 3 important rules concerning his new pet and unleashes a horde of malevolently mischievous monsters on a small town.”

I seemed to remember Gremlins as a harmless, fun movie. Until I showed it to my kids and gremlins were oozing and exploding.

Dark Crystal

“On another planet in the distant past, a Gelfling embarks on a quest to find the missing shard of a magical crystal, and so restore order to his world.”

Skeksis the reptilian bird? Not meant for childrens eyes.

Skeksis from the Dark Crystal

The Lost Boys

“After moving to a new town, two brothers are convinced that the area is frequented by vampires.”

Here’s what Common Sense Media said about The Lost Boys:

Parents need to know that this movie isn’t suitable for kids. While not constant, there are some graphic gory moments. One is a vampire feeding frenzy and the other is the climactic scene where the brothers defend themselves and their friends from attacking vampires. Killing of innocents are mostly implied. One notable scene features a hallucination of maggots and rice.

But we still watched it. I like Kiefer Sutherland so much better as Jack Bauer.

The Witches

“A young boy stumbles onto a witch convention and must stop them, even after he has been turned into a mouse.”

The witch convention . . . where they tear their human faces off. Perfect for the kiddos!

The Secret of Nimh

“To save her ill son, a field mouse must seek the aid of a colony of rats, with whom she has a deeper link than she ever suspected.”

The whole cartoon just seemed dark. The most disturbing? The scenes where the rats have flashbacks of the animal laboratory and all of the needles! Oh, and the owl with radioactive red eyes.

The Care Bears Movie

Before you call me a pansy, just remember little Nicholas, possessed by the evil spell book.

The Care Bears Evil Spell Book

Poltergeist

Ol’ man Braverman’s house is haunted by ghosts!

Logic might have told our parents not to let us watch these movies, but somehow, Poltergeist was played at just about every elementary school slumber  party I attended.

At least there were gummy bears.

And just to scare you more, here’s Poltergeist II’s trailer:

Does anyone really wonder why we grew up to be a generation of paranoid parents?

12 Creepy Childrens Movies from the 80's.jpg

What did we miss? Any 80’s movies that still haunt you?

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Comments (5)

  1. Rana 06/05/2015 at 10:23 am

    I have watched most on this list. The cartoon Hobbit movie scared me. We really did have some strange movies in the 80’s.

  2. Angela Stevens 05/16/2015 at 8:45 am

    I watched almost all of these movies the 80’s were great no wimpy sucky kids!

  3. Opinion8ed76 05/14/2015 at 12:23 pm

    I just watched the Trailer for Lady in White and the music they chose to use was so ridiculous! It doesn’t fit the film well at all. This trailer does the movie no justice. It truly is a dark & creepy flick that I wouldn’t mind watching again. I always thought I would have so many great films to introduce my daughter to but I’ve hardly gotten her to sit completely through any of them. She has grown up with CGI and a realism that didn’t exist when I was a kid so she has little appreciation for some of my favorite movies. She did like The Neverending Story though.

  4. Opinion8ed76 05/14/2015 at 12:03 pm

    We must be about the same age because all these films bring back memories and helped shape the strange person I am today in a lot of ways. I so appreciate that you know of and added The Lady in White to the list! I watched that film so many times and the song still pops into my head on occasion. The Rock Biter’s quote from The Neverending Story brought me to tears simply reading the article. So many great films!! I was a huge Witch Mountain fan,something about them always intrigued me. I remember wanting powers after watching the movie. The Lost Boys is an all time favorite. I even had the Soundtrack on cassette until I let a friend borrow it. I could likely still recite the movie verbatim as well. The only one off the top of my head I didn’t see was Something Wicked This Way Comes. Thanks for the blast from my past.

    • lace 10/04/2015 at 2:34 pm

      I was going to add Something Wicked This Way Comes! Glad to see someone else added it as well.