Everybody has a movie or two from their youth that gave them the creeps. Not only did they creep us out to some degree but that creepiness factor has been permanently seared into our brains. For me that movie is Poltergeist.
I was much too young the first time I watched Poltergeist and it scared the crap out of me. For many years I could not eat fried chicken thanks to that movie. Seriously. It is also very likely that my disdain for clowns stemmed from that creepy doll in Carol Anne and Robbie’s room.
Creepshow is another one. Duh, it has CREEP in the title. Just the mere mention of that movie and visions of Ted Danson buried up to his neck in the sand waiting for the tide to roll in comes rushing to the forefront of my mind.
Of course, Poltergeist and Creepshow were meant to frighten—and might I say they did an excellent job of doing just that in my opinion. But not all movies that have a creep factor aren’t necessarily meant to be scary. And yet…
Pee Wee’s Big Adventure is a great example. Following Pee Wee in his quest to recover his stolen bike seems harmless enough. For the most part it is—except for one particularly creepy scene. Large Marge.
The Never Ending Story is supposed to be a children’s movie but I dare you to not be a little disturbed by the scene with Artax and the Swamps of Sorrow. Poor Artax. Or completely freaked out by that wolf-beast thing, Gmork. The fact that Bastian is reading the book in the attic of the school? Super creepy.
Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal are on my list of movies that I love dearly from my youth—and probably always will—that are at least a little bit creepy. How can a spandex clad, mullet sporting David Bowie STEALING A BABY not be creepy? The fashion choices alone are frightening. And the Skeksis from The Dark Crystal are dripping with scary vibes.
Side note: When I was in college years ago guy tried to hit on a friend of mine at a party we were at by telling her she reminded him of the Gelfling girl, Kira, from The Dark Crystal. Creepy and hilarious.
Even Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory has its share of creepiness woven into the film. The boat scene comes to mind. “Is it raining? Is it snowing? Is a hurricane a blowing?…” Woah there Willy, maybe it’s time to lay off the sugar a bit.
It has been over 25 years since I first watched Poltergeist. I could watch it tomorrow and it would still creep me out. But this time I’m not giving up the fried chicken.
What movies from your childhood gave you the creeps? Share with us in the comments!
Holly teaches design at a small NW Ohio college. She spends her days off hanging out with her foxy musician husband and their gorgeous new baby and ridiculously smart pre-school aged son. Holly has a passion for food, photography, beautiful letter forms, and the possibilities that can be found in a single sheet of well made paper. You can read more from Holly on her blog, Artist Mother Teacher.