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.

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

“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.

“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.

“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.

“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.

“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!

“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.

“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.

“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.

“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!

“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.

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

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?

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

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