Whether you’re still young enough to trick-or-treat or have graduated to the party scene, there’s always time for a little Halloween scary movie marathon. When preparing a horror lineup, movies that most likely come to mind are the slasher classics like Halloween
and Friday the 13th
, a satanic creeper like The Amityville Horrors
or maybe even their modern remakes. Yes, these are great go-to movies to celebrate the scariest night of the year, but why not spice up the list this time around with more unusual options?
When you watch a horror movie, you’re on your guard but pop in a cartoon, thriller or even a comedy and your defenses are down leaving you susceptible to a quick scare or haunting concept that’s sure to prevent you from sleeping easy. There are countless flicks that can achieve the horrifying non-horror honor, but I’ve narrowed it down to ten that make me especially uneasy and will permanently lurk in the shadows of my mind.
Ace Venture: Pet Detective
The kidnapping of the Miami Dolphin’s beloved mascot Snowflake is a very serious matter but Ace Ventura has no problem peppering his investigation with endlessly amusing antics. Things take a turn for the freaky the second Ace steps into Ray Finkel’s room. It sucks to be the one responsible for losing the big game, but this guy really takes it hard. The calls are covered with scribblings of “Laces Out” and “Die Dan Die.” Ace himself puts it best: the room is “cozy if you’re Hannibal Lecter.”
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Willy Wonka is like the Santa Claus of candy. He lets a group of lucky children into his super secretive factory and treats them to anything they’d like from his candy room. Sounds great, but I’d rather drown in the chocolate river like Augustus Gloop than ride through Wonka’s tunnel of horrors. Not only are you assaulted by a barrage of unsettling images, including a slug crawling on a person’s face and a chicken being beheaded, a possessed Wonka chants the most morbid poem I’ve ever heard. “Not a speck of light is showing, so the danger must be growing. Are the fires of hell a-glowing? Is the grisly reaper mowing?” Yup, I’d say so.
Forget being broke, having lung cancer and liver disease, if you over gamble, smoke or drink on Pleasure Island you’re turning into a donkey. On top of that, after the transformation you’ll be shipped off to the salt mines. The whole boy-gone-donkey thing isn’t the sole creepy element of this childhood favorite. Not only does a whale swallow up Pinocchio, but at one point he’s kept in a cage by the uber large and evil Stromboli who threatens to burn him. Particularly horrifying if you’re made of wood.
People die in horror movies all the time. Someone got their head chopped off? No big deal; they weren’t so great anyway. What makes a death absolutely terrifying is when there’s emotion behind it. The death of Bambi’s mother is one of the most upsetting deaths in cinematic history let alone a cartoon. Whether or not you’re under the age of 13, the passing of a relative is something that’ll resonate. Damn you Disney. Why can’t you be like the Saw series and hack up only the most unlikable characters?
The Bone Collector
It took me a very long time to get past The Bone Collector
. After my first viewing, there were a number of sleepless nights during which I sat in bed worrying about being scalded to death or eaten alive by rats. To this very day I keep an eye out for a monkey hanging by a noose dangling from the rearview mirror when I get in a cab. Forget drama, mystery or thriller; the only genre that applies to this movie is horror. The Bone Collector is more terrifying than the majority of slashers. Jason and Michael at least have the decency to make their kills short and sweet. The Bone Collector
makes his victims suffer and what’s more terrifying than that?
I have never seen so much unnecessary gruesomeness in my life. The concept of the film is incredible but once the stage is set and the characters are quarantined in the hospital, The Blindness
takes a turn for the disturbing. The degree of moral degradation, lack of hygiene and filthy living conditions is downright disturbing. What starts out as mere loss of control and desperation to survive turns into a vile situation overflowing with bodily fluids, rape and murder. By no means does the inclusion of The Blindness
in this article advocate watching the film. The Blindness
isn’t just horrifying, but appalling to the point that it’ll leave you angry and disgusted.
Where The Wild Things Are
Kids movie? I don’t think so. Where The Wild Things Are
is a movie of questionable taste whether you’re an adult or a half-pint. The childish games Max plays with his new friends will seem ridiculous to older moviegoers but the monsters can frighten the youngsters. But there’s one particularly unsettling moment that’ll shock you, no matter how old you are: seeing poor Douglas’ arm torn off. Seriously Carol? Was that necessary? A bandage couldn’t even fix that wound let alone replacing his arm with a twig.
A number of people, especially children, are terrified of the optometrist. It’s understandable, who wants someone poking their eyes? Nobody! So how can the concept of replacing your eyes with buttons be any less unnerving? In Coraline
Other Mother is a fairly scary cartoon villain to begin with but having her try to convince poor little Coraline to swap her eyes for buttons is horrifying. At least Other Mother is nice enough to give Coraline a needle with her button-eyes.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
There’s something about Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka that’s a little unnerving but there’s something about Johnny Depp’s Willy Wonka that’s totally disconcerting. Depp’s Wonka is a twisted version of Wilder’s grittier candy man. Between his outfit, feminine complexion, creepy bob and the fact that he invites a group of unsuspecting children into his factory, how can you look at him and not think pedophile? The warped music and Oompa Loompas dressed like Britney Spears in her ‘Oops! … I Did It Again’ video don’t help.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
What’s more pedophiliac than a villain known as The Child Catcher? Hmm, let’s see; a pointy nosed creeper wearing a top hat adorned with colorful flowers maybe? On top of that, the guy is the epitome of a stranger with candy. He skips around town luring children out of their homes with sweets. If you need to teach your children about being mindful of taking candy from strangers before Halloween, just show them Chitty Chitty Bang Bang