I’m talking the films that were marketed for children but turned out to have scenes or themes that terrified you when you were a kid for whatever reason. Or TV shows that were supposed to be okay for kids, at the very least, but included something that scared you.
For me, filmwise, I can name several. The scene in the tunnel from the Gene Wilder Willy Wonka film, when he starts that creepy little sing-song chant and the horrendous imagery is being shown on the wall… absolute cringefest. I still enjoy that film, but that scene remains a hard watch for me, even as an adult.
The Dark Crystal is another; I love the film and always will, but the Skeksis always unnerved me terribly, especially that scene at the beginning of the film where the Emperor dies and literally crumbles to pieces. Also, Aughra, with her removeable eye creeps me right the hell out.
The NeverEnding Story traumatized me in a different way, with Artax sinking into the Swamps of Sadness. That despair you hear in Atreyu’s voice as his beloved horse slowly sinks into the mud never fails to make me sob uncontrollably. Although I will also add that the scene with the creepy wolf-creature, Gmork, scared me some as a kid, so that’s a two-fold movie.
Lastly for movies, I’ll add The Last Unicorn. The Red Bull was TERRIFYING to a young me, plus the Harpy scene… shudders Still love the movie, but… yeah.
As to TV shows, there are a few that had some absolute “WTF” scenes in them over the years, but for me the show that literally traumatized me to the point of needing a nightlight in my room for YEARS after seeing one two-part episode was, believe it or not, Punky Brewster. This was a story where you’re like, “how the eff did network execs approve this to show to kids???” Long story short, Punky and her friends get lost in a cave haunted by a monster who slowly takes her friends away from her and turns them into monsters to terrorize her. I will never know why that particular story ever got made, but it TERRIFIED me.
So… let’s hear it you guys. Did a movie or TV show ever traumatize you as a kid?