11 Children’s Films That Could Be Horror Movies


This spooky season we’re ruining some childhoods… sorry.

Has anybody else ever stayed up all night thinking about how many scenes in childhood films were actually kind of disturbing? No? Just me?

Well in this era of childhood film remakes, I decided to list 11 kids’ movies that, with one single change, could easily be put in the horror genre:

1.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe (2005)


Disney / Via BuzzFeed

Narnia is a wonderful movie that I look forward to sobbing to every single holiday season because I’m still waiting to walk into the right wardrobe and meet Aslan.

However, everything about the White Witch is terrifying — from her oppression of the kingdom of Narnia to the time she deceived, kidnapped, and stabbed a child.

So, what could turn this movie into a horror? Change the main characters. 

A film remake focusing solely on the Queen Jadis would HAVE to be less to the tune of Maleficent and more Insidious. She’s somewhat omnipotent, wields super over powering magic, and is just plain mean— it’s not unbelievable to imagine a horror/thriller of the White Witch, where she is the main monster with a hit-list. I mean she thrust an entire kingdom into ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF WINTER.

2.

Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius (2001)


Nickelodeon / Via gihpy.com

I’ll blame this on the fact that I’m regularly adulting these days, but the older I get, the less funny the premise of this film becomes for me. For obvious reasons. 

The idea of boiled egg shaped aliens invading Earth and kidnapping every adult with the hope to sacrifice them to their giant three-eyed chicken goddess is beyond freaky.

So, what could turn this movie into an actual horror? Jimmy is just a regular child.

If this exact scenario was remade without Jimmy Neutron being the literal smartest child alive, this film would be positively horrific! There would be absolutely no hope for the adults.

3.

Rugrats in Paris: The Movie (2000)


Nickelodeon / Via giphy.com

As it is, I find the most horrific part of this film to be when poor Chucky had to stand awkwardly to the side while all of his friends danced with their mothers — though all of his friends mothers’ KNEW that he didn’t have anyone to dance with and DEFINITELY could have had him join in with them! 

I digress however, because the rest of the film follows everyone’s favorite wacky tots through their adventures in Paris to finally get Chucky a mum that isn’t Coco Labouche.

So, what could turn this movie into a horror? The robots in Paris. 

It’s super creepy that this kind of technology exists in the Rugrats universe — and can be controlled by TODDLERS. Imagine the scenario of these robot monsters ending up in the wrong hands and destroying Paris from the point-of-view of a normal person on the pavement. Sounds pretty eerie to me.

4.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)


Warner Bros. Pictures / Via giphy.com

We can all agree that every child whose name wasn’t Charlie Bucket, positively sucked. Like they were the absolute worst, but does that warrant the trauma they had to go through? These children faced what should’ve been sure deaths at the hands of Wonka— the only thing saving them being that you can’t die in a kids’ film if you’re not a huge villain.

Which feels a bit like cheating to me.

So, what could turn this movie into a horror? Simply take away the PG rating.

Then, not only does Willy Wonka become a heinous monster, but the entire Wonka building can be seen as a literal murder trap fronting as a candy factory. Not to mention that the Oompa Loompa songs describing the demises of children get a lot creepier than they already are.

5.

Jumanji (1995)


Sony Pictures / Via giphy.com

It’s a board game that can trap you within it for decades, kinda tortures you, and forces you to finish the game if you want a chance at normalcy again. This film should already not be considered anything but a haunting flick but… okay.

 I guess I’ll get over the nightmares it gave me as a child. 

What could turn this movie into more of a horror? Make it all about the actual board game.

There is obviously a demon living in that board game and that story needs to be explored. Where did it come from? Why does it terrorize its players until they finish playing? Is Jumanji the name of the demon? And, how many gameplays will it take to free this evil spirit…? 

6.

Peter Pan (1953)


Disney / Via giphy.com

Who’s never wished that they could escape to Neverland and live in whimsical adventure forever? The fun of the lost boys thwarting Captain Hook’s plans and getting to hang out with Tinkerbell sounds like so much fun! 

If not for my fear of heights, I would’ve been hunting for pixie dust to make me fly to a new world eons ago!

So, what could turn this movie into a horror? Neverland being something you need to escape from.

We’ve all heard the fan theories before but let’s stop to think a bit more about what the implications are if Peter Pan is really the angel of death. What if the lonely angel of death collects children from their homes and entices them to stay with him forever, Hamsel and Gretel style. Add in more active threats and exaggerate Peter into a possessive manipulator with the help of an evil Tinkerbell, and suddenly Neverland is a place you can never leave.

7.

James and the Giant Peach (1996)


Disney / Via giphy.com

This may just be me, but I already find most of the things in this film to be quite nightmare inducing. There’s giant insects, a serial killer rhino, James’ aunts that try to kill him— and above all else, it’s stop-motion. 

In my less-than-humble opinion, stop-motion is the most unnerving animation out there — but a stop-motion spider?? God, why?

What could possibly turn this movie into more of a horror? The insects not being friendly.

 It would be super sad, but imagine that everything James comes across is constantly out to get him, and instead of befriending the buggy inhabitants of the giant peach that eventually save the day— they’re just one extra thing he has to fight off at some point.

8.

Matilda (1996)


Sony Pictures / Via giphy.com

This film has justified my usage of books as escapism for my entire life. Although I’m still waiting for my superpowers to kick in, it’s impossible to not appreciate this heartfelt story of a little girl who was enough of a genius to develop telekinesis and escape a toxic household. 

I’m so proud of her!

What could turn this movie into a horror? No positive influences in Matilda’s life.

Sorry Ms. Honey, we love you but without you Matilda is basically a younger Carrie. For the sake of spooky season, I think this idea is worth exploration. We can keep that awful cake eating scene though… nothing has ever disturbed me more.

9.

The Haunted Mansion (2003)


Disney / Via BuzzFeed

When I was younger, I thought I was so cool for making it through the jokey spookiness of this film and surviving all the scenes with spiders — have I mentioned how much I hate spiders? 

Seriously though, the main villain in this film was super creepy and mean and it was so sad to realize, as a child, that Master Gracey loved Elizabeth so much in life that he couldn’t move on without her in the afterlife. Everyone deserves a love like that. 

So, what could turn this movie into a horror? Take out the campiness.

It’s a classic haunted house flick in the making! It wouldn’t take much for this film to be more similarly linked to say, The Conjuring. All that would be needed is to play up the actual horrors of a house littered with vengeful spirits…and unfortunately spiders. Could we at least keep the happy ending though?

10.

Lilo & Stitch (2002)


Disney / Via giphy.com

This was probably my favorite film growing up! Who’s heart didn’t break a bit when they realized that the reason Lilo gave 626 the name Stitch when she adopted him, and worked so hard to make him behave nicely is because he stitches together a new family for Lilo and Nani? I’ve been in tears over this for too long! 

What could turn this movie into a horror? If Stitch remained Experiment 626 for the majority of the movie. 

Imagine if Stitch used his four arms and inclination for destruction to wreak creepy havoc across Lilo’s town while still evading capture from everyone. He’d be the strangest kind of adorable science fiction monster ever created — think, Gremlins but worse. However, it would be lovely if he still ended up being rehabilitated by Lilo in the end somehow because “Ohana” does mean family and all.

11.

Wall-E (2008)


Disney / Via giphy.com

This film is SO heart-warming, SO cute, and SO important. It follows the classic Pixar technique of pulling on every heart string you have through that cute little last robot on Earth, Wall-E, that’s still doing his job after being alone for decades. It’d be impossible for me to be the only person who was made to feel a little uneasy by the VERY REALISTIC commentary on saving the planet

Because we all should definitely be working hard to save it.

What could make this movie a horror? Making the whole film about Earth’s apocalypse.

This could potentially be the scariest movie ever made if remade to show a maybe too realistic process of Earth turning into the wasteland it is in the film. That plus adding in more bots fighting against the humans taking back Earth, I, Robot style.

Are there any films I’ve missed? Let us know below which kids’ films you think could easily be remade into a horror movie with a single change!

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