Movies that irrationally scared us as children

by Panther Print Editorial Staff

The Time Machine

Rating PG-13


The 2002 movie cover of "The Time Machine"
Courtesy of: Dreamworks
The 2002 movie cover of “The Time Machine”

This 2002 film was a late adaptation of the classic 1895 novel by H.G.Wells. In this story following Dr. Hartdegen, a young inventor who makes a time machine in attempt to go back in time and save his beloved fiancee Emma from death, but instead, accidentally travels to the future, in year 2030. This sci-fi movie was a favorite for my dad and every couple of Sundays or so when I was little, it would play. Although I did love the enriching ideas from this movie and the dystopian-esque future made for a fun “edge of your seat” type of watching; there was one thing about that movie that made my heart fall down to the pit of my stomach and made my skin run cold. I am of course talking about “Morlocks.” For those not in the know, these creatures are hideous looking monsters, with skeleton/ape like completions, unlike any boogie-man I have ever seen. On top of that, they would drag unsuspecting humans underground to eat them, leaving the only escape from being hunted by them was to live life in the trees. I did not have many trees around where I lived, so naturally I became fearful of every crack and hole in the ground. It was mostly their odd hunched bodies, and deep crackling cries that sent me hiding under a blanket, and still to this day, I can’t watch that movie alone without a creeping sensation settling over me.

-Annaka Cieri, Editor-in-Chief

Toy Story

Rating G


A promotional poster for Toy Story.
Courtesy of Disney
A promotional poster for Toy Story.

Toy Story is a peculiar pick for frightening movie; it’s a rather beloved, entertaining, children’s movie. However, a particular scene in the movie gave me a sense of fright that no horror movie could do. The setting of Sid’s ominous room and his disjointed toys( especially the baby/spider hybrid) was something that I had never seen before. The fact that something as innocent as toys can be portrayed in such a disheartening way shocked me as a kid. For a few months, I was in anticipation of something crawling under my bed; a forgotten toy maybe or a damaged one.

-Denzel Reyes, News Editor

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Rating G


Courtesy of : Revamped 1994 movie poster for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

The evil queen from Snow White is iconic. Evil, yet graceful. Despite what the Magic Mirror said I think she was by far the fairest of them all. All of that changes though when she disguises herself as as old woman. The hunchback, the mangled teeth, and the wart-filled nose are all bad, but that one scene towards the end is what gave me nightmares. I never watched the entirety of the scene so I don’t completely know how it goes, but it involves the witch in old hag form, a thunderstorm, and a cliff. It was the scariest thing that my little innocent self had ever seen. To this day I refuse to watch Snow White because of it.

-Sumner Serrano, Editor


Rating PG


Courtesy of IMDb. 2009 Coraline movie poster.

Tim Burton movies have always had a spooky aspect to them. Prime examples include the Corpse Bride, Beetlejuice, and Sweeney Todd  and his movie Coraline doesn’t fail to have it either. Though it was simply about a girl named Coraline who discovers a parallel universe, the fear factor is there. This mentally harmed me mainly because of the character that went by Other Mother.  What mother in their right mind would ever want to stick their child’s eyes out with pins, and replace them for buttons? This Other Mother haunted my dreams for weeks and made me question my own mother’s actions when holding sharp objects. Not only was this the case, but every single person in this “perfect” parallel world was too perfect. To good to be true was realized later on, and taught me to question everything in every good situation. Though I enjoy watching the movie now, as a kid it was a little too much for me to handle.

-McKenna Topps, Entertainment Editor


Rating PG



The 1995 film starring Robin Williams and Kirsten Dunst, Jumanji, may be seen as a classic family movie about a board game that comes to life and an adventure to stop the game from mayhem; however, could not be a more horrific, demented and sick movie to watch as a child. The film starts with two children finding an old board game labeled Jumanji and start to play but minutes later the boy is sucked into the game and the girl runs screaming out his house. The next scene is 30 years later when two siblings find the game and continue to play along with the two (now adults) who begun the first roll 3 decades before. The game reaches all levels of scary, and each roll of the dice releases a new monstrosity out into the world. From natural disasters, plagues of animals and even a serial killing hunter, Jumanji put all evils into the movie.The cursed board game is promised death and destruction until someone wins. While trying to survive through this game, the four players are constantly running away from the past disasters including a flood, stampede of elephants and psychotic monkeys with guns. The drum beat that plays in the background of the movie is enough to terrify any child’s thoughts but to add the sick monsters and pure evils that lay blankly within it will haunt a kid’s dreams. Even today, Jumanji still gives me chills, but growing up watching that movie made me fearful of big animals, people with guns and monkeys. After watching Jumanji for the first time, I hid all my board games to prevent the game from coming into my house.

-Trina Ausbon, Co-Entertainment Editor

The Labyrinth


Fantasy/ Action


Everyone remembers David Bowie’s classic role as “The goblin king” in the 1986 film, The Labyrinth. It was considered an unintentional freakshow that could cause little eight year old kids fear of getting taken by the goblin king. His malicious actions of taking little six and eight year olds from their room made me frightened (I was eight at the time), and I couldn’t finish it because I was so afraid of the Goblin King.

-Tayler Jones, Features Editor

Monster House


Fantasy/ Mystery

monster house

As a kid you see cartoon or animated movie and automatically think “ This should be funny and make me laugh” until you actually press play and totally regret it. Monster house brought this into my head. I was just a rebel kid watching a PG movie without any parents. What a mistake! I quickly regretted my decision after the first 5 minutes of the movie. You start with an annoying girl riding her tricycle going “LA LA LA LA” then you get this scary old man opening his door creepily and running towards her yelling. He does this throughout the movie why I stayed for all this torture i will never know. After watching this movie i had nightmares about my house eating me, this went on for weeks…

-Rhyanne Delatorre, Editor

Jurassic Park 


Fantasy/Science Fiction


-Chandler Patrick, Sports Editor

Jurassic Park is a classic movie tailored to please kids’ imaginations. For a 10-year-old me, however, the movie meant nothing but nightmares that followed me clear into the release of Jurassic World. The notion of dinosaurs roaming around on an island with only a few electric fences to hold them off from eating you was enough to make me cry even. For a long time after watching the movie, I was in fear of a velociraptor waiting for me on the other side of every closed door. With realistic CGI dinosaurs, and my young and vapid imagination, it didn’t take long for me to hear blood curdling rawrs in my sleep.

The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad


Fantasy/ Drama


The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr.Toad are two short films that are adaptations of two classics in literature. Mr. Toad’s adventure is based off “The Wind in the Willows.” where Mr. Toad becomes a crazed lunatic obsessed with cars and results to stealing a car. He then has to bring his friends, a mole, badger, and rat, along in a life-risking “adventure” to keep his reputation. Following this terrifying film, was The Adventure of Ichabod, based off “The Legend of Sleepy Hollows”. This story was a story about Ichabod attending a party where a women he has fallen in love with is. The problem here is that a bully of sorts attempts to frightened Ichabod by telling him a story of a ghostly headless horsemen. Ichabod, after the party has ended, rides home only to be confronted by the myth and chased around as Ichabod defends himself against a sword- wielding maniac attempting to take his head. This movie terrified me as a child because of its eeriness and the characters close encounters with death numerous times, not to mentioned the psycho frog and a serial killing headless ghost.

-Sedona Goodbar, Opinions Editor