Unintentionally Creepy Movies
There are two types of scary movies: horror movies, which are designed to be scary on purpose; and the other category: movies that are unintentionally creepy. Maybe the director just has a weird sense of aesthetics, or maybe they meant to add just a pinch of tension and accidentally dumped the whole thing in.
Whatever the cause, we are here to recognize the movies that brought the terror in ways we never expected.
The Brave Little Toaster
This movie asks the question: what would it be like if your appliances were alive and also felt existential dread? So much of this movie focuses on the heart and singing and the joy of found family. It’s not meant to be a horror movie! But then there are the other parts—the visceral, dangerous nightmares of clowns and fires and annihilation. Absolutely horrifying.
All Dogs Go to Heaven
Aw what a sweet title! Surely, it’s a family friendly tale about a dog that has a long happy life and how we all have to learn how to say goodbye to a beloved family pet. Right? Well, not quite. We’re sure that it started that way, but then the movie takes a detour through doggie hell. Demons, scary voices, overall upsetting imagery, the whole nine yards.
We’re Back! A Dinosaur Story
Most of this movie? Totally fine. Heartwarming even! And then there’s Professor Screweyes. A contract sealed in blood? Crows that can reduce you to nothing in the blink of an eye? Kids being forced to transform into apes? The ability to reduce our newly domesticated dinosaur friends back to feral ferocious monsters? Suffice to say, this whole sub-plot brings a very, very different vibe.
Return to Oz
This one was so close to being acceptable. The Wizard of Oz already created some reasonably upsetting creatures in the form of the flying monkeys, so it’s weird that they messed the Wheelers up so bad in the sequel. Start with the worst squeaking sound you’ve ever heard, add one part creepy mask, two parts unsettling laugh, and one final part unnatural movements. What happens when they catch you? We’re not interested in finding out.
The Great Mouse Detective
This movie makes the list on several different counts, and not just because one of the members of our team had nightmares about Fidget, the scary bat henchman, for years of their life. This movie clearly thought all you needed to do to make a kid-friendly Sherlock Holmes movie was to turn all the characters into mice, but then they added so many creepy things that it took the fast pass to terror town. Here’s a quick list of some of the things that scared us: Fidget stalking outside of the cabinets, Fidget hiding in the baby carrier, Basil’s entrance, his unhinged look when he cooks up their first plan, Ratigan in every single scene, the toy shop oh god the toy shop, the horrifying clockwork automatons, and Ratigan going fully berserk in the final fight with Basil. Let’s be 100% clear: this is by no means a complete list. Not even close.
You’d think a movie about a puppet coming to life would be all fun and games right? No? I guess you’re right. While this movie started strong, by seeing Geppetto’s loving creation come to life and become his adoptive son, it quickly turns dark at every turn. First up, Pinocchio is lured into doing a puppet show and then get threatened by the evil Stromboli that Pinocchio will be firewood once he’s lived his purpose... Then he gets lured to Pleasure Island which still scares me. Pinocchio lives out his absolute dreams here (reminder: he’s been alive like a day) before getting turned into a donkey to be sold into slave labor. What is going on?! Pinocchio escapes and returns home to find his father figure is somehow trapped in a whale, and while trying to save him, Pinocchio dies?! I mean, the Blue Fairy revives him at the end but still. What a movie.