10 film characters who terrified us when we were kids

It’s All Hallows Eve today, and if you’re into that kind of thing, like that noisy lot on the other side of the Atlantic, you’ll more than likely be donning some questionable attire and, depending on your age, either annoying your neighbours or getting mortal at a drinking establishment. To celebrate Halloween, me and Lauren are diving into our childhood to pick out the 10 scariest kids film characters from our childhoods. So without further…

1. Scoleri Brothers – Ghostbusters 2 (1989)


The scene in Ghostbusters 2, which culminates in the release of the Scoleri Brothers, was the scariest thing about this movie. Even as a child I found the rest of the film a little bit camp (without knowing the concept of campness), yet the Scoleri Brothers scared the shit out of me. The tension built up in the scene, with the malevolent pink goop bubbling and popping with increasing viciousness, was immense. It was probably my first introduction to the concept of murder (as the brothers were executed for murder) and it still gives me shivers to this day.

2. Grand High Witch – The Witches (1990)


Anjelica Huston before the big reveal was scary enough to make a little whipper snapper like me shit themselves. Then she peeled her face off and…. WTF! Terrifying and gross in equal measures the Grand High Witch was a seriously bad ass villain with a seriously bad ass, facial, fungal infection. Tough to beat on the WTF scale of children’s characters.

3. Judge Doom – Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988)

Doc hit the sauce when Marty left.

[SPOILER ALERT…even though you all should have seen WFRR?] 

[voice getting higher, until it reaches a high-pitched squeak] ‘REMEMBER ME, EDDIE? When I killed your brother…I spoke…like….THIS!’

Oh gahd, it’s still horrific thinking about that line. And then he melts in the toon-dissolving acid and my dreams get haunted for about 2 years. Scary stuff for a child’s mind.

4. Dr. Janosz Poha – Ghostbusters II (1989)


Arguably not intended to be as scary as the creepy painting guy Vigo, however the weird transvestite/Victorian child/demon/ghost apparition of Dr. Janosz Poha was horrifyingly chill-inducing. He had a molestery vibe before he became possessed and afterwards it was off the scale. “He’s a molester…. HE’S A CHILD MOLESTER!” Points for the reference here.

5. The Goblin King – Labyrinth (1986)

Not sure if sexy or a paedophile…

A weird choice, I know. I think the scariest thing about David Bowie in this movie is his bulge bouncing around in the tight leggings he wears throughout. It also confused me as a child because he had long hair like a girl yet had quite the package in his pants. Oh yeah, and he could be summoned into your life with a simple incantation, and what 3 year old wants to get kidnapped by a singing dude that can sprout a chubby while playing baby catch with a load of goblins?

6. Willy Wonka – Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)


Let me just start by saying Willy Wonka is a bloody legend, If he was real and alive today I’m sure he’d have a banging Twitter personality, would appear on Question Time to debate the the importance of import regulations and would go out to dinner with Stephen Fry, however there are moments in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’ where I seriously questioned his legitimacy as a sane human being. Wonka had a temper and an unhinged nature that, as a child, was oh so slightly scary. Boats in tunnels will never be the same again.

7. Ursula – The Little Mermaid (1989)


If Ariel was the jewel of the ocean, then Ursula was the toxic waste dumped into the Gulf of Mexico by BP. She’s one of those Disney antagonists that starts off fairly chill and ends up multiplying into something horrific, all while singing a song in a minor key. Disney, there was something deeply wrong with you, you brilliant bastard.

8. Mola Ram- Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom (1984)

mola ram

Rips. A. Guys. Heart. From. His. Chest.

9.Darkness – Legend (1985)

Tally-ho, chaps.

Why is the devil always an Englishman? Regardless, I loved this movie as a kid, yet every time Darkness appeared on screen I white-knuckled instantly, even my toes (do toes have knuckles? They look like they do.) When re-watching this movie it was significantly less scary, but I honestly thought the devil in this was going to get me somehow and poke me in the eye with his horns. Irrational kids be irrational.

10.  Debbie Jellinsky – Addams Family Values (1993)


There is no such thing as being too young to understand the complexities of a straight up, psychopathic, socio-path according to the world of The Addams Family. As a child Fester’s wife Debbie seemed so nice, that was until she started killing people. Tapping into a fear we didn’t even know we had as child, Debbie made us realise that appearances can be deceiving. In a refreshingly moralistic tale the Addams family taught us that not all monsters are monsters and that some people most definitely are. Existentialism as a child. Terrifying.


17 thoughts on “10 film characters who terrified us when we were kids

    1. Scoleri Bros, man, those dudes scared the bejeebus outta me. Murder is a heavy subject to introduce to such a young mind!

      And Jellinsky, I’m not sure about Lauren, but I definitely agree with the crush thing. Thanks for the mammories, Debbie. Memories. Thanks for the memories…

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