Regardless of a film's rating, some of the most beloved and seemingly family-friendly films of all time still manage to deliver audiences unsettling and unexpected imagery, often burning those disturbing images into impressionable viewers' minds in perpetuity. Even the Motion Picture Association has gone back to revise and update their rules over time, with the PG-13 rating not even being introduced until the '80s. Given how many audiences remember disturbing and intense sequences in family films, YouTube user BranitFX And Lucamax Pictures compiled iconic moments from such movies that gave millions of burgeoning fans nightmares for years to come. You can check out the supercut above.
The subject matter of Raiders of the Lost Ark or The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring might skew towards older audiences, but it's hard to deny the impact of the melting faces at the end of Raiders or the moment in which Bilbo expresses his monstrous demand for the One Ring in Fellowship. Large Marge in Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, Artax in the Swamp of Sadness from The NeverEnding Story, and Sid's deformed toys in Toy Story are also among the moments highlighted, with those films arguably being geared towards younger audiences.
Horror fans come in all shapes and sizes, and moments that would surely disturb certain young audiences will delight others.
Filmmaker Eli Roth, who delivered gruesome experiences like Cabin Fever, Hostel, and The Green Inferno, dove into the world of kid-friendly horror with the 2018 film House With a Clock in Its Walls. The filmmaker previously described that a key to telling horror stories for kids is realizing how much fun kids have being scared.
"When I was a little older, like 10 and 11, I was in that sweet spot of being the age of the kids from Stranger Things at the time of Stranger Things. You could watch that show and that was exactly how old I was in 1984," Roth shared with ComicBook.com back in 2018. "That was called 'The Age of Amblin Movies.' They were the most exciting theatrical experiences you could have. Raiders of the Lost Ark was an event. Gremlins was an event. Back to the Future was an event. But really those scary Spielberg movies...like, E.T.'s a very scary movie for the first 20 minutes. Then when you get other really weird oddball movies like Time Bandits and The Dark Crystal. These are movies that you saw with your parents or saw at a birthday party that scared you but they were still safe. It still was okay but they got you. They gave you that thrill. It was like when you go to the amusement park and you want to go through the Fun House. It's not that scary. When you're a kid, it's just fun to be that scared but it's not gonna traumatize you. That's what you want."
What films left an impact on you as a young viewer? Let us know in the comments below or contact Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter to talk all things horror and Star Wars!