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Horror Movies That Scarred You As A Kid But Are In No Way Scary To Watch As An Adult

Updated June 14, 2019 3.3k votes 469 voters 11.9k views14 items

List RulesVote up the not-so-scary movies you can't believe terrified you as a child.

Watching horror movies with your friends is a rite of passage for every young person. Many lifelong horror fans were introduced to the genre by catching a clandestine peek at some horror movie designed to illicit cheap scares rather than cause an existential crisis. While these types of films can wreak havoc on developing brains, when you go back to watch them as an adult, you discover a lot of horror movies aren't actually too scary. 

This isn’t to say the horror movies that only scared you as a kid are bad. Some of the greatest horror movies ever made aren’t scary upon a second or third watch, but they’re important nonetheless. Unless you grew up in some kind of nightmare household you probably weren’t watching banned horror movies; no, you were likely hiding behind your hands while you tried to find the courage to power through goofy scarefests like Scream or Buffy the Vampire Slayer. 

Some horror movies just don’t hold up once you move out of your parents house.

  • What's scarier than one of your toys coming to life and trying to murder you? It turns out tons of things are scarier than this concept.

    Child's Play follows Chucky, a doll inhabited with the spirit of serial killer Charles Lee Ray. Throughout the film Chucky does some truly horrific things. He hits a woman in the face with a hammer, he bites another woman, and he even tries to possess the body of a child. 

    Unfortunately because all of this menace is coming from a doll it never goes beyond the level of interesting concept. While you were most likely scared of this movie as a kid, it's far from frightening decades later when your (probably) don't personally own an abundance of kids toys.

    Is this less scary than you remember?
  • Leprechaun is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Horror Movies That Scarred You As A Kid But Are In No Way Scary To Watch As An Adult
    Photo: Lions Gate

    The first Leprechaun film is an anomaly when placed next to the rest of the films in the franchise. Tonally it's still ludicrous - at one point the Leprechaun rides a tricycle down the highway and gets pulled over by a state trooper - but it feels like the filmmakers were trying to make a scary movie.

    People have their stomachs cut open, a guy is beaten to death with a pogo stick, and there are jump scares galore. It's definitely a horror movie, it's just not scary. 

    Is this less scary than you remember?
  • There's a scene early on in this precursor to the Joss Whedon TV show where Pike (Luke Perry) is woken up by his friend Benny (David Arquette) who's recently been turned into a vampire. In less than a minute Pike realizes his friend has changed because he's floating outside his window and screaming "I'm hungry!"

    You might remember this scene being incredibly frightening. You may have even cowered behind your mom's couch and begged her to turn the movie off. 

    If you watch that scene now you'll see it's played completely for laughs; even though David Arquette is unhinged, he's not particularly scary. 

    Is this less scary than you remember?
  • There's a distinct possibility that even as a child you weren't frightened by this Kevin Bacon horror movie about giant sandworms traveling underground and eating anything that dared walk above them. The film definitely has all the calling cards of a horror film that could be scary: people get eaten, a dog is killed, and the heroes have to devise a clever way to defeat the villain(s). 

    If nothing else Tremors served as a way for young people to ease themselves into the horror genre even if it isn't all that scary. 

    Is this less scary than you remember?