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5 Scary Characters In Family Films

There are certain kinds of movies we reach for during the Halloween season. Usually they involve a haunted castle, a masked psychopath or some kind of ghoul. But what about those scares that sneak up on us in films in which we weren't expecting to find them? Let's explore some creepy characters from family movies that could add a jolt to your spooky cinematic viewing this year.

The Wheelers, Return To OZ (1985)


When it comes to the land of OZ, most people remember Dorothy Gale romping through a technicolor wonderland with whimsical friends. Those people did not see the 1985 sequel, Return To OZ. This thing is packed with disturbing imagery, but the most frightening moments for me as a child featured The Wheelers. These masked, roller skating weirdos giggled like lunatics as they stalked their prey and when their true faces were revealed they look like coked up rejects from Studio 54. Though the Wheelers were easily dispatched by wind-up soldier, Tik-Tok, the sheer madness in their eyes as they babbled on about, "M-m-m-m-MOMBI!" is what sent a shiver down my spine as a Kindergartner.

Dark Heart, Care Bears Movie 2: A New Generation (1986)


Just look at that cuddly, cute movie poster promising smiles and rainbows. Don't you believe it! The second Care Bears movie is basically on par with an '80s horror film. Exhibit A: It's set at a summer camp worthy of Jason Voorhees. Exhibit B: A shape-shifting demon named Dark Heart is manipulating a young, outcast orphan to do evil. Exhibit C: Dark Heart turns into a red, smoke monster and talks with a modulated, Freddy Krueger voice. Yeah, the marketing department really did their best to hide the main plot of this creepy little tale of the Care Bear Cousins with their poster and VHS art over the years, but the truth is out!

Mr. Toilet Man, Look Who's Talking Too (1990)


The Look Who's Talking franchise was seen as family entertainment, but let me assure you, the first sequel in the series was not kid-friendly in any way. Just look at this ghoulish latrine, taunting poor Mikey in the wee morning hours, screaming at him in a gruff voice provided by Mel Brooks to, "Give me that pee-pee!". Mr. Toilet Man then goes on to claim he's going to bite off the little tike's "tushy"! You know how they say no one would go swimming after Jaws came out? Just imagine how many 4 year olds avoided the bathroom after seeing this nightmare fuel. At least Fearsome Flush from The Real Ghostbusters toy line was up front about being scary, this porcelain punk came out of nowhere!

Crazy Cab Driver, Ghost Dad (1990)


Though it is now taboo to speak of the man/the monster/the sweater Bill Cosby, I still must share the tale of this terrifying scene I witnessed in the film, Ghost Dad, which I first saw during a community Halloween party in 1990. Promoted as a heartwarming tale of a father who comes back to look out for his family as a ghost, the circumstances under which he loses his life are freaky. Cosby enters the cab of a deranged taxi driver who continuously asks, "Do you worship the lord, Satan?" while weaving through traffic. Desperate to stop the madness, Cosby eventually declares, "I AM Satan and I command you to stop this cab!", which terrifies the psycho driver, causing them to crash through a bridge barricade with deadly results. Yeah...I never felt the same way about Jell-O pudding pops after seeing this.

The Boo Box, Hook (1991)


In recent years, Jigsaw from the Saw franchise has made big bucks at the box office by creating terrifying scenarios in which to torture his victims. But if you ask me, Captain James Hook had him beat a decade earlier. Steven Spielberg has worked a lot of scares into his films over the years, but he outdid himself when an innocent, pirate (played by actress, Glenn Close) is targeted by Captain Hook as a naysayer and forcibly locked in a treasure chest aka The Boo Box as punishment. Adding to the terror are live scorpions that are dropped into the box as the sobbing scallywag is taunted by the other pirates with shouts of "Boo! Boo!". Absolutely frightening.

So there you have it, 5 freaky family film characters that will haunt you beyond the Halloween season if you dare to pop them into your video machine. Now I want to hear about the frightening moments that caught you by surprise in your childhood video viewing. So sound off in the comments below.



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Hoju Koolander Posted on Oct 26, 2018 at 02:48 AM

@Vaporman87 I agree about that snotty troll, but we knew what we were all getting into with Ernest Scared Stupid. Now if he had showed up in Slam Dunk Earnest...

Vaporman87 Posted on Oct 25, 2018 at 08:12 PM

These are all excellent choices, but I feel like Trantor from Ernest Scared Stupid takes the cake in the "creepy creature" department:

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