Films That Scared The Living Daylights Out Of You As A Child » The Poster Collector

Films That Scared The Living Daylights Out Of You As A Child

| Poster Collector | 6 Min Read

With the recent release of the slasher film, Halloween, a reboot of the 1978 classic, we explore the films that scared the living daylights out of you as a child.

Next month sees the 30th anniversary of the horror-comedy Child’s Play, which introduced the childhood-scarring Chucky to the world and featured in many a nightmares.

Also, theres a new version of Stephen King’s Pet Sematary to be released in. 2019, bringing back memories of the 1989 movie adaptation which also rattled me to the core. Sometimes dead is better they say.

Pet Sematary

Here are some other characters from the world of movie and TV which scared people as kids. Wide and varied featuring viewing traumas, stemming from scares in supposedly child-friendly films, to movies and TV that they definitely shouldn’t have been watching in the first place.

The Child Catcher (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang)

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

The Child Catcher (played by Robert Helpmann) from the 1968 musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which has always had regular screenings on TV, perhaps explaining its power to scare multiple generations. The Child Catcher character was rumoured to have been created by Roald Dahl, who actually co-wrote the screenplay for the movie.

The Dementors (Harry Potter)

The Dementors

Another popular childhood-scare favourite: those joy-sucking entities, the Dementors. They are described as “soulless creatures… among the foulest beings on Earth” by J. K. Rowling. A phantom species who, as their name suggests, gradually deprive human minds of happiness and intelligence and feature heavily throughout the Harry Potter series.



Released in 1990, this horror-comedy stirs many emotions with people. With one saying this film was… “Designed to reduce the audience to a squirming mass, the film yields plenty of grisly pleasures”

According to Variety, Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment and James Wan’s Atomic Monster are teaming up on a remake. Currently at the early stages of development with no director, actors, or writers yet attached.

Freddy Krueger (A Nightmare on Elm Street)

A Nightmare on Elm Street

Created by Wes Craven for the 1984 release, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Freddy has gone on to achieve cult status and immortalises the ’80s slasher era.



Another slasher film from Wes Craven. Following Sidney Prescott, a high school student in the fictional town of Woodsboro, California, who becomes the target of a mysterious killer known as Ghostface.

Thriller (Music Video)


Michael Jackson’s Thriller is a music video which features, Jackson and his girlfriend (played by Ola Ray) being confronted by zombies while walking home from a cinema. Jackson himself becomes a zombie and performs a dance routine with a horde of the undead. Featured within the video are numerous references to horror films.

The Blair Witch Project

The Blair Witch Project

A supernatural horror film from 1999 and tells the fictional story of three student filmmakers who hike in the Black Hills near Burkittsville, Maryland in 1994 to film a documentary about a local legend known as the Blair Witch. The three disappeared, but their equipment and footage is discovered a year later. The purportedly “recovered footage” is the film the viewer sees.

General Woundwort (Watership Down)

Watership Down

The Chief Rabbit of Efrafa serves as the main antagonist in the novel, film and television series. Fearless, single-minded, and brutally efficient, Woundwort was orphaned at a young age; his father was shot dead by a human and his mother was killed shortly afterwards by a weasel.



This sci-fi horror film originally released in 1979, follows the crew of the commercial space tug Nostromo who encounter the eponymous Alien, a deadly and aggressive extraterrestrial set loose on the ship.

The Witches

The Witches

This dark fantasy horror-comedy film is based on the 1983 children’s novel by Roald Dahl, features evil witches who masquerade as ordinary women and kill children.

The Daleks (Doctor Who)

Doctor Who

The Daleks are violent, merciless and pitiless cyborg aliens, who demand total conformity to their will, bent on the conquest of the universe and the extermination of what they see as inferior races.

Salem’s Lot

Salem's Lot

A mini-series adaption produced for TV and based on the horror novel by Stephen King, follows a writer who returns to his hometown and discovers that its citizens are turning into vampires. Salem’s Lot combines elements of both the vampire film and haunted house sub-genres of horror.

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