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5 Unintentionally Scary Movies to Fuel Your Nightmares

Hello there! Welcome to The Dan Cave! Is that a sexy costume you’re wearing? No? Oh, you just must be that attractive all the time.

In case you’ve been in a coma or living under a rock or in a coma living under a rock, you might know that this week, Jessica Chobot, Malik Forte, and I took a trip to Doomdeath Manor at the invitation of the mysterious “G.”


Never one to turn down an opportunity for tea and light snacks, I set about exploring the Manor. When I stumbled across a particularly spooky seance room, it got me thinking — this room wasn’t intended to give people the creeps; it just does. That same sensibility — the accidental terror factor — is a recurring theme in movies over the years. Many, many films have endeavored to tell a heartwarming story only to have it devolve into the stuff from which nightmares are forged. So, on today’s episode of The Dan Cave, I’m giving you 5 new films with which to scare yourself silly this Halloween, 5 films that didn’t even realize how terrifying they truly were.

What is your favorite film that is unintentionally terrifying? Chances are I left out your favorite, so don’t carry that unrest with you into the afterlife — tell me about in the comments below! Or you can take to Twitter and whisper it to me gently (@Osteoferocious) using the hashtag #TheDanCave.

Want even more The Dan Cave? Check out last week’s episode in which I count down 5 TV shows that were too insane to get picked up!

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  1. Bails says:

    1. Rock-a-Doodle still scares me beyond belief as a 27-year old adult. Damn Owl Earl thing. 2. All Dogs Go To Heaven: I still hear “charlie, charlie, you can never go baaaaaaack” in my nightmares3. Jumanji: trapped and no one knows where you are?! soul crushingly freaky

  2. agundry says:

    There were these movies that we had when I was a kid that we’re all kinds of messed up, but many people have probably never seen them: “The Fantastic Adventures of Unico” and “Unico in the Island of Magic.”I’m not really sure why we even had them? couldn’t find the whole 2nd movie, and it’s the more terrifying one.

  3. agundry says:

    There were these movies that we had when I was a kid that we’re all kinds of messed up, but many people have probably never seen them: “The Fantastic Adventures of Unico” and “Unico in the Island of Magic.”I’m not really sure why we even had them? couldn’t find the whole 2nd movie, and it’s the more terrifying one.

  4. Derrick Russell says:

    The never ending story. 

  5. Tony says:

    If you think of Return to Oz as a prequel to The Waterboy, it makes a whole lot more sense as to why Vicki Vallencourt is so messed up. 

  6. Adam says:

    Rikki Tikki Tavi…Hands down. Still makes me shiver

  7. Candace says:

    I’d have to say The Dark Crystal too. *shudder*

  8. Liz says:

    I was successfully blocking these movies from my memory until this brought them up.
    I’m re-traumatised all over again 🙁

  9. Ty Gunn says:

    NeverEnding Story. Gmork in the cave. Really wigged me out.

  10. tiptoe39 says:

    Labyrinth!! Dear lord that scared the bejesus out of me. I also endorse
    Return to Oz & Who Framed Roger Rabbit (that end scared me half to
    death too) as well as Watership Down and Secret of NIMH in the comments. I think Watership Down was what introduced me to the concept of death. Not a nice way to learn about it.

    The pre-Disney Little Mermaid movie & some weird old cartoon called
    “The Point” scared me too, but I barely remember them aside of their
    being nightmarish.

    Apropos of nothing, I love how fk is bleeped but “shit” isn’t.

  11. Easily Pinocchio and the Emperor of the night. cue up to 3:33  If you haven’t seen this you should simple because it’s scary as hell. Booze, a devil creepy characters. Everything. 
     Second suggestion The Halloween Tree  A kid dies on Halloween and his friends have to travel the world experiencing different Halloweens trying to get the dead kids pumpkin back (aka his soul) from this creepy old guy before midnight.

  12. Lora says:

    Watership Down

  13. Matthew says:

    Disney’s Return to Oz is the best Oz movie to date, followed by The Wiz and Oz the Great & Powerful. Can’t believe a generation of oldsters prefer that cheap midget musical that looks like it was shot in a dilapidated Christian theme park. Morons.
    Good list in general though! I like how Roger Rabbit made the list; and to think it was “Disneyfied” already! The original book is far creepier; heck, just one glance at the cover is upsetting. Realistic rabbit people should not be communicating with humans. Once you find out that the comic strip characters in that book create temporary clones to survive the physical comedy of their strips, but they’re just resigned to die and disappear soon thereafter? Or any of the other weird, grim elements to “Who Censored Roger Rabbit?” — geez.
    Also, lol’d at, “Schindler’s List 2: Back on the List”, I have to admit. 

    Great vid! 

  14. Mitchell says:

    Darby o’gill and the little peopel takes HARSH left turn at the climax.

  15. Lena says:

    Who Framed Roger Rabbit traumatized me for a slightly different reason.  There was a character in the movie named… Lena Hyena.  Yay – Lena is my name. It didn’t help that she was horrifying hideous, except for that killer silhouette in the window.

  16. The autoplay of videos on Nerdist is unintentionally scary. Every time I open a page with a video in a new tab, the sudden sound scares the life out of me!

  17. Lorie Anne says:

    Ferngully. We couldn’t drive be construction sites until I was 12. I still can’t watch it.

  18. Evanspa85 says:

    Never ending Story

  19. Veronica says:

    I’m not sure if Roald Dahl’s The Witches (1990) was supposed to be so scary, but it sure gave me a nightmare or two. 

  20. trence5 says:

    Dude, how the hell did Secret of NIMH – NOT rank on here?!?

  21. Disney’s Pinocchio. When that kid drinks “beer” and painfully transforms into a freaking DONKEY!

  22. Yvonne says:

    Legend…1985…Tom Cruise and Tim Curry

  23. Doug says:

    The Dark Crystal

  24. Tali says:

    Princess Bride, specifically the Pit of Despair.

  25. Kevin says:

    Labyrinth, the Fireys were deeply unsettling.

  26. Darby O’Gill and the Little People. Banshees are REAL, yo.

  27. Heather says:

    The Last Unicorn

  28. Dtrain1813 says:

    The Secret of Nimh, without question.