The Films That Messed Us Up Forever

It’s that time of year—leaves are turning, pumpkins are being carved, and costumes are being prepped. But among all the usual Halloween festivities is another tradition: watching scary movies. However, if you were scarred from watching one when you were too young—or perhaps when you had Scarlet freakin’ fever—you may be sticking to just consuming candy instead.

Scaring kids can be an art, but sometimes it’s just easy. We have film ratings for a reason, after all! Though it doesn’t have to even be an R-rated movie to make a lasting impression on a young mind...or a horror movie at all.


We asked our colleagues at the offices what the first movie to truly mess them up was. And though most of the answers were obvious—not to get all generic internet clickbait on you—some of the answers may surprise you!


Let us know what you think about the traumatic experiences our pals related in the video and share your own in the comments. I’ll go first: I was six when the original Child’s Play was released, and though I did not see it, just the billboards around town were enough to give me recurring nightmares about Chucky for months. The mind is a mysterious thing...

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Deputy Editor, io9. Loves cats.

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The Shining.

It happened to be on at the house of my parents’ friends, and all us little 9 year olds watched it while the adults partied on their deck.

Traumatized me for YEARS, to the point where I’d see a picture of the Timberline Lodge on Mt Hood and flip out. I still can’t hear the opening bars of whatever classical piece they used in the opening without breaking into goosebumps.

All of this happened before I read King’s novel (which is my favorite of his for completely different reasons) or learned how horrible Kubrick was to his actors (and Duvall specifically).