The Creepiest “Family Movies” of All Time

The fine folks at Warner Brothers are taking the opportunity today to release their umpteenth home video version of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory — this time in an elaborately packaged “40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition” deluxe Blu-ray set. Included in the $65 box, according to, are “a 144-page book featuring color photos and notes, a Wonka Bar pencil tin with scented pencils and eraser and a Wonka Bar box with archival production letters.” What, no chicken and butcher knife?

Yes, Willy Wonka may be going on 40 years as a beloved family classic, but it also contains tiny indentured servants, a kid transmogrifying into a giant blueberry, and an out-of-left-field sequence of sheer terror that has haunted the nightmares of generations of kids. We’ll take a look at that scene, and nine more family classics that are similarly creepy, after the jump.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

One of the many pleasures of Mel Stuart’s 1971 adaptation of Roald Dahl’s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is how it keeps us off-balance — with its gallows humor, with the pathos of its protagonist, with the genuine darkness of Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka. But we’re still not sure what the hell they were thinking in the thoroughly horrifying and deservedly notorious boat ride to hell sequence, in which the filmmakers apparently decided that the perfect sidebar to their candy-coated narrative is a grisly dramatization of a bum acid trip.