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Children’s Characters Who Should Be Turned Into Horror Movie Villains


Something is fascinating about taking a childhood character, one perhaps you felt nostalgia for, and twisting the story more darkly. You can see instances like this in the hit popular YouTube video After Ever After by Paint, with 94 million views on just his first video in the series; he gives dark endings to famous Disney characters. The concept was such a hit that he has made three videos in total.


In many horror movies featuring a doll or small child, or even horror movies with clowns, you can see similar concepts of children’s characters being made for horror. Something is terrifying about an innocent figure being turned into a horrific idea, and the approach has been done twice recently, with both Winnie the Pooh and The Grinch leading their own gory live-action horror films. Which other children’s characters should be turned into horror movie villains?

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The Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid
Walt Disney Pictures

The original story of The Little Mermaid is actually much darker than the Disney adaptation, as the Brothers Grimm were known for their dark and twisted fairytales. But mermaid lore is something that can easily be turned dark. Sirens often lure sailors to their deaths in many stories, and in others, mermaids are said to be the reincarnations of people who drowned at sea. No matter which lore you establish is canon in the movie, Ariel, the little mermaid, would look terrifying (you get a hint of what actual mermaids might look at in the surreal film The Lure).

Related: The Best Movies About Mermaids, Ranked

She would have sharp fangs and nails that would be needed to cut open fish and crabs, eyes that would be able to see underwater, gills to breathe with, and most likely a lack of hair (as it would give no evolutionary benefit to such a predator). The scary portrayal of a mermaid would be an interesting take, especially if she was obsessed with finding a man to drag down into the ocean with her. Perhaps the movie could be done from Prince Eric’s point of view, thinking he’s falling in love with this beautiful girl, only for her to be trying to kill him in the end (something which was loosely done in the excellent film The Siren). Maybe she’ll have a reason behind it, but maybe she’s just doing it for sport. Perhaps a coming-of-age rite for mermaid royalty such as Ariel is to kill the human equivalent.

In any case, this could be a character that could easily be written as dark and designed as horrifying.

Peter Pan

Peter Pan
Walt Disney Productions

This one is easy; a young boy is taken by a shadow and delivered to an island far from home. Everything seems friendly and happy, and another boy leads a group that says there are no rules and no adults. It looks great until he notices the older boys going missing. Disturbingly, in the original Peter Pan story, Peter killed the lost boys when they got too old? Peter is the only one who won’t age in Neverland, and he only wants other kids like him around. You can even spot the noose he used in the Disney animated version hanging from the tree.

In the film, a young boy might have to escape Neverland, and Peter Pan is hunting him down. This is a terrifying concept, and the fact it would only surround children makes it even more scary. It could be child abduction horror reminiscent of The Black Phone, but with a supernatural villain. The director of Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey has an idea for something like this, titled Peter Pan: Neverland Nightmare, which will hopefully come to fruition.

Christopher Robin

Christopher Robin in Winnie the Pooh
Walt Disney Studios

With Winnie the Pooh being turned into a horror villain, perhaps Christopher Robin could be next. In fact, this idea had become popular on TikTok for a time. @jelly.witch.art created a storyline and drawing for a project she did in school that wanted them to recreate a dark retelling of children’s book characters.

In this tale, Christopher Robin is a child prodigy turned serial killer, kidnapping members of his first-grade class, takes them into the woods, and dresses them up in costumes of his favorite story characters. He leaves them there for ages, and eventually, he shows the children’s corpses to his fiancé, who reports him. Unfortunately, when the bodies were recovered, there were signs of cannibalism due to the kid’s hunger while being held against their will.

Related: Why Children’s Stories Are Getting Rebooted as Horror Movies

The story is dark and terrifying and could easily be turned into a horror/thriller movie, with credit given to @jelly.witch.art.

Cinderella

Cinderella Prince Charming and Cinderella
Walt Disney Studios

Cinderella is another Grimm story which didn’t happen as nicely as the Disney animated feature made it appear to be. There are many Cinderella adaptations and spin-offs in novels and movies, with creative minds flocking to one of the classic Disney stories and wanting to make it their own. But Cinderella as a horror story could be an interesting turn of events. Ella had plenty of reason to be a villain in the story; she was treated horribly and hated her life.

However, her mother had always taught her to be kind. Then again, “be kind” as a philosophy could be used differently. Perhaps Cinderella felt she was being kind to the rest of the world by getting rid of her stepmother, so no other person had to feel her wrath. Perhaps she thinks that she’s being kind by killing people she considers to be ‘bad,’ in a Dexter-like way. It would be interesting to see Cinderella kill with kindness as a horror movie villain.

Many other characters could be easily turned into horror villains if put in the proper context. Maybe one day, we will see some of these ideas on the big screen and be intrigued with a gruesome interest as we watch our childhood characters get psychologically ripped apart.



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