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Movie Scenes That Gave Us Nightmares As Kids

The TV is glowing quietly across the room, the lights are turned low, and you've settled into a new movie... but suddenly, pure, abject terror overtakes the screen. Even if you don't realize it yet, the nightmares are on the way, and they'll keep on coming for the next 30 years. Here are eight movie scenes that haunt us to this day.

'It' (1990) - We All Float Down Here

From the box art to nearly every second of the film, Stephen King's It is masterful at the full spectrum of fear. So, when little Georgie loses his paper boat down a sidewalk drain and doesn't understand that there's something unusual about a Tim Curry clown hanging out in the sewers, it's unsettling, but when Pennywise transforms into a sharp-toothed monster and pulls Georgie into the depths, kids learned to give sewer drains a very wide berth. Honorable Mention: Tim Curry's terrifying demon in Legend (1985). Tim Curry in anything.

'Raiders Of The Lost Ark' (1981) - Toht's Melting Face

Even if you weren't immediately given itchy nightmares by swarms of snakes and bugs, the opening of the Ark in Raiders was a scene that gave life to multiple terrors: holy demon ghosts, bolts of fire, and ultimately, watching a human's face melt away, layer-by-drippy-layer, right down to the skull... while continuing to scream. Honorable Mention: Temple of Doom (1984) – Mola Ram rips out a dude's heart with his bare hand. The neighbor kid bruising your nipple in an attempt to recreate the scene.

'The Black Hole' (1979) - Welcome To Hell

Disney's answer to Star Wars was an unimpressive trek through the most boring reaches of space with a bootleg R2-D2. If you can stay awake until the end, you're treated to a horrifying vision of what actually exists inside of a black hole, and according to Disney's troubled imagineers, that thing is Hell: fires leaping, landscape twisting and bubbling, and it's all brought to life by some very realistic special effects. If you weren't god-fearing before, you were now.

'Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory' (1971) - Psycho Boat Ride

You're probably not expecting anything too creepy to leap out at you during a movie about a candymaker... until you see the Oompa Loompa slaves running the plant. And then a fat kid starts to drown in a chocolate pond. And then another kid turns into a blueberry, and razor-sharp blades almost decapitate an old man. It culminates in the boat ride, when Wonka chants a bizarre song while a video plays of a chicken being decapitated. It's faces of death, but you know... with candy.

'Who Framed Roger Rabbit?' (1988) - Death Of Judge Doom

Giant Jessica Rabbit boobs aside, most of Roger Rabbit was just a surreal murder mystery romp... until the very end. Antagonist Judge Doom, played by Christopher Lloyd, just won't die. Flattened by a steamroller while he flails around in agony, he peels himself off of the ground, his eyeballs fall out, and eventually, he melts in a puddle of acid. It's an especially gory death, even for a cartoon.

'My Girl' (1991) - Wouldn't Want To Bee Ya

It's a story of young romance, until young Macaulay Culkin goes into the woods to find a lost ring, and is stung to death by a swarm of bees. To death. By bees. It's a heart-wrenching death that seems to come from out of nowhere, and convinced millions of kids to stay inside, because nature was going to kill them. We'll just say it: My Girl is responsible for the obesity epidemic.

'Stand By Me' (1986) - Have A Ball

While the film culminates in a group of kids finding a dead body, the true testicle terror comes throughout the film. Not only does one of the young adventurers get a leech attached to his nethers, but the boys' cojones are also threatened by an angry junkyard dog trained to savage scrotums, when its owner yells, "Chopper! Sic balls!" Sure, none of this might bother the film's female viewers, but dudes everywhere felt it for years.

'Star Wars' (1977) - Get A Grip

Somewhere aboard the Death Star, a young and petulant Admiral Motti questions Darth Vader's faith in The Force, and in response, Vader nearly chokes Motti to death with a thought. If you couldn't feel your throat closing, or wonder if such a thing were really possible, you weren't paying attention.