10 Scary Movies Streaming Now That Terrified You When You Were A Kid

by Rachel Simon
Warner Bros.

Maybe it was at a friend's birthday party, when you were huddled up in a sleeping bag alongside your pals after the parents had gone to bed. Or perhaps it was at summer camp, on a rainy night when the whole bunk stayed in, or in a movie theater, if your group managed to sneak past the PG-13 age limit. Whatever the place, you probably remember exactly where you were when you first terrorized by a horror movie. And years later, it's totally understandable if you're still traumatized by that film — after all, the scary movies that you watch as a kid tend to stick with you as the years go on, for better or for worse.

And now that so many of the '80s and '90s' most frightening flicks are available to stream on platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and HBO, it's easier than ever to revisit the movie-watching trauma of your youth (yay?). With that in mind, the editors on Bustle's entertainment team have rounded up the scary movies that terrified them as kids, all of which are available to stream now. So get ready to take a trip down memory lane and revisit these horror classics — if you dare.


Streaming On: Amazon Prime

"When I was five or six, I walked into a room where Poltergeist was playing, specifically the part where the little girl crawls out of bed, stares at a TV gleaming with static, and tells her parents, 'They're here.' I didn't sleep that night, and I've never been brave enough to actually sit down and watch the whole thing. I hear it's good though!"

— Sage Young, Movies Editor

'The Sixth Sense'

Streaming On: Netflix

"The first time I saw The Sixth Sense as a kid, I was terrified — so much so that I basically refused to look under my bed for weeks after. I've seen it a bunch of times since and while I'd like to think that I'm a little braver than I was back then, it still majorly creeps me out."

— Rachel Simon, Entertainment News Editor

'The Ring'

Streaming On: Amazon Prime

"I thought that the movie was absolutely terrifying when I was a child (and I still do to this day). You could say I first 'saw' it at a soccer team sleepover when I was in seventh grade, but the moment a girl on my team pushed her hair in front of her face to mimic Samara, I was out. I went upstairs to watch the local news with my friend's parents and called my mom to come pick me up."

— Allison Piwowarski, Deputy Entertainment Editor


Streaming On: Hulu

"I’ll never forget leaving my first sleepover in middle school, all thanks to a spooky viewing of Candyman. I was in third grade, and although I was thrilled for this right of passage, I knew I’d be facing the Candyman in my sleeping bag, camped out in my best friend’s basement.

When the big night arrived, I made it through the opening credits, but as soon as the ‘90s monster appeared on screen, I ran upstairs and asked her parents if I could go home. My goal was to stay up all night — sadly, I left my first sleepover by 8 p.m., and watched episodes of Family Matters while I waited for my mom to pick me up. Although I now watch The Walking Dead and probably have a greater threshold for horror and gore than I give myself credit for, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to face the Candyman."

- Jada Gomez, Executive Editor

'The Strangers'

Streaming On: Amazon Prime

“I’m someone who is generally not scared of horror movies, but The Strangers terrified me so deeply that I’ve blocked out all memory of watching it. There are a few jump scares, but I think it’s the psychological terror that got me most.”

— Dana Getz, Associate TV Editor

'Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves!'

Streaming On: Netflix

"It is one of the scariest 'kids' movies ever. The idea of being trapped in a situation or existence you can't control really freaks me out, especially when that existence involves potentially being crushed by your now giant kids and attacked by enormous bugs. It is the stuff of nightmares."

— Olivia Truffaut-Wong, Associate Entertainment Editor

'The Exorcism Of Emily Rose'

Streaming On: Hulu and Amazon Prime

"I was 14 when I saw The Exorcism Of Emily Rose. And even though I wasn't technically 'a kid,' the movie scared me and my twin sister so much that we both had to sleep in my mom's bed, because we were terrified of waking up at 3 in the morning and being possessed like the girl in the movie. (Luckily, that did not happen! But if I ever wake up at that time now, I still get slightly creeped out.)"

— Jamie Primeau, Celebrity Editor


Streaming On: Amazon Prime

"When I was 5 or 6 years old, I remember there being E.T.-mania — the movie was played for kids all the time. And don't get me wrong, I love the first half of the movie. It's fun and so perfect. The second half when the government comes for E.T. scares the bejesus out of me! That part is so scary for kids — the giant suits they wore and the scene where they take over the house really freaked me out. I had the movie on a well-worn VHS tape, and I only watched the first half of the movie for years. If the movie was shown at school, I'd find a place to hide for the second half.

The next time I watched the second half of the movie was in my late 20s for a graduate film school assignment (meaning my professor made us watch the entire film to analyze the structure). Even then, I had white-knuckles throughout."

— Mallory Carra, Associate Entertainment Editor


Streaming On: Amazon Prime

"I had a painfully obvious crush on my best friend’s older brother when I was 10 years old, so when he actually let us both stick around while him and his 14-year-old friends watched the original Gremlins, I was all about it. My friend tried to warn me that it wasn’t my thing (I had cried once during the flying monkey scenes in Wizard Of Oz, sue me), but I ultimately decided that it was definitely going to be worth it, if only to breathe the same suburban basement air as my crush. It was not. At all. I think it’s because those little critters should be cute, but they’re actually terrifying, mean, and I had to sleep with my closet doors closed for, ah... well into adulthood lest the nasty little guys wanted to creep on me in the middle of the night.

The good news is that decades later the same friend’s brother still teases me for being scared of Gremlins (I jump scare easy), so in that case the afternoon was somewhat of a success."

— Karen Fratti, Associate TV Editor

'The Hills Have Eyes'

Streaming On: Amazon Prime

" What did the cannibal mutants — who attack a family whose car breaks down in the desert — look like, you ask? I couldn’t tell you, because I sat with my back to the screen for the duration of this movie, which I watched in someone’s basement in high school. But the awful roars and squelching sounds of people being torn apart by monsters were enough to haunt me at least until I convinced my sister to give me an early ride home."

- Samantha Rollins, TV Editor

Take a cue from our editors and re-watch the movies above if you're looking for some Halloween scaries.