21 Surprisingly Scary Movies You'd Watch As A Kid During Sleepovers

When you were a kid, having sleepovers was undoubtedly one of the most exciting events of your social calendar. Sometimes, however, those fun events could go awry when the movie choice ended up scaring you so much that you had to go home early. A lot of times, the movies you and your friends decided to watch were scary ones aimed at teens or adults, but other times, the flicks were actually surprisingly scary movies. When this was the case, sleepover attendees not mentally prepared to get freaked out tended to not have the best night, to say the least.

Of course, watching scary movies alongside a group of friends can often be a fun experience — there's nothing like being terrified together, right? But when you're not expecting to be scared by the on-screen pick, the experience can be less than great. And for tweens back in the day just trying to enjoy a sleepover, watching a surprisingly scary movie often led to calling your mom and begging her to pick you up early.

Hey, it's OK if you just weren't prepared to get freaked out, or didn't quite know just how deeply a scary movie would affect you — we've all been there. Now that you're a brave adult, though, revisit the fun with these 21 movies that most definitely ended a sleepover early.



If you ask any millennial, this might be forever embedded in their minds as the scariest movie they ever saw, and likely one that they had to go home after seeing at a friend's house.


'Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory'

Sure, it's a childhood classic, but that tunnel scene has stuck in plenty of people's minds as a twisted and terrifying memory for years. Even Donald Glover said the movie terrified him, in a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight.


'The Ring'

It was hard to go anywhere for a while without hearing about The Ring, a movie which disbanded many a sleepover in the early 2000s.


'Spirited Away'

You might not think of the Hayao Miyazaki classic as a horror movie, but for a young kid in an unfamiliar house, this could haunt their dreams enough to make them call home.



How scary could a movie about a doll be? Apparently it could be horrifying enough to make you call your parents and lock up any toys that had eyes.


'Practical Magic'

Don't underestimate how scary Jimmy was for some young viewers.



E.T. phoned home, so why wouldn't you while you were freaked out by the creepy alien at a friend's house?



Sure, it had its funny moments, but it also had a few unsettling ones that made you want to go home ASAP.


'It' (1990 Version)

It's so hard to forget the first time you ever saw It, especially if it ended up ruining someone's birthday slumber party.


'Scary Movie'

Even if this movie was supposed to be funny, if you were young enough, the satire could have easily gone over your head and the movie is almost more twisted than a real horror movie in that case.


'Jurassic Park'

Um, yeah this one will always be scary. Don't act like you still don't want to sleep with the lights on after watching it now.


'The Sixth Sense'

"I see dead people" was a frequently uttered phrase throughout 1999, when this terrifying movie came out.


'The Secret Of NIMH'

Some of the scariest movies for children were the ones that seemed like kid-friendly animations, and NIMH was shockingly horrifying to its underage viewers.



Not only did Jaws probably ruin a lot of kids' sleepovers, but it was hard to go to a pool party without a friend chasing after you, singing, "dun dun, dun-dun-dun-dun."


'Edward Scissorhands'

This is another movie that doesn't seem scary at first but that ends up being so creepy that it strikes your core and forces you to leave your friend's floor for your parents' bed.


'The Iron Giant'

Animated. Movies. Should. Not. Be. So. Scary.



It has a fun name and some awesome characters, but the freak-factor of this one was certainly high for so many kids watching with their friends.


'The Silence Of The Lambs'

If you or your parents didn't know exactly what this movie was about before renting it from Blockbuster, you were in for a distressing surprise.


'The Nightmare Before Christmas'

This movie was the perfect example of one that your friend might have loved and told you to watch only for you to find it utterly terrifying. It's hard to know if a movie will scare you sometimes, and this one certainly could be seen as a fun kids movie or a scary sleepover ender depending on the person.


'The Wizard Of Oz'

It's such a classic but those flying monkeys were totally unexpected and scary enough to give you nightmares for weeks.



Another movie that shouldn't have been as scary as it was. Some call Gremlins a Christmas movie now, but mostly it's just one that you shouldn't watch at night time.

Once the lights are off, a movie that you once thought was just a little creepy can still become overly-terrifying. If you try watching these now, you might even still wish you could crawl into your mom's bed.