In the US and elsewhere, there is a limit to the length of copyright. When it expires, the public is free to use the intellectual property such as names, stories, and characters as they wish. This also goes for beloved children’s characters, which some people want to use in ways the original creators probably never imagined, let alone intended. This led to a trend that has cropped up several times in recent movie history: reimagining classic children’s characters as violent killers. What follows are ten lurid examples of childhood favorites and fairy tales turned psychopathic, sadistic, revenge-seeking killers.
Related: The 10 Best Children’s Books With Deeply Adult Lessons
10 winnie the pooh
Months after AA Milne’s adorable honey-hungry bear copyright expired, Winnie the Pooh: blood and honey it was in production. As the name suggests, the 2023 movie is a slasher. See the previously sweet yellow bear transformed into a snarling, axe-wielding beast. It was the brainchild of British filmmaker Rhys Frake-Waterfield, who noticed that the character’s copyright was about to expire and saw a gap in the market for a fun, traditional horror film amid today’s more serious offerings. .
He wrote a script in which an adult Christopher Robin returns to 100 Acre Wood to find a feral Pooh and friends angry at being abandoned. The trailer for the movie quickly went viral and some fans were so enraged that they requested to stop its release. This backfired as the unexpected publicity led to the film being shown in theaters around the world.
The production team behind Winnie the Pooh: blood and honey was quick to take advantage of another beloved character’s copyright that expired in 2023. Bambi: The Reckoning It breaks sharply from the famous 1942 Disney film. Instead of representing beauty, innocence and nature, the adorable deer is transformed into a “ruthless killing machine,” according to producer Scott Jeffrey.
Still in production as of this writing, the plot is not yet known, but Jeffrey said that Netflix The ritual is a great inspiration for the film. The ritual follows a group of friends beset by ancient evil as they trek through the vast Scandinavian wilderness. It’s hard to imagine that Disney or Felix Salten, the Austrian author who created the character in his 1923 book Bambi, a life in the woodsI would approve of the dark and deranged adaptation.
The recent wave of horror adaptations of children’s characters was preceded in the 1990s by films like Pinocchio’s Revenge. The plot of the 1996 film is similar to that of the horror classic. Child’s playin which the soul of a serial killer inhabits a child’s toy to continue his killing spree. Pinocchio’s Revenge allows viewers to decide if the doll really came to life or if it was all the figment of a disturbed child’s imagination.
The girl, Zoe, is the daughter of a lawyer defending a serial killer from the death penalty. Pinocchio starts out as a key piece of evidence, the favorite toy of the accused serial killer’s murdered son, and gradually warms up throughout the film as Zoe grows fond of him. The pair are present for all the terrible crimes that happen to the people in Zoe’s life until people begin to suspect her of murder.
7 Jack Frost
1997 saw the release of this ridiculous Christmas horror in which a convicted serial killer is turned into a genetically modified snowman, animated with splendidly bad special effects and spitting out silly one-liners. The vengeful murderous snowman spends the Christmas holidays persecuting his enemies in various ways, such as pulling icicles from their hands. Despite overwhelmingly negative reviews upon its release, the film drew a cult following among those who considered it so bad it was good.
Some later critics attribute the film’s cult status to its self-awareness of how ludicrous the story of a serial-killing snowman is. It’s a film that doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is why it’s enjoyed by an audience that doesn’t take itself too seriously either.
6 The Gingerbread Man
In 2005, this fairy tale of out-of-control food inspired a nightmare known as The Gingerbread Man. Continuing with the horror trope of a serial killer’s soul being trapped inside a childish object, in this film, the magical gingerbread dough comes to life as a sadistic, sworn killer played by Gary Busey.
Gingerdead Man’s victims are the bakery staff who are inexplicably unable to escape despite the glass windows and the fact that they should have a key to the door. With a plot that makes a lot of sense and some seriously over-the-top acting, it’s no surprise that the film has received some harsh criticism. This didn’t stop it from spawning sequels, crossovers, and comic series.
5 humpty dumpty
It’s unlikely that all the king’s horses and all the king’s men could put together a dumber horror movie than Scott Jeffrey’s. The Curse of Humpty Dumpty. Taking advantage of the fact that the classic nursery rhyme never says that Humpty Dumpty is an egg, Jeffrey opts for a killer clown doll with a cracked skull. The doll is bought at an antique store by two sisters who return to their childhood home with their mother who suffers from dementia.
Surprisingly, the film delves into the family drama side of things, and the doll only kills four people, making for more of a psychological drama than the traditional slasher one might expect from the creepy promo art.
4 The little Mermaid
Another classic Disney tale that has been turned into something different and darker is The little Mermaid. Hans Christian Andersen’s source material also inspired the 2015 Polish horror musical. the lure. The film follows two vampire mermaids who want to live in America but emerge in Warsaw, working as showgirls and strippers at a nightclub.
One falls for the nightclub gang member who lured them there, while the other struggles to keep his vampiric urges in check when a stream of easy victims emerges in the form of fans who flock to the club after hearing about the sirens. . Unlike other fairy tale horror adaptations, which are rarely serious and often meet with hostility from critics, the lure had its international premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, where it won an award for “unique vision and design.”
3 The Grinch
It is one thing to steal Christmas, but quite another to go out and kill Christmas. Dr. Suess’s famous green demon is turned into a bloodthirsty beast angered by a father and daughter mocking a town’s ban on Christmas decorations in 2022. the bad. Features cult horror actor David Howard Thornton, known for playing the clown in the scary movies, like the terrifying Green One in this twisted version of the Grinch.
The story follows Cindy, a traumatized adult who returns to her childhood home where she saw her mother killed by the furry green monster. With her is her father, and the two seek closure by selling the house. They find out that the town banned Christmas after the murder, and they all blame Cindy for killing Christmas with her silly story of a green monster. However, history begins to repeat itself when Cindy and her father decorate the house.
2 Santa Claus
It seems that no child figure is sacred to today’s studio execs. Even Santa got a killer makeover in 2022, though he didn’t turn into a psycho slasher. He became a hard-drinking, hammer-wielding action hero saving a wealthy family from a gang of armed thugs led by Scrooge in violent night. The film reimagines Santa as a centuries-old magical Scandinavian warrior who takes out the gang with a combination of blunt force trauma and booby traps set by the family’s seven-year-old daughter.
His creepy inventions are on a whole other level than the relatively harmless traps in Home alone. david harbor Strange things and hell boy You take on the role of this evil and ruthless Santa Claus, whose usual Christmas revelry and complaints about modern consumerist children are interrupted when he discovers the break-in in Greenwich, Connecticut.
1 banana splits
Hanna Barbera’s beloved band of animals begin massacring her live studio audience when they learn their show has been canceled in this 2019 film. The film follows a young boy and his mother, who had bought him tickets to the live recording for his birthday. That was the unfortunate day that Fleegle the beagle, Bingo the monkey, Drooper the lion and Snorky the elephant heard they were being cut down.
The beloved ’60s Saturday morning show may seem like an unusual choice for a horror adaptation, but the team behind it believed the band’s sunglasses and permanent expressions made them perfectly creepy. They were also inspired by the idea of children totally trusting anonymous costumed adults. While it lends itself to a gory adaptation, insiders have said that Hanna and Barbera would have hated it, preferring to produce kid-friendly content.
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