1. Drop Dead Fred, 1991
Drop Dead Fred is the trouble-making childhood imaginary friend of Lizze (played by Pheobe Cates) who returns once Lizzie has grown up and is going through a rocky time in her marriage. The plot revolves around Fred “helping” Lizzie get her husband back, but what’s super disturbing is Fred’s pervy fetish with looking at women’s panties (which he can do simply by lying on the floor and staring up their skirts because he is invisible). You also can’t help but get the impression that Fred is (and always has been) in love with Lizzie.
The takeaway: If your imaginary best friend wasn’t sexualized before this movie, he was now.
2. North, 1994
This movie begins with Elijah Wood, playing North, an 11-year-old boy who suffers a full-on panic attack in the first three minutes of the film. You likely had never had a panic attack when you saw this movie, but now you knew what they were. So, North had supremely shitty parents (they were legitimately depressing) and he decides to divorce them and look for a new set of parents. And when he goes out into the world and travels the globe (Texas, Alaska, Paris…) he finds parents are shitty everywhere on this goddamn earth. Then North is dodging a hit man before running back to his original parents. This whole adventure is passed off as a dream North had when he fell asleep at the mall, and when he actually returns to his parents…everything is magically fixed? Um.
The takeaway: You’re trapped. FOREVERRRRR.
3. Labyrinth, 1986
There’s a lot that’s supremely messed up about this cult movie featuring a young Jennifer Connelly and David Bowie’s package — which may or may not have been responsible for your sexual awakening. Besides the fact that Connelly’s character, Sarah, speaks super abusively to her baby brother, there’s also the relationship between Sarah and The Goblin King, which would be a felony if consummated. And yet, you want it to happen. And you kind of want Sarah to stay in the labyrinth and not return to the real world. There’s something weirdly sad about that final scene where Sarah figures out how to escape and you see Bowie exposed for what he is — a desperate man who doesn’t want to be alone. “Look what I’m offering you — your dreams…Just let me rule you and you can have everything that you want. Just fear me, love me, do as I say, and I will be your slave.”
The takeaway: If you have a thing for older men and tend to run away from your problems, this is why.
4. My Father the Hero, 1994
This is one of Katherine Heigl’s first movies and while she’s amazingly fresh-faced and beautiful, you can’t help but be disturbed by the messed up motivations of her character. Her estranged father, played by Gerard Depardieu, decides to take his teenage daughter (Heigl) on a vacation. There, Heigl meets a cute boy but tries to make said boy jealous by telling him her father is in fact her lover. And when word gets around at the resort…no one calls the cops? And then Depardieu goes along with this scheme to help his daughter get with the hot guy?
The takeaway: Soooo many daddy issues.
5. Problem Child, 1990
Junior is an orphan who can’t find a home because this kid is a legitimate psycho — he sets shit on fire, throws cats down stairs (OMG, WHY?!), writes letters to jailed serial killers, and drives cars into buildings. There’s two sides of WTF to this which is, 1) In what world does an orphan get returned to the orphanage 30 times? and 2) What could possibly drive a child to be such a tyrant. Sad and weird.
The takeaway: While you probably found the childish violence of this film funny as a kid, it may have caused you to act out a little more. Don’t you remember just feeling kind of…angry watching this?