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Given Roald Dahl's love for Black Comedy and the surrealism of the films, this is inevitable.


General: Edit

  • The original draft of the book was much more violent, with children being burned to death FROM THE INSIDE OUT, ground to powder while screaming in agony, drowning, cut to ribbons, crushed, etc. In fact, Violet seemed to be the only survivor along with Charlie.
  • The possible fates of the naughty children and Wonka's cavalier attitude towards them (e.g. when Veruca falls down the garbage chute, he glibly points out that the incinerator is only turned on every other day). Rule of Funny allows these to be Amusing Injuries rather than horrific accidents and the children ultimately end up (mostly) unharmed, however, the whole situation seems to be rather macabre.
    • Especially frightening if you're claustrophobic, and don't know that the kids survive their punishments. This makes Augustus Gloop's and Veruca's demises way scarier.

1971 film Edit

  • The Ooompa-Loompas: orange-skinned, green-haired little demons. Your child was just mutated by a freak accident? That's terrible. Say, this will cheer you up: Men with irradiated skin singing in monotone about how he or she deserved it and how terrible a parent you are!
  • The Wonkamoblile foam scene seems to take a concept of total wackiness, the wacky car, and distort it into disturbing madness. All the odd bit make a really jarring noise to young ears but it's probably because of the way Mrs. Teavee kept screaming.
  • In the Gene Wilder adaptation, the scene where Grandpa Joe and Charlie drink the Fizzy Lifting Drinks and Charlie almost gets axed by the fan.
  • The first thing people of a certain age will mention when the topic of "things that scared the crap out of you as a child when you didn't expect it" will be the "There's no earthly way of knowing/which direction we are going" sequence of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. No child alive saw it coming. It remains one of the ultimate examples of Nightmare Fuel to this day. It even made Bravo's 100 Scariest Movie Moments list (it was #74).

  Wonka: There's no earthly way of knowing... which direction we are going... There's no knowing where we're rowing... or which way the river's flowing... Is it raining? Is it snowing? Is a hurricane a-blowing? ...Not a speck of light is showing, so the danger must be growing... By the fires of hell a-glowing...is the grisly reaper mowing? YES! The danger must be growing, for the rowers... keep on rowing... And they're certainly not showing... ANY SIGN THAT THEY ARE SLOWING! RRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGHH!

    • "Daddy, I do not want a boat like this!"
    • How is the boat ride anything but? You're stuck in a tunnel where you get flashes of insects crawling out of people's bodies, spiders, and a man butchering animals, all while Gene Wilder appears to be going insane.
  • Willy Wonka himself is pretty freaky at times -- even -- scratch that, ESPECIALLY -- when portrayed by Gene Wilder. Aside from the aura of barely-veiled madness, the guy engineers some pretty disturbing fates for his ill-mannered guests. (Not that they didn't all deserve it, but it's still disturbing to watch.)
  • Sequence with the fat kid falling into the chocolate river and being sucked up into the clear tube, where he gets stuck. Drowning, suffocation, trapped in plain sight, screaming for help but unheard, seen but not helped. Abandoned to deadly fate.
  • Violet getting turned into a blueberry. Sure, it's funny when you're older, but when you're a kid you can only think about she might explode, and how the Oompa Loompas are pushing her out of the room, singing a song and seemingly indifferent.


Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator Edit

  • Charlie and the Glass Elevator and the Vermicious Knids were definitely Nightmare Fuel. They looked like 4ft-tall furry eggs that stood on their pointy ends and had HORRIBLE staring eyes. They could twist into any shape and ate humans. One of the most unnerving things about them was that it's suggested that they don't eat people so much as absorb them - they don't have mouths, but 'they have their ways'. They were the first things that Mr. Wonka was actually SCARED about. It could be difficult just turning the page, knowing that picture of the thing standing in the elevator would be there. Even worse with the Michael Foreman illustrations... that is, BEFORE Quentin Blake did them.
  • The bit going down with the 'Minuses' to rescue the grandmother who'd taken too many of the de-aging pills and had been reduced to -3 years old. Imagine this cavern with negative ghosts floating sideways...
    • Oh, and the cavern is also populated by invisible, inaudible creatures that, if they bite you, you become one of them. And there's no way to tell where they are or if they're coming until they bite you...
    • It's worse when you notice that Wonka apparently knows how it feels to get bitten. Your age is slowly divided into a random number until you become one of them.....maybe Mr. Wonka had other reasons for giving Charlie the factory at such a young age?

2005 film: Edit

  • Johnny Depp's portrayal of Wonka as a reclusive, downright creepy Mad Scientist.
    • Depp says it was partially inspired by the eccentric, unsettling nature of many a children's TV presenter; he wondered what it would be like if someone had those mannerisms all the time.
  • The puppets burning before the kids enter the factory.
  • The fact that Wonka was very calm about all the other kid's trials, EXCEPT VIOLET'S. The fact that Willy Wonka was running and hiding for cover made it horrifying (plus all the build-up and new graphics that made it look insanely real), he even begged for Violet to stop chewing the gum- "Hah hah, yeah! Spit it out."
  • The squirrel scene.
  • Christopher Lee as a dentist.
  • Violet Beauregard being all floppy and boneless as they leave the factory is straight out of The Exorcist. Shiver.
    • Also, Violet's blueberry transformation was even bigger and more frightening. And the Mike Teevee musical sequence (Shout-Out to Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody).
  • The images of the house, Willy Wonka's flashback to his childhood, and the scene where the puppets in front of the factory suffer a Sugar Apocalypse from the fireworks were DEFINITE nightmare fuel.
  • The whole factory gets rather horrific undertones in Burton's version, especially the melting dolls and the slowed-down song track.

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