Lock Up Your Children

by Noir Katz | created - 06 Sep 2012 | updated - 28 Feb 2013 | Public

An ongoing list focusing on films about the dangers children face in the world. These are films that make you want to keep your children locked up and never let them leave the house.

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1. Megan Is Missing (2011)

Not Rated | 85 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

4.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

Two teenage girls encounter an Internet child predator.

Director: Michael Goi | Stars: Amber Perkins, Rachel Quinn, Dean Waite, Jael Elizabeth Steinmeyer

Votes: 7,060

Danger: Internet predator

Intense and terrifying, the film has minimal gore (but believe me, what little gore it has is enough.) but it sends a powerful message to users of the Internet: people are not always what they seem on a computer screen.

2. Hard Candy (2005)

R | 104 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
58 Metascore

A teenage girl raids a man's home in order to expose him under suspicion that he is a pedophile.

Director: David Slade | Stars: Patrick Wilson, Ellen Page, Sandra Oh, Odessa Rae

Votes: 140,613 | Gross: $1.01M

Danger: Internet predator

A rare instance where the predator becomes the prey. Great acting, a strong story line, and things implied make this a haunting, memorable film.

3. The Last House on the Left (1972)

R | 84 min | Horror, Thriller

6.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Two teenage girls head to a rock concert for one's birthday. While trying to score marijuana in the city, they are kidnapped and brutalized by a gang of psychotic convicts.

Director: Wes Craven | Stars: Sandra Peabody, Lucy Grantham, David Hess, Fred J. Lincoln

Votes: 27,596 | Gross: $3.10M

Danger: homicidal-rapist hippies

I did not expect to enjoy this film as much as I did. Typically rape/revenge flicks are not my cup of tea, but The Last House on the Left is masterfully put together. The cinematography was outstanding and the story line is perfect.

4. Elephant (2003)

R | 81 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
70 Metascore

Several ordinary high school students go through their daily routine as two others prepare for something more malevolent.

Director: Gus Van Sant | Stars: Elias McConnell, Alex Frost, Eric Deulen, John Robinson

Votes: 76,034 | Gross: $1.23M

Danger: school shooting

5. The Child Molester (1964)

20 min | Crime, Short

5.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Some guy molests children

Director: Herbert J. Leder

Votes: 74

Danger: a stranger with candy (not Jerri Blank this time around)

A short, classroom film from the early 60's about...you guessed it!...a child molester. When a man using candy to lure two young girls into his car, a chaotic search for the girls ensues. What the searchers find is most unpleasant. It includes actual crime scene photos of the bodies of the two young girls who inspired the film. This film was shown to elementary students at school (no, I'm not joking) to warn against the dangers of talking to strangers. Needless to say, the film was incredibly disturbing for such young kids and was pulled from schools shortly after it was released. The film's subject matter in itself is creepy, and the film's scratchy, grainy, distorted color quality makes it even more creepy.

The entire film can be viewed here: http://youtu.be/Di_nf_5T7SM

6. Strangeland (1998)

R | 85 min | Horror, Thriller

5.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

A detective pursues a sadist specializing in body modification rituals who lures teenagers through the internet.

Director: John Pieplow | Stars: Kevin Gage, Elizabeth Peña, Dee Snider, Brett Harrelson

Votes: 5,976 | Gross: $0.63M

Danger: Internet predator/Dee Snyder

7. Cropsey (2009)

Not Rated | 84 min | Documentary, Crime, Horror

6.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
73 Metascore

Realizing the urban legend of their youth has actually come true; two filmmakers delve into the mystery surrounding five missing children and the real-life boogeyman linked to their disappearances.

Directors: Barbara Brancaccio, Joshua Zeman | Stars: Joshua Zeman, Barbara Brancaccio, Bill Ellis, Dorothy D'Eletto

Votes: 6,455 | Gross: $0.05M

Danger: a serial killer who preys on children.

8. Tales of the Unexpected (1979–1988)
Episode: The Flypaper (1980)

Horror, Thriller

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The police are dragging the marshes for a missing school-girl and a sinister man is approaching other young girls. Young Sylvia is on a bus on the way home from school when a friendly old ... See full summary »

Director: Graham Evans | Stars: Roald Dahl, Alfred Burke, Pat Keen, Lorna Yabsley

Votes: 177

Danger: a very unexpected predator.

A young girl is followed by a strange man on her way home. He boards the same bus as the young girl and manages to majorly freak her out. The girl gets off at a secluded bus stop to escape from the stranger and is befriended by a kind elderly woman. That is when things really start to go bad for the young lady. One of the creepiest episodes of the series.

9. Augusta, Gone (2006 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 90 min | Drama

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A troubled teenager's mother tries everything she can think of to control her bad behavior, even if it means sending her away to a hokey but strict nature camp.

Director: Tim Matheson | Stars: Sharon Lawrence, Mika Boorem, Tamara Hope, Currie Graham

Votes: 959

Danger: drug use and addiction

10. Trust (I) (2010)

R | 106 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

6.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
60 Metascore

A teenage girl is targeted by an online sexual predator.

Director: David Schwimmer | Stars: Clive Owen, Catherine Keener, Liana Liberato, Jason Clarke

Votes: 37,210 | Gross: $0.12M

Danger: Internet predator

11. Amber Alert (2012)

R | 80 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

4.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  

When a group of friends decides to follow a car they've seen posted on an Amber Alert, things start to go very wrong.

Director: Kerry Bellessa | Stars: Summer Bellessa, Chris Hill, Jasen Wade, Caleb Thompson

Votes: 2,565

Danger: abduction, molestation, and what happens when you take the law into your own hands.