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Nightmare Fuel / Beauty and the Beast

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The Disney film
"So, you've come to stare at THE BEAST, HAVE YOU?!"

  • The very beginning of the movie can be scary for younger viewers. The eerie music combined with the stained glass pictures, while both beautiful things when you're an adult, can make kids not want to watch the movie at all.
    • A tiny, blink-and-you'll-miss-it image as the camera zooms in on the enchanted rose in the West Wing: on the balcony just outside, we see a stone face carved into the wall that looks like it's screaming. It's as if the castle itself were silently screaming in agony over the curse.
  • The Beast's first full appearance (see above image), when he furiously confronts and drags away Maurice for trespassing in his castle. It's distinctly more bestial than his usual look and his eyes are depicted much larger and piercing than they usually are, creating an eerie sensation, overall looking like something out of a nightmare.
    • Before that there is a magnificent shot of when the parlour's doors are flung open, the wind blows the fire out and a long, hugely imposing horned shadow sweeps up to engulf the back of the chair where Maurice, only seconds ago, was enjoying a reprieve from his brush with death by the wolf pack.
    • The Beast locks up Maurice afterward, likely with the intention of keeping him there until he eventually dies from hunger or older age.
      Maurice: Please! I meant no harm! I just needed a place to stay.
      Beast: I'll give you a place to stay!
      Maurice: No, please! No! NO!!!
  • This happens in-universe for Belle, when she asks the Beast to come into the light to see him properly; as his foot appears her eyes get wider and wider, and when he's fully revealed she's clearly terrified.
  • Cogsworth's terror of angering the master, and we see it's justified with the Beast's bad temper. Lumiere believes in Sacred Hospitality and Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!, but also it's not like the Beast can hurt a living candelabra. So when an innocent man is imprisoned, the two are arguing about Lumiere creating the situation.
  • The Beast when Belle disobeys him and goes into the West Wing. For the only time in the movie Belle seems to be in danger of actual physical harm from him, as he smashes furniture in rage with single blows of his paws. On top of that, the way he yells can be enough to scare a child.
  • The West Wing, which is much darker and more gothic than the rest of the castle.
    • According to Word of God, the Beast hides the carcasses of animals he's slaughtered in there. I.e, because if Belle hadn't come along he would've turned full Beast and, as mentioned below, lost his humanity.
    • And then there's that mutilated portrait. It's not enough that it was made with that creepy straight-ahead stare, the eyes just had to be the only intact part of the painting.
    • The Beast's "GET OUT!" is extra powerful and extra scary in the French dub.
  • According to Word of God the Beast is slowly losing his mind, and according to the novelization it's just slow enough that he's aware that it's happening. This is clearly seen in the musical when he screams at Belle for nearly touching the rose, ripping her sleeve in the process. This causes her to run and the Beast screams out "I'm sorry! I didn't mean to frighten you! I don't mean to hurt you! You don't understand! There is so little left of me. There's so little left..."
    Beast: She'll never see me as anything... but a monster. (a petal falls off the rose) It's hopeless.
  • The creepy spidery coach-thing that whirrs like an angry insect hive as it transports Maurice back to the village. You never see this thing again during the rest of the film. It makes you wonder where it's hiding. Or what it used to be. Very likely it was a gaoler.
  • Monsieur D'Arque, the asylum owner, is WAAAAAAY scarier than even the actual Beast himself, and is more evil and sadistic than Gaston. Played by the same person who voiced Frollo, and looked like Frollo. Whatever business he was involved in before Gaston called to meet with him is not something you’d want to find out.
  • Gaston's opening attack on the Beast. He shoots him with an arrow, and kicks him onto the balcony. Note that Gaston could simply do a Boom, Headshot! with the Beast, but he goads him about being too kind to fight back. Of course, the tables turn when the Beast sees that Belle has come back, and she's calling out in alarm for Gaston to stop attacking the latter. The Beast grabs Gaston's makeshift club and roars.
  • The Beast is actually more dangerous during the fight than he was before. In the beginning, he would lash out at people who came to his castle with violence and fought the wolves that way. Here, he's thinking on how to outwit Gaston because he knows Belle came back for him and thus he has a reason to live. As a result, he curb-stomps Gaston effectively by letting the latter waste his strength smashing gargoyles.
  • Gaston suddenly stabbing the Beast in the side with a huge Slasher Smile on his face even after the Beast spared his life.
    • In the musical stage play version, he stabbed the Beast two times. Imagine if that happened in the movie. That would be pretty messy.
    • Then, directly afterwards, comes his Disney Villain Death: even though it's less Family Unfriendly than, say, the deaths of other Disney antagonists, such as Ursula or Scar, him losing his balance, the sheer height of his fall, his terrified expression (both while losing his balance and plummeting), and his long, high-pitched scream all make it chill-worthy. If you pause the movie when he's falling, you can see skulls in his eyes. note 
    • That's nothing when you take into account the former option for Gaston's death: when stabbing The Beast on the roof before falling off, he reacted while falling to his doom in a very similar fashion to Jack Nicholson's Joker when he plummeted to his death in Batman.
    • There's also Gaston’s vicious line beforehand.
      Gaston: It's over, Beast! (cue lightning strike) BELLE IS MINE!
      • The original line was even darker before it was re-written to the above one.
        Gaston: It’s over, Beast! (cue lightning strike) TIME TO DIE!
  • Also consider the Beast's death itself, the placement of the wound looks like Gaston stabbed him in the lung (and knowing Gaston, knew exactly where to stab him to do it), which is a truly agonizing way to die. His obvious pain and struggling to breathe as he says his last words to Belle combine this trope with Tear Jerker. He is also visibly bleeding from that wound.
  • The wolves in the forest. These are not the Noble Wolves of many recent works, nor the misunderstood predators that wolves are in real life. These are wolves the way European peasants saw them in the 1500s: vicious, cruel, almost demonic creatures, as intelligent as humans and perfectly willing to put both humans and horses on their menu.
    • The first wolf chase when Maurice takes the path on the right instead of the one on the left like Philippe wanted to go. Because, really, it's not like you're gonna run into trouble on a dark, eerie, forbidding path instead of a sunny, cheerful well-traveled path.
      • And among other things, the music preceding that part and leading into it. There's a good reason it didn't appear on the original soundtrack.
    • When Phillipe runs off, leaving Maurice alone, all the man can do is mutter "oh no" to himself as storm clouds gather. Maurice then hears an ominous growl, and sees three wolves off in the distance, staring him down. The image by itself is Nothing Is Scarier as they simply stare down the camera. Maurice appropriately takes off running, and the wolves are able to cover the ground between them and Maurice in moments.
    • The second chase as well. There's a reason that pack is the page image for Savage Wolves. Belle and Philippe try to ride in the snow, only to get surrounded by wolves. Philippe's reins snag on a tree, and Belle is left to defend her horse with a stick. The wolves are smart; one grabs her cape when the other pounces. If not for the Beast, Belle would have died then and there.
      • While it's both Heartwarming and Awesome, the Beast arriving to Belle's rescue with a full out roar is a poignant reminder that he is dangerous and not somebody to be messed with.
    • According to Word of God, Gaston was originally supposed to survive the fall and then get eaten by said wolves in a deleted scene. It was deemed too dark, though it was eventually recycled for The Lion King with hyenas instead of wolves.
  • The castle fight, for both sides. Sure, it's Played for Laughs in the movie complete with whacky music (except for Gaston's fight with the Beast, which is treated seriously), but when describing it in words, it sounds scary.
    • At first, the castle inhabitants try to bar the door. They realize that it won't hold, however. Lumiere desperately tells everyone to prepare to fight.
    • A trunk swallows the baker, with a slurp. It turns out he's fine, but geez.
    • Mrs. Potts and the kid teacups pour boiling water on one of the attackers. He gives an agonized scream.
    • The Wardrobe gives an operatic scream and crushes a man. No, it's no Gory Discretion Shot; he's still in the same spot where she made a physical impact. Then she curbstomps two other men with her drawers and clothes, all with a Death Glare.
    • In a Freeze-Frame Bonus, you can see a wardrobe crouched behind a pillar holding a baseball bat. Talk about Beware the Quiet Ones.
    • One of the villagers plucking Babette (the feather duster). It's the same as pulling someone’s hair.
      • If you recall that she has a human form as a housemaid and that her feathers correspond to her skirt, this could be considered the same thing as rape, which is so much worse. The evil chuckling from the villager and Lumiere's reaction add to the effect. Considering that Lumiere probably gave that guy 3rd degree burns on his butt would seem a little harsh if it wasn't for the aforementioned act.
      • It could have just been the equivalent of ripping off her skirt, which is... not nearly as horrifying as rape but still plenty unsettling. Compare Cinderella's abusive stepsisters tearing apart her homemade dress.
    • Lefou and the villagers cornering the innocent cushion dog in the kitchen. All the dog did was steal Lefou's shoe, and they were aiming weapons and pitchforks at it.
    • Then it turns out the dog lured them into the darkened room on purpose. Lefou and the other villagers were given a right scare when they realized that everything in that kitchen was alive and hostile, including the stove (complete with Evil Laugh) and the cutlery. Yeah, they justifiably hightailed it out of there fast, and in a hurry.
    • Another bit from the battle scene where Lefou backs Lumiere into a corner with a torch. The following close-up shows Lumiere's terrified expression as the flames slowly melt his wax head, and as he was turned into a living candelabra, being melted might kill him. Thankfully Cogsworth shows up a second later in a Big Damn Heroes moment, but it's still a pretty tense moment.
  • Overlapping with Tearjerker: After Belle leaves to take care of her father, the Beast bays out of sorrow. After watching him become more gentle and human-like throughout the film, it's both heartbreaking and horrifying to see him revert to animalistic roaring.
    • If you listen carefully, when watching the Special Extended Edition, you can hear breaking glass and wood as she rides away. The Beast is destroying things in the West Wing again, likely with even more ferocity than when Belle nearly touched the enchanted rose.note 
  • Gaston's determination to make Belle his wife, including locking away her father in an insane asylum... purely because he can.
    Gaston: (viciously) I'll have Belle for my wife. Make no mistake about that!
    • Which gets even worse, by his reaction when Belle seems to have feelings for someone else, a "monster". It’s pretty clear that, after this final rejection, Gaston has lost whatever sanity he may have had.
      Belle: He's no monster, Gaston. You are!
  • Gaston's "proposal" to Belle, which is basically a G-rated rape attempt. The way he follows her around the room, telling her what their marriage would be like and how many kids they would have, along with him trying to kiss her at the end, is all very unsettling.
    • Gaston's line about having six-or-seven strapping boys is unnerving. What if, hypothetically, his wife gave him a daughter? Or a son he didn't like? Gaston could have become an Abusive Parent quite easily.
    • The thought of what Belle’s life might have been like had she married Gaston also counts. Being the wife of a chauvinist pig would have probably broken her, both mentally and possibly even physically.

Stage Play

  • Maurice has the sense to say he's leaving when the Beast appears, realizing he's not welcome. Whereas his film counterpart was too ill to move, he nearly walks out the door since the wolves seem safer than this unknown master of the castle. The Beast grabs him, taking out his anger on a random stranger and imprisoning him.
  • While it's Played for Laughs, Gaston's proposal to Belle is even worse than the film. At least Animated Belle was able to trick him into tripping outside; Stage Belle doesn't have that option since Gaston catches her in the front yard when he's knocking on her door. Some stagings have her trying to discreetly get away from him, only for him to forcibly grab and manhandle her. Others have him shoving flowers in her face to start the song, usually ones she picked for herself. He puts his hands around her waist when she tries to go inside, makes her cling to him, and nearly kisses her before he resumes singing. At some point, Belle just gives up when Gaston picks her up and waits for an opportunity to steal away.
  • Gaston assumes that Belle is playing "Hard to get!" and reassures the Bimbettes that this is a setback before pretending to skip off happily or stomping off. The Bimbettes are too enamored of Gaston to understand the implications.
  • A random servant grabs Belle when she finds her father and the Beast in the dungeon. She's completely helpless, and it's unknown what the Beast would do to her: either lock her up as well or kick her out. Then said servant grabs Maurice when he's freed to escort him back to the village.
  • The scene in which the mob comes to take Belle's father away. When Belle asks him to stop and he says he'll only help her if she marries him, not only does Gaston gives her a Forceful Kiss, but when she slaps him in retaliation, he almost punches her. He only stops because the rest of the mob were still watching this and gasps in horror, so he decided not to hurt Belle just so he can save face. Very frightening and not very Disney-esque.
  • The servants who have been cursed to live as hybrid-object-human things are gradually turning into full-fledged inanimate objects. Cogsworth and Lumière (themselves transforming into a clock and a candelabrum respectively) even joke on a few servants that this has already happened to (including a "dumb as a brick" coworker who is the wall behind the stove). To elaborate: rather than simply transforming into sentient-but-mobile household items, the servants of the castle are still essentially human, but as each day passes, they become more and more object-like, slowly losing their humanity. It's implied that once they completely become objects, they'll either be dead, or stuck forever as human souls trapped inside immobile, sightless, voiceless items. In this case, the former actually seems like a kinder alternative. Of course, it's really a concession to the fact that the parts have to be played by people - so the scene explains why the clock, candlestick, teapot and others are still "human sized", but it still makes for excellent Nightmare Fuel.
    • This transformation also happens in the 2017 live-action remake.