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Nightmare Fuel / Chicken Run

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As a Nightmare Fuel page, all spoilers are unmarked as per wiki policy. You Have Been Warned!

For a movie about chickens trying to escape their farm, Chicken Run, along with A Matter Of Loaf And Death, is considered by many to be the darkest Aardman Animations feature.

  • Mrs. Melisha Tweedy. In addition to being Aardman's version of Adolf Hitler (the farm is designed like a Concentration Camp, and the pie machine is an Expy of Hitler's "shower rooms"), she's been favourably compared to Maleficent as a cold, calculating villain, carrying her plans out with chilling precision (not to mention having similar personality traits to Cruella De Vil, which includes a bad temper and wanting to harm animals). Her presence alone commands fear in everyone on the farm, from the chickens to her own husband/accomplice, because they know just how cruel she can be if and when she feels like it.
    • Case in point: her very first scene has her standing in the doorway of the farmhouse scowling, fists on her hips... while wearing a plush pink dressing gown, slippers and a nightcap. The fact that Ginger, Mr. Tweedy and the guard dogs all cower in fear from her when she looks like this immediately establishes just how much of a threat she is.
    • Her plot to kill all the chickens and turn them into pies also draws comparison to Sweeney Todd, with none of the sympathetic qualities of the plays' protagonist.
    • She quietly grins when taking Edwina to "the chop." Subtle, no, but it establishes that this isn't just a job for her. She enjoys it. Although this changes when the pie machine comes into the picture, but there's no change in her sadism.
    • There's also her name, Melisha. When you think deep, it makes sense as to why. You couldn't think of a more threatening name than the corruption of malicious, the very adjective of malice. The similarity to "militia" also fits her fierce, martial nature, and the fact that the farm has some militaristic looks to it.
    • Her coldness throughout the film makes her Villainous Breakdown into a menacing, Axe-Crazy animal all the more horrifying. By this point, she's acting purely out of vengeance and Blood Lust, swinging her hand axe around and making incoherent screeching noises in murderous fury with her hair in a nasty mess. Her look of sadistic glee when she (supposedly) cuts off Ginger's head shows just how much she's succumbed to pure primal rage.
    • Even after her defeat at the hands of the exploding pie machine, her face covered in gravy and sweat and her hair messed up, she's trembling with rage and probably would have continued her rampage had she not been crushed by the barn door.
  • Mrs. Tweedy gleefully snapping her red rubber gloves at the roll-call... and then putting them on as she takes Edwina into the chop. No wonder the chickens are terrified when you realise what they're for.
  • Mr. Tweedy, despite being a bit slower than his wife, proves he can be just as brutal when he first throws Ginger in the coal bin and barks at the other chickens, without a hint of irony in his voice,
    "Now let that be a lesson to the lot 'a 'ya — no chicken escapes from Tweedy's farm!"
    • When Mrs. Tweedy tells him to get a chicken to demonstrate the pie machine on, he decides It's Personal and tells her he knows "just the one." with his face dropping to a more stern look.
    (To Ginger, after capturing her.) I've got a score to settle with you.
  • The Tweedy's vicious guard dogs pull no punches. They're very intimidating.
    • In the opening, Ginger is cornered by the dogs and she uses a garden gnome to defend herself... only for one of the dogs to bite the gnome's head off and continue to advance on her chewing on the broken pieces.
  • The entire escape scene in the pie machine. While exciting to watch, it's clear that one false move or improper timing and Rocky and Ginger would not make it out alive. There's a reason Nick Park described it as "the Death Star of chickendom."
    • When Rocky is sent down the chute with the vegetables, the passageway switches from "Veg," with the letters painted bright green, to "Meat," with letters painted blood red. It's small, but rather startling when you look closely.
  • The offscreen death of Edwina by axe in the beginning of the movie. You don't see anything but you hear the sound.
    • And for good measure, we're treated to a brief-but-harrowing shot of Edwina's bones on a plate after the Tweedy's have her for dinner, which is also accompanied by an unsettling woman's song being played from a nearby radio.
    • The gut-wrenching fear of the similar scene later when a smiling Mrs. Tweedy kneels down to measure the praying-for-mercy Babs. Even when you know she's not getting taken to the chop, it's enough to see just how terrified she is that she thinks she will. We also know that there's a much worse reason she's not being taken to the chop.
    • Related, but we know that the flock have probably seen many of their fellow hens go to the barn and never come back… but obviously the chickens have had to be properly prepared after slaughter. The Tweedy’s have to take the chicken back into the house to be cooked, and they’d be walking past the hen coop. It’s very possible that the hens may have seen the plucked corpses of their friends.
  • The way the movie mostly averts the Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male between Mr. and Mrs. Tweedy. Poor Mr. Tweedy only tries to please his abusive wife.
  • During the climax, Ms. Tweedy, after getting hit by Rocky on a tricycle, almost gets decapitated by her own axe when it lands on the ground next to her head. She's the main villain after all, but imagine if it actually struck her head or neck. Small wonder she passed out in shock when it barely misses her.
  • Ginger's Disney Death, where it had looked that Ginger was decapitated by Mrs. Tweedy's axe while she clings onto the cord during flight. Made more disturbing due to a brief scene where Ginger's red comb is visible when she pretends to have lost her head, which could easily be misinterpreted as blood being spilled from her torn neck.
  • The "Game Over" screen from the tie-in video game. If you get caught, you are treated to a black screen with whoever caught you- the Tweedy's or one of their guard dogs- looking fierce. It's relatively tame by itself, but the sheer size of those Game Over Men, coupled with the loud music that plays on this screen, make it serve as a surprisingly effective Jump Scare.