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Nightmare Fuel / Matilda

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The movie

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  • The entire sequence where Matilda and Miss Honey snuck into Miss Trunchbull's house and Miss Trunchbull hunts them down in order to kill them is entirely terrifying.
    • The scene where Matilda has snuck into the Trunchbull's house, hiding under the table as the Trunchbull's shadow gets slowly closer.
  • The Chokey is even more terrifying on-screen. The nails sticking through the door are easily long enough to impale someone on.
  • The scene where Matilda "haunts" the Trunchbull's house. Even though the audience knows Matilda is behind all of it, you have to admit that seeing Magnus' portrait flying down the staircase and hanging itself on the mantle followed by the clock striking midnight is pretty damn spooky.
  • The scene near the end where the Trunchbull threatens Miss Honey. Sure, it subsequently leads to the Moment of Awesome that is Miss Honey finally standing up to her, but still...
    Trunchbull: I broke your arm once, I can do it again, Jenny...
  • Even though the scenes are pretty exaggerated, any scene where the Trunchbull tortures the students would be pretty horrifying for any parent to see, especially since Fridge Horror sets in that the students were trying to tell their parents about the Trunchbull abusing them, but their parents wouldn't believe them, therefore igniting a fear that parents might not know when their children are being abused at school if their children will not tell them what is wrong.
  • The whole scene where Miss Trunchbull forces Bruce to consume the huge cake. Doubles as Nausea Fuel, the extreme close-up shots of him struggling to swallow the sickly confectionery are pretty stomach-turning.
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    • Additionally from this scene is a single line: "Her sweat and blood went into this cake...!" While the horror of this line mostly depends on how much one understands the metaphor of "sweat and blood" going into something (basically, meaning putting a lot of very hard work into something), remember that this is speaking to a bunch of children who think mostly in concrete terms. Also, who else is most likely to watch this film but kids? The reaction of "Ewwww....!!" from the audience in the film is likely to mirror that of a viewer who may think the Trunchbull literally meant the cake was made with sweat and blood as additional ingredients! But then again, knowing the Trunchbull's vicious torment of others....
    • The above photo with Trunchbull eating chocolates and gloating "Much too good for children". It's a brief flashback that just pops up without warning in an otherwise low-key-ish scene where Ms. Honey's explaining her past and Ms. Trunchbull's policing of the chocolates. Trunchbull even eats them with the wrapper on!
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  • Trunchbull herself is less a snooty "Evil Headmistress" and more of a brutish, inhuman, rampaging Orc!
  • A bit more subtle in the movie than the book, but it is shown that whenever the kids attempt to get even with the Trunchbull's vicious attitude, she makes guesses as to who she believes the culprit to be, though only the book mentions how scarily accurate her guesses tend to be. Otherwise, the crime winds up pinned on another unsuspecting student and they have to bear her wrath. This is especially noticeable in the scene with the newt, as Lavender was the one who put it in her drinking water, not Matilda who gets blamed. Imagine the helplessness this implies: Not only can you not get even with this horrible person, but doing so means bringing down her wrath on either yourself or one of your close friends. In the end, someone is going to pay HORRIBLY for what you do...

The musical

  • From the musical, Matilda's story. Especially since it turns out to be true. It starts off bittersweet, until the acrobat's sister insists she do the most dangerous trick known to man while she's pregnant. She ends up breaking almost every bone in her body after her husband accidentally lets her slip from his hand. She manages to hang on to life until she gives birth, but died shortly after. Unfortunately, the escapologist doesn't blame her sister for the accident, and he lets that same sister help raise his daughter. She viciously abuses the little girl, to the point of leaving her locked in the basement. When the father finds out, he tries to attack the sister. Who's an Olympic athlete. She ends up killing him, and stealing everything he owned. Now learn this lady is headmistress of a school.
    • Even worse is that Matilda is the one telling the story - and the darkest parts come right when she's at her lowest point. While The Reveal makes it better, it's hard to guess it ahead of time. So the first time you see the musical it seems like Matilda is going genuinely insane.
  • In the original production, the lasers revealing that Trunchbull has built multiple Chokeys built to lock in every child in the school is heralded with pretty much THE MOST EARTH-SHAKINGLY LOUD SOUND CUE TO EVER BE HEARD IN THE THEATRE, enough to cause nightmares FOR WEEKS.
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