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Whether anyone likes it or not, we are currently experiencing a new wave of horror movies based on characters from children’s stories. The success of Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey unarguably kick-started the current cycle of films. The extremely high-profile characters entering the public domain in the past few years (like Winnie-the-Pooh and Mickey Mouse) also helped ignite the current trend.
The high number of recent and upcoming releases in the “public domain children’s story horror movie” subgenre means they can be hard to keep track of. This list collects as many yet-to-be-released horror movies in that extremely niche genre as possible. When available, brief descriptions, release dates, and trailers are included with each write-up. If you enjoy low-budget children’s story horror, prepare to have a lot of fun in the foreseeable future.
Horror Movies Based on Children’s Stories – Coming Soon
The Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey movies are leading the way in this new surge of children’s story horror movies. The first Blood and Honey grabbed people’s attention in 2023, and the upcoming sequel promises to be better in nearly every way. For a detailed analysis of why we guarantee that Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey 2 will be better than the previous movie, take a look at our “9 Reasons Why.”
Inspired by the timeless fairy tale “Cinderella,” Cinderella’s Revenge adds an even darker twist than the Brothers Grimm version of the story. As director Andy Edwards says, “Cinderella’s revenge in the fairytale is by being successful and marrying the prince, but in this there’s proper physical, violent revenge.” Indeed, the trailer for Cinderella’s Revenge shows a fairy godmother (played by Natasha Henstridge) giving Cinderella (Lauren Staerck) a mask that gives her the power and compulsion to violently murder everyone who has done her wrong.
Watching the trailer for Cinderella’s Curse, it looks like a low-budget mashup of Cinderella and Carrie, but with more of a supernatural slasher-movie spin. Director Louisa Warren even mentions Carrie in a statement published by Bloody Disgusting. This movie definitely looks like a more blood-and-guts style of horror movie, made for fans of low-budget gore.
Directed by Louisa Warren (Cinderella’s Curse), Sleeping Beauty’s Massacre (currently listed on IMDB with the title Ouija Castle, also possibly listed as Awakening Sleeping Beauty) is about a princess whose father dies under mysterious circumstances. The princess is put into a magical sleep by the evil queen, but the princess wakes up and mayhem ensues. When speaking about Sleeping Beauty’s Massacre, Louisa Warren says, “It is savage, dark and utterly horrifying. I am setting out to create the most uncomfortable horror experience to date.” We don’t have much more to go on right now, but the movie could be a nice double-feature with Warren’s Cinderella’s Curse.
The Death of Snow White already looks quite good. The visuals seen in the trailer are beautiful, and what little is known about the story is promising. As indicated in the movie trailer’s description on YouTube, the film follows Snow White (Sanae Loutsis) as she joins seven “murderous dwarves” while being hunted in a dark forest by her evil stepmother.
Inspired by the Pied Piper of Hamelin, The Piper is about a composer who tries to finish a concerto that her mentor attempted to destroy. As the music nears completion, an evil entity begins to rise. Starring Charlotte Hope and Julian Sands.
Another movie inspired by the legend of the Pied Piper, this one stars Elizabeth Hurley as Liz, a mother who moves with her daughter to the German town of Hamelin. In the film, the spirit of the Pied Piper is said to take away the children of people who get away with committing crimes, and a secret in Liz’s past makes her a target.
In The Little Mermaid, archaeologist Eric Prince makes a discovery that points to an ancient, advanced society in the Caribbean islands. Not coincidentally, Eric also meets a beautiful red-headed woman by the name of Aurora who has an interest in Eric’s work. All in all, The Little Mermaid looks like it could be a nicely-made horror movie with romance and monstrous mermaids.
Goldilocks and the Three Bears: Death and Porridge appears to be a home invasion movie, with the four invaders dressed like the characters from the children’s story. Unlike the similarly titled Winnnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey, the killers in Death and Porridge are are not supposed to be the actual characters from the story they’re based on, and instead are just people in masks. But even without any element of fantasy in the movie, Death and Porridge looks like it could still be a good low-budget thriller.
Peter Rabid might just take some in-name-only inspiration from the Peter Rabbit character created by Beatrix Potter. Production company Shogun Films describes the movie as having two rabbit-masked killers, Peter Rabid and Bedelia, being influenced by a cult to murder a bunch of people in an isolated mansion. Though it might not really have anything to do with The Tale of Peter Rabbit, a post on Shogun Films’ Facebook page name-drops Terrifier 2 when teasing the levels of gore Peter Rabid will have.
Peter Pan’s Neverland Nightmare comes from Jagged Edge Productions, the creators of Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey. The movie is described by producer, co-writer, and director Scott Jeffrey as “a mesh between Switchblade Romance [aka High Tension] and The Black Phone with our own spin on it.” The movie will reportedly feature Wendy attempting to save her brother from an evil Peter Pan and a drug-addled Tinkerbell. Neverland Nightmare will be part of the Blood and Honey shared universe.
Another upcoming Jagged Edge Production is Pinocchio: Unstrung. Plot details aren’t known at this time, but the movie is expected to be part of the Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey universe.
Bambi: The Reckoning is inspired by the public-domain novel Bambi, A Life in the Woods by author Felix Salten. Part of the Jagged Edge Productions Winnie-thePooh: Blood and Honey shared universe, Bambi: The Reckoning follows a mother and son who become stranded after a car wreck and are hunted by a bloodthirsty Bambi. Director Dan Allen says to “Expect bloodshed, tears and rabbits… and one mean killer deer. At last, the British countryside will finally get its Godzilla.” Bambi: The Reckoning is expected in the Fall of 2024.
Oswald: Down the Rabbit Hole is about a group of friends who are transported to a reality where a cartoon rabbit wants to steal their souls. The film is inspired by the character of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit who first appeared in the 1927 short animated film “Trolley Troubles,” originally distributed by Universal. Oswald was co-created by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks, and the character is known as the precursor to Mickey Mouse given their similar appearances. Oswald: Down the Rabbit Hole looks interesting, and it appears as if it will have a completely unique approach when contrasted with the current deluge of public-domain horror movies.
Mickey’s Mouse Trap takes a rather simplistic approach creating a horror movies from hugely popular sources like “Steamboat Willy” and Mickey Mouse. Rather than taking direct inspiration from the original story or character, this will instead be a typical slasher movie that happens to have a killer wearing a black-and-white Mickey Mouse mask. That’s probably actually the safest route to go with for something like this. Mickey’s Mouse Trap is about a group of friends being stalked and slashed inside an amusement arcade.
Rapunzels Fluch 2 is a German horror film about a group of podcasters who accidentally set the demonic Rapunzel free. The demonic entity then uses a pair of siblings as a way of tracking down the living descendant of an exorcist who it wants revenge on. There is no indication that this will receive a North American release, but the trailer looks interesting enough to keep watch and/or bug distributors to make it more available.
More Horror Movies Based on Public Domain Children’s Stories
The movies in the below list can be found on IMDB, but information is scarce. Some of them might be short films, and some might never be completed and released. They’re included here just to show how widespread the interest is in making movies based on classic children’s characters.
- Untitled Steamboat Willie Movie – Steven LaMorte, director of The Mean One (2022), directs this horror-comedy about a killer mouse aboard a late-night boat ride. No release date has been indicated.
- Steamboat Willie: Blood on the Water – Not much is known about this movie other than it will reportedly be about a legend of a ghostly captain and demonic rat-men.
- Pinocchio Unleashed – This title was announced by Film It VFX Studios on TikTok. The studio is currently funding a short Critters fan film titled Crites, and information on Pinocchio Unleashed is practically non-existent. It’s unclear if the Pinocchio movie will be a short or a feature, but the image shared by the studio indicates a 2025 release.
- Winnie the Pooh: Master of Puppets – It’s hard to tell what’s going on with this one, but it appears to be about a murderous teddy bear. The connections to Pooh Bear are unclear, and the movie can be found under multiple different titles. You can find a trailer from Halloween of 2022 on YouTube, and it really appears as if this was a completely unrelated movie that got a title change to take advantage of the Blood and Honey hype.
- Winnie the Pooh: Death House – This was announced in May 2023 by Variety and still has an entry on IMDB, but since its announcement the Winnie-the-Pooh connection was dropped in favor of Peter Rabbit. Winnie the Pooh: Death House is now Peter Rabid (which is written about above in this article).
- Peter Pan Goes to Hell – Announced alongside Winnie the Pooh: Death House (now Peter Rabid), Peter Pan Goes to Hell is described as “a slasher movie in the vein of Psycho and Nightmares in a Damaged Brain.” Little more is known at this time.
- Rapunzel’s Revenge – Described on its Indiegogo campaign as an “alternative take on the classic story by the Grimm Brothers,” Rapunzel’s Revenge is about a woman in prison for a murder she doesn’t remember, and who also lived a past life as Rapunzel. No release date has been announced, but the Indiegogo rewards have a December 2024 date attached to them.