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Hard truth: Most of your favorite '90s movies are about murdering kids

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Jan 15, 2019, 2:30 PM EST

With the general public's bloodlust for '90s nostalgia showing no signs of slowing down, it's no surprise we’re seeing reboots of some of our favorite TV shows and movies that we lovingly gobbled up during childhood.

However, it is through the lens of an older, more well-rounded person that we start to see cracks in the facades of our favorite shows of yesteryear. Roseanne: racist, Friends: sexist, The Simpsons: racist, Seinfeld: still pretty good, actually. It's the movies, though, that provide the most insight into the mindset of fans and Hollywood execs from way back when. Simply put: There was a lot of attempted child murder plots in movies from the 1990s.

Strap yourself in, put on your rose-colored glasses, and get ready for a hot injection of reality.

Terminator 2

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

Let's begin with an obvious one: Terminator 2: Judgment Day, objectively the finest movie in the franchise. Incredible action sequences, groundbreaking CGI for the time, and an entire plot built around the murder of a teenage boy.

You gotta feel for the kid, too; being a teenager is hard enough, but throw in a mother in a mental hospital and crappy foster parents and some liquid metal jerk from the future trying to stick a knife through your head. What a headache!

Blank Check

Blank Check (1994)

This movie? Yeah, for real. To quickly acquaint you with this chunk of cinematic gold, Blank Check is about a kid named Preston who receives a — wait for it — blank check from a gangster after said bad man almost runs him over with his car. Preston then goes on to swindle the man out of a million dollars, prompting the gangster to pursue a little old-fashioned attempted murder.

Shocking at the time, but I once saw two men get into a fist fight over a stray dollar bill on the ground, so multiply that by a million and you've got yourself a hit movie. Also, it's worth mentioning that this movie ends with a pre-teen boy kissing a 30-year-old woman on the mouth... so yeah, maybe Preston should've died.

Home Alone

Home Alone (1990) and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)

We won't dive too far into the plot of these two movies as they are as iconic as the bottles of Pepsi that are mercilessly promoted throughout the franchise.

Both Home Alone movies feature two grown men who make it their mission to violently murder Macaulay Culkin with Joe Pesci going as far as to (1) point a gun at the young boy and (2) just about bite off his finger. Fun fact: apparently Culkin still has a scar on his finger where Pesci legitimately and accidentally (?) bit his finger.

Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park (1993)

This iconic movie proved that child murder can still function as an effective plot device even when the human murderers are replaced by dinosaurs.

How many times are these kids almost eaten by dinosaurs? There's the first car scene, the kitchen with the velociraptors, the electric fence, the vents... The list goes on.


Waterworld (1995)

This holds the title as my personal favorite campy masterpiece. Here we have the incomparable Kevin Costner as a merman who damn near murders a young Tina Majorino (Deb from Napoleon Dynamite) because he finds her singing annoying.

3 Ninjas

3 Ninjas (1992)

This particular franchise got a lot of little fat boys (including yours truly) into karate and continually featured grown men trying to kill three little boys. If one could squeeze one life lesson out of 3 Ninjas, it's that adults will do anything — up to and including murder — to keep a gaggle of karate-loving kids from mucking up their master plan.

It's worth mentioning that Hulk Hogan co-stars as Dave Dragon in the disappointing 1998 fourth installment to the franchise, 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain. He most likely regrets this decision.


Hook (1991)

There isn't a millennial alive who didn't watch Hook at some point on VHS. What an iconic film — albeit an extremely long one.

You've got to look to this masterpiece of a movie as the crowning achievement in child murder-based filmmaking. You know who I'm talking about: Ru-fi-o. Ru! Fi! O! Ru! Fi! OOOOOOOOOOOOOh my god a pirate just stabbed this teenager in the chest.

Even back then, I remember raising an eyebrow at the idea of an elderly pirate captain committing some pretty cut-and-dry murder with a sword and as a grown-up man, I still wonder how such a shocking scene was deemed "totally cool" in a PG-rated movie. That's right, Hook is rated PG. No wonder I grew up absolutely petrified of swords and Dustin Hoffman.