Val Lewton is widely considered a king of horror, and this is the movie is most likely to leave scars on any children in the audience. The lead character is a lonely and imaginative girl who is visited by Simone Simon, who is a ghost… or something. There’s also some creepy business involving the Headless Horseman, but the most memorable scene is when no one shows up to the little girl’s birthday party. Every child is terrified of that.
One of the best ways to terrify your inner child is to show it something that it’s familiar with after it’s been turned into something evil. And no one is better at that than Alfred Hitchcock, the director of The Birds. Just to make sure the deed is done, there’s a famous scene featuring schoolchildren getting viciously attacked by birds. Win-win!