The Creepiest Grandparents in Movies

Are they close to death or are you?

Horror movies can ruin a lot of otherwise joyous, wholesome experiences for us, whether it’s swimming in the ocean (Jaws), popping in a movie to watch (The Ring), or trying to get a good night’s sleep (A Nightmare on Elm Street). Now director M. Night Shyamalan, who has already ruined the wind) is setting out to make us all terrified to stop by Granny and Grandpa’s house in the new movie The Visit.

The horror flick finds a pair of young siblings staying with their grandparents for a week only to discover that, after dark, their elders are up to some seriously sinister and downright scary stuff. (And, no, we don’t just mean their only candy option are Werther’s Originals.)

Of course, The Visit is hardly the first time a movie will make us ponder whether we should go over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house. In anticipation of The Visit, we’re looking back at the creepiest and weirdest grandparents ever captured on film, horror or otherwise.

  • The Grandmother in Flowers in the Attic

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    While it’s not technically considered a horror movie, it should be. Because, honestly, what’s a creepier thought than being locked in an attic by your horribly abusive grandmother (played by Ellen Burstyn in the 2014 TV movie and by Louise Fletcher in the campy 1987 flick) for years and, as a result, falling in love with your sibling? Shudder.

  • Grandpa Sawyer in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

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    Oh, let’s see, he’s an 124-year-old former slaughterhouse worker who lives with his cannibal family and lives off the blood of his victims. So yeah, you definitely don’t want this grandpa to “find” a quarter behind your ear. He’ll probably eat it…and your ear…and you.

  • Gladys Foster in Legion

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    Better known as the wall-climbing, foul-mouthed, demonic granny that was featured prominently in the trailer, she’s definitely not someone you want telling you, “It’ll all be over soon.” Trust us when we tell you, she doesn’t mean that in a comforting way.

  • Irving Zisman in Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa

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    Played by Johnny Knoxville in some very impressive, Oscar-nominated make-up, Irving is crude, irresponsible, and downright disgusting. He’s the very essence of a “dirty old man.” You definitely don’t want to be around a grandpa who puts his privates into vending machine slots.

  • The Old Lady in It Follows

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    The curse in It Follows takes any form it wants, including a sweet little old lady. Sure, you can outrun granny usually, but not when she’s merely one manifestation of a relentless killing machine that is around any corner at any time.

  • The Castevets in Rosemary’s Baby

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    Typically it’s a relief to live next door to an elderly couple: They keep an eye on the building, they invite you in for dinner, and they might even babysit. In this case, they’ll babysit your baby…but only if it’s the spawn of Satan that they tricked you into having.

  • The Grandparents in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

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    Granted, these elders aren’t nearly as creepy as the other grandparents on this list, but they all sleep in the same bed together, for crying out loud. Limited finances or not, that’s just plain weird.