Is Into the Woods a Scary Movie?

If you’re a fan of musicals and fantasy movies, you may have heard of the film Into the Woods. Directed by Rob Marshall, this movie is a mash-up of several popular fairy tales, including Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and Jack and the Beanstalk. But with its dark themes and mature content, many people wonder if Into the Woods could be considered a scary movie.

The Plot

The story of Into the Woods begins with a baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) who want to have a child but are unable to do so because of a curse put on their family by a wicked witch (Meryl Streep). In order to break the curse, they must collect four items from different fairy tales: a cow as white as milk, a cape as red as blood, hair as yellow as corn, and a slipper as pure as gold.

As they journey into the woods to find these items, they encounter familiar characters such as Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), and Jack (Daniel Huttlestone) from Jack and the Beanstalk. However, their happy endings are not guaranteed as they face challenges that test their morals and beliefs.

The Themes

While Into the Woods may seem like a lighthearted musical on the surface, it actually tackles some heavy themes such as death, infidelity, and betrayal. In fact, some scenes can be quite intense for younger viewers. For example:

  • Little Red Riding Hood is eaten by the Big Bad Wolf
  • The prince cheats on Cinderella with another woman
  • Jacks’ beloved cow Milky White is killed for food

These moments can be jarring for those expecting a typical Disney-style fairy tale where everything works out in the end.

The Music

One of the standout elements of Into the Woods is its music, which was composed by Stephen Sondheim. The songs are catchy and memorable, but they also serve to advance the plot and reveal the characters’ inner thoughts and motivations.

However, some of the music can also be unsettling. The witch’s solo “Stay With Me” has a haunting quality to it, while Little Red Riding Hood’s song “I Know Things Now” has a sinister edge as she realizes the dangers of trusting strangers.

The Verdict

So, is Into the Woods a scary movie? It depends on your definition of “scary”.

While it may not have jump scares or gore like a typical horror movie, it does have mature themes and moments that can be unsettling for younger viewers. That being said, for older viewers who enjoy dark fantasy stories with complex characters and themes, Into the Woods is definitely worth watching.


In conclusion, Into the Woods is a unique and engaging film that puts a twist on classic fairy tales. While some scenes may be disturbing for younger viewers, it’s ultimately a thought-provoking story with memorable music and strong performances from its talented cast. Whether you’re a fan of musicals or fantasy movies, give Into the Woods a chance – just be prepared for some darker moments along the way.