So it’s time for Weirdier Tides! Running down our list of favorite horror flicks and shows. Warning now that some of the movies and tv shows we will be discussing carry heavy themes and strong visuals.
Oh, and of course spoilers!
There was a Nickelodeon children’s movie, supposedly so scary, it took 11 years to be re-aired.
Or so the legend goes about the 2000 Nickelodeon TV movie, Cry Baby Lane. For years this movie was only aired a single time before finally being aired more or less regularly since 2011 during that spooky time of the year, adding to the story that it was some scary secret that Nickelodeon didn’t want to frighten innocent children with.
With the movie’s release being the same time Nickelodeon’s TeenNick programming block was at its strongest, it was set to be a fine addition. With a premier hosted by the Teenage Witch herself, Melissa Joan Hart, the entire event felt big and built up, like you really were in for a spooky fun time treat.
So was it actually scary?
To tell you the answer if Cry Baby Lane was actually scary or not, and ultimately why it was aired so rarely, we must first go through the plot.
It starts off with two brothers being told a scary story by their town’s Undertaker, as Undertakes are known to do. The tale is of a farmer who had conjoined twin sons, one super evil and the other not, I guess? We are told that one is evil but never in what capacity he performs his evil deeds. Well, one day the twins die and the father, being a man who totally has good ideas all the time, decides to saw his sons corpses apart. Again, he was a scholar and a saint. He buried the vaguely good son in the town’s local graveyard, with the bad son being buried in a nameless grave under a tree on the titular Cry Baby Lane. Those who are out on Cry Baby Lane can hear the cries of the evil brother late at night.
The brothers end up super spooked but interested in the occult, as all young teenage boys are, decide to host a seance to contact the good twin (which is actually the brothers attempt at pranking some girls). Meeting with their friends at the grave of the good twin, they are shocked as it doesn’t go right and strange things begin to happen all over their town. The brothers and their friends are shocked to learn from the undertaker that when the father buried his sons, he buried them in the wrong graves. Meaning that when the kids held their dark concordance with the spirit in the grave, it was the evil brother!
Side-note: It is never really explained why the undertaker knows this and if the father knew this, why didn’t he just switch the bodies.
The movie then becomes a race for the brothers to set things right and put the dead twins to rest.
So given the plot I just told you, I think it is fair to say the movie isn’t scary at all. I don’t really think it was scary even when I was a kid. It was pretty much just a long format episode of Nickelodeon’s horror show aimed at pre and early teens, Are You Afraid Of The Dark?.
I will give the story one bit of horror credit, that at least it does have a bit of tension in it when possessions become a spreading factor but still, not that scary.
So why so long for it to be aired a second time?
So you may be asking why was this movie’s gap between airing so large if it wasn’t scaring children witless? Simple answer, they lost it.
Yup, Nickelodeon lost the movie making it one of two confirmed movies that they have admitted to losing before finding once more. In fact, the only reason Cry Baby Lane was ever re-aired is because skilled redditors found a VHS tv recording copy. This sparked such a heated buzz for the film that it finally got it’s first re-airing on Halloween 2011.
Still awesome though.
Despite it not exactly being a scare a minute movie, It is still a fun watch. It’s cheesy, totally time stamped by the era it came out in, and the sfx will make you giggle.
That is if you can catch one of Nickelodeons re-airs, which they haven’t done since 2017, and with the movie being lost for 11 years, there are no home release or international dub/sub options. But if you see a re-airing coming up, definitely host a viewing party with your friends and enjoy this lost treasure of a movie.