EJ Moreno discusses his top picks for kid-friendly horror movies this Halloween season…
Halloween is a significant time when everyone dives into the world of horror. For many children, this is their first introduction into the genre, either scarring them for life or making them lifelong fans. Use this list as a guide to find the perfect fit for you and your family this Halloween season. If you are craving some spooky adventures or hilariously horror, there is something for everyone here…
-Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island
-The Sixth Sense
This Universal Classic Monster might not be the most accessible to small children, but it’s a thrilling adventure that works on so many levels. Most of these films work with The Wolfman and Creature From The Black Lagoon other amazing picks, but Frankenstein’s story and beautiful filmmaking make it stand above the rest.
Little Shop of Horrors (1986)
Musicals are the easiest way to make the entire family happy, even if the songs are about a giant plant that needs to eat people. Little Shop of Horrors feels warm and inviting but has this dark spirit sprinkled throughout the film. Everything from the horrific Audrey II puppet to the darkly comedic songs, make sure to watch on Halloween.
The Frighteners (1996)
R-rated, yes? But Peter Jackson’s The Frighteners is the perfect entry into “adult horror” for any kid. This 90’s cult classic, starring Michael J. Fox and directed by Peter Jackson, feels very 90’s in every way possible. Funny, shocking, and oh so campy, this is a movie that feels like the perfect step from kid-horror to something for teens!
Addams Family Values (1993)
My personal favorite on this list, Addams Family Values is a must-see for any horror-loving child. The Addams Family is something that’s lasted generation after generation, starting in the 60’s and even having a millennium reboot not too long ago. Nothing comes close to this iconic film though. It has horror and fun for the whole spooky family!
The Monster Squad (1987)
So many 80’s kids can cite this as an influential part of their upbringing. Writer Shane Black and director Fred Dekker know the right way to bring out the kid in everyone, and The Monster Squad is the perfect example. Using the iconic Universal Horror Monsters in an updated fashion is perfect, and allows this to be accessible to just about anyone.
Tim Burton is the epitome of “horror movies for kids.” Every one of his films mixes the world of family and horror together, nearly seamlessly, and always hilariously. Beetlejuice might be the best of the best, with so many bizarre things handled in such a light and fun manner. Edwards Scissorhands is another great pick as well.
Hocus Pocus (1993)
Other than the animated movies on this list, Hocus Pocus is probably the most “kid-friendly” movie on this list. This Disney film is a bit lighter than some of the other entries, but it’s still a thrilling ride in a strange world. Also, Bette Middler puts out one of her campiest performances ever as a witch trying to suck the life out of children.
All four of animation studio Laika’s films deserve a place on this list, but ParaNorman feels just a bit more significant. Any child who feels like he doesn’t fit in or love the strange & unusual will relate to this film. It’s not only an homage to all things horror but also a great coming-of-age story for the spooky kids out there.
Another film that feels a bit more “adult” on this list, and there’s no denying that. But Ghostbusters feels perfect for the entire family to watch; the type of movie that small children to their parents can enjoy. While the remake might hit this generation of kids a little more, don’t doubt the power of some good old 80’s cheese.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
As unoriginal to put this at one, there is no truly no better horror movie for kids. Doubt the horror? Show a small one any of Oogie Boogie’s scenes and tell me their reaction! The Nightmare Before Christmas also has the advantage of working as both a Halloween and Christmas film, making it even easier for kids to fall in love with this macabre world.