Ten Great Horror Movies to Watch With Your Kids

Since horror has always been associated with October (and especially Halloween), we tend to forget the spooky season isn’t just for adults, kids of all ages enjoy being scared as well. We let them partake in child friendly activities such as pumpkin carving, candy apple making and trick ‘r treating but we tend to leave the horror watching for ourselves. Either because we’re afraid of traumatizing them too early, or simply because horror movies aimed at children tend to suck. These don’t.

Ranked from family friendly to potential kinder trauma, these are Ten Great Horror Movies To Watch With Your Kids.

10. Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie (2005)

For parents who have little ones at home, Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie is a fantastic movie to encourage a love of Halloween early on. This adorable adventure follows Lumpy and Roo as they set out to find a creature called the “Gobloon.” According to Tigger, the Gobloon is a monster that appears every Halloween, attempting to catch the creatures from the Hundred Acre Wood and turn them into “jaggedy lanterns.” However, if the Gobloon is captured first, it will grant its captors one wish. After Pooh helps himself to all of the candy that Rabbit collected, Roo and Lumpy follow Tigger’s map to the Gobloon, determined to catch him and wish for more candy. A sweet story of friendship and bravery with a Halloween twist, Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie is a perfect way to instill a love for spooky season in your tiny tot.

—Ricky Ratt

09. Muppets Haunted Mansion (2021)

With a star-studded cast, fun musical numbers, and two storylines that bring the spooks, laughs, and heartwarming moments, Muppets Haunted Mansion is a fantastic introduction to the Halloween season. Forgoing the annual Muppets’ annual Halloween party, Pepe and Gonzo instead rise up to the challenge of spending the night in the haunted mansion where Gonzo’s hero, the Great MacGuffin, disappeared a hundred years ago. Things quickly get crazy in the mansion with Pepe being seduced by the beautiful bride who promises love and power with secret plans to kill him after the wedding, and Gonzo’s attempts at understanding what it means to be the Great Gonzo versus just regular Gonzo. Including other Muppet favorites such as Kermit, Miss Piggy, and Fozzie, this fun spin on a spooky classic will have the kids begging to watch over and over again.

—Ricky Ratt

08. Hocus Pocus (1993)

This Disney movie about a trio of witches brought back from the dead is a classic. 300 years after being hanged, Winifred, Mary, and Sarah Sanderson return to modern-day Salem where comedy and chaos ensue as the outlandish witches attempt to steal the lives of the town’s children and reclaim their youth. Only having until sunrise before they turn to dust and disappear forever, the Sanderson sisters find that casting their wicked spell won’t be easy thanks to some quick-thinking kids, a talking cat, and a good zombie. Full of laughs, lovable characters, and one of the best musical numbers in movie history, Hocus Pocus is a fantastic movie to turn on and get the kids (big and little) ready for the Halloween season.

—Ricky Ratt

07. Halloweentown (1998)

Another Disney classic the kids will be sure to love is Halloweentown. This exciting tale follows a young girl named Marnie Piper as she discovers her witchy heritage during a visit from her grandmother, Aggie. Wanting to start her magical training, Marnie sneaks off with her siblings to Aggie’s home in Halloweentown, much to their mother’s dismay. There, they meet witches, warlocks, goblins, an ogre, and even a wisecracking, taxi-driving skeleton – just some of the unusual residents of the festive town. Soon after their arrival to Halloweentown, the Piper family finds themselves aiding Aggie in ridding the town of “the bad thing” and locating citizens who have gone missing. When Aggie and their mother are frozen by the evil creature who is responsible for the missing citizens, it is up to Marnie and her siblings to save the day. A fun and mysterious adventure for the whole family, Halloweentown is a must-watch.

—Ricky Ratt

06. Don’t Look Under the Bed (1999)

While Halloweentown usually hogs up all the nostalgia for made for TV Disney horror movies, there are many that hold others in higher regard. Films like Phantom of the Megaplex, Under Wraps, Mom’s Got A Date With A Vampire and The Scream Team have their die hard defenders but the horror themed Disney original movie with the most passionate fanbase that doesn’t have the words “Halloween” or “Town” in the title is definitely Don’t Look Under The Bed. A mixture of Little Monsters and Drop Dead Fred but with far more scares than either, Don’t Look Under The Bed is about a young girl who calls on her brother’s imaginary friend to banish a mischievous boogeyman who has framed her for his pranks. The design of the Boogeyman still holds up and there’s a surprising amount of genuine emotion running throughout.

Sailor Monsoon

05. The Peanut Butter Solution (1985)

The Peanut Butter Solution operates on a level of dream logic that Italian horror filmmakers strive for and that Lynch is jealous of. The plot feels cobbled together from a story someone was told by their five-year-old. It has the same structure of “and then this happened and then this happened and then….” but somehow even less coherent. The main character is a kid who’s scared so badly by a ghost, that his hair falls out. Those same ghosts give him the titular peanut butter solution that will regrow his hair. Being a kid, he doesn’t listen and applies too much and begins growing hair and can’t stop. Enter an evil art teacher who kidnaps him to make magical paintbrushes from his hair and enslaves other children to make them for him. None of it makes a lick of sense and some of it, especially the enslaved children, is nightmare fuel for youngsters. Oh Canada, you crazy Canucks.

Sailor Monsoon

04. The Watcher in the Woods (1980)

I’m willing to wager that a good percentage of horror fans got addicted to the genre simply by seeing a Disney movie far too young. There are scenes in Pinocchio (the transformation), Fantasia (Night on Bald Mountain), Dumbo (Pink Elephants), The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (Legend of Sleepy Hollow) and The Black Cauldron (“An Army of Deathless Warriors”) that still inspire nightmares and then there’s the live action stuff like Return to Oz and Something Wicked This Way Comes that are terrifying on a whole other level. The scariest of the Disney movies for kids is most definitely The Watcher in The Woods. This movie never should’ve been made because it was never going to work. This was developed as “Disney’s The Exorcist“, which should tell you all you need to know about what their ultimate intentions were. When it came out and was too confusing for adults and too horrifying for children, Disney re-edited it, changed the ending, re-released it and when that didn’t work, they ultimately just buried it. This is for the best because making a child’s version of the scariest movie ever made is a terrible idea.

Sailor Monsoon

03. Cry Baby Lane (2000)

Notorious for its scarcity and alleged traumatic material, Cry Baby Lane was an internet legend for over a decade. It premiered in 2000 and since it only played the one time, everyone assumed it was because Nickelodeon shelved it because it was too scary for children. That rumor persisted for years because only those who saw it at the time, could speak to its content. It never aired outside the United States, dubbed into other languages and has never received a home media release. It wasn’t until 2011 that it was finally rebroadcast. The fans demanded to see what the hype was about and the network listened. Did it live up to over a decade’s worth of expectations? Of course not. It’s Cry Baby Lane, not The Exorcist. But, for a made-for-TV horror movie aimed at children, it’s rather effective. The plot involves a group of teenagers holding a seance to contact the good half of a pair of Siamese twins that were buried in different locations, except, the bodies got mixed up and they have accidentally awoken the bad twin. Spooky shenanigans involving possession follow. The always-reliable Frank Langella shows up and there is some imagery involving children with glowing eyes I could see giving younger viewers nightmares. The entire thing can now be found on YouTube.

—Sailor Monsoon

02. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019)

If it isn’t obvious already, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is one for the big kids. This movie brings to life some of the short stories of Alvin Schwartz that we so loved to read in elementary school. Harold, The Big Toe, The Red Spot…classic horror tales that once haunted our young dreams now haunt the dreams of our kids. This movie is the perfect way to start introducing kids to more mature horror without exposing them to too much gore, nudity, or foul language which is typical in most horror movies. Or, if your kids are like mine, they’re already desensitized to hardcore horror and this is just a fun watch before bedtime. Either way, grab some popcorn and plop down on the couch with the kiddos while you take a trip down memory lane with Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.

—Ricky Ratt

01. The Gate (1987)

One of the greatest gateway horror movies ever made, The Gate follows two young boys (the lead is a baby-faced Stephen Dorff in his film debut) who accidentally release a horde of demons from their backyard through a large hole in the ground. Released at the height of the satanic panic, the film checks every one of those fears of the time. Nothing was scarier to conservative America in the 80s than the Devil and heavy metal music with coded satanic messages in it and this film has both. It was among a slew of similarly plotted films that took advantage of the nation’s collective fears and it’s arguably the best of the bunch. It has killer SFX and VFX and the designs of the creatures are great. It’s a horror movie about children starring children in the body of a horror film for adults. The threat is legit and the stakes are real. Adorable pups die and kids die. Anyone can bite the big one. It’s the kind of horror movie Hollywood doesn’t make anymore and that’s why this generation is soft. It doesn’t have films like this to toughen them up when they’re younger.

Sailor Monsoon

What are some of your favorite light-hearted horror films that would be perfect for kids? Share them with us down in the comments!

Author: Sailor Monsoon

I stab.