I think we can all agree that even though we snuck and watched episodes of Tales From The Crypt as a kid, we wouldn't want to expose our kids to that kind of carnage, language and violence willingly as parents ourselves. Horror is a tricky moral subject, as some parents allow their children to watch more graphic material at a younger age than other parents do. However, if you want to start your children off with with more kid friendly horror, here are five TV Shows and movies that will help you do that:
1. R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour
I decided to put this show on the list verses the famous Goosebumps because it speaks a little more to the life of a modern child and I think it's better made. The Haunting Hour is perfect for children ages 10–13 with creepy stories about everything from werewolves to possessed dolls. I found myself completely engrossed in almost every episode because of how well they're written and the level of horror they contain. The plot twists are really quite excellent for a kids show. The Haunting Hour aired from 2010–2014. Many fans of the show still wish it was running today as it is more loved than a couple of the R.L. Stine-based shows that have come after it.
You can stream the first two seasons of the show now on Netflix, but be prepared to love it as much your kid.
2. Monster House
Monster House is a very off-beat animated movie with a unique CGI style and an even stranger cast of voices (Steve Buscemi and Jason Lee just to mention a few). The story is about a house that will eat anyone who walks by it. Several children let curiosity get the best of them and try to conquer the evil house. This film has many jump scares, but nothing a child 10 and over can't handle. This is another smart and engaging film that you'll find yourself enjoying along with your kids.
You're going to want to buy Monster House because your child will be watching it over and over again!
3. Hocus Pocus
This 1993 film is a Halloween classic that is hard for '90s kids not to watch every time it comes on TV during the fall season. The plot line is pretty simple: three witch sisters are resurrected after three centuries in Salem, Massachusetts on Halloween night. Two teenagers, a little girl and a talking cat are then responsible for taking the witches down and saving their little town. It's not clear what makes this film such a cult classic, but it is very hard not to love it. Considering there's nothing scary about it and it takes place during Halloween, it's the perfect thing to show a young child interested in he world of spooky films.
Hocus Pocus is available for purchase on amazon.com.
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4. The Nightmare Before Christmas
Tim Burton's 1993 The Nightmare Before Christmas is also a cult classic among '90s horror fans because it uses excellent claymation special effects alongside catchy dance tunes to bring this twisted story of Christmas to life. The movie takes place in Halloween Town and Christmas Town so, whether it is a Christmas or Halloween story is often debated. There are some truly creepy characters and settings in this movie so show this film to your child based on their level of maturity. Be prepared however, for your kids to be singing the movie's songs around the house for days to come!
You can buy The Nightmare Before Christmas on Amazon.
Bettlejuice is considered by many to be Tim Burton's best film and it is one of my personal favorites! Michael Keaton is brilliant as a crazy and off-the-charts "bio-exorcist" named Betelgeuse. Betelgeuse does the opposite of an exorcist by scaring the living away from the dead. Due to Betelgeuse's crazy antics, scares and hilarity ensues! There are a couple of profane jokes made courtesy of Betelgeuse, but if you kid is 10 or over, I'm sure they've heard worse. Just make sure you watch it with them the first time around so you can answer any odd questions (and avoid anything like what happens in the video below). If you've never seen this film before, it's sure to become a favorite with both you and your child.
You can purchase this film on amazon.com
Here are some honorable mentions:
- Goosebumps (2015 and '90s TV Shows)
- The Addams Family 1&2