The best horror movies for kids

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Find an age-appropriate scary movie for kids who appreciate and enjoy the essence of fall and the thrill of Halloween.

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Which horror movie for kids is best? 

Fall is a wonderful time of year that emphasizes the connection between this life and the potential next. The modern version of Halloween has deep roots that go back to Celtic traditions that centered around acknowledging the dead. Now the cultural connection has worn away in common culture over time, but the fascination with the other side still remains. Halloween is a great holiday for all ages because it really provides a glimpse of the often deemed strange and unusual. Find the perfect age-appropriate horror movies for kids to celebrate the spooktacular season. 

What are horror movies?

The horror movie genre mainly focuses on trying to make the audience feel a certain amount of fear. Sometimes these movies slowly build an aversion to something happening on the screen by creating unsettling or graphic scenes. Horror movies are often associated with Halloween due to their scary nature. 

Can horror movies be age-appropriate?

Yes. Horror movies and, more specifically, the genre of horror caters to a wide variety of audiences. Many movies are rated in order to help parents and viewers better understand the intended audience of each film. If you are unsure if a movie is age appropriate or generally appropriate for your kids, then consider looking up the rating of the film as well as checking common movie sites such as Rotten Tomatoes for feedback. 

It’s important to keep in mind that the developmental range within kids is extremely broad, so what is appropriate for an 11-year-old may not work for a 5-year-old. Expanding upon that definition, horror can look very different depending on the perspective and maturity level of the audience. Use your personal discretion when choosing a movie and having a fun time bonding with the kids!

Top horror movies for kids

Find the ideal horror movies for kids that really packs a scary punch! These movies are sure to spook at a much higher level than the films recommended specifically for younger kids. This group of horror movies includes and discusses more mature themes, such as what it means to be family or the meaning of friends, in order to really encourage kids to think while having a spooky time. Put on their best Halloween costume for kids and watch any of these top picks.

The Addams Family (2019) 

‘The Addams Family’ (2019) 

This modern cartoon takes on the classic spooky family and delves into their interesting lifestyle and relationships. The movie runs about 86 minutes and parental guidance is suggested. 

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Coraline 

‘Coraline’ 

This animated film has a relatively darker style as it follows the protagonist named Coraline throughout a mysterious journey in a new world. The film spans about 100 minutes in total and parental guidance is recommended. Consider showing to tweens or more mature kids. 

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Monster House 

‘Monster House’

This movie follows a group of kids as they navigate the horror of a living and breathing home. Parental guidance is recommended for the 90-minute movie. It’s made by Columbia Pictures and is designed with computer animation. 

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Hocus Pocus

Hocus Pocus’

Share the magic of this classic Halloween movie with your kids. This movie invokes the spirit of the season as three witches create chaos in a sleepy town all before sunrise. This movie is recommended to be watched in combination with parental guidance. 

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Beetlejuice

‘Beetlejuice’

This spooky classic was made in 1988 and has a run time of about 92 minutes. The ghosts and ghouls from the other side might be too much for younger viewers, so parental discretion is advised. 

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Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas

Tim Burton’s ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’

Enjoy an extended seasonal treat with a movie that can remain seasonally relevant from October all the way to December. The movie was created using stop-motion animation, which was a relatively long process at the time of production in the early 1990s.

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Best comedy horror movies for kids

Find a horror movie that tactfully blends comedy into the mix. The comedy helps to lessen the tension within the movies and makes both the horror and scare factor more manageable for younger kids. 

Scooby-Doo and the Witch’s Ghost

‘Scooby-Doo and the Witch’s Ghost’

Scooby-Doo and the mystery squad come together to solve a mystery about a persistent ghost. The cartoon movie made in 1999 still holds interest today with a shorter run time around 66 minutes. It’s ideal for younger kids with a shorter attention span. 

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Scooby-Doo: The Movie

‘Scooby-Doo: The Movie’

This movie is a live-action version of the beloved children’s cartoon. The humor and horror combine in order to make an overall family-friendly film that can appeal to both a younger and older audience at the same time. This movie recommends parental guidance.

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The Haunted Mansion

‘The Haunted Mansion’

This horror movie combines comedy in a fun adventure as a young family accidentally visits a haunted house. This movie has a run time of about 87 minutes and recommends parental guidance.

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Goosebumps

‘Goosebumps’

This is a movie that’s inspired by the classic children’s books and includes a revamped comedic factor courtesy of actor Jack Black. The movie spans about 103 minutes and parental guidance is suggested. 

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Best horror movies for younger kids

Find the ideal horror movie that’s intended to be more friendly and approachable for younger kids. These movies are less graphic in nature and often have more approachable themes and age-friendly content.

Alvin & the Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman

‘Alvin & the Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman’

The chipmunk brothers meet the Wolfman in this movie made in 2012. The movie has a run time of about 77 minutes and is an adorable animated film. 

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Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie

‘Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie’

This animated movie happens in the famous friendly Hundred Acre Wood. It spans about 66 minutes and emphasizes the importance of bravery. This film is excellent for younger kids as only general guidance is suggested. 

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Camille Cabrera writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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