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Top 20 Horror Films For Kids

Tuesday, October 06, 2015Zena Horror


As a horror fan, it brings back such awesome memories whenever we re-watch horror films we watched as a kid.

It's like we get to step back into our childhood and recapture those same AMAZING feeling. I decided to put together a list of my Top 20 Horror Films For Kids! Ultimately it's your call as to what is appropriate to show your kids, I'm simply providing my top 20!



20. The Worst Witch (1986)

Mildred Hubble, always in trouble, struggles with being the worst student at Miss Cackle's Academy for Witches. Tim Curry makes an appearance in this film as the HAWTEST warlock around and he sings a song! This film is definitely a great one for kids who may not be ready for Harry Potter. Who cares that Mildred grew up to be Nancy Downs from The Craft!


19. Ghostbusters (1984)

The film followed a team of parapsychologists who go after ghost issues all around NYC. Sure, there are creatures come from the grave and beyond, however it's still a kid friendly film!


18. Tower of Terror (1997)

A disgraced reporter along with niece investigates an abandoned luxury hotel where five people mysteriously disappeared sixty years earlier! There are some scary segments but I feel like kids will find it exciting!


17. Gremlins (1984)

I know this may not look like a horror! Simply look at that cute face, reminds me of stuffed animal! Well, don't be fooled. The New York Times referred to this film as "kiddie gore", however, it still a family friend film.


16. The Haunted Mansion (2003)

A realtor, his wife and their children are summoned to a beautiful, gothic mansion. Once he stops being a money hungry workaholic, he discovers the mansion is haunted and wants to snatch away his wife. There's also an important moral lesson about the family, definitely good for kids!


15. Coraline (2009)

In this dark yet whimsical tale, it follows a young girl that lives in a fantasy world. There are some creepy things in this film, like button eyes but most kids didn't it creepy.


14.  Monster House (2006)

Although I didn't see this one as a kid I believe it's a gem for kids! The film follows two kids as they try to demolish a haunted house that's been threatening their neighborhood for years. It is rated PG which may be due to the final battle scene.


13. Little Monsters (1989)

This film focuses on a kid who is enduring his parents separation. He definitely needs to take his mind off reality so once he meets Maurice, who is actually a pre-teen monster, things start look up! The monster underworld may be a bit scary for some kids but it's more humorous than anything.


12. The Monster Squad (1987)

This awesome film brought Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolfman and The Mummy together! There's questionable language and violence however it's far from scary. It's main focus is the friendship these kids have between each other.


11. Beetlejuice (1988)

Barbara and Adam are dead but unaware and their house was sold to a new weird family. Barbara and Adam are super desperate to get their house back by chasing away their current residents but nothing seems to work! So the two turn the bio-exorcist 'Betelgeuse' to get rid of these people and of course things don't go smoothly! Tim Burton presents to us one of the coolest characters EVER, Beetlejuice! The film is definitely enjoyable but has some questionable things in it for kids.


10. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Sure, this film may suffer from an identity crisis: is it a Halloween movie or a Christmas movie? Perhaps it's just both! This film is a musical and features the iconic character Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloweentown! Jack accidentally stumbles on the concept of Christmas, becomes obsessed and kidnaps Santa Claus. Kids may enjoy the music.


9.  House (1986)

A troubled writer moves into a haunted house after inheriting it from his aunt. This film is a comedy horror that filled with gooey, dripping monsters hiding in the closets and bathroom. This one is classic and definitely a gem, perhaps this one could be for an older child.


8. The Witches (1990

This film has more dark humor than horror therefore it's definitely kid-friendly. Your kids need to see this film to witness the Grand High Witch (Anjelica Huston) creepy demeanor and also because it's Jim Henson's final production. Help your kids life, please!


7. Critters (1986)

The film focuses on porcupine looking critters from outer space that eat humans. These round little things have the ability to shoot up people's spines. Sounds scary, huh? Well, the film is pretty funny and I think because of that it will appeal to kids.


6.  The Gate (1987)

A young boy and his older sister are home alone for the weekend since their parents are out of town. The young boy and his good pal discover a hole in his backyard that is infested with demons from hell! Ok...that sounds intense but it's not as harsh as it sound. This focuses on the kids battling the demons rescuing the world, it's like an adventure!


5. Halloweentown (1998)

A young girl named Marnie has always been obsessed with Halloween despite her strict, straightforward mother. Every Halloween, her grandmother comes to visit and just before her grandmother leaves Marnie over hears her grandmother and mother talking about Marnie being a witch! Her mother has been keeping it from Marnie and two siblings all of their lives. Marnie decides to follow her grandmother back to her home, which is an awesome place called Halloweentown. This film is the first of the trilogy but I never counted the third one because Sara Paxton played Marnie instead of the original Marnie Kimberly J. Brown. Sorry, Sara!


4. Don't Look Under The Bed (1999)

A logical girl must accept help from an imaginary friend Larry Houdini, to defeat the boogeyman that is framing her for pranks going on through her town! Disney channel no longer shows this film on TV because it scared kids but I watched this at 12 years old and I thought it was far from scary! I really enjoyed it.


3. Casper (1996

This awesome film focuses on the iconic cartoon character Casper. Casper is a lonely ghost but he finally finds a friend! He tries to bring himself back to life but things don't go as planned. It's just a boy meets girl story...minus the boy because Casper is a ghost, duh. This film is lighthearted and definitely appropriate for kids.


2. My Teacher Ate My Homework (1996)

A student named Jesse Hackett hates his teacher Mrs. Flink. One day while checking out a creepy store Jesse finds a doll at a store resembling his teacher. Soon things start to take a turn for the worse when the doll comes to life! This film is based on Shadow Zone book.


1. Hocus Pocus (1993)

This Halloween themed comedy focuses on the malevolent spirits of three 17th century Salem sister witches that were hung and then accidentally resurrected by a group of kids. The witches then try to kill kids by sucking the lives out of them to remain on earth and young. It is a dark Disney film but a must see for all kids!


H  O  N  O  R  A  B  L  E     M  E  N  T  I  O  N  




ParaNorman (2012)

A kid named Norman who can see the dead, how awesome is that? Well, he lives in a small town Massachusetts where an evil witch was executed in the 1700s so maybe not so cool. There's destruction, zombies and a teen who just wants to fit in! Kids will enjoy this!


What would be on your Top 20 Horror Films for Kids?

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