A couple of these still terrify me.
If you're a fan of horror and you're thinking about introducing your kids (or nieces/nephews, young siblings, kids you babysit, etc.) to your favorite genre, look no further!
Now you probably don't want to introduce kids to Silence of the Lambs or SAW too young, so you may be wondering what would be more age appropriate. To help you out, I asked a 7-year-old and a 5-year-old what their favorite "scary" movies are. These are their top five that they remembered and mostly enjoyed.
Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
The classic Halloween/Christmas tale created by Tim Burton and directed by Henry Selick may not be scary to most of us, but in the town of Halloween there are absolutely some frightening characters.
The story follows Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King, who lives in Halloween Town. Jack becomes bored with scaring, and thinks there must be more to life. When he stumbles upon a curious tree in the woods and finds Christmas Town he believes that he discovers a new purpose - becoming "Sandy Claws."
This is the only movie on this list that isn't animated. Directed by Ivan Reitman and starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Harold Ramis, and Rick Moranis, this classic supernatural comedy is a great place to start when showing kids scary movies.
I have to admit, the library scene scared the shit outta me as a kid... For a while whenever we watched the movie, I wouldn't watch that scene.
If you haven't seen Ghostbusters... Where on earth have you been? And, like, do you know who you're gonna call?
Coraline is definitely on the darker side, and I know a lot of kids have been really scared by this movie. This film was directed and written by Henry Selick - the same director as The Nightmare Before Christmas, and stars Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, Keith David, John Hodgman, Robert Baily Jr., and Ian McShane. The kids who I talked to for this list even said they didn't really enjoy it as much, because it was too scary for them.
The plot, if you're unfamiliar, is about 11-year-old Coraline Jones and her parents, who move into a new house while her parents are writing a gardening catalogue. Coraline meets all of her new neighbors, including an unexpected - and ultimately scary - couple, after the landlady's grandson, Wybie, gives her a doll that looks eerily like Coraline herself...
Another Tim Burton story, he also directed this one! Starring Catherine O'Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau, Charlie Tahan, Atticus Shaffer, and Winona Ryder, this version of Frankenstein is sure to be a hit with the kiddos!
When Victor Frankenstein's dog, Sparky, is hit and killed by a car, the young scientist decides to reanimate his best friend with lightning in a lab built in his attic. What can go wrong? Luckily, this is a family-friendly movie, so this isn't a new Pet Sematary.
Monster House (2006)
This supernatural (and super silly) film, directed by Gil Kenan, stars Steve Buscemi, Nick Cannon, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Kevin James, Catherine O'Hara, Kathleen Turner, and Fred Willard.
The story? 12-year-old D.J. is left home with a babysitter for the weekend. Things end up getting spooky when he and his friend, Chowder, decide to go into their elderly neighbor's house...
The 5-year-old told me that they really liked the movie called "Halloween". I think they probably meant Nightmare Before Christmas or something else more kid friendly, but they were very insistent that they'd seen Halloween. Okay kiddo, but I know your mom, and I'm pretty sure she isn't going to let you watch slashers...
I was told by the aforementioned 7-year-old that The Corpse Bride is too scary to be included in the top five, so I'll add it here. I enjoyed the movie, personally, but could understand why a movie that mostly takes place in the land of the dead might be unsettling for a kid.
Paranorman also has to have a place as an honorable mention, at least. It's honestly probably my favorite kids "horror" movie.