Tomorrow is Friday the 13th, a day for watching scary movies. But not all fright flicks are created equal, and some (if not most) may not be appropriate for younger or more sensitive children. So we’ve put together a list of our favorite scary movies for families and divided them into age-appropriate groups. We also included the trailers so you can decide if you agree, or show them to your children to gauge their interest.
Scary Movies for Families: Ages 5-9
Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit
This absurd slice of claymation has just the right amount of scary and silly for younger children to enjoy the spirit of Halloween and other frightful days of the year. The delightful British duo Wallace and Gromit try to figure out what’s been destroying a town’s vegetable gardens and discover a monster loose in the neighborhood.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
People love to argue about whether The Nightmare Before Christmas is a Halloween movie or a Christmas movie. Wherever you land in the debate, it’s safe to watch Tim Burton’s groundbreaking stop-motion animated movie every year from October to December.
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
While the Wind in the Willows portion of this Disney double feature has little to do with Halloween for Friday the 13th, the Icabod Crane story is a perfectly scary introduction to Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hallow.
Hotel Transylvania tells the story of a human who discovers a resort for monsters run by none other than Count Dracula. If your children end up liking this movie, there are two sequels available.
It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown
There is a reason why this television special has remained a perennial favorite of the Halloween season for more than fifty years. Nothing quite captures the spirit of Halloween like this Peanut’s classic, making it a great scary movie to revisit at any time of the year.
Honorable Mentions: Monster, Inc., Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Casper
NEXT SECTION: Ages 9-15