Discovering Horror Through a Family Lens
The allure of horror films often lies in their ability to evoke fear, curiosity, and excitement. However, for families with children and teens, the quest to find horror movies that are both spooky and suitable for younger viewers can be quite a challenge. The films on this list have been carefully selected based on their ability to entertain and engage family audiences without crossing into overly graphic or intense territory.
Embracing Culture and Memory with Coco
In Disney’s Thanksgiving release, Coco, we’re introduced to young Miguel on his journey during Día de Muertos. This film is not just an exploration of Mexican culture but also a vivid celebration of family ties and the power of remembrance.
I’m impressed that Pixar continues to wow me with the environments. I say this a lot with Pixar features, but Coco is visually stunning and full of detail that can only be appreciated with multiple viewings, as one author put it. Directed by Lee Unkrich and produced by Darla K. Anderson, the movie’s rich narrative and breathtaking visuals make it a perfect family-friendly horror film.
A Spooky Animated Adventure in Monster House
Monster House offers a Halloween-themed tale that’s as intriguing as it is spooky. Directed by Gil Kenan, this animated adventure captivates with its story of three kids discovering that their neighbor’s house is alive. It’s sure to grab your attention, but take note, it may be a bit scary for the youngest members of the family. Still, its thematic elements make it an excellent choice for a family movie night.
Otherworldly Realms in Coraline
The creators of Coraline have crafted a film that is both suitable for kids and delightfully creepy. The story follows Coraline Jones as she stumbles into an alternate reality that is at once fascinating and unsettling. The stop-motion animation adds to the film’s unique charm, enhancing its eerie atmosphere in a way that’s particularly engaging for older kids and adults.
Humor Meets Mild Scares in Goosebumps
Goosebumps brings R.L. Stine’s popular book series to life with humor and adventure. The film cleverly balances mild scares with comedy, offering a respectful nod to the beloved books while creating an enjoyable experience for families.
It is, also, suitably scary, but not in a way that will traumatise those of a young age, ensuring it’s an appropriate pick for family viewing.
Magic Meets Gothic Horror in The House with a Clock in Its Walls
The magic-infused narrative of The House with a Clock in Its Walls combines comedy with gothic horror elements in a way that’s accessible to kids. Based on John Bellairs’ novel, this film introduces us to Lewis Barnavelt who discovers his uncle’s house has more than just secrets; it has a heart beating within its walls. While providing plenty of scary fun, it’s best suited for older or less sensitive children.
The Ghostly Tale of ParaNorman
In ParaNorman, we meet Norman, a boy ostracized for his unique ability to speak with the dead. When his town falls under the curse of an ancient witch, it’s up to Norman to confront ghosts and save the day. The film is more fun than frightening and carries important messages about acceptance and courage that resonate well with family audiences.
A Teen-friendly Horror Anthology Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark adapts Alvin Schwartz’s horror series into a narrative film that maintains PG-13 friendly horror. It has been critiqued for not being truly terrifying but is still recommended for being engaging and entertaining for teens.
The Touching Story of Frankenweenie
Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie uses classic horror elements in a touching story about a boy who brings his dog back to life. It expands upon the original concept by broadening its scope, making it an excellent family-friendly option that pays homage to traditional horror tropes while exploring themes of loyalty and love.
A Fun Take on The Addams Family
The 2019 animated revival of The Addams Family offers up all the quirky humor expected from these beloved characters. With voices like Charlize Theron bringing Morticia to life, this film provides an entertaining experience for all ages while staying true to its roots.
The Witches: A Blend of Dark Humor and Fantasy
The Witches (2020), based on Roald Dahl’s classic tale, offers families with older children a mix of dark humor and fantasy elements. Anne Hathaway’s performance as the Grand High Witch adds flair without being too frightening, making it an ideal choice for those seeking less intense horror experiences.
Conclusion: Creating Shared Experiences through Horror Films
Finding horror films suitable for family viewing often requires careful consideration of content and individual comfort levels. The films listed here provide opportunities for shared experiences that can delight without distressing younger viewers. They remind us that even within the realm of horror, there are stories filled with imagination, humor, and heart—perfect for enjoying together as a family.
Tell us what's wrong with this post? How could we improve it? :)
Let us improve this post!