Horror Lite: 8 'Scary' Halloween Movies for Toddlers

Sasha Brown-Worsham
Toddlers & Preschoolers
16

Halloween is the time to break out the scary movies, pop a bag of popcorn and camp out on the couch as a family.

Of course, not everyone loves horror movies. Some movies are scarier than others and some kids are tougher than others. My daughter happens to love being thrilled and scared (much like her parents), so at nearly four, she is very into trying to find "scary" movies.

Obviously, she does not watch the ones we love best -- Pet Semetary; Halloween; The Devil's Rejects -- but both she and our toddler son can watch something we like to call "horror-lite."

Here is a list of 8 Family-Friendly "Scary" Flicks:

(The films below are rated on the "scare-o-meter" 1-5 in terms of scariness with 5 being the scariest -- and perhaps the youngest you might want to let your children watch).**

Coraline: Scare-o-meter: 3

The tale of a little girl ignored by her parents and what she discovers on the other side of a small door in her living room.

It is a great little flick with a strong female at the center and a mighty creepy story. There are some parts that are disturbing to children, but nothing over the top. The message is a good one: nobody is perfect and your parents love you.

Watcher in the Woods: Scare-o-meter: 5

This is a ghost story/sci-fi flick about a family who moves into a creepy old house and the old lady who lives in the woods behind it. Her daughter went missing 20 years before and the two young girls help her find her.

I first saw this when I was very, very young and it really scared me. The story is creepy, but the ending is very happy and satisfying, so children can appreciate it.

Alice in Wonderland: Scare-o-meter: 3

The classic tale of little Alice who falls down the rabbit hole and discovers a world full of creepy creatures and new friends.

The animated Disney film is creepy, but the new Johnny Depp version is even creepier. For little girls, Alice is a great, intelligent and strong role model.

Gremlins: Scare-o-meter: 5

A man on vacation brings his son a new pet who is precious and cute but comes with a few rules. The son breaks the rules and the "pets" turn ugly.

This movie is funny to grown-ups, but might scare younger children. Older children who like monsters and creepy things will enjoy it and the violence is light.

Monsters, Inc: Scare-o-meter: 1

A group of lovable monsters befriend a little baby girl and try to save her from the meaner monsters.

Designed to be much funnier than scary. The movie would be very entertaining even for the youngest children.

Nightmare Before Christmas: Scare-o-meter: 4

The tale of a portal to Christmas-town opened from Halloween-town as told by Tim Burton.

The movie is definitely creepy with some images younger children may find scary. Older toddlers will like it, but may have questions.

Casper: Scare-o-meter: 1

The tale of two mischievous ghosts and their sweet brother.

More meant to be funny than scary, even kids who are afraid of ghosts will like this one.

The Witches: Scare-o-meter: 4

A little boy is almost gobbled up by a convention of women he discovers are witches and they turn him into a mouse.

This movie is highly entertaining for adults and children, but might be scary for little ones.

**Only you know your children. If they dislike anything scary, none of these may be appropriate. Either way, it is best to watch any questionable movie with your child.

Do you watch scary movies with your kids?

 

 

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