If your little ones want to get in on the ghoulish action with a scary movie or two, we’ve selected five of the most frightening children’s films out there. If your kids are not old enough to distinguish fantasy from reality, these choices will scare the bejesus out of them.
5. The Nightmare Before Christmas (2007)
While Jack Skellington is a sympathetic character, who most adults can relate to in some way, children find him unsettling, gauntly and a skeletal creature who rejoices in scaring people. The movie’s overall vibe is creepy, so the Halloween creatures on the screen will likely frighten the kids, especially Oogie Boogie.
4. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
3. Coraline (2009)
While this movie isn’t as spine-chilling as the book, kids still find the flick dark and unsettling. The mirror universe Coraline discovers is a terrifying, hazardous place where Coraline’s mortality is in danger; it’s even more pronounced by the ghost children who have already died. Probably the most disturbing visual in this film are the several characters with buttons for eyes.
2. ParaNorman (2012)
“ParaNorman” is a monster movie that’s designed to scare younger children. Chocked-full of zombies, corpses, witches and ghosts, it delivers the screams. The movie doesn’t simply have a few scares here and there – it’s brimming with danger, chases, scary houses, and more. This is one fear-provoking film that’s better suited for tweens and above.
1. Monster House (2006)
This has to be one of the scariest kid’s movies out there; in fact, “USA Today” labeled the film as the “first true horror film for children.” The story follows three friends who attempt to clear their neighborhood of a possessed house that has a bad rep for eating trespassers. If your kids are prone to nightmares, steer clear of this one. The protagonists are in constant danger, it’s swimming with spooky sound effects, and the last 20 minutes of the film are truly unsettling. Save this one for teens and tweens, unless you want your kids paranoid that the house is going to eat them.
Did your favorite most frightening children’s films make our list?