Graveyard Shift 20 Movies to Show Your Kids to Get Them into Horror  

Ranker Film
7.6k votes 857 voters 20k views 20 items

List Rules Vote up the classic films appropriate for kids and teens that will teach them to love and respect horror movies.

It's perfectly natural to want to share your interests with your kids, but what if you're a horror buff with a stockpile of Hitchcock, Craven, Carpenter, and Cronenberg sitting in your DVD shelf or filling your digital library? While something like The Exorcist is a venerable classic of the horror genre, its graphic violence and language make it inappropriate for young children. That doesn't mean, however, that there aren't plenty of classic horror movies appropriate for kids. You can consider these films horror movies for beginners. When the days of Halloweentown and Hocus Pocus have passed, and your kids are craving something a little more substantial, these films strike a middle ground. They're intellectually meaty movies that play on deep-seated psychological fears, but do so without an overemphasis on violence or foul language. 

When it comes to finding horror movies for teens or tweens, go for subtly scary films. The Others is a frightening film about a haunted cabin deep in the woods, but it's a quiet, slow movie without too much violence. While there's some questionable language in The Sixth Sense, the film's focus on the importance of parent/child communication make it a great film to start a dialogue with your own kids. These are just a few classic horror films kids can watch without getting too, too terrified, and that adults can enjoy as well. 

Remember to use your discretion. Only you can know for sure what will and will not upset your child, but browse this list for some suggestions. Then, make sure to cast your vote for the best movies to get kids into the genre! 

list ordered by

1
442 91
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Steven Spielberg, Corey Feldman, Phoebe Cates Gremlins is a 1984 American horror comedy film directed by Joe Dante, released by Warner Bros. The film is about a young man who receives a strange creature called a mogwai as a pet, which then ...more

2
409 92
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Craig T. Nelson, JoBeth Williams, Heather O'Rourke Poltergeist is a 1982 American supernatural thriller film, directed by Tobe Hooper and co-written and produced by Steven Spielberg. It is the first and most successful entry in the Poltergeist ...more

3
371 126
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Bruce Willis, Mischa Barton, Haley Joel Osment The Sixth Sense is a 1999 American supernatural thriller film written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. The film tells the story of Cole Sear, a troubled, isolated boy who is able to see and ...more

4
291 151
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John Goodman, Brandy Norwood, Jeff Daniels Arachnophobia is a 1990 American horror comedy film directed by Frank Marshall and starring Jeff Daniels and John Goodman. It was the first film released by Hollywood Pictures, as well as being ...more

5
285 149
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The Tremors franchise is a monster movie series centering on the vicious attacks of subterranean worm-like creatures known as graboids. It began in 1990 with the successful release of Tremors, ...more

6
270 161
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Nicole Kidman, Christopher Eccleston, Michelle Fairley The Others is a 2001 horror-thriller film written, directed and scored by Alejandro Amenábar. It stars Nicole Kidman and Fionnula Flanagan. It won eight Goya Awards, including awards for ...more

7
223 188
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Sarah Michelle Gellar, KaDee Strickland, Bill Pullman The Grudge is a 2004 American horror film and the first installment in The Grudge franchise. It is a remake of the Japanese film Ju-on: The Grudge. The film was released in North America on ...more

8
230 208
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Christopher Titus, John Vernon, Royal Dano Killer Klowns from Outer Space is a 1988 American science fiction horror comedy movie made by The Chiodo Brothers and starring Grant Cramer and Suzanne Snyder. It is the only Chiodo Brothers' ...more

9
188 169
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Odette Annable, Lizzy Caplan, Jessica Lucas Cloverfield is a 2008 American science fiction found footage monster film directed by Matt Reeves, produced by J. J. Abrams & Bryan Burk, and written by Drew Goddard. Before settling on an ...more

10
186 183
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Brad Pitt, Matthew Fox, David Morse World War Z is a 2013 American apocalyptic action horror film directed by Marc Forster. The screenplay by Matthew Michael Carnahan, Drew Goddard, and Damon Lindelof is from a screen story by ...more

11
200 199
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Bryce Dallas Howard, Sigourney Weaver, Joaquin Phoenix The Village is a 2004 American psychological thriller film, written, produced, and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, and starring Bryce Dallas Howard, Joaquin Phoenix, Adrien Brody, William Hurt ...more

12
177 180
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Daniel Radcliffe, CiarĂ¡n Hinds, Janet McTeer The Woman in Black is a 2012 British horror film directed by James Watkins and written by Jane Goldman, based on Susan Hill's novel of the same name. It was produced by Hammer Film Productions. ...more

13
190 196
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Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube, Owen Wilson Anaconda is a 1997 adventure-horror film, directed by Luis Llosa, starring Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube, Jon Voight, Eric Stoltz, Owen Wilson, Kari Wuhrer and Jonathan Hyde. It centers on a film ...more

14
177 183
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Teresa Palmer, John Malkovich, Dave Franco Warm Bodies is a 2013 drama horror romance film written by Jonathan Levine and Isaac Marion and directed by Jonathan Levine.

15
161 179
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Shia LaBeouf, Viola Davis, Carrie-Anne Moss Disturbia is a 2007 American thriller film directed by D. J. Caruso. The film follows a teenager (Shia LaBeouf) who is placed on house arrest and begins to spy on his neighbors, thinking one of ...more

16
144 161
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John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Gallagher 10 Cloverfield Lane is a 2016 American science fiction psychological thriller film directed by Dan Trachtenberg. The film was developed from a script titled The Cellar, but under production by ...more

17
124 146
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James Garner, Robert Patrick, Peter Berg Fire in the Sky is a 1993 science fiction horror drama film based on an alleged extraterrestrial encounter, directed by Robert Lieberman, and written by Tracy Tormé based on Travis ...more

18
120 170
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Amanda Seyfried, Gary Oldman, Julie Christie Red Riding Hood is a 2011 American dark fantasy historical romance film directed by Catherine Hardwicke, produced by Leonardo DiCaprio and starring Amanda Seyfried as the title role, from a ...more

19
99 194
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Christopher Lee, Britt Ekland, Edward Woodward The Wicker Man is a 1973 British mystery horror film directed by Robin Hardy and written by Anthony Shaffer. The film stars Edward Woodward, Christopher Lee, Diane Cilento, Ingrid Pitt, and ...more

20
96 190
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Daren Kagasoff, Matthew Settle Ouija is a 2014 American supernatural horror film directed by Stiles White in his directorial debut and co-written by White and Juliet Snowden, who previously both worked together on The ...more