20 Movies to Show Your Kids to Get Them into Horror 

Ranker Film
Updated January 26, 2020 17.4k votes 1.8k voters 42.4k 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! 

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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

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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

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Bruce Willis, Mischa Barton, Haley Joel Osment
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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

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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

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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

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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

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Brad Pitt, Matthew Fox, David Morse
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Odette Annable, Lizzy Caplan, Jessica Lucas
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Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube, Owen Wilson
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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

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Daniel Radcliffe, Ciarán Hinds, Janet McTeer
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Teresa Palmer, John Malkovich, Dave Franco
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Bryce Dallas Howard, Sigourney Weaver, Joaquin Phoenix
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Daren Kagasoff, Matthew Settle
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Christopher Lee, Britt Ekland, Edward Woodward
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