Family-Friendly Scary Movies–Maybe?

(Something is… not right… with the mother here.)

I know there are a few Monsters who feel way too much of the scares when watching scary films. Fortunately (maybe?) the Hollywood Reporter is thinking of your welfare, and has compiled a list of family-friendly (?) movies that you can safely watch! (??) Even children (???) can feel safe and still get some spooky Halloween vibes.

But here’s the thing: What?? Some of these movies are downright frightening for adults, let alone kids. Have you even seen these films, Hollywood Reporter?

Because the list is a slideshow (BOO)(not the scary kind of boo), I clicked so you don’t have to Here are their eighteen choices. Discuss.

Arachnophobia: My grown sister couldn’t watch it ’cause spiders and this film GAVE MY FATHER NIGHTMARES

Beetlejuice: Could be fine, I don’t remember any violence?

Coraline: Are you kidding me? Have you seen those button eyes?? I love this film but it creeped me the hell out!

The Corpse Bride: “This macabre tale is based on a piece of 16th Century Russian-Jewish folklore called “The Finger.” The Finger. Make your own call.

Frankenweenie: I’ve never seen it. Thoughts?

Ghostbusters: Think I’ll give this one a pass, though it’s more funny than scary.

Gremlins: Remember how that one gremlin gets ground to a bloody pulp in the blender? Good family-friendly times!

Hocus Pocus: Never seen, though that doesn’t stop me from having opinions about it. A) It’s about evil witches in Salem, Mass. who attempt to murder and eat the children who accidentally resurrected them B) There WERE NO EVIL WITCHES IN SALEM that is a sore spot with me!! There were no witches that’s the whole moral of that horrible event that we’re supposed to learn!!

Hotel Transylvania: Never seen, though since Genndy Tartakovsky is the animator, I just might watch it.

Little Monsters: Described as an “inventive and overlooked 1989 comedy romp,” this film features a boy who looks under his bed and finds a passage to a land of monsters. I guess if the monsters are nice this is okay?

Monster House: Steve Buscemi plays “the mysterious old man who lives in the house by himself.” Scary enough for me.

Monsters Inc.: I’m going to say this one’s okay. Thoughts?

The Nightmare Before Christmas: Look. I love this movie. But I would think twice about letting my child watch a film where Santa is tortured and nearly killed by the Bogey Man and his three adolescent asshole lackeys.

ParaNorman: “This clever 2012 film might be the creepiest one of the lot.” Now I want to see it. But family friendly?

The Addams Family: I saw too many original reruns of the TV show to want to watch this. Do not know where this fits on the scary scale.

The Haunted Mansion: My favorite Disney ride! 13% on Rotten Tomates! You decide if quality counts.

Monster Squad: “This 1987 tongue-in-cheek comedy is crass, vulgar and politically incorrect.” All the things we look for in a family film.

The Witches: A bunch of “wicked witches” hatch a plot “to turn all of England’s children into mice” (do NOT get me started on witches again). Does not sound scary to me, but I haven’t seen it.

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About taoreader

Writer and Editor. Pianist and singer. Feminist and proponent of Jean-Claude Van Damme movies. I don't get it either. I wish I could have dinner with Marie Curie.
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26 Responses to Family-Friendly Scary Movies–Maybe?

  1. ParaNorman is AWESOME but was actually a lot scarier than I expected. I also remember The Witches being pretty scary, but my memories of the movie and my memories of the book have kind of blurred together, so maybe not..?

    Arachnophobia, though? HELL NO.

    • flanny says:

      I feel like The Witches has a tone which I cannot handle for 90 whole minutes.

      • I really can’t remember much about it, except that it followed the book pretty closely and Anjelica Houston clearly had an absolute blast playing the main witch.

    • The Witches was a very strange movie. Did he stay a mouse forever? I can’t remember anymore. Gotta love Roald Dahl.

      • I think he did! Which makes the whole thing pretty tragic, when you consider how long mice typically live.

        • In the book he does, but it’s played off that it’s happy so that he and his grandmother now will die at the same time and he won’t be alone without anyone to take care of him. Basically my take home from that is that Roald Dahl was a twisted motherfucker (who I love with the power of a thousand suns)

  2. flanny says:

    Beetlejuice is so much fun and I loved it as a child, which amazes me. I think it was all the calypso.
    Oh yeah, the Ghostbusters franchise is totally not scary at all EXCEPT FOR THIS SCENE IN #2 WHICH STILL HAUNTS MY NIGHTMARES:

  3. nastyemu says:

    I saw The Monster Squad when I was 8 or 9, and at the time, this clip was the funniest thing I had ever seen.

    • hotspur says:

      Ha, that is literally the only thing I remember from that movie and I hated it. I was a little older, I was maybe 11 and was like, “This movie is pandering to us.” (We do a lot of growing up between 8 and 11.)

  4. FRQ says:

    Ghostbusters is one of the finest films ever made and should be seen on any occasion for whatever reason.

  5. facetaco says:

    Honestly, the Nightmare On Elm Street movies became my favorite around the time I was 8, so I never really got into the whole family friendly part of things. My Dad and I have been big on scary movies for a long time, that was kind of our thing. I’ve actually been thinking if Facetaquito is ready to continue that tradition. 4 is old enough for Leprechaun, right?

  6. nastyemu says:

    The ‘Burbs is kind of a spooky movie that I think is probably family friendly. Comedy Tom Hanks is the best Tom Hanks. Also Bruce Dern.

  7. catweazle says:

    Watching Arachnophobia as a child was what taught me that I do no like scary movies. Well, the one-two punch of Arachnophobia and Poltergeist actually.

    Also there is a very obvious and legitimately family-friendly choice missing from this list.

    • welcometocostcoiloveyou says:

      I’ve never considered Labyrinth to be a scary movie, but I guess it is, considering the number of monsters and goblins in the cast.

  8. hotspur says:

    My nephew’s favorite movie was Nightmare Before Christmas when he was just learning to talk. So he was 3 maybe? He watched it every day.

  9. So here’s the thing: I am a wuss when it comes to scary things. I refused to stay in the room if “Are you afraid of the dark?” came on. I was also a wuss about things as stupid as the giant snake in “Aladdin.” I was terrified of “The Princess Bride,” which I now love as an adult.

    You know what movies I wasn’t afraid of? “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and “The Secret of Nymh.” I do not understand how scaredy cat me loved both of those movies.

    I’ve read briefly about early childhood development and I think a fascinating thing is children’s irrational fears. Kids just all have bizarre things they are scarred of and things they can tolerate and most of those things MAKE NO SENSE. It’s like playing roulette of “will my kid love it or cry hysterically.” I am very excited for that aspect of child-rearing, should I ever rear a child.

  10. hotspur says:

    I grew up watching the horror movies of the ancients (the 1950s) as they were on TV all the time. By the time I was 8 there was hardly a giant radioactive bug I didn’t know about — THEM! creeped me out, but was still fun. I say Kids, lay a solid foundation of ’50s horror, throw in plenty of Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy, and then around age 11-12 transition to your more terrifying Hitchcocks (Psycho, The Birds). Those’re outdated, so the frights will feel mitigated to you, but will they still give you nightmares? Hopefully! By that age you understand a nightmare isn’t real (some are real) so it is just like enjoying a second horror movie while asleep.

    Uh, 13-15 gets dicey. You want to appear tougher than you probably feel and so you’re gonna push the envelope and end up seeing some stuff that scares you forever. Good luck. But do this and by the time you are 17 you will be able to handle anything. ANYTHING! (Anything fake.)

  11. mrsberesford says:

    Hocus Pocus is one of the greatest films of all time! Come on! It’s like the First Wives Club of Halloween movies.

  12. welcometocostcoiloveyou says:

    I’ve never watched more than a few minutes of Frankenweenie since it seems like an animated Pet Sematary, but instead of being scary, it looks super depressing because that animated dog is so adorable.

    Speaking of Pet Sematary, that was the first scary movie I tried to watch by myself. Big mistake. At first, I couldn’t even get past the opening credits. I remember it was a choir of children singing, and that was very creepy to me at the time. But I powered through, and watched up to the Zelda part. Nope! Too scary!

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