Everyone loves scary movies – we’re simply wired that way! The thriller and horror movie industry has a lot to offer in terms of spine-chilling films, but most of the time the target audience is adults and no way we would take children to watch something like The Saw or Silence of the Lambs. That being said, children love spooky stuff just as much, so from time to time film-makers come up with scary movies made specifically for children. There’s a careful balance to be maintained – you can’t make the movie too lame because kids can see through that stuff, but you can’t go overboard with scary stuff either! So here are 9 kids’ movies that are more than just a little scary.
You might argue that the movie is pretty sweet and not that scary at all, but wait till you see the witches reveal their true form, shedding their wigs and ripping off their skin showing the ugly forms that are hiding underneath. This is proper horror stuff that will terrify the majority of kids!
Coraline is not advertised as a horror, thriller, or even a scary movie, yet it is one of the most disturbing films you’ll ever watch, whether you are a kid or not. The plot revolves around the bored little girl Coraline that accidentally finds a door to another world, which seems to be absolutely perfect apart from one major difference – everyone has buttons instead of eyes there. There’s also a weird Other Mother that seems to be all nice at first, but then reveals her true face.
Something Wicked This Way Comes
Is there anything spookier than a creepy carnival taking over the town? Doubtful! But that’s exactly what happened in this 1983 classic kids’ horror. A group of young boys tries to stop the carnival, getting into some pretty disturbing situations like a room packed with giant tarantulas or the creepy dust witch they have to run away from.
Return To Oz
This is definitely not the happy movie you’d expect to see after the original The Wizard of Oz. Oz has definitely changed over summer! In the second movie we meet poor Dorothy that is getting shock therapy for telling ‘stories’ about Oz, and the place itself, as we soon find out, has become a dark and gruesome world she’ll have to learn how to navigate. Eek!
The Dark Crystal is, well, dark just as the name suggests. It’s not really a horror story, but boy is it scary! In each and every corner there is some wicked creature lurking that looks incredibly grotesque even for a grown-up’s eye. Those Skeksis and Gelflifngs are a real work of art!
Stand By Me
Stand By Me, an adaptation of Stephen King’s story, isn’t exactly a horror or a movie for children, yet it has a child cast and a plot that targets youngsters in particular. It’s a movie about saying good-bye to childhood when a group of kids finds a dead body. It’s disturbing in so many ways!
This one is definitely not the movie for kids, although it might have been advertised as one. This dark-themed film is packed with gruesome moments and weird creatures, including an actual torture scene! Not to mention the absolutely otherworldly-looking David Bowie who is as spooky as he is gorgeous, although kiddos probably wouldn’t notice the second part.
Neverending Story might be a fantasy movie aimed at kids, but it has more than enough moments to make it really dark even by adult standards. Bastian being bullied by his father after his mother passed away and the highly depressing speech or Rock Biter about the futility of life and non-existence are just the tip of the iceberg. Many hearts were broken while watching the sequence where Artax, the beloved horse and friend of Bastian, died in the mud swamp.
It: Chapter One
The all-children cast kind of makes Stephen King’s coming of age story a kids movie, doesn’t it? Yet you should think twice before showing this thriller to youngsters – Pennywise is definitely the stuff of nightmares and even adults cringe when they see what he’s capable of. Definitely one of the movies that will give you some major creeps!