Best Scary Movies for Kids -- But Not TOO Scary!

Looking for the best scary movies for your kids? Our picks include some good "starter" scares for younger kids, as well as truly chilling classics for older tweens and preteens. Get ready, get set, boo!

Monsters, Inc. The monsters in Pixar's MONSTERS, INC. are more afraid of kids than kids are of monsters. But monsters need to collect kids' screams to fuel their world, and children are getting so hard to scare that the monsters' world is suffering from rolling blackouts. Top scarer John "Sully" Sullivan (voiced by John Goodman) and rival Randall Boggs (Steve Buscemi) work as hard as they can to break the scream-collection record. But when Randall inadvertently lets a human child into the monster world, the monsters find out what being scared is really like. This is a cute, kid-friendly monster movie; but may give sensitive kids a bit of a scare.

The Nightmare Before Christmas
Made in stop-motion animation, Tim Burton's holiday fantasy centers around Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King (voiced by Chris Sarandon) -- a creature who is to Halloween what Santa is to Christmas. When Jack becomes bored with staging yet another frightnight for the sketchy members of Halloweentown, he wanders away from town one night and stumbles across Christmastown and becomes immediately entranced. Jack decides he needs to bring Christmas to Halloweentown and he is willing to do just about anything to make it happen -- even it if means kidnapping Santa himself. This is Tim Burton magic at it's best with just a touch of scariness.

Beetlejuice Swerving to miss a dog in the road, Adam and Barbara Maitland (Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis) drive off a bridge into a river. Arriving back home, they realize that not only are they dead, they're trapped in a sort of limbo in their own house. The cryptic "Handbook for the Recently Deceased" they've been left with offers little guidance. When they summons Beetlejuice (Michael Keaton), "the afterlife's leading bio-exorcist," for aid, it doesn't take long before they regret the decision. The creepy fun of this haunted flick will be a delight for a Halloween spook fest.

Craving more spooktacular thrills? See what other frightful flicks made our list of favorites.


What was the biggest mess your little ones ever left you?

Poll Choice Options