The 9 Best Halloween Movies For Kids On Netflix Right Now

best halloween movies on netflix for kids
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Because you're never too young for a good scare!

There's a reason parents scour Netflix looking for the best age-appropriate Halloween movies for kids! 

At some point we go from little kids who are terrified of creatures under the bed and shadows outside the window to people who LOVE to be scared. It's hard to know when, but it happens.

We cross over from needing to crawl into our parents' bed in the middle of the night into people who actually LOOK for ways to have the crap scared out of us.

It's about the same time that our costumes go from cute and cuddly to bloody and gory. And our entertainment goes from Scooby Doo to actually really scary stuff.

While a little part of us as parents dies inside (where did our babies go!?), watching Halloween movies is a rite of passage for kids. So instead of being sad, try celebrating that you finally don't have to watch Paw Patrol or the Disney Channel anymore!


RELATED: 8 Ways To Dial Down The Scary For Anxious Kids At Halloween


Before you dive in, keep in mind that watching a scary movie too soon can scar your child for years to come.

According to Psychology Today, children of different ages react to media in different ways:

  • Children under 5 have problems distinguishing reality and fantasy in media.
  • Children under 7 are usually scared by spooky fantasy (e.g., The Incredible Hulk, sharks in Finding Nemo). It doesn't much matter what the adult says (‘it's not real') because it feels real to the child.
  • Children 8 to 12 are most frightened by realistic violence (e.g., people breaking in the home, storms).

We've rounded up the best Halloween movies on Netflix for kids in October 2017 ... and given you an assist in helping determine whether they're right for your child and your family.

The Addams Family (1991)

The now classic big-screen adaptation of the classic 1960s TV show, The Addams Family has just enough scare and spook to get your kids in the Halloween spirit without giving them nightmares. A man who says he's Gomez Addams' long-lost brother, Fester, shows up at the macabre mansion and is welcomed with open arms, until Morticia Addams starts to suspect the man is a fraud. Zany antics aimed at swindling the Addams' out of their family fortune ensue.

Best for: ages 9+

What kids will love: Lurch, Hand and the magnificently morbid Wednesday Addams.

What parents should know: Yes, it's a silly movie, but there's plenty violence, some featuring torture devices, as well as strong sexual innuendo and mean-spirited behavior.

Coraline (2009)

When she moves into an old house, Coraline finds herself bored, alone and pretty much ignored by her parents. While exploring the house, Coraline finds a passageway to another world ... a world that resembles her own except that EVERYTHING is better. (And everyone in this alt world has buttons for eyes.) But all is not as it seems. Her new "Other Mother" is trying to trick her into never returning to the real world. 

Best for: ages 9+

What kids will love: The brilliantly animated magical "other" world ... and the talking cat. Everyone loves a talking cat.

What parents should know: Little kids WILL be scared by this movie. Language and sexuality aren't an issue, but mature themes such as "be careful what you wish for" won't resonate with younger children.

Corpse Bride (2005)

Another Tim Burton masterpiece, the Corpse Bride tells the tale of Victor and Victoria, a young couple preparing to wed in an arranged marriage. A worried Victor goes into the woods to practice his vows and accidentally places the wedding ring on a corpse. His new bride, Emily, whisks him off to the Land of the Dead, and he's forced to choose between Emily and his lovelorn fiancé back in the Land of the Living.

Best for: ages 9+

What kids will like: Fun songs (it's a musical) and gross gags (eyeballs popping out!). Plus, it's a sweet story about love and kindness. (Awww!)

What parents should know: Your kids may need more information about the idea of arranged marriage and why it's practiced.

 

Gremlins (1984)

When his dad brings him back an adorable but unusual pet from his travels, Billy learns the hard way what happens when you don't follow the rules of being a pet owner. The fuzzy and sweet creatures spawn almost uncontrollably into ugly evil monsters, who, like the title suggests, wreak havoc everywhere they go.

Best for: ages 10+

Kids will love: cute and cuddly Gizmo and the chaos caused by the gremlins gone bad. 

Parents should know: If your kids still believe in Santa and you want them to keep believing, skip this one — he's outed as a fraud. For a movie geared toward kids, Gremlins is pretty darn scary. (Hey, it was the '80s!). There's lots of bloody human-on-gremlin and gremlin-on-human violence and quite of bit of unsavory language.

Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015)

Dracula's finally loosened up the hotel policy allowing human guests as well as monster guests. And while Dracula seems happy on the outside, he's worried his half-human, half-vampire grandson isn't showing signs of being a vampire yet. So Drac enlists some ghoulish friends to help bring out young Dennis' vamp side. Everything is going along swimmingly until Grandpa Vlad shows up to learn humans are allowed at the hotel and his young progeny isn't a pure blood. 

Best for:  ages 7+

Kids will love: plenty of good-natured gags that will illicit laughs and not gasps. 

Parents should know: Hotel Transylvania 2 isn't going to be a Halloween classic, but it's current and cute. Plus, it has great messages about inclusion and the true meaning of family.

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Now THIS is a Halloween classic. Jack Skellington, aka The Pumpkin King of Halloweentown, stumbles into Christmastown ... and that changes everything. Jack wants to celebrate Christmas in Halloweentown and enlists the help of the local spooks and ghouls. But these are two holidays that just don't mix. Jack's exuberant antics, while well-intentioned, threaten Christmas everywhere.

Best for: ages 7+

Kids will love: the convergence of their two favorite holidays. Plus singing, dancing and Christmas in peril!

Parents should know: Little ones might be disturbed by some of the imagery, such as skeletons removing their heads. Overall, The Nightmare Before Christmas is known as one of the best animated films of all time ... so no dozing off. 

The Sixth Sense (1999)

In a nutshell: A little boy who sees spirits everywhere gets help from a disillusioned psychologist. Simple enough. But then there's that twist. You remember the one. 

Best for: ages 12+

Kids will love: the fact they're watching a real grownup scary movie — and literally jumping out of their seat for the first time.

Parents should know: The Sixth Sense movie has parts that can be scary as a R-rated films (creepy girl under the bed, bodies hanging) and the themes are pretty mature (suicide, murder, dead children). Watching this may spark a lot of questions about whether ghosts are real and what happens when we die. So be prepared to have some answers.

 

Sleepy Hollow (1999)

In this Tim Burton retelling of the classic tale of the Headless Horseman, young police officer Ichabod Crane is called from New York to investigate three murders in the town of Sleepy Hollow. Crane refuses to believe the wild tales of the Headless Horseman until unexplainable events that even he cannot deny.

Best for: ages 13+

Kids will love: Finally getting to watch a REAL horror movie.

Parents should know: While Sleepy Hollow is rated R, most parents on Common Sense Media think even young teens can handle it. Just be prepared: It's gory (think squirting blood from headless corpses) and references the occult.

 

Young Frankenstein (1974)

Physician Frederick Frankenstein has tried to distance himself from the legacy of his famous grandfather, who did experiments to try to bring the dead back to life. But he finds himself drawn back to his forefather's castle, leaving behind his fiancé, Elizabeth. Frederick dives into his grandfather's research to find that he was actually onto something. And when his bride to be shows up, things get really out of hand.

Best for: ages 10+

Kids will love: The belly laughs brought on by  Mel Brooks' corny antics.

Parents should know: The PG rating on Young Frankenstein reflects the times, so expect profanity, sexual innuendo and a scene that could be interpreted as nonconsensual sex. But also expect to laugh at classic comedians Gene Wilder, Marty Feldman and Teri Garr.

 

 

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