We talk a lot on our podcast about how we believe children’s media diet ought to include some difficult, challenging, and scary material from time to time. Some of our fondest childhood memories come from horror films we watched with our parents beside us, covering our eyes during the naughty bits. Hopefully this guide can serve as a vague starting point for scratching that itch for you and your family.
Ok, so when we say “family-friendly” horror, our judgment is more than a little liberal. This is horror, after all. Horror films are, by definition, scary and disturbing, a shock to our sensibilities.
So that means all the movies on this list are scary to varying degrees for various reasons. Many of them contain a bit of blood and/or gore and some degree of on-screen violence, though not nearly as explicit as the majority of films we cover on this podcast.
There may be sexual jokes or innuendo that may or may not fly over your youngest moppet’s head. Some even contain a touch of female nudity – a nipple or a boob or two, if that offends your sensibilities terribly.
But the films on this list are ones that we, in our own non-expert opinion, believe are more palatable for a mixed setting of adults and kids of varying ages and maturity. Usually, it means there is something about it that is either explicitly tailored towards kids or would appeal to kids of certain age groups, while still having enough “edge” and entertainment value for adults to enjoy.
And a few are on this list, not because they are geared towards kids at all, but simply because they contain none of what we consider “strong visuals” like blood or gore or brutal violence or sex, so that a young child walking in the room wouldn’t be surprised by any shocking or offensive visuals. But that doesn’t mean the story is not scary or disturbing in some way, and you still might not want your toddler to watch it with you from beginning to end.
So if you’re going to use this as a guide for what you can watch with your family, we strongly suggest: Do your own research first before firing it up in your living room. Your own judgment of what constitutes “family-friendly horror” will naturally be very intimate and subjective, depending largely on your family values, the composition of your family and your triggers.
Each film’s IMDB page has a guide for parents that talks in more specific detail about the film’s individual scenes and content, broken down by sex, nudity, violence, blood/gore, mature themes, etc. Check it out first if you are unsure.
But always remember: These are still, first and foremost, horror films. Don’t blame us if you disagree with anything on this list. You are in charge of your family’s viewing material, not us.
This week, we went back in time for Craig's childhood favorite, Troll.
Part four of our 2018 Halloween extravaganza was a fun episode to record. That doesn't necessarily mean the movie was
Major thanks to Francis and the others who requested this 1950s-style monster movie from the 90's that was such a
Before "Scream" paved the way for a steady stream of self-aware horror movies, there was "There's Nothing Out There."
Jim Henson's last project before he died involved some incredible puppet and makeup effects in this incredible film, based on
The next in our month of family-friendly horror films is Disney's first attempt to branch out into horror. What starts
This childhood favorite held many special memories for Craig and this week's guest, his sister Kristin. The three of us
This made-for-TV movie event from the 80's starred some well-known faces, but it hasn't remained well-known. You probably missed it
How did we ever miss this one? We tackle a spooky ghost tale that just sits perfectly for the Halloween
It's time for another theme month: Family-Friendly Horror Films! We're kicking off a month of kid-oriented horror with the one
Another high-camp schlockfest from Charles Band productions, though even campier than normal. One would even think it's supposed to be
Billed as "The World's First Comedy Horror Movie," today's selection had a better run on cable television than it did in
We've reached 100 episodes! To celebrate this milestone, Craig and I chose a special film that we've been wanting to
Though some may not classify it as much of a "horror" story as our typical fare, Scrooged is in fact
Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark is a classic children's book series from Craig and Todd's childhood. This movie
So it's basically a high school sex comedy with a horror theme, and not scary at all. But for the
Rounding out Request Month comes a suggestion from Nick Sible about a killer rat. Well, it's not much of a
Although we LOVE doing kid-oriented horror films from time to time, animation is a first for our podcast. But being
Before Roland Emmerich brought us huge summer blockbusters like Independence Day, Stargate, and The Day After Tomorrow, he tossed a
One of Jack Nicholson's first film roles is also a surprisingly good little horror comedy, even by today's standards. Yeah,
We love to do kid-oriented horror movies, and this week we turn once again to Tobe Hooper's oeuvre for this
Very different in tone from the original House (which we have previously discussed), we had fond memories of this horror-comedy
We switch it up and move to classic family fare for our Halloween episode this year. And it's timely too,
If you've never seen the 1977 Japanese horror-comedy-musical House, then you're in for the wildest, strangest trip of your life.
Happy Holidays, Loyal Listeners! We end our 2016 Holiday Horror Edition of the podcast with an old favorite, Gremlins. Did
Back in 1988, Halloween horror icon Elvira finally got her own movie. It didn't make a big splash, but it
Stuart Gordon sure has the market cornered on killer doll movies. This more or less kicked off a line of
It's not the Gremlin-knockoff you always thought it was!
With the release of 10 Cloverfield Lane to the theaters, we revisit 2008's "spiritual predecessor," Cloverfield. It's a Godzilla movie
We still cannot understand why this 1990 classic from Stephen Spielberg and Frank Marshall is not better known 30 years
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! This recently rediscovered home invasion thriller from France bore such a striking resemblance to Home