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Feature
10 Horror Movies For Kids (Big And Small)
Things to make you hide behind the sofa for life

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Joe Dante, the man who unleashed two small armies of snarly Gremlins on our childhoods, is back with another wee’un-worrying slice of family horror, The Hole 3D. It’s a scary return to form for the one-time acolyte of Roger Corman, another man who knew a thing or two about getting the maximum fang for his buck (check out Little Shop Of Horrors for proof). It’s inspired us to mull over the movies that scared the little life out of us in our formative years, and pick a few that you can show your kids without leaving them traumatised and you dealing with Social Services. And in case you’re wondering, Hannah Montana didn’t make the list. Some things are just too scary.

WORDS PHIL DE SEMLYEN
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10 Horror Movies For Kids (Big And Small) | Ghostbusters (1984)
Ghostbusters (1984)

Watching Venkman, Stantz, Spengler and Zeddemore battling Zuul and his minions as an adult is about as much fun as movies can offer. As a kid, it’s a different matter. No film, perhaps excluding Withnail And I, changes genres faster as you get older than Ghostbusters. It’s horror-turned-comedy-turned-‘80s-nostalgia fest. The funny stuff (“It’s true, this man has no dick”) isn’t so important when you’re, say, eight and there are giant marshmallow men to be gawped at. The scariest ‘busting moment is tough to pick. Zuul is pretty fearful – hey, they bring ‘em up tough in ancient Sumeria – but the prize goes to the New York Library’s resident ghoul unleashing her full toothy terror on our favourite parapsychologists (we were hiding behind our cinema seats at the time). It’s Sam Raimi for the under-nines.

Scariest monster: The Gatekeeper and the Keymaster, big puppies with the big plans. They’re the kind of mutts you can pick up at the Battersea Home For Demonic Psycho Dogs, but you’ll need a very long leash.

Spookiest scene: That library hag, unhappy to be disturbed while (possibly) perusing the Dan Brown section, is a landmark in jump-shock history. Booooo!!!

Redeeming ‘aww-shucks’ moment: Surely it’s Slimer, the acceptable face of ectoplasm, affectionately redecorating all he encounters an interesting shade of green.

Tot terror rating:

 

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Your Comments

1 RE: Skeksis, not Skelses
beetlejuice and gremlins was both 15 rated at the cinema on original release. More

Posted by seanofthedead on Monday September 27, 2010, 16:27

2 RE: Skeksis, not Skelses
Darby O'Gill and the Little People scared the shit out of me!! I don't know if it was the banshee or Sean Connery playing the bango that did it...   I thought BettleJuice was a 15...   "Hey nice fucking model!!" BettleJuice grabs crotch "honk honk"!!   A film for kids indeed!! More

Posted by waltham1979 on Monday September 27, 2010, 12:49

3 RE:
I can't believe there's no Return To Oz in this list. What, electro-shock therapy, a witch with interchangeable heads, and the Wheelers nough when you're a kid?   Agree about the other films in the list though More

Posted by superdan on Saturday September 25, 2010, 18:44

4 RE: new writers?
Though not a horror film the part in Young Sherlock Holmes where they mummify a girl alive and pour boiling wax over her during a ceremony scared the bejeesus out of me back in the mid 80's. As for Gremlins I'd class it as a child's film. I was about six seven when it was released and I don't know anybody my age who didn't see it as a child. More

Posted by Fletcher on Friday September 24, 2010, 21:23

5 RE: Gremlins and Beetlejuice
I was surpried how well Predator went down with my 6 year old More

Posted by kargon on Friday September 24, 2010, 19:46

6 RE: Gremlins and Beetlejuice
Beetlejuice never was and never will be a Kid's film, sheesh n tell by the swearing and crude sense humour that Beetlejuice displays not to mention the various dark themes.... Burton went on to do kiddie fare but this wasn't Gremlins, fair enough the critters appeal to kids (hence C4 and FIVE showing them early and cut at Christmas) but still eturn to Oz, Labyrinth (though mentioned), Nightmare before Christmas, Hunchback of Notre Dame and Snow White from Disney.. now they can be mentioned sure More

Posted by DJ Rob C: Mark II! on Friday September 24, 2010, 17:32

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