This year my daughter asked to see some Halloween-themed (scary) movies so I picked out several titles and we have been watching… or rather starting to watch and then stopping when they get too scary. Although she loves Halloween, my daughter, like me, is a huge scaredy-cat. Everything that goes bump in the night is elevated to serial killer proportions in our minds (I once stayed awake all night while camping CONVINCED that the shadow on the tent was a murderer; turns out it was a tree). I thought I would share some of our recent selections along with our personal ratings, in case
you your 6 year old is also a scaredy-cat… you can use my mistakes instead of freaking out your own kids! Win-win.
Black Cauldron: A 1980s-era Disney animated film about a vision-having pig and her knightly protector. I thought this would be a nice little story for my daughter. Having never seen it myself I settled in for what I assumed would be something similar to the Sword in the Stone. Yeah… no. Ten minutes in and my daughter was freaked out by the horned-king and his grim reaper-like appearance. She left the living room with the parting line “This will give me nightmares, are you crazy?” It does seem like an interesting story that we may be able to revisit once she is older.
Hocus Pocus: This movie really needs no introduction. It is a modern-day classic. My kiddo has caught it in the middle on TV, but never from the beginning. I forgot about the opening scene where a little girl gets her soul sucked right out of her and her brother gets turned into a cat. This freaked her out, but luckily Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy are so outlandish and over the top even during this part of the movie that she quickly got over it and watched the rest of the movie. By the way… this news article broke my heart and smashed all my dreams.
Beetlejuice: Again, another classic film. I loved this movie when I was about my daughter’s age. As an adult I realized there was a TON of stuff that went over my head and luckily the same thing happened for my daughter. The scary stuff is scary but also so over-exaggerated that she found the movie hilarious. And remember this is a kid that got scared by a Disney movie about a pig.
The Witches: another classic (from my childhood) based on Roald Dahl’s book. As a kid I could. not. watch. this movie. Just too scary. Even as an adult something about it just spooks me. My daughter did exactly the same. She was uncomfortable through the whole set up and as soon as the witches showed themselves for who they really were she jumped up and ran out of the room.
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad: This is what started the whole “I want to watch scary stuff” fad in our house back in early September. We were on Sleepy Hollow Road and I made a comment about the story of the headless horseman, which fascinated my daughter. So after reading a few versions of the original Washington Irving tales (which went right over her head) I got the DVD. This DVD has the Disney version from the 1940s narrated by Bing Crosby. She loved this cartoon. It was really funny and not scary until the end and even the scary stuff is handled with a lot of humor. We really are spineless.
GhostBusters: Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. Need I say more? My daughter LOVES this movie. She can’t sit through scary episodes of her favorite Nickelodeon shows, but Bill Murray having a proton pack showdown with Slimer, red-eyed murderous dogs, Zuul? She can’t get enough of it. Apparently 6 year olds really love live-action 1980s movies. Who knew?
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: I know this isn’t technically a Halloween movie, but just try and tell me that this doesn’t make you think of fall and cold weather. My daughter loved this movie. I tried to read the book to her chapter by chapter, but it is still just a little too much for her. We haven’t moved on to the next movie either. I figure she has her whole childhood to be introduced to the HP world, why rush it?
The Addams Family: My daughter loves this movie, but it isn’t really scary. It is more about people who are different.
Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin: She loves this. Of course it is completely not scary and about as tame as you can be.
Hotel Transylvania: A story about a dad learning to accept his daughter as she grows up. But, you know, based around vampires and mummies. She gets a kick out of this, I think, because the scary monsters aren’t scary, they are just like you and me.
This is as far as we have gotten with our viewing and reviews, but just in case you have seen these or just really love watching seasonal themed kids movies here is the whole list I have on hold for us this October!
The Nightmare Before Christmas (I have tried to get her to watch this before and she never makes it more than 20 minutes in, we will see if she can handle it this year)
The Worst Witch (You know you love you some hunky warlock named Tim Curry)
The Vampire’s Assistant (PG-13)
Hope these movies help get you ready for Halloween!