10 Best Scary Movies for Kids this Halloween (2021)

scary movies for kids

Looking for a safe selection of scary, but not too scary movies for kids this Halloween season? If so, then look no further. Here we present our list of 10 great kid-friendly scary movies, including Halloween movies on Disney Plus, suitable for kids 10 years and under.

Halloween is just around the corner and so is a plethora of films that are designed to scare, terrify and thrill. While kids of age 10 or less might not be the demographic that comes to mind with regards to horror movies, there are plenty of mildly scary movies for kids in this age group out there. Since some of these movies are very good and thus essential viewing in the spirit of the Halloween tradition, we have developed a list of ten scary movies for kids to keep your little ones entertained during this scary holiday season.

We have added our own recommended age ranges and scare ratings for each film based on our own experience and perspective, however, parents should exercise their own judgement in deciding how suitable a film is since each child will differ in what they find scary or not.

Looking for Halloween movies on Disney Plus?

Most, if not all, of these scary movies are available to view on Disney+. If you are looking for Halloween movies on Disney Plus specifically, we have added notes to each film to let you know if it is currently on the Disney+ service. While correct at the time of writing, please keep in mind this could change over time.

10 Best Scary Movies for Kids this Halloween


Fantasia (1940)

  • Ages: 8+
  • Scare Rating: 8/10

We start our list with Fantasia, a collection of several animated works. As far as Halloween movies on Disney Plus are concerned, Fantasia is one of the very best. This is also one of the finest Halloween movies animated and produced by Disney, along with other classics The Skeleton Dance (1929), The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949) and Pinocchio (1940). The segment ‘Night on Bald Mountain’ is horrifying and its macabre visuals will get under the skin of all those familiar with it. Fantasia is available on Disney+.

With a scare rating of 8 out of 10, Fantasia is suitable for children aged 8 and above.

Pinocchio (1940)

  • Ages: 6+
  • Scare Rating: 7/10

While horror may not be the first word that comes to mind when one thinks of the animated Disney classic Pinocchio, the film contains some truly terrifying imagery considering that it is marketed towards children. Fantastic animation, commendable performances and a sad, heartfelt story at its core make Pinocchio a terrifying adventure that will enthrall kids of all ages.

A scare rating of 7 out of 10 makes this feature suitable for all kids 6 and above.

Monster House (2006)

  • Ages: 5+
  • Scare Rating: 8/10

Produced by Columbia Pictures and Amblin Entertainment, Monster House is a 2006 supernatural horror comedy. Three children discover that a dilapidated house in their neighbourhood is actually a monster that hates children. As they attempt to do away with the malevolent presence, the children find themselves tested in more ways than one. Surprising and heartfelt, Monster House balances its wacky premise with a hefty dose of horror that will enthrall both kids and adults alike.

With a scare rating of 8 out of 10, children aged 5 and above will have a great time with this well-made flick.

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

  • Ages: 6+
  • Scare Rating: 8/10

Tim Burton knows how to create a creepy and disturbing animated masterpiece and his 1993 adventure, The Nightmare Before Christmas, is sure to disturb kids of all ages. As far as Halloween movies animated by Tim Burton go, this one is a true classic and must-see. The protagonist is Jack Skellington who while ruling over Halloween Town, stumbles upon Christmas and attempts to introduce it to his subjects. Available on Disney+, the film has creepy puppets, a grim atmosphere and intense music that will work its magic on kids and adults alike.

With a scare rating of 8 out 10, the film is suitable for all children 6 and above.

Hotel Transylvania (2012)

  • Ages: 5+
  • Scare Rating: 6/10

This 2012 animated horror comedy from Sony sees Count Dracula preventing his daughter from falling in love with a human, with disastrous consequences. While primarily a comedy, Hotel Transylvania is one of those scary movies for kids that has enough jump scares and scary imagery to send the kids running off into their beds.

A scare rating of 6 out of 10 makes this feature suitable for all kids 5 and above.

The Corpse Bride (2005)

  • Ages: 6+
  • Scare Rating: 7/10

Produced by the renowned stop motion animation studio Laika, this motion picture from Tim Burton finds a reluctant protagonist Victor accidently being married to a corpse who then whisks him away to the land of the dead. With grim graveyards, scary skeletons and an unrelenting sense of something terrible, The Corpse Bride weaves an entertaining story from its wacky premise.

Children above 6 will find much to be scared of in this film and the scare rating would therefore be a solid 7.

The Addams Family (2019)

  • Ages: 4+
  • Scare Rating: 6/10

Based on the popular children’s series of the same name, this film adaptation is exactly how The Addams Family should be, a macabre horror that contains just enough comedy to make the whole premise worthwhile and fun. The premise revolves around the family moving to New Jersey where an unexpected friendship of the daughter begins to create problems for the family. Made by MGM, the film contains seamless CGI animation and antics that will scare and enthrall kids of all ages.

Perfect for every child aged 4 and above, The Addams Family gets a 6 out of 10 scare rating.

Return to Oz (1985)

  • Ages: 7+
  • Scare Rating: 8/10

Directed by Walter Murch, this sequel to the 1939 original sees Dorothy caged in a mental institution. Not only does Dorothy have to break out on her own but is summoned to Oz once again to save the magical realm from an evil madman. With plenty of shocking moments, Return to Oz is a potent scary movie even though it doesn’t hold a candle to its superior predecessor Wizard of Oz.

With several disturbing moments, the film will be perfect for kids of age 7 and above. We give Return to Oz a scare rating of 8 out of 10. The film is available on Disney+.

Hocus Pocus (1993)

  • Ages: 5+
  • Scare Rating: 6/10

Directed by Kenny Ortega, this Disney Plus movie sees three ancient witches embarking on a reign of terror after a young child inadvertently releases them. While the film has comedic moments, it also has disturbing sequences that will scare the jellicles out of your child. With stunning makeup and special effects, Hocus Pocus is a terrific adventure for the younglings in your house.

Perfect for kids aged 5 and above, Hocus Pocus gets a 6 out of 10 scare rating.

Frankenweenie (2012)

  • Ages: 7+
  • Scare Rating: 8/10

Directed by the wonderfully weird mind of Tim Burton, Frankenweenie is a 2012 kids horror movie that involves a young boy who attempts to bring his dead dog to life with unexpected consequences. With the voice talents of Winona Ryder and Catherine O’Hara, Frankenweenie is a beautiful yet grim adventure that is filled with atmospheric tension and terrific special effects. While the film has its fair share of dark and disturbing moments with respect to children, it is ultimately a story of a young boy going all the way to bring back his best friend.

Suitable for kids 7 and above, we give Frankenweenie a scare rating of 8 out of 10. The film is available on Disney+.

Wrap-Up: 10 Best Scary Movies for Kids this Halloween (including Halloween movies on Disney Plus)


Known primarily for soft, kiddy fare, Disney+ has a plethora of scary films geared towards kids. The ten films above are some of the best scary movies for kids, including several classic Halloween movies animated by Disney and Tim Burton, and the top halloween movies on Disney Plus for the under 10 age group. Line these movies up to keep your youngsters entertained for hours this Halloween.

Best scary movies for kids aged 4-10 years

  • Fantasia (1940)
  • Pinocchio (1940)
  • Monster House (2006)
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
  • Hotel Transylvania (2012)
  • The Corpse Bride (2005)
  • The Addams Family (2019)
  • Return to Oz (1985)
  • Hocus Pocus (1993)
  • Frankenweenie (2012)

Suggestions for more scary movies for kids?

We hope you have found an interesting film to entertain your young ones this Halloween season. If you have suggestions for other great mildly scary and not so scary movies for kids in this age group, please feel free to share them in the comments – we’d love to hear about them!

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Image Credits: Featured Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

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