Mother and son watching a scary movie

Tech & Media

8 Scary Movies For Your Horror-Loving Tween — No, IT Is Not On The List

Sep 2, 2019

The first time I watched a scary movie I spent most of the time hidden behind my hands. I must admit, I was way too young to watch Nightmare on Elm Street, but my friend and I somehow got our paws on it and watched in alone in the basement.

I had nightmares for months, maybe even years, but rather than traumatize me, it sparked a love of scary movies.

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When my son started laughing after jumping out of his seat during one scene, I knew he was hooked.

My son has always been interested in anything spooky. He loves Halloween, spooky ghost stories and is so eager to be old enough to watch scary movies. Every year I spend the weeks leading up to Halloween trying to find a costume that is scary enough for his love of everything ghoulish, while tame enough to not frighten my younger daughter who loathes anything that might give her nightmares.

When he begs to watch the latest scary movie to hit the theatre, I have to say no but I secretly celebrate the fact that I will soon have a partner to watch scary movies with. While my 10-year-old isn’t old enough to watch the true horror movies, there are definitely some that we can share.

We try to avoid anything with violence. I don’t think he’s old enough to watch anything with murderers or gore, which removes some of the classic horror films like Dawn of the Dead or Friday The 13th. Instead we look for the creepy movies — ghost stories tend to be a big hit. They give the spook factor without the blood and gore.

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Our first scary movie experience took place when my youngest daughter was at a friend’s house. It was just enough scare to start off with. When my son started laughing after jumping out of his seat during one scene, I knew he was hooked.

Since then we are always on the lookout for appropriate scary movies that we can share and we’ve found great options that go beyond Casper The Friendly Ghost.

The Others

It's about a family who live in a darkened house, due to the children’s sensitivity to light, waiting for their father to return from the war. Supernatural events start to occur in the home; the children claim to see ghosts and mysteries that can’t be explained begin to occur. There are a couple of jumpy moments and lots of mystery, but it’s pretty tame. My 10-year-old was at a good age to be able to follow along with the story line, which can be a little complex.


A young man receives a mysterious creature for Christmas with orders not to get him wet, or feed him after midnight. Breaking these rules leads to chaos. There is some tame gore that takes place in the form of a gremlin in a blender and it’s important to note a scene where there is talk about Santa not being real. This one is great for kids who are a little older, but not yet old enough for those true horror films.


The title says it all. It’s the story of a town where people start dropping dead due to poisonous spiders. There are some death scenes in it, but unless your child has a deep fear of spiders it’s pretty harmless.

The Sixth Sense

This was the second scary movie my son watched with me. It’s the story of a little boy who sees dead people. It’s a pretty creepy movie that will make the hair on the back of your neck stand, and if you haven’t seen it yet, the ending is amazing. You’ll see blood and wounds on some of the spirits that are wandering, including a scene with wrists that have been cut during a suicide. I might have covered his eyes in one scene that involved a few seconds of hanging bodies. 


Another ghost story about paranormal activity happening in the home of an average family. Things take a turn when spirits start communicating with them through the television set. The special effects in this one aren't the greatest and a kid used to today’s technology may find it cheesy, but the story makes up for the lack of CGI.

The Goonies

This one might be a little more adventure than it is scary, but the antics these kids get up to do lead to some scary things. After finding a treasure map the kids go searching and end up in some dangerous predicaments. You should note that there is a scene containing a dead body with a bullet hole in the head that might be too much for some kids.


I think everyone needs to watch Jaws at some point even if it’s just to have the pop culture reference. I mean a killer shark with a taste for blood?! You can’t go wrong. Again, it’s an older movie so it’s not going to score special effects points with the kids of today. However, the fear this movie can conjure up about what’s under the water is worth it.

The Shallows

It’s a more modern version of Jaws. It’s the story of a young woman who gets stranded just far enough from the shore and is forced to try and escape a great white shark that seems to be stalking her. This movie has blood and some gruesome injuries, but it will keep your kids heart pounding without being too much. Make sure your kids are ready for this type of scare otherwise you may never get them in the water again.

While I love sharing these with him, I am counting down the days until he’s old enough to watch the true horror movies with me. In just a few more years Halloween is going to be so much fun.

Article Author Natalie Romero
Natalie Romero

Read more from Natalie here.

Natalie’s passion for writing was reignited as she blogged her way through the pain of her son’s health issues and NICU stay. She is the wife of the world’s greatest foot rubber and mother to an amazingly loyal little boy and a fiercely independent little girl. An HR professional by day and a freelance writer and blogger by night, Natalie is getting a crash course in the juggling act that is the life of a working mother, though she does occasionally drop a ball or two! After spending much of her life trying to be perfect she has learned to rock her shortcomings and is not afraid to admit when she’s failed. This parenting thing can be tough and Natalie believes the best way to survive it is by keeping it real and by leaning on your tribe.

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