As we 20-and-30-somethings start to settle down, pursue relationships, and eventually begin families, lots of things in our lives change. The things we enjoyed in our youth, like splatterfest horror films, become a thing of the past as we make concessions for the toddlers that have taken over our lives. You find yourself unable to find a babysitter so you can go out and see the newest installment of the “Saw” franchise or pop in “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” into your XBox, but you have a need, no, a burning desire to get your freak-out on. What do you do?
Easy. You find kid-friendly scary films. Sure, there could be drawbacks to sitting down with your kids, but a little fear never hurt anyone, right? Here are five films rated PG-13 and under to consider when you want to scare your kids to sleep (or into behaving).
It's a relate-able story: a normal, every day family out in suburbia confront a malevolent force that just can't take a hint that it's not wanted. The film takes the “monster-under-the-bed” and “monster-in-the-closet” childhood frights and runs with them, but producer and co-writer of the film, Steven Spielburg, adds just enough playfulness and family friendliness which is typically unusual in this genre.
Nothing says lighthearted like having an adorable little mascot critter for this scary comedic franchise. Your kids will fall in love with Gizmo. That is, they see what happens when you feed your sweet, innocent mogwai after midnight or get him wet, spawning the wicked and titular gremlins whose pranks turn deadly.
A cautionary tale about why bringing non-native species home is a bad idea. Spiders are scary in their own right, add in an arachnophobic doctor whose house becomes ground zero for an infestation of a rare and venomous spider, hijinks ensue.
Ghost Busters (1984)
A pioneer of the horror-comedy, Ghostbusters and it's sequel is a classic that caters to all ages. This film about a group of oft-mocked scientists that form a supernatural extermination squad is a pop culture classic that enjoys popularity even among today's youth culture that includes a cartoon-spin off sure to please the kids on Saturday mornings.
The next time you find yourself wanting to initiate junior into the wonderful world of scary films without terrifying them into next week, keep these films in mind!
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