I’m sure by now you have read and heard all about the upcoming Halloween happenings in Cape Town especially. It’s quite…scary…how much the holiday has grown amongst the South African crowd in recent years. Every year the celebrations just get bigger and better and scarier – from horror fests to mystery murder dinners, ghost bus tours to Halloween-themed parties, and zombie walks to twilight runs. This all seems like a cauldron-full of fun unless you have kids and a late-night-weekend might not be your ideal way of spending this Halloween.
Here’s a fab idea – Invite some of your kids’ friends over, scatter the pillows and blankets all over the lounge floor, pop some corn, turn out the lights and you have yourself a PG scare fest I guarantee they’ll enjoy. What the heck! Unlike in the US, it’s actually Summer over here, so if you really want to impress the little ones, take the bean bags out onto the lawn, set up a projector screen, and you have instantly and effortlessly created your own open-air Halloween screening!
But, finding the right movies for our kids is always such a mission! We all know how completely inappropriate some kids scary movies can be, so, to the best of my researching skills ( and I have killer skills), I have put together quite a collection for you to choose from. Most are PG rated and nothing over 13 years, but they are all guaranteed to entertain the entire family and you won’t have to wait until the kids go to bed.
Proceed with caution:
As with everything we do that involves our kids, your choice of movies, too, requires your judgment call. Sometimes that means previewing a movie and making a decision based on their age and mental constitution.
For the under 13 crowd it may be best that you watch the movie with them as discussion can provide an outlet for some of the disturbing issues found in even the least scary movies. If possible, after you’ve watched the movie, also watch the special on how they made the monsters. That might be comforting for the more sensitive child, to know that none of it is real.
Above all, Have a happy Halloween and Enjoy movie night – Here are 20 of my fave kiddie scares!
Boxtrolls (PG RATED)
Eggs (Isaac Hempstead-Wright), an orphan, lives with the Boxtrolls — a community of quirky, mischievous creatures who inhabit a cavern beneath the city of Cheesebridge. When villainous Archibald Snatcher (Ben Kingsley) hatches a plan to get rid of the pretty harmless beings, Eggs decides to go above ground, where he meets and befriends feisty Winnifred (Elle Fanning). Together, Eggs and Winnifred devise a daring plan to save the Boxtrolls from extermination.
Coraline (PG RATED)
While exploring her new home, a girl named Coraline (Dakota Fanning) discovers a secret door, behind which lies an alternate world that closely mirrors her own but, in many ways, is better. She rejoices in her discovery, until Other Mother (Teri Hatcher) and the rest of her parallel family try to keep her there forever. Coraline must use all her resources and bravery to make it back to her own family and life.
Hotel Transylvania (PG RATED)
When monsters want to get away from it all, they go to Count Dracula’s (Adam Sandler) Hotel Transylvania, a lavish resort where they can be themselves without humans around to bother them. On one special weekend, Dracula invites creatures like the Invisible Man, the Mummy and others to celebrate the 118th birthday of his daughter, Mavis (Selena Gomez). However, an unforeseen complication unfolds when an ordinary human unwittingly crashes the party and falls in love with Mavis.
Casper (PG RATED)
Casper (voiced by Malachi Pearson) is a kind young ghost who peacefully haunts a mansion in Maine. When specialist James Harvey (Bill Pullman) arrives to communicate with Casper and his fellow spirits, he brings along his teenage daughter, Kat (Christina Ricci). Casper quickly falls in love with Kat, but their budding relationship is complicated not only by his transparent state but also by his troublemaking apparition uncles.
Mickey’s House of Villains (TV G RATED)
The villains from the popular animated Disney films are gathered at the House of Mouse with plans to take over. Soon, the villains take over the house and kick out Mickey, Donald and Goofy. It’s all up to Mickey and his friends to overthrow evil and return the House of Mouse to normal–or as close to normal as it get’s.
Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween (G RATED)
Your favorite friends from The Hundred Acre Wood are back in the all-new original feature, POOH’S HEFFALUMP HALLOWEEN MOVIE. It’s a hilariously haunted Halloween in the Hundred Acre Wood, and Roo’s best new pal, Lumpy, is excited to trick-or-treat for the first time. That is, until Tigger warns them about the dreaded Gobloon who’ll turn you into a jaggedy lantern if he catches you. But if they catch the Gobloon before it catches them, they get to make a wish. When Pooh eats all the Halloween candy, Lumpy and Roo decide to be “brave together, brave forever and catch the Gobloon. Celebrate the bumpity and spookable Halloween season with Pooh and his pals in their first Halloween-themed film in eight years.
The Halloween Tree (G RATED)
Four children learn the origins of Halloween customs while trying to save the life of their friend.
Frankenweenie (PG RATED)
When a boy’s beloved dog passes away suddenly, he attempts to bring the animal back to life through a powerful science experiment.
ET (PG RATED)
A troubled child summons the courage to help a friendly alien escape Earth and return to his home world.
The Little Vampire (PG RATED)
After he moves to Scotland with his parents, only child Tony (Jonathan Lipnicki) struggles to make friends at his new school. But he is bullied and picked on by the other boys, and has little hope of overcoming his miserable new life. Then he meets Rudolph (Rollo Weeks), a kid vampire with whom Tony becomes very close. But, when Rudolph’s life and the future of the vampire race are threatened by a ruthless vampire hunter, Tony must find the courage to save his best friend.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (PG RATED)
Jack Skellington, king of Halloween Town, discovers Christmas Town, but his attempts to bring Christmas to his home cause confusion.
Monster House (PG RATED)
Three teens discover that their neighbor’s house is really a living, breathing, scary monster.
Scared Shrekless (TV PG)
Shrek gets in the Halloween spirit by challenging his fairytale friends to come up with scary stories for a contest. But the gang learn that they’ll have to spend the night in Lord Farquaad’s haunted castle before the winner is named.
Gremlins (I’d recommend PG 10)
A gadget salesman is looking for a special gift for his son and finds one at a store in Chinatown. The shopkeeper is reluctant to sell him the “mogwai” but sells it to him with the warning to never expose him to bright light, water, or to feed him after midnight. All of this happens and the result is a gang of gremlins that decide to tear up the town on Christmas Eve.
The Never-Ending Story (PG RATED)
One of the best kids fantasy films of the 80’s. This is a great films about troubled young boy Bastien who escapes some pursuing bullies in an old bookshop finding a story.
As he reads this story alone, in hiding, he becomes enraptured in it and soon begins to feel more than a reader but involved in the story and is sucked into the world of Fantasia.
Return to Oz (PG RATED)
Dorothy, saved from a psychiatric experiment by a mysterious girl, is somehow called back to Oz when a vain witch and the Nome King destroy everything that makes the magical land beautiful.
Monsters Inc. (G RATED)
Monsters Incorporated is the largest scare factory in the monster world, and James P. Sullivan (John Goodman) is one of its top scarers. Sullivan is a huge, intimidating monster with blue fur, large purple spots and horns. His scare assistant, best friend and roommate is Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal), a green, opinionated, feisty little one-eyed monster. Visiting from the human world is Boo (Mary Gibbs), a tiny girl who goes where no human has ever gone before.
The Spiderwick Chronicles (PG RATED)
Of the three Grace children, Jared (Freddie Highmore) has always been thought of as the troublemaker. So when strange things happen after his family’s move to a relative’s dilapidated estate, sister Mallory (Sarah Bolger), twin brother Simon and their mother assume that Jared is behind it all. However, magical creatures roam the grounds, and they all want a special book that Jared has found: a field guide to fantastic creatures, penned by Arthur Spiderwick.
ParaNorman (PG RATED)
Young Norman Babcock (Kodi Smit-McPhee) has the ability to speak with the dead — and he often prefers their company to that of the living. Norman receives word from his strange Uncle Prenderghast (John Goodman) that a centuries-old witch’s curse on their town is real and about to come true — and that only Norman can stop it. When zombies rise from their graves, Norman must summon all his courage and compassion and push his paranormal abilities to the limit to save his fellow townspeople.
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (PG RATED)
The film consists of two segments – the first is based on the 1908 children’s novel The Wind in the Willows by Scottish author Kenneth Grahame, and the second is based on the 1820 short story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” called Ichabod Crane
Disclaimer: cover image was taken from www.ddlgforum.com