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Top Family Horror to Watch in October (Part 1)

Part of the House of Tortured Souls
Staff Picks for October 2016

By John Roisland

In keeping with the spirit of our Halloween staff picks. I thought to myself, why not FAMILY HORROR? I offer to you my personal list of family horror movies that are age appropriate and can be shared and enjoyed by the entire family. Now there may not be any chainsaw-wielding maniacs and won't be much gruesome gore and blood, this is for the family. But it's Halloween and we should be teaching our kids at a young age about the beauty of Halloween and introducing them to the world of horror that we all love and adore.

So yes ,there are children's horror movies out there that I do enjoy.

Please do yourself a favor, no matter what age your kids are: open your minds, sit down with the family, and show them a few family horror movies. Introduce them to and share with them the love you have for Halloween!

NOTE: This is simply a list and not in any particular order.

The Addams Family (1991) and
Addams Family Values (1993)


The Addams Family and Addams Family Values films, in my opinion, could not have been any more perfect. Whether or not you are a fan of the old TV show, the films hold true to their dark ways of life while yet still being quirky and always lovable. The cast alone is jaw dropping , and gives performances by Anjelica Houston and the late Raul Julia that are near Oscar-worthy.

Monster House (2006)


This little animated gem is one that I rented for my kids and ended up loving more than they did. The film, at points, almost has a bit of a scary feel in it for the youngest of viewers, but is one heck of a film that can be watched over and over again.

Hotel Transylvania (2012) and Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015)


It's rare to have a sequel be as good as the first, especially after the likes of the Addams Family films, but Adam Sandler and his usual on-screen buddies pulled it off not once but twice. These two are both laugh out loud horror themed love for the entire family.

Casper (1995)



Casper, starring Bill Pullman and Christina Ricci, takes off where the old stories left us and tells the story about a young friendly ghost named Casper who befriends young Kat (Ricci) and her father (Pullman) as they move into their new home. Said new home is, naturally, haunted but by the friendly ghost.

Coraline (2009)


Coraline is an animated film not quite like any you've ever seen. Coraline, while a family horror, is rather dark and maybe a bit much for some of the younger crowds. Coraline is the story of an adventurous girl who finds another world that is a strangely similar of her frustrating home life, but it has sinister secrets. Stars Dakota Fanning and Terri Hatcher.

The Monster Squad (1987)


This film is a classic family horror. This late 80s B-film captures the spirit of being a pre-teen with an imagination. The film is based around a group of young friends who join forces to fight off monsters that are terrorizing their town, thus forming The Monster Squad!

ParaNorman (2012)


ParaNorman is the story of young Norman, who, while being an avid horror fan, develops a sixth sense and is able to see and communicate with the dead. It is because of his gift that he must help save his town from a historic curse that are bringing many dead back to haunt his community.

Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)


For years now, Tim Burton has been amazing movie goers across the world with his dark yet magical films. The Nightmare Before Christmas is truly that. While part musical, the film pulls you into a world like nothing you've ever seen. The story is of Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King in his land of Halloween Town, who finds a magical door that has him trade places with... Santa Claus, the king of Christmas Town. This film is a pure delight for everyone!

The Witches (1990)


The Witches, starring Anjelica Houston, is a very dark Jim Henson Production. This is the story of a young British boy, who stumbles into the wrong conference room in the hotel where his family staying while on vacation. The room appears to be full of normal women, but they all turn out to be child-hating witches, who want to rid the world of all kids by turning them into mice! This may be a bit slow and scary for younger viewers. Discretion is advised.

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)


It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is probably my go to family horror! I have been watching this Charles Schulz holiday classic for as long back as I can remember. Made in 1966 (even before my time), Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the rest of the Peanuts gang take you on a fun-filled night of trick or treating and waiting for the Great Pumpkin to arrive and bring toys to all the children.

Pure family fun!

Disney's The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949)


I lastly bring you a Disney film. Most of you who know me will know that I truly hate Disney! But this, the story of Ichabod Crane and The Headless Horseman, is my all time favorite story! Of all books and stories I have read, this is my top tale. While there have been many of versions made, this is one I present to you for family horror, and, all things aside, Walt and the boys brought forth a rather enjoyable representation holding true to the story line!

So if you have children, teach them well and share your love with them. If you don't have any, then maybe watch a few I've listed here for you, and let these films take you back to when you were a child and Halloween was magical!

Happy Halloween!

Keep It Evil...

Posted by John Roisland

Horror fan bringing my love for the genre to world in as many forms I can- website, podcast, vlogs, and coming soon, producer! Through this, I am living my nightmarish dreams. Join me.... if you can handle it!

2 comments

you missed Eddie Murphy – The Haunted Mansion in your family horror list!! ๐Ÿ™‚

ya knoooow,….i had thought about that one…not really sure why i didnt,…i have no answers, ….you have now made me hang my head in shame. LOL Im glad you enjoyed the list though and hope you guys had a great Halloween!!!

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