Horror never goes out of style. A scary movie is always on the theater roster no matter the time of year. But there’s something extra creepy about getting your scare on around Halloween. When you’re home. In the dark. Alone. Vulnerable. Unsuspecting.
So whether you’re in the mood for a classic or want a new reason to lay awake at night beyond worrying about your offspring, Netflix has a range of tastes for family viewing and after the kids go to bed.
Some of the movies for younger kids don’t exactly qualify as horror, but they do have a spook factor. As for whether the movies lean more toward tweens or teens, we’ll let you know what ages the movies are generally recommended for, but it’s up to parents to make the ultimate call about whether they are age-appropriate.
For young kids
“E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” (1982)
A boy befriends an extraterrestrial left behind with a gift for making plants grow and turning household toys into an intergalactic communication device. For ages 7 and older.
“Hotel Transylvania 2” (2015)
Overprotective Drac is back, and so is his daughter Mavis with her human-slacker husband and their new baby, Dennis. Is he human? Is he a vampire? For ages 7 and older.
“The Nightmare Before Christmas” (1993)
Tim Burton’s scary magic is on display with this original story of Jack Skellington (the Pumpkin King) becoming bored with Halloweenland and deciding to take Christmas traditions for himself. For ages 7 and older.
“Spooky Buddies” (2011)
You get to watch cute puppies in adorable situations. The scary part? The villains — Halloween Hound and Warwick the Warlock — want to turn the puppies, and people too, into stone and rats and suck out their souls. For ages 6 and older.
“Scooby Doo” (2002)
Scooby and the gang journey to Spooky Island where a magical force that could spell the end for mankind has been awakened in this live-action film. For ages 9 and older.
Tweens to teens
“The Addams Family” (1991)
This ghoulish family knows how to have their own brand of upper-crust macabre fun. Everyone else is on board or must get out of the way. For ages 12 and older.
“Corpse Bride” (2005)
A corpse bride abducts Victor into the underworld for herself just as he is about to be married to someone else. For ages 10 and older.
Coraline unlocks a strange door in her home that leads to a mirror world of sorts, only better. At first. For ages 9 and older.
A man receives the cutest little exotic pet for Christmas from his father and a simple set of instructions on how to care for him. Instructions are not followed. For ages 12 and older.
“Young Frankenstein” (1974)
After inheriting his grandfather’s estate in Transylvania, Dr. Frankenstein begins to recreate his grandfather’s old experiments and can’t resist creating a new monster. This complicates things with the doctor’s fiancee. For ages 10 and older.
“The Craft” (1996)
This teen witch thriller is rated R, so it is definitely not for young teens. But it’s a wicked thriller for older teens if their parents are OK with a plot centered on violence and revenge with occult powers as the means to the end. For ages 17 and older.
“Sleepy Hollow” (1999)
Johnny Depp stars in this twist on the timeless tale of Ichabod Crane and the headless horseman.
“The Babadook” (2014)
Bedtime stories are nice. Except when they appear out of nowhere on the bookshelf and the fang-toothed, eater of children character, Mr. Babadook, becomes real. Or does he?
An unfaithful woman encounters the “spirit” of her dead ex lover in a new house that she now lives in with her husband, also the brother of her former lover. Also, this pinhead demon is involved.
“The Disappointments Room” (2017)
An architect (Kate Beckinsale) moves into a spacious fixer-upper and discovers a locked room with some supernatural spooks inside.
“Dead Awake” (2016)
A buttoned-up social worker begins to investigate deaths by sleep paralysis, which also claims the life of her twin sister.
“Wes Craven’s New Nightmare” (1994)
Some kind of demon has chosen fictional Freddy Kruger as the real-world portal to wreak havoc on the lives of the franchise stars.
“Little Evil” (2017)
This Netflix original is a riff on “The Omen” starring Adam Scott as a newly married stepfather who discovers that his son could be the Antichrist.
“Curse of Chucky” (2013)
Evil Chucky will not die. Everyone’s least favorite freckled ginger doll returns to make everybody think twice about casually leaving a doll outside in the rain.
“It Follows” (2014)
Sex can be deadly. A college student finds this out the hard way when, after a sexual tryst, she must pass along the “curse” — a menacing creature that wants to kill her — by having sex with someone else.