20 Scary Movies for Tweens

Updated: October 6, 2020
Looking for some non-slasher Halloween movies for teens to watch with their friends? We picked our favorites, and gave you the cheat sheet for each of them!
20 Scary Halloween Movies for Kids

Looking for some non-slasher Halloween movies for tweens or teens to watch with their friends? We picked our favorites, and gave you the cheat sheet for each of them!

Your teen probably isn't dressing up to go trick-or-treating anymore, which means they might prefer to settle in with a good spooky Halloween movie. This year, consider joining your teenagers for a spooktacular family movie night with a few age-appropriate and spine-tingling movies that are sure to creep them out. Or if they prefer a sleepover with friends, these scary movies are perfect for tweens and teens, and the right level of fear without being trauma inducing. We do want them to eventually fall asleep, right?

More: 10 Nostalgic Movies to Watch With Your Kids

Ghostbusters (1984) / Ghostbusters II / Ghostbusters (2016) - Set
Ghostbusters (1984/2016)
Product Price
$12.96

Rated: PG/PG-13

The original Ghostbusters came out in 1984 and was rated PG, a remake was done in 2016 and rated PG-13. If you’re looking to expose your teen to a classic, go with the 1984 version! Follow the story of three scientists (later joined by a fourth) who work to rid New York City of ghosts.  

Teens and tweens will enjoy the underlying spook that is diffused with humor throughout the movie. Headline actors include Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Sigourney Weaver. If you want the best of both, consider purchasing the box set with the original Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters II and the 2016 version.

The Ring
The Ring (2002)
Product Price
$3.99

Rated: PG-13

Rated PG-13, but parents beware, this is truly a thriller. The Ring is a remake of a 1998 Japanese horror film, Ring, and later had two sequels The Ring Two and The Rings, so if your teen enjoys The Ring, they have additional movies to add next.

When a disturbing video starts making the rounds in a small town, strange and mysterious things start to happen. Anyone who watches the haunting images gets a phone call predicting certain death in seven days. A group of teens vacationing in a cabin in the woods scoff at this— until they all die seven days later. Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts), the aunt of one of the ill-fated teens, decides to try to solve the puzzle before more people die. Can she figure out who's behind this sick game, before she meets her own fate?

 

Poltergeist
Poltergeist (1982)
Product Price
$3.99

Rated: PG

A classic haunted house movie with some thrill, some comedy, and some pretty cool special effects.  You can often find Poltergeist in theaters each year around Halloween if your teen wants to experience it on the big screen!  

When the Freeling family discovers their home was built over  a cemetery, they embark on a terrifying journey to keep the disgruntled spirits at bay. Although the family initially experiences small poltergeists, the hauntings quickly become malevolent, forcing them to seek the help of parapsychologists.

ParaNorman [DVD] (2012) by Kodi Smit-McPhee
ParaNorman (2012)
Product Price
$14.99

Rated: PG

Moderately frightening, moreso because of gory zombies, ParaNorman is a stop-motion animated movie with a good mix of comedy and horror. Norman is an 11-year-old boy who can talk to ghosts, but of course no one believes him.  

Teens will be able to relate to the undertones of bullying, teasing and feeling like an outcast. However, this spooky movie does have an ending of acceptance when Norman is regarded as a town hero. Prepare your tweens for ghosts, witches, zombies and more, however in this beautiful animation everything feels a little less scary.

 

Signs
Signs (2003)
Product Price
$3.99

Rated: PG-13

A sci-fi thriller, Signs is an introduction into crop circles and alien invasions. Crop circles begin appearing in the farming fields owned by Reverend Graham Hess (Mel Gibson).  As he and his family try to understand the meaning of these circles, they believe it is somehow related to their faith. However, they soon get the feeling that they aren't the only ones in the fields— some mysterious creature is there too, watching their every move.  There are moments where your teen will be on their edge of their seat, but they do have a happy ending to look forward to.

Frankenweenie
Frankenweenie (2012)
Product Price
$7.50

Rated: PG

A Tim Burton stop-motion 3D movie, Frankenweenie is definitely on the list of kid-friendly horror movies. A funny take on Frankenstein, a young boy Victor attempts to bring his dog back to life with a little help from a science experiment. As you can imagine, things go awry, and now all of his classmates are bringing pets back to life who are turning into monsters!  Your teens are more likely to laugh than scream, but this animated comedy is still a fun Halloween choice. It might even spark a little bit of interest in science as well!

 

The Village
The Village (2004)
Product Price
$2.99

Rated: PG-13

In this M. Night Shyamalan mystery, there are a couple frightening scenes but nothing too terrifying. The village of Covington is a small town in rural Pennsylvania that is home to just 60 people. They lead a relatively quiet and peaceful life, but with one unusual caveat— terrible creatures lurk just outside the borders of the village.

The people of Covington have reached an agreement of sorts with the beasts, in which they are allowed to go about their business as long as they never cross the village's boundaries. But this balance is destroyed when headstrong Lucius Hunt (Joaquin Phoenix), decides to find out what lies outside Covington. Will the beasts' wrath be the end of this tiny town?

The Witches (Keep Case Packaging)
The Witches (1990)
Product Price
$9.95

Rated: PG

If your teen is into magic, spells and witches, then this is a perfect movie choice. Good witches, bad witches and a boy turned into a mouse while trying to save all the children of England? Jim Henson’s puppets add a delightful element to this movie, which has some thrills but is not too scary. If your teens enjoy reading they might want to check out the book by Roald Dahl before settling down for their movie night.

 

Tim Burton's Corpse Bride (Widescreen Edition)
Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride (2005)
Product Price
$1.63

Rated: PG 

Based on a centuries-old Russian folktale, Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride tells the story of a groom-to-be who accidentally marries a corpse on the way to see his fiancee. Only through helping the corpse bride find peace can he finally be free to marry his true love.  This stop-motion movie is whimsical and beautifully animated.  It has a little bit of violence and a little bit of gore, but overall not too scary.

Beetlejuice (20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)
Beetlejuice (1988)
Product Price
$2.61

Rated: PG

Creepy, but fun, this Michael Keaton movie is a classic haunted house choice with a special twist of being told from the point of view of the ghosts. Sometimes ghosts like to take it easy and spend a relaxing night at home. But when yuppies try to move in, the ghostly homebodies must enlist the help of Beetlejuice (Michael Keaton), a bio-exorcist that can help get rid of unwanted humans.

 

The Skeleton Key (Widescreen Edition)
The Skeleton Key (2005)
Product Price
$13.54

Rated: PG-13

This thriller is pretty intense with a surprise and scary ending.

Voodoo only works if you believe in it...When a young New Orleans nurse (Kate Hudson) takes a job as a full-time caretaker for a man who had a stroke, she gets more than she bargained for. She soon learns the true nature of her patient's illness and the role his wife had in it. When she finds the couple's secret stash of voodoo artifacts, things go downhill very quickly. Dive into the world of the supernatural, it is a good choice if your teen is really ready for a scarier movie.

The Monster Squad
The Monster Squad (1987)
Product Price
$9.99

Rated: PG-13

Dracula and other well known monsters try to take over in this spooky comedy. Tweens will find themselves able to relate to the group of pre-teens in this movie who decide to fight back. This action filled flick will keep the attention of those who seek a little thrill and aren’t scared by monsters and a couple unexpected twists.

 

Goosebumps
Goosebumps (2015)
Product Price
$5.00

Rated: PG

Based on R.L Stine’s book series, this movie dives into the imaginary monsters Stine has created as they are released from the books and into the real world. Follow the adventure as they try and get those monsters back into the books where they belong. If your tweens are into the Goosebumps series of books, they will enjoy seeing some of their favorite characters come to life in this kid friendly thriller.

NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, THE (TIM BURTON'S)
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Product Price
$6.50

Rated: PG

A perfect choice for a family movie night, definitely not too scary for teens, but a great way to get in the Halloween mood. Jack Skellington, the “Pumpkin King”, is tired of Halloween and looking for something to change up the scene of Halloween Town.  When he discovers Christmas Town, he is instantly enamored. Watch as Halloween and Christmas collide in this animated Tim Burton film.

 

The House with a Clock in Its Walls
The House with a Clock in Its Walls (2018)
Product Price
$7.50

Rated: PG

Enter the world of magic and sorcery in this fairly new movie. Jack Black stars as Uncle Jonathan, a warlock, who takes guardianship of his nephew Lewis. Jonathan introduces his nephew to the world of magic, where he quickly learns about black magic and evil sorcery. They must find a clock that has been hidden in Jonathan’s house before time runs out and it ends the world. Will they find it in time? It’s a race that’s down to the wire.

HOCUS POCUS
Hocus Pocus (1993)
Product Price
$6.87

Rated: PG

It’s just a bunch of Hocus Pocus! This Disney movie is all about witches and spells and definitely screams Halloween. Hocus Pocus takes place on Halloween night in Salem, Massachusetts where three witches are resurrected. Mayhem ensues as these three sisters try to secure their ability to exist, will they be successful?  Your tween will be on the edge of their seat through some intense scenes, but lots of laughs will also help to diffuse the spooky moments.

 

The Sixth Sense
The Sixth Sense (1999)
Product Price
$3.99

Rated: PG-13

A wildly popular scary movie, The Sixth Sense is about a boy who “sees dead people.” A child psychologist (Bruce Willis) working with a stressed-out little boy (Haley Joel Osment) seeing ghosts gets a little more than he bargained for when the truth about the boy's abilities is uncovered.  Lots of ghosts and some gore, this movie is definitely a frightening option for those who love thrillers.

Coraline
Tweens Coraline (2009)
Product Price
$15.43

Rated: PG

This is a stop-motion animated movie that is a perfect family-friendly Halloween choice.  Follow along with Coraline as she discovers a parallel world behind a secret door in her new house. It has a creepy plot line, but overall, it is not too scary and is an overwhelming story of suspense and bravery. Your tweens will enjoy a spooky movie pick without being overly scared, a must have on your list of scary movies for kids.

 

The Others
The Others (2001)
Product Price
$2.99

Rated: PG-13

A true thriller, The Others is a movie that will definitely scare some tweens. If you're looking for a good fright, this might be the right option, both from a jump out of your seat scare as well as a creepy vibe. Grace (Nicole Kidman) is a devoutly religious wife with two ailing kids. She moves with her family to a mansion on the coast of England while she awaits her husband's return from World War II, even though he has been declared missing. When her daughter begins to see ghosts, Grace just thinks it's her new, eccentric, servants. But as her daughter's visions grow more chilling, Grace is forced to believe something supernatural is happening in her own home.

Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019)
Product Price
$5.00

Rated: PG-13

Another movie based off of a children’s book series, this is great for teens who have read them, but not necessary to understand the movie. If your teens like sitting around a campfire telling ghost stories, this movie will be right up their ally. This is not a good beginner movie, but if your tween has watched a few thrillers and done well, this would be a good choice. Mostly jump scares and a few intense scenes, this is a great PG-13 horror movie.

 

Do your kids need something a little less scary? Try these 13 Not-So-Scary Halloween Movies for Kids.