Every year in October I like to give my recommendations for movies. These recommendations are divided into those suitable for children, and those for adults. They also include movies which are considered classic and some which are little known gems.
This week I will give my recommendations for movies for children. When viewing my recommendations, please remember when it comes to children’s monster movies, judge your child’s age and their ability to see such movies. At the end, it is always the parent’s decision what movies their child(ren) should view.
I will say this; people often recommend “family movies”, which are so friendly they do not challenge your thinking, or present any type of controversial subject. For me (as a child and pre-teen), I was allowed to watch many movies, especially when it was science fiction, and what we used to refer “monster movies”. I however, do recognize the modern horror and sci fi movies are gore oriented with explicit sexual scenes that seemed are thrown in. The sci fi, monster movies I recommend, which may seem to be geared for adults, many were made pre-1970’s; so hopefully they will be appropriate for younger teens.
Here is a list of recommended movies for Halloween for your children.
Mad Monster Party (1967)- A delightful movie brought to you by Rankin/Bass Productions using the same stop start motion animated photography they used in Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. This movie stars the voices of Boris Karloff and Phyllis Diller.
Hotel Transylvania (2012) – Voiced by a brilliant cast including Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Fran Drescher. Kind of a modern throwback to Mad Monster Party. A great story of loss, and trusting others to make their own decisions.
The Nightmare before Christmas (1993). A great movie. The music is incredible, and a good story about accepting who you really are. When it was released, it was unfortunately released as a Christmas, not as a Halloween movie.
Ernest Scared Stupid (1991). Ernest must save his town from trolls, who were captured by his ancestor years before. Also stars the great Eartha Kitt.
The Horror of Dracula (1958), Brides of Dracula (1960) - Peter Cushing gives a wonderful performance as Van Helsing. These movies from Hammer Productions always show good defeating evil. Christopher Lee begins his reign as the Count in Horror of Dracula, but does not come back for the sequel.
Incredible Shrinking Man (1957) – My all-time favorite author Richard Matheson, wrote the novel and the screenplay for this movie. This is a tale of a man shrinking down to nothing. It has the most inspirational endings of any movie, or as the character describes “To God, there is no zero”.
Monsters Inc (2001)- What are monsters scared of? Great story from the people at Pixar Studios.
Them (1954) - A cautionary tale about nuclear testing. Giant ants roam the desert, then Los Angeles.
Hocus Pocus (1993) A story of 3 witches brought back from the past that terrorize a town. To be honest, the performances by the actors in this movie overshine the plot.
The Addams Family (1991) – The famous, or infamous, family makes it to the big screen in this wonderful adaption of the comic strip and TV series.
The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), We find out we are not alone in the universe, and we have to decide what kind of neighbors we will be. It has the appearance of Gort, one of the best robots in cinematic history.
13 Ghosts (196) (original)-Directed by William Castle. A family moves into a house and finds glasses which gives them the ability to see ghosts. This movie has a wonderful performance by Margaret Hamilton (who played the Wicked Witch in the Wizard of Oz).
Dracula (1931), Frankenstein (1931), The Wolf Man (1941), The Mummy (1932) (all originals)- I am putting these movies together because they are the monster from the Universal Pictures era. These are a great introduction into the legendary monsters.
Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)- You have to love a movie starring Wallace & Gromit, having it a Halloween film is an additional treat.
Godzilla (or any kaiju) movies- Began in 1954, and running still running strong today. The giant monsters, destroy and protect humanity; mostly from other giant monsters.
The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966) - Don Knotts gives a performance that he could only give, as he tries to solve a 20 year of murder/suicide in a haunted house. The organ music used was created by composer Vic Mizzy, who had also done the theme for The Adams Family TV show.
Abbott & Costello movies- Beginning with The Time of Their Lives (1946) where Lou Costello plays a Revolutionary War ghost, the pair began having success doing monster and sci-fi movies. In their movie careers, they traveled to Mars (which they actually went to Venus) and encounter numerous monsters such as Frankenstein, Dracula and the Wolf Man.
There are so many more movies which your children will enjoy. As I stated earlier, these movies help expand the minds of children. We often try to protect them from the world, but sometimes, they miss out the best things in the world.
W.A.Rusho is an author, historian and professional wrestler. You can contact him via his email, or website.
Next time: The Horror Host.