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18 Scary Movies for Tweens – Perfect For Tween Halloween Sleepovers

movie clap board with spooky halloween theme

There is nothing better than enjoying a nice scary movie on Halloween Night. However, navigating the realm of horror films for tweens can be tricky.

While these pre-adolescents are eager to embrace the thrills of a spooky movie night, it’s essential to strike a balance between fun frights and age-appropriate content. Finding films that captivate their budding sense of adventure without delving into excessive horror ensures a memorable and enjoyable viewing experience.

Whether your tween loves a good scare or is just dipping their toes into more intense storylines with suspenseful twists, these scary movies for tweens are a must-watch this Halloween.

10 Best Scary Movies for Tweens – Halloween Classics

Use your discretion in determining whether your tween is ready for some of the more mature themes that may be portrayed in these movies. We’ve split our list for older and younger tweens as some of our picks are classified as PG13 

Disclosures: We are participants in the Amazon Associates Program and other affiliate programs that earn us a commission if a qualifying purchase is made.

Hocus Pocus

PG

Maybe not a truly scary movie, but it’s a great classic to kick off the spooky season as all the family can enjoy this one together during the Halloween holiday.

Starring Bette Midler, three witches have returned to Salem from the 17th century only to be welcomed by some unexpected pranksters who accidentally brought them into the current year.


Poltergeist

PG

Directed by Tobe Hooper and produced by Steven Spielberg, Poltergeist is a quintessential haunted house tale that has captivated audiences for decades.

Strange things start happening once a family moves into a house that they find out was built over a cemetery in this classic thriller movie. Their home is invaded by malevolent spirits, with the central storyline focusing on the mysterious disappearance of their youngest daughter.

For tweens ready to venture into the world of supernatural horror, “Poltergeist” provides an accessible entry point. There is an appropriate balance between the spine-tingling scares and a strong emphasis on family bonds.


Frankenweenie

PG

Directed by Tim Burton, Tim Burton, Frankenweenie offers an ideal blend of gothic charm with a heartwarming narrative that resonates strongly with tweens, perfect for

The film’s central theme of resurrecting a beloved pet tugs at the heartstrings, while it’s monochrome palette and quirky characters add layers of eerie allure without being overwhelmingly dark.

“Frankenweenie” strikes the right balance between spine-chilling moments and heartfelt revelations, perfect for a Halloween movie night.


Goosebumps

PG

Based on the extremely popular R.L. Stine books, Goosebumps brings all of the spooky characters from the books to life as they terrorize a town. The perfect blend between chills and chuckles, the humor helps keep the scarier moments palatable for a younger audience.

With a mix of fantastical creatures, intriguing plot twists, and relatable characters, “Goosebumps” offers the perfect gateway into the world of light horror, ensuring thrills without the nightmares its an excellent choice for a tween Halloween movie night.


Halloweentown

PG

Marnie, along with her grandmother and siblings, take a trip to Halloweentown where they come across some spooky characters.

As a Disney Channel original, you know it will strike that balance between spooks without being scary with a little Halloween magic thrown in.

After you’ve watched the first Halloweentown, be sure to check out the sequels if you want a Halloween movie marathon.


ParaNorman

PG

This animated film centers around Norman, a young boy who can communicate with ghosts. When his town faces a zombie uprising due to an ancient curse, it’s up to Norman, with his unique ability, to save the day.

The movie skillfully combines humor, adventure, and light scares, making it engaging for tweens.

Beyond the supernatural elements, “ParaNorman” delves into themes of acceptance, understanding differences, and confronting fears, making it both entertaining and thought-provoking for tween audiences.


Mom’s Got A Date With A Vampire

PG

Wanting their mom to go out on a date and have some fun for a change, the kids set her up with someone they suspect might be a real-life vampire.

They embark on a night of sleuthing and misadventures, combining humor with light-hearted scares and a dash of family dynamics as Disney does best!

A family-friendly film, this movie is perfect for pre-teens who want to enjoy the spooky season with some vampire tales but really aren’t quite ready for the intensity of more mature vampire movies.


Annabelle Hooper and the Ghosts of Nantucket

PG

One of the best Halloween movies for tweens, a young mystery writer, Annabelle, is searching for a story and finds a 200-year-old mystery with the spooky story she has been looking for.

The film avoids intense horror or dark themes, favoring a more whimsical and adventurous tone, making it suitable for Halloween viewing for the pre-adolescent crowd.


The Boy Who Cried Werewolf

PG

Jordan, her dad, and her brother have inherited a spooky place called Wolfsberg Manor from their late uncle. While on their new estate, they’re hit with a freak accident that slowly turns Jordan into a werewolf.

This is another great tween movie that fits if you are looking for a Halloween movie that isn’t so scary.

Ghostbusters

PG

It simply can’t be the spooky season without a dose of Ghostbusters in our household. A supernatural comedy, a team of parapsychologists start a ghost-catching business in New York City.

As they tackle a series of spectral nuisances, they stumble upon a plot that threatens the entire city, leading to a climactic confrontation with powerful supernatural entities.

Ghostbusters is generally considered suitable for a younger audience with comedy dominating, though it does include some mild scares and suggestive content, perfect for a Halloween movie night.

If your tweens are struggling to get their heads around the 80s-era special effects that make it such a pop culture classic, you can try the 2021 Ghostbusters:Afterlife (rated PG-13, but we think it still works with your older tweens).


8 Best Scary Movies for Mature Tweens

Parents should gauge their tween’s readiness for the following selection of scary movies for tweens – we always suggest you watch anything described as a horror movie first before screening in front of a bunch of preteens, no matter how ready they think they are!

Horror movies for tweens may not be appropriate because of excessive violence and gore. We have based the following section on those movies we feel blend elements of comedy and paranormal with suspense in an approachable way.

The Ring

PG-13

Moving up the maturity scale, this is a truly scary movie that starts with an urban legend. The Ring is a story about a scary videotape that causes anyone who watches it to die seven days later unless certain conditions are met.

It’s not full of gratuitous gore but has eerie visuals and a detective-style narrative. The intriguing storyline will appeal to those who prefer puzzle-solving and suspense over horror.


The Others

PG-13

A thriller that is sure to give your mature tween the chills, The Others is about a devoutly religious mother and her two photosensitive young children living in isolation behind locked doors in a mansion full of scary and thrilling things.

The film is rich in atmospheric tension, relying on psychological suspense rather than graphic horror, which can make it more palatable for some tweens. There are still some quite scary undertones, though, hence its maturity rating.


Arachnophobia

PG-13

A thriller-comedy that centers around a deadly Venezuelan spider, which is accidentally transported to a small American town, where it breeds, leading to a terrifying spider infestation.

There’s a good blend of both humor and suspense, but also some genuinely creepy moments, so you’ll need to judge this on your child’s ability to handle creature-based horror, as it could result in a nightmare or three for your true arachnophobes!


The Village

PG-13

The Village unfolds in an isolated 19th-century hamlet where residents live in fear of creatures inhabiting the surrounding woods. The community abides by strict rules to avoid provoking these entities. When a few of the residents must leave to help save a friend, they disobey the rules to find out what really awaits outside of the town.

The film combines romance, mystery, and suspense elements, using atmospheric tension rather than graphic horror. It should be considered moderately chilling and best for your more mature tweens with a pension for suspense.


The Visit

PG-13

When a brother and sister, Becca and Tyler, are sent to live at their grandparents’ farm in a remote area in Pennsylvania, they notice increasingly strange behavior before discovering that their grandparents are involved in something disturbing and scary.

This found-footage style horror-thriller is recommended for mature tweens and teens as there’s some disturbing imagery and suspenseful sequences.


Insidious

PG-13

After a mysterious accident in the attic, Dalton falls into a coma, and his parents try to find help for him. As they try to get the help that is needed, they explore the paranormal by rediscovering the past.

Note that this movie is quite intense, with a series of jump scares, chilling music, and eerie visuals, which might be too much for younger viewers but a great introduction to the genre for your more mature pre-teens.


Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

PG-13

Scary Movies to Tell in the Dark is based on one of the scariest children’s book series by Alvin Schwartz. Set in the 1960s, it tells the tale of a group of young teens who must solve the mystery of the sudden deaths in their small town.

The movie blends historical elements with supernatural horror, presenting a series of eerie, interconnected narratives.

While it is crafted with a younger audience in mind, some of the film’s sequences can be genuinely frightening, especially given the vivid creature designs and suspenseful scenarios. We’d only recommend this one for preteens and teens who are fans of supernatural tales and are accustomed to moderate horror.


Happy Death Day

PG-13

If your tween enjoys the scary movie with a bit of a slasher twist, Happy Death Day might be a good one to check out.

The plot of the movie tells the story of a woman who relives the day of her murder over and over. With each repetition, she gains more clues about her killer’s identity and must solve her own murder to break free from the time loop (think a spooky version of Ground Hog Day).

The film does contain some intense moments, jump scares, and themes of violence, albeit with a comedic undertone. It lacks the heavy gore typical of many horror movies, but there are thematic elements and occasional strong language that render it inappropriate for younger tweens.


Do you think your tweens can handle this bunch? Have you got any other Halloween classic movies that your pre-teens love? Let us know in the comments.

Don’t forget if you’re looking for more Halloween-themed inspiration, we can help you with that too:

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