Spooky movies for kids

Prepare yourself for Halloween horror—some movies still available on VHS!



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Rusty Nails, Terror in the Aisles festival director

Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)
Expert insight
“One of my favorite animated movies of all time. I love the Were-Rabbit! This one isn't really scary at all, but it's a lot of fun for kids of all ages. It does have one suspenseful sequence when a character transforms into the Were-Rabbit, but the shock is more about the reveal. Compared to CGI, stop-motion animation is rare in movies nowadays, and Aardman Animation—the team behind Wallace & Gromit—deserve as much appreciation as we can give them.”

Carnival of Souls (1962)
Expert insight
“A woman wakes up in a small town to find all of its inhabitants to be creepy and alien—and this is just the beginning of a very mind altering journey. This is a beautiful and chilling small-budget horror film with fantastic atmosphere—it's partly set in an amusement park—and a great twist ending. One of the greatest independent films ever made.”

The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)
Expert insight
“Vincent Price gives one of the greatest performances of his career as the terrifying doctor who will stop at nothing to avenge the death of his beloved wife by murdering other doctors via methods connected to biblical plagues. This might be too intense for younger kids due to some of the horror scenarios, but I loved this movie when I was a little kid and first saw it on late-night cable TV.”

Find these films for rent or purchase at Facets Multi-Media (1517 W Fullerton Ave, 800-331-6197), which hosts the annual Chicago International Children's Film Festival, running this year from October 26–November 4. Terror in the Aisles is a horror-movie marathon that unfurls occasionally at the Portage Theater (4050 N Milwaukee Ave); the next iteration happens October 20. The Gene Siskel Film Center (164 N State St, 312-846-2085) occasionally books family-friendly films, such as the popular A Cat in Paris, running October 6–15.

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