Do you want to celebrate Halloween with dignity without traumatizing your children? Here is a selection of twenty monster movies that you can watch with your family, without fear.
MONSTERS & CO. (2002)
Even if it means talking about creatures and family, you might as well start with the most obvious, with this classic from Pixar studios in which monsters take lessons to learn how to become villains. Some of them have only an eye sill and others have two heads, when they don’t look like a giant slug or an abominable snowman. But the heroes of Monsters, Inc. have a problem: they don’t scare anyone anymore. And especially not to the cute Boo, who takes Sully for a big cat. What if, deep down, she understood everything?
THE ADDAMS FAMILY (1991)
To snap your fingers in front of the TV, to the rhythm of the famous musical theme (which you must now have in mind, do not thank us). If you haven’t already, it’s high time to meet the members of The Addams Family, each more bizarre than the next, who live in a mansion with the Thing, which is nothing else. hand, handy enough to cook or answer the phone. If the kids want more after this first opus, look to the sequel, released two years later, or the recent animated film.
LITTLE VAMPIRE (2020)
“A film of monsters for children” : this is how Joann Sfar describes his Little Vampire, a feature film adaptation of his own comics. A story of friendship and family, with creatures ultimately more funny than scary (with the exception of the villainous Gibbous) and in which the director puts all his love for horror cinema with a lot of references (in Nosferatu, Frankenstein and even The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, to name a few) that younger kids might not recognize, but which you can show them when they’re old enough.
If you say his name three times (in addition to playing the film on your DVD-Blu-Ray or VOD player), it will appear on your screen: Beetlejuice (Michael Keaton), a bio-exorcist to whom a recently deceased young couple makes call for him to help them to flee the new occupants of their house. He is therefore supposed to be scary, which works at times, when he turns into a snake for example. But overall, it mostly makes people laugh, so much so that the youngest might adore it. And want to see the rest of Tim Burton’s filmography.
LILO & STITCH (2002)
Stitch is an alien landed on Earth, with four or six legs depending on the moment, and who does not speak. Humans aren’t quite sure if this is a dog or a koala, or maybe even a cross between the two, but regardless: despite its uncivilized habits, it quickly becomes the friend of little Lilo and melts everyone’s heart. You just have to see him do a Hawaiian dance to have an immoderate desire to own a plush with his effigy. If it hasn’t already.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (1946)
There is of course the Disney studios cartoon, which you may have already had the opportunity to see on repeat. Or its remake in live action. But why not go back further in time and make them discover the version of Beauty and the Beast signed Jean Cocteau in 1946. Black and white can certainly put them off at first, and there are fewer songs on the program, but there is no age to marvel at this cinematographic tale full of poetry, which greatly inspired Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away) or shudder before his creature. It’s beautiful, it’s timeless, and who knows if this viewing will not mark the starting point of a cinephilia.
THE ENDLESS STORY (1984)
A classic of the genre, a real one! In a special book, The Neverending Story, Bastian (Barret Oliver) discovers a world that seems far more interesting to him than his daily life divided between his studies and his family, and finds himself facing enemies, discovering new monsters and flying. on the back of a gigantic and ultimately very cute dog. So yes, a scene traumatized a whole generation of young spectators, but who has never dreamed of escaping, even for a few moments, from reality?
MONSTERS VS ALIENS (2009)
A title that announces the color. Because you might like monster movies, or those with aliens, but this is one of the rare times when the two have come together on the same screen, thanks to this animated feature film from the Dreamworks studios, fun and colorful, that makes them fight each other. And if you choose the original version of Monsters against Aliens, you will be entitled to the voices of Hugh Laurie, Reese Witherspoon and Seth Rogen, which does not spoil anything.
THE STRANGE CHRISTMAS OF MR JACK (1993)
A Christmas AND Halloween classic! Wanting to pervert the holiday spirit with monsters was bold, but director Henry Selick did it, based on a story and characters imagined by Tim burton, to which we wrongly associate the staging of this jewel. The imagery and universe of this Santa Claus kidnapping story might be bleak, but his playful spirit and unforgettable songs by Danny Elfman (who dubbed the hero in the original version) made Mr. Jack accessible to the whole family.
When there are monsters, Scooby-Doo is never very far, without really knowing if it is a coincidence or if there is a link. Because the hero and his friends, Fred, Velma, Daphne and Sammy, are true specialists when it comes to solving supernatural mysteries. This is still the case in this first live-action feature film which takes place on an island that we imagine haunted, and which is aimed especially at the youngest. Who will then be able to discover the animated film Scooby, released in 2020, and which looks back on the meeting between the characters.
MAX AND THE MAXIMONSTERS (2009)
Stronger than the classic monsters: Maximonsters by Spike Jonze, which adapts the famous children’s book by Maurice Sendak. Consider the story of young Max who, after an argument with his mother, is punished in his room and imagines a world populated by gentle and giant creatures of which he is the king. Seeking to release sadness by producing nonstop joy, he discovers that it is not easy to be a leader in this profound film which has superb images and a magnificent soundtrack on its side.
After The Nightmare Before Christmas, there was Coraline for Henry Selick: the stop-motion adaptation (stop-motion animation) of Neil Gaiman’s novel of the same name, a sort of agonizing rereading of“Alice in Wonderland” in which a young girl explores her new home and discovers a parallel world, almost identical to her own and even more attractive at first. Except that those who inhabit it have pimples instead of eyes and are not quite human. An atmosphere between dream and nightmare in this little gem from Laïka studios, which also presents itself as a metaphor for adolescence.
He is neither a giant, nor a witch, nor a werewolf, nor a ghost, much less a vampire. No, Flubber is a special thing: a kind of green jelly, extremely fast and tough, able to grow legs, dance and help people bounce. Not really a monster to speak of, unless you consider it a distant cousin of the Hotel Transylvania Blob. And the Robin Williams + green slime equation is almost automatically synonymous with children’s film.
Unlike Flubber, Gremlins can scare the younger ones. In their greenish and evil form anyway. Because before midnight, dry and already fed, it’s hard to be cuter than little Gizmo. And if your child ever really wants to have a pet, have them watch the Joe Dante movie, to see if they change their mind or not.
THE WEDDING FUNEBRES (2005)
This time it is indeed Tim Burton (and Mike Johnson) that we owe the making of this animated film, in which a shy young man becomes the husband of a corpse who takes him to the world of the dead, more joyful and colorful than that of the living, gray and dull. A fun idea for a frenzied feature film that knows how to be moving thanks to the melancholy that emanates from the character of the Bride (voiced by Helena Bonham Carter in the original version, when Johnny Depp lends his voice to the hero), animated with grace, then that these Funeral Weddings show us that the most monstrous is not always the one we believe.
Today, ET is such a beloved and steeped character in popular culture that it might seem strange to think of him as a monster. But we must not forget that, before being endearing, this strange little being comes from space and can seem threatening at first, when Elliot (Henry Thomas) meets him. Fortunately, it suffices to see him take care of a plant or a wound to understand that he does not represent any danger. Thanks to Steven Spielberg, aliens have thus acquired a more sympathetic image… before the filmmaker reverses the trend in War of the Worlds two decades later.
MONSTER HOUSE (2006)
Released in 2006, this animated film in synthetic images which would benefit from being better known has a particularity: it is not about a building haunted by ghosts and other evil creatures, but of a house which is a monster in itself. Hence the title Monster House. The windows represent her eyes, the door her mouth, and a rug acts as a tongue, and it takes the courage of three young children to step inside and destroy her. If at all possible.
FRANKENSTEIN JUNIOR (1974)
When Mel Brooks, the king of parody, takes on the Frankenstein myth, the result can only be amusing. And he is, with his gags, his femme fatales, his wobbly resuscitation sessions or the incredible assistant of the doctor (Gene Wilder). If a few scenes of this Frankenstein Junior can scare the youngest, the film remains an excellent choice when it comes to entertaining parents and children.
THE STRANGE POWER OF NORMAN (2012)
There is nothing wrong with being different, and every young person should accept himself as he is. It could be Tim Burton, but it’s to Sam Fell and Chris Butler, and to the Laïka studio, that we owe this Strange Power of Norman, which pays homage to the Amblin films of the 80s and tells the story of a teenager who can see the dead but no one believes. Until the day when the city was taken by storm by monsters and he became a key player in the resolution of the conflict, animated frame by frame with real virtuosity, especially during an absolutely insane pursuit scene.
There yes, it’s still Tim Burton. And his last animated film to date: the feature-length adaptation of the short he made in live action in the heart of the 80s. The starting point of this new Frankenweenie does not change, since It is still a rereading of Frankenstein in which a young boy manages to resuscitate his dog, without suspecting the consequences this will have on the neighborhood. In the second part, the story turns into a disaster film with a crowd of monsters that allows the filmmaker to pay homage to a whole section of horror cinema. And to make references to his, while doing so.