Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 097: Horror Movies for Little Monsters


Mummy came to my house… Welcome to Episode 097 of HORROR MOVIE PODCAST, where we’re Dead Serious About Getting Kids Into Horror Movies. By popular request, we honor our listeners with this three-hour exploration of the Horror Comedy sub-genre spectrum. We also bring you Feature Reviews of Monster House (2006)The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949) and a review of Haunted Honeymoon (1985) that is dedicated to the late Gene Wilder, R.I.P. We also give you some age-appropriate horror recommendations and our TOP 5 BEST HORROR MOVIES FOR KIDS lists. A must-listen for anyone that has a kid and anyone that ever was one!

Horror Movie Podcast is a bi-weekly show that’s released every other Friday. If you’d like to support our show, please subscribe to our podcast free in iTunes, and leave us a review! And remember, we love getting your voicemails, so call in with more recommendations and comments at this number: (801) 382-8789 Thanks for listening to Horror Movie Podcast!


I. Introduction
— Wolfman Josh meets some legends at SLC Comic-Con: Robert Englund, Danny Trejo, Mark Hamill
— Agenda
— Disclaimers

[ 0:08:46 ] II. Nostalgia and Horror Origins
— Hosts’ childhood horror origin stories
— Movies that scared us and scarred us as kids
— Days of nostalgia and lots of recommendations

[ 0:40:21 ] III. Concept Discussion: HORROR MOVIES FOR LITTLE MONSTERS
— Is there really such thing as “Horror for kids”
— Identifying horror elements and expectations
— More kids’ horror recommendations

[ 1:01:24 ] IV. Feature Review: MONSTER HOUSE (2006) [ Spoilers begin at 1:05:49 ]
Jay of the Dead = 10 ( Must-See / Buy it! )
Wolfman Josh = 8.5 ( Must-See / Buy it! )

[ 1:25:12 ] V. Feature Review: THE ADVENTURES OF ICHABOD AND MR. TOAD (1949)
Dr. Shock = 7 ( Must-See / Buy it! )
Wolfman Josh = 6 ( Nostalgia Buy it! )

[ 1:32:32 ] Mini-tribute to Gene Wilder, R.I.P.
VI. Feature Review: HAUNTED HONEYMOON (1986)
Wolfman Josh = 7 ( Rental )

[ 1:41:51 ] VII. (Hopefully) Age-Appropriate Recommendations

A. Tiny Terrors for the Tenderly Timid (3 to 6)
— our most tame movie recommendations
Jay’s must-watch: Grizzly Tales for Gruesome Kids: “Grandmother’s Footsteps”

B. Elementary School Sleepovers (7 to 11)
— our middle-tier movie recommendations

C. Middle School Halloween Parties (12 to 15)
— the most horror-like horror movies for kids

D. Beyond the Pale
— borderline movies that are probably too tough

[ 2:22:38 ] VIII. Our Top 5 Best Horror Movies for Kids

Jay of the Dead
1. Monster House (2006)
2. Poltergeist (1982)
3. Gremlins (1984)
4. Killer Klowns From Outer Space (1988)
5. Grizzly Tales for Gruesome Kids (2000 – TV series)

Dr. Shock
1. Poltergeist (1982)
2. The Monster Squad (1987)
3. Ghostbusters (1984)
4. Young Frankenstein (1974)
5. The Gate (1987)

Wolfman Josh
1. The Monster Squad (1987)
2. The ‘Burbs (1989)
3. Clue (1985)
4. Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)
5. GhostBusters (1984) or maybe GhostBusters (2016)

Too scary for Josh’s list: Gremlins, Poltergeist
Josh’s Honorable Mentions: ParaNorman, Monster House

IX. Wrap-Up / Plugs / Ending
— New “Lost Mysteries” sticker winner: Mister Watson!
— Mister Watson’s Horror Corridor Horror Review Podcast
— Huw Lloyd’s Undead Wookie Podcast on YouTube
— Monster Squad “Stephen King Rules” pin contest thanks to Artbox Adam in Chicago
— Joe B. visits horror movie locations because he’s Dead Serious About Horror Movies.
— Ana Dreadful tweets from Portugal
— Daniel from Switzerland
— Zia Records owner / VP died recently
— Thank you, HMP Community, for all the nice comments and tweets.
— Chris and Eric’s It’s Alive Podcast
— E-mail from Snowyotter re: “Alice, Sweet Alice”
— Allyson’s At Your Mercy: Library picks teaser and Greg’s Library of Horrors books
— Josh recommends The Sci-Fi Podcast Ep. 17: “Family-Friendly Aliens”
— Josh recommends Movie Stream Cast Ep. 56 “The Monster Squad” and Ep. 58 “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein”jody-horror-guy

—Jody and Greg in Toledo, OH (part of the HMP “Buckeye State Contingent”) representing in their HMP T-shirts at Rob Zombie’s “31.” You can follow them on Twitter here @jodyhorrorguy and here @Qua419

—Some “Library of Horrors” book picks from Greg in Toledo.

—Longtime listener / friend of the show Shannon, representing in his HMP T-shirt at “Don’t Breathe.”

joe-b-hewitt-house joe-b-timberline-lodge
—A few more of listener Joe Brunett’s cross-country horror stops.

JOIN US IN TWO WEEKS ON HMP: HMP Ep. 098 for an epic discussion of new release horror movies including Don’t Breathe (2016), Blair Witch (2016), Scherzo Diabolico (2016), The Triangle (2016), They’re Watching (2016), Pride & Predjudice & Zombies (2016) and more!

NOTE FOR NEWCOMERS: If you love this podcast, there are 36 episodes of two other great podcasts that precede this one. Just scroll back through our archives, or use the links in the sidebar on the right.

Leave a comment or e-mail us here: HorrorMoviePodcast@gmail.com


Our friend, Dr. Shock, had a tragedy in his extended family recently. Here is their Go Fund Me page if you’d like to consider contributing. Thank you.

If you liked this episode, Wolfman Josh recommends:
The Sci-Fi Podcast Ep. 17: Family-Friendly Aliens
Movie Stream Cast Ep. 56 and Ep. 58

If you’d like to hear a little about Jay of the Dead’s take on “Social Horror” (not a sub-genre of Horror, but a sub-genre of Drama), then Jay recommends his review of “Krisha” during Movie Podcast Weekly, Ep. 205.

— MPN Meetup (THIS IS HAPPENING!) — This upcoming Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016 in Indiana. See the comments below for details!

We’ll be meeting everyone for lunch at noon at Nine Irish Brothers pub in West Lafayette, Indiana. Then later that afternoon we’ll all be seeing “Blair Witch” together (including Karl from Movie Podcast Weekly). More details here:

O’Bryan’s Nine Irish Brothers Pub in West Lafayette, Indiana
On Facebook

Quoted from its website:
“Nine Irish Brothers in West Lafayette is a short walk from Wabash Landing, Purdue University, and downtown Lafayette, Ind. Parking is available in our parking lot and in the parking lot directly across Howard Avenue, via valet service (Thursday – Saturday evenings only), or at Wabash Landing. Nine Irish Brothers validates parking passes from Wabash Landing.”

119 Howard Avenue
West Lafayette, IN 47906

Jay of the Dead’s links:
Jay of the Dead and Horror Movie Podcast Official Twitter: @HorrorMovieCast
Jay of the Dead covers new releases in theaters on: Movie Podcast Weekly
And if you’d like to e-mail Jay of the Dead with a good Beastly Freaks recommendation: BeastlyFreaks@gmail.com

Wolfman Josh’s links:
Follow Josh on Twitter: @IcarusArts
Josh covers streaming online movies on: Movie Stream Cast
Follow MSC on Twitter: @MovieStreamCast
Like MSC on: Facebook

Dr. Shock’s links:
Dave’s daily movie review website: DVD Infatuation.com
Follow Dave on Twitter: @DVDinfatuation
Like Dave’s DVD Infatuation, now on: Facebook
Dr. Shock also appears on this horror podcast: Land of the Creeps

Dr. Walking Dead’s links:
Pre-order Kyle’s new book! How Zombies Conquered Popular Culture: The Multifarious Walking Dead in the 21st Century
Order Kyle’s previous books American Zombie Gothic and Triumph of The Walking Dead
Follow Kyle on Twitter: @DrWalkingDead

You can always contact us by e-mailing HorrorMoviePodcast@gmail.com. Or you can call and leave us a voice mail at: (801) 382-8789. And you can leave us a comment in the show notes for this episode.

Special thanks goes out to singer-songwriter Frederick Ingram for the use of his music for Horror Movie Podcast.

If you like Horror Movie Podcast, please subscribe and leave us a review in iTunes. If you want to support the show, we have PayPal buttons on our sister site, Movie Podcast Weekly.com, in the right-hand sidebar where you can make a one-time donation or you can become a recurring donor for just $2 per month. (Every little bit helps!)

Thanks for listening, and join us again Friday after next for HORROR MOVIE PODCAST!

135 thoughts on “Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 097: Horror Movies for Little Monsters

  1. I was in such a great mood after we recorded this episode that I ended up revisiting a couple of these movies with my little buddy, including The ‘Burbs and Monster House, and it struck me for the first time just how similar the two films are. I think Monster House owes a lot of its structure and vibe to The ‘Burbs and I’m curious what Jay would say about that. Loved both films. Both still “buy it” recommendations for me and I’d suggest them as fun films to watch during the Halloween season, especially in party scenarios or mixed company.

    • Haven’t seen Burbs, it never has been on my radar at all, haha!

      I don’t know if you read the books but I got strong Dark Tower vibes out of Monster House. The scene where the house “awakens” plays out similar to how I imagined a chapter in the second Dark Tower book involving Jake and a certain house. Not exactly the same but I instantly thought of that.

      Also I’m glad Happy Feet exists because in some weird twisted way it must have inspired George Miller to make the best movie of 2015.

    • Yeah, this episode is full of good vibes. Conversation was organic and overflowing with nostalgia. Specifically loved all those classic Dr. Shock stories. Happy to hear Legend of Sleepy Hollow reviewed. That’s a warm feelings sort of film for me. Jay’s hiding in the next room peaking over to see The Exorcist is classic. That’s how I experienced most of my first horror films. Wolfman’s toilet papering stories also specifically resonated with me! Sleep overs were a great time and I wish kids in this generation would get to do them, but at the same time that’s were I got in the most trouble!

    • This was one of my favorite episodes of HMP ever! I already owned Monster Squad, Monster House and The Lost Boys so I went out and bought The Gate based on you guys’ recommendation. My wife and I started a yearly tradition of building blanket/pillow forts and watching horror movies with our friends a fortnight from the beginning of October as a way to kick off the Halloween season (We call it “Fort Night”) and The Gate is definitely on the shortlist of movies that we will be screening that evening.

      Thanks for making my morning and afternoon commutes a helluva lot more enjoyable!

  2. Gotta agree with Wolfman about “Monster Squad” as my #1 – loved that so much and was genuinely scared as a youngster especially of the vampire brides!

    A few of this type you guys didn’t mention that I loved growing up…

    “The Willies” (1990) – A pre-teen horror anthology with Sean Astin as one of the narrator/intro characters.

    “Little Monsters” (1989) – Hahaha — saw the title of this episode and thought you guys were gonna review this! A silly movie, but I think good for elementary school kids.

    “The Peanut Butter Solution” (1985) – This was a weird, obscure movie that terrified our family and I don’t think was meant to be “scary.”
    Anybody on the boards every see this one????

  3. Oh my gosh you guys this episode is so much fun already! Loving it!

    Wanted to also say that scene Dr. Shock was describing about the painting and the thing moving closer and closer to the door. That is actually from the pilot episode of Night Gallery in the first segment. I think Allyson and I some how manage to mention it every other episode on the message boards. Seriously, it’s amazing and it’s actually quite scary! Happy to hear it brought up!

  4. This episode was fun! No kids myself, but I’ve got a niece and nephew that I’m looking forward to introducing to horror, so we’ll have to check some of these out.

    The song y’all are talking about at 38:05 I believe is Uma Thurman by Fall Out Boy. They also did the new Ghostbusters theme with Missy Elliott. Love it.

    There’s a movie currently streaming on Netflix that I think y’all will love called 13 Cameras. Sorry if you’ve mentioned it already but I couldn’t find it if you have. It also appears to be called Slumlord or Landlord, not really sure what’s going on there, but SUPER creepy flick. Absolutely relentless. Check it out if you haven’t.

  5. I’m only commenting so I don’t forget, but Dave – your story about watching the Shining at 3am before school made me nearly spit out my coffee in laughter. My mom had that movie on a LOT in the winter, and yeah, it’s a doozy to watch before school. So bleak!! hahaha, such a funny story!!

    Okay, back to the episode!

  6. I adore the movie Monster House and my daughters ages 10 & 12 love it almost as much as I do. This movie is so funny and there are some scary scenes. There are great lessons that are learned which I love in all children’s movies. I am not easily entertained and this kids movie kept me mesmerized! I have even watched it by myself a couple of times. I recommend this for adults and kids. It’s so much fun.
    Coraline is a very creepy, very unsettling and incredibly creative movie. This is my 10 year old’s favorite movie, but my 12 year old said it’s too creepy. The first time I watched this movie with my kids I couldn’t believe how terrifying it was. The idea of your “other mom” wanting to sew button eyes in place of your real eyes was hard for me to accept in a kids movie. Then there are the really weird scenes with the elderly neighbors that were even a little inappropriate.
    I am addicted to listening to this podcast. I’ve heard them all now and I don’t think you guys can make them fast enough for me. I am wishing you would make them every Friday! I have lots of friends that love to go to the movies, but I literally have none that will watch horror with me. Thank you so much for this!

  7. My earliest memories that I can recall at the moment are Creature of the Black Lagoon…Q The Flying Surpent…more than likely all the old school Universal Monsters and Harry Housin stuff…and the Godzilla movies…which now at 46…love to death…I can’t remember being freaked out about a movie until Halloween 2 when I was 11…

    • Shannon, I loved Harryhausen’s stuff growing up, too! That cyclops gave me some serious nightmares, as well as the gigantic bee in Mysterious Island! Such great films!

      I work at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and right now we have this amazing Guillermo Del Toro exhibit up, and in it there’s a life-size reproduction of Ray Harryhausen sitting and having tea…and there are are these little miniature skeletons that are based off of his maquettes from Jason and the Argonauts just hanging all over him. It’s so cool! I bet you’d appreciate it!

  8. OK, just finished the episode…SUCH a wonderful episode, guys. Jay, I am sending you some prints this week related to this episode, so you can use them for whatever/whenever! (I did end up finishing the pieces after I wrote you the last email).

    Gotta share a sleepover story (so glad you guys brought this up!). So, I was born in Ohio in ’84, and all my friends and I grew up having horror movie sleepovers at all times of the year… but our moms always made us earn the sleepovers “Cinderella” style, by doing yard work or chores. (Anyone else go through that?)

    One early-in-summer-season day my friends and I begged for a horror movie sleepover at my house. I had a pool growing up, and attached to the side of our house was a tent where all the pool furniture, big buckets of chlorine, and various other harsh chemicals were stored through all the other seasons. So, my mom says, “If you girls want to clean out the tent – then you can have your sleepover in the pool tent every year if you want..I’ll provide pizza and movie suggestions.” (My mom was the biggest horror movie nerd I’ve ever known, no joke).

    So the four of us girls cleaned out the enormous pool tent, (it took literally all day). We lifted pool furniture, moved chlorine bins (It still smelled like chlorine the whole night, though), pool toys and wiped out spiders and bugs, hosed the ground. .My mom ordered pizza, and put on “When a Stranger Calls” as our first annual “pool tent sleepover” and then “The Changeling.” We were so freaked out, that she actually could hear us excitedly talking to each other through the side of the house when she went to bed.

    It became a tradition for years after, and we would watch different movies every time. Spending the night in that dirty, smelly tent was so much more fun. (Would’ve made for a fun #deadserioushorrorchallenge spot, that’s for sure!).

    Anyway, all of that memory came rushing back as I was listening to this podcast, and had to share it. I wish I could upload a picture of the tent, but I don’t see a link for attachments.

    On that note, my top kids horror movies for the younger ages (9-12) are…definitely not the type that’s for a newer generation, that’s for sure…but whatever:

    10. When a Stranger Calls
    9. The Changeling
    8. Ghost (my friends and I watched this one a few times…pretty disturbing)
    7. Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein
    6. Mr. Boogedy/Bride of Boogedy
    5. House on Haunted Hill (Vincent Price version!)
    4. The Fog
    3. Ghostbusters (old version)
    2. Jaws
    1. Silver Bullet

    I also have to mention Night Gallery, Boris Karloff’s Thriller, and Are You Afraid of the Dark? as shows that I relied on for my “scares” growing up – and I feel like those would be good intro shows for kid horror.

    Guys, this was such a fantastic episode…thank you for putting so much work into it! Looking forward to the next shows for sure, and will be checking out all the new podcasts!

    • Bonnie! This is such a fun story. Thanks for sharing. I love it, and it’s making the nostalgia flow back in more me as well!

      I remember running long long extension chords out to tents in the back yard and watching the critters movies out there. So much fun…. oh the feels…. make it stop :’)

      • Thanks Kagan!
        Those were some great times for our generation, right? Tents out in somebody’s yard, pizza/junk food, and movies! Man, it seems like another place in time for me….So crazy.

        • Bonnie, that sounds like a blast! I may have to try that with my kiddos…although, where I live, it’s not exactly safe to sleep in your own backyard. Real life horror?

    • Bonnie, that’s a great story, and such a great annual tradition.

      Horror sleepover parties bring back so many fond memories. My friends and I didn’t have an awesome annual tradition, like you, but we did have a handful of them throughout the years. One that stands out was when a buddy of mine was turning 10 y/o. He had somewhat strict parents and had never really seen a horror movie to that point, but his mother allowed him to pick out 2 R-rated movies to rent for his sleepover party. Those movies were The Return of the Living Dead and C.H.U.D.. Such a fun night. Another sleepover that stands out for me was a few years later that had a double feature of They Live and Graveyard Shift. Those were the days.

      • Dino – those are great stories, and even better double features! Those were the days, for sure! You know, I still haven’t seen Return of The Living Dead, and I’ve been hearing the guys talk about it a lot lately. Gotta get my hands on that film.

    • Bonnie, I am so jealous. What great memories you must have! I hope I can convince my girls to start a tradition like this. I may be a little pushy as far as exposing them to horror and Halloween (nothing too extreme, of course), but I think if they didn’t like it I would know. I hope they love Halloween and horror as much as I do…I would love to have that in common with them. You’ve given me some great motivation!

      • Allison, aw I’m so glad!! I feel like fear of scary movies makes for kids to bond over! Your kids will probably be troopers, as new age kids seem to find their own grove – like we did in our time!

        Just today I reunited with one of the girl’s from my pool tent story, (we haven’t seen each other in 7 years…we’ve known each other since we were 2 years old, which is nuts!) Anyway, she’s…how do I say this…a very kind but tyipical girl…but surprisingly, she still loves all the original scary movies we watched at our sleepovers! She cited our sleepovers as the ONLY reason why she still watches horror movies.

        So much fun!

  9. While I realize that Jay “I Hate the Cinema” Pyles is not a fan of this series, there is a major omission from this episode. While the three hosts may have been too old to watch these movies as kids, we didn’t get a single Harry Potter mention in three whole hours? What gives, Mr. Pyles? Why you be hatin’?!

    The three that really stand out to me the most are the first three. With the first two directed by Chris Columbus, they were very kid friendly, but they do offer horror elements including a giant snake roaming the school halls, showing that some ghosts can be friendly, and a giant three-headed dog.

    The third Harry Potter, The Prisoner of Azkaban, stands out even more. Not only do we get a darker tone in this film compared to the previous two, but we also get to see:

    – A werewolf
    – Dementors flying around, threatening to suck your soul out
    – A killer escaping jail and attempting to hunt you down
    – A prophecy of doom and death
    – The fear of large dogs seemingly stalking you
    – A giant flying bird creature that if you don’t greet it perfectly, it will rip you to shreds
    – Some invisible man-like action

    If you’re just trying to sucker your kids into the horror genre, the popularity of the Harry Potter series also seems to offer the greater chance of success.
    I wouldn’t even have a problem with calling The Prisoner of Azkaban an official family horror movie.

    • haha, I agree actually Sal. Maybe not so resoundingly with Harry Potter, but there are definitely some films that have horror elements, that aren’t exclusively horror films that are a great way to introduce kids to horror.

      I was thinking about that Pleasure Island sequence in Pinocchio. That thing is super scary. My mind is blanking, but there are many kids films that have horror sequences. Can anyone think of any specifically?

      And now that you mention it Sal, Chamber of Secrets is actually pretty scary. It’s part horror.

      Lord of the Rings has some surprisingly scary sequences as well. Shelob’s Lair as well as the ghost king in return of the king are pretty dark. Not to mention the ring wraiths. Scary as hell!

      • The pink elephants in Dumbo get seriously freaky scary, the introduction of the goblins and Jareth at the beginning of Labyrinth scared my kids, as did some of the demonic stuff in Anastasia. The hosts mentioned ET at one point; I showed my kids (ages 3, 5, and 7) ET for the first time last week, and it was quite the emotional roller coaster. In addition to the joyful and silly and sad parts, there was some spooky material (Elliot encountering ET for the first time, the arrival of the government guys) that had my 5-year-old hiding behind a pillow.

      • Kagan, the Red Bull in The Last Unicorn used to scare me to death. I also found the Secret of Nimh to be pretty intense for a kid movie. Most Don Bluth flicks were a little advanced to be cartoons, IMO.

  10. Great episode. I was lucky enough to have an awesome father when I was younger that loved horror as much as I do now. He let me watch Up All Night, and Jo Bob Briggs Monstervision. I saw all of the classics and many B-Movies before I turned 10!

    Watcher in the Woods was my gateway to horror when I saw it on cable. I still remember it vividly. Another movie with a similar name “The Watchers” (1988) scared the hell out of me. I was convinced that monsters were real. After these movies I was hooked. I vividly remember watching “One Dark Night” about some mean girls trying to scare a “pledge” in a mausoleum. On re-watch the effects were terrible but I can see hoe 8-year-old me was scared by it.

    You guys reviewed “Lady in White” a couple episodes back. I remember watching that too. After re-watching it I can’t believe that movie was geared torwards children. That was a pretty intense plot line with serious issues. I don’t think that would fly these days. Which brings me to my point … I feel like the themes and plots of horror geared towards children now is less intense and more kid-friendly but the jump scares have increased. I also think that most child-geared horror ends with a happy ending. That was not the case when I was younger. I may be a bit younger than you podcast guys but I remember vividly having nightmares from “Are You Afraid of the Dark”! That was the first time I came across kid horror that did not always have a happy ending!

    Before I leave you….I finally watched Sole Survivor. That was definitely worth the watch. Amazing! There were some parts that didn’t have the same tension as the rest of the movie but I loved the slow build and the ending. I recommend others to check it out as well. I would love more suggestions along the same line as this hidden gem.

    • Hey Projectile Varmint (great name!),

      I also grew up with “Are You Afraid of the Dark”. There are maybe 4 or 5 episodes of that, which really go strongly for the horror. I specifically recommend “The Laughing in the Dark” as well as “Dead Man’s Float”. Really strong creepy entries. I had personal favorites with “The Dream Machine” and “The Night Shift” that actually scared me. This show would be a great place to start for kids in the 6-10 age bracket.

      • Projectile Varmint and Kagan – Are you Afraid of the dark was a serious nightmare catalyst for me, glad you guys mentioned it too. The episode with the kids that go to see Nosferatu in the theater, and then the vampire comes out of the screen….man, I had a two-night nightmare that combined that vampire setup, the judge from Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and Sloth from Goonies! That was the worst. hahaha!

        • I think the episode that I remember the most is the one where they are trapped in the mall and it turns out it’s a pinball machine.

          • My favorite was the one where the brother and sister had to stay at the boarding school and the teachers were some kind of lizards and the basement was full of eggs. I remember the kids having to feed them. That one scared me to death.

      • Man, that takes me back. I remember how nervous I would get when those opening credits came on…that creepy music and the creepy images. Gah. It used to be free to stream on Amazon Prime, but I think you have to pay for it now.

  11. Guys, I’m halfway through the episode and you are really taking me back to my childhood. Will overload with posts once I’ve finished it.

  12. I was watching Ichabod with my kids the other day. One thing I will say for the song at the party, it contains a line that, when I stopped and thought about it, I found to be seriously spooky: “You can’t reason with a headless man.”

  13. So the hosts are very kind considerate fathers who have their children’s best interests at hear. I agree that it is a great idea to get on your kids good side with horror by showing them kid friendly material. I grew up with Scooby Doo, Goosebumps, and Are You Afraid of the Dark, but I also believe in baptism by fire.

    Once you have your kids sufficiently warmed up. DROP A TRAIN ON ‘EM. You gotta scar them just once. Maybe show them The Ring when they’re 12 or 13. For me, part of the love of horror is the adrenaline rush, the roller coaster ride. Sometimes you need to have that underlying anxiety to know that a film can really sucker punch you. Especially considering how formative those young years are. As an adult, nothing scares me anymore. That’s one of the things I treasure in hindsight. The ability to actually get sacred.

    On another note, you guys had mentioned showing kids black and white movies before they get too hold. I’m sad to say it, but a lot of younger kids feel the same way about 80s slashers. Ian was saying that a lot of younger people buy lots of classic horror, but I also know a lot of people who completely dismiss anything form the 70s and 80s as not worth watching. Call me a crazy hippy, but I think 16 is a reasonable age to be watching the classic slashers. What you think?

    • yeah, I kind of agree with the “drop the bomb” method… I let my son drop his own bomb with an insistence on watching a few movies here and there. Nothing with nudity, nothing with rape, nothing with torture or anything like that.

    • Yep, the baptism by fire method is what my mom used! Jaws at age 6, Predator at 8, When a Stranger Calls at 10, and the rest was history.

      My high school friends and I used to watch slashers at Halloween when we were 14 and 15. Buuuut, I’m from Ohio – and as our hosts mentioned- Ohioans….well, we’re a different breed altogether!

      • That’s awesome Bonnie. My parents were absolutely against horror movies, so I had to drop myself in the fire. And did. hahaha Michael Myers at 11, Se7en at 14…We Georgians are also apparently a different breed!

        • Allison, you’re a Georgian!? I lived in Savannah for 7 years, and frequently visited Atlanta! Georgia’s got some great horror fans, for sure! Good for you for jumping into the fire! It’s no easy task.

          In fact, my boyfriend was raised in an ultra-strict Catholic household and was NOT allowed to watch anything horror related…and now he’s an atheist who loves gory horror movies. Go figure!

          • Bonnie, I’m originally from Blue Ridge, GA, but lived in Atlanta from 2002-2005. We moved to Alabama from there. My brother’s girlfriend is from Savannah. My family is good old Southern Baptist, so no drinking, no smoking and no horror. ?

    • I think the episode that I remember the most is the one where they are trapped in the mall and it turns out it’s a pinball machine.

    • I dropped The Visit on my 8 year old niece. She was terrified but wouldn’t let me turn it off. My sister was so mad at me because she still talks about the naked grandma butt! Whenever my niece comes over my house we always watch one of my childhood faves and then one newer release.

  14. Here is the story of my first traumatic horror movie experiance…It was 1981 and a couple of my friends and I went to a mantinee at our local theater…and the movie happened to be Halloween 2…Obviously that was a different time because no way would some kids be allowed into this movie today…Just a note…A friend of mine that same year was allowed into the empty theater to see Heavy Metal which I’m sure probably warped my little mind too…After the movie my friends decided to stay for the second showing which you could do at our theater for free…you just had to stay the in the theater…It was starting to turn dark by then and freaked out poor alone little me had to sprint home as fast as he could about 10 blocks…As soon as it was time to go to bed was when things got very bad…As I laid in bed I just knew Micheal Meyers was there in the dark waiting for me…I ended up crawling into my parents room and laid there on the floor by the side of their bed…Well that was short lived because my mom kicked me out after finding out why I was there…So I was forced to the living couch where I spent the the worst night of my life staring into the shadows and hiding under my blanket scared to death…Luckily what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…

    • Shannon, Michael Myers will traumatize you like that. I am 35 years old, have been watching the Halloween franchise for 24 years, and I still have nightmares about Michael. He still comes after me. They are some of the worst dreams I’ve ever had.

  15. Hey JOTD, Josh, and Dave! Really loved this episode! My kids are almost adults now, but I look forward to showing many of these to my grandkids some day (waaaaay later, I hope!)

    Yes it is correct that Greg was my friend first and I told him about the show. We dabbled in other shows, but HMP is head and shoulders above the rest.

    My first dabbling with horror as a kid was with Toledo’s own Dr. Shock (who I later learned was a knock off of the PA one). I had strict parents so I was only allowed to watch edited for television horror movies. Here’s a taste of the Toledo show:”Dr. Shock’s X-Ray Chiller Theater”:

    Lastly I wanted to show love for the annual Garfield Halloween special. Great Pumpkin was awesome too, but Garfield was where it was at for me.

    • Cool memory. I remember watching Dr. Shock on Channel 36. Trying to remember some of the movies he showed . . . maybe The Blob. His goofy comedy bits I do recall, think it came on Friday nights?

      • It was Saturday night. I remember because I would switch to SNL if I didn’t like the movie. His show was where I saw the first five NoES films for the first time, Night of The Creeps, Lifeforce, Creature (1985), and so many more.

  16. Fun Episode! Growing up in the 80s Raiders of the Lost Ark and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom were really intense when I was 6 or 7. The 1979 Amityville Horror is good starter for older kids, a great double bill with Poltergeist. The scariest thing I saw as a kid was the TV miniseries V – freaked me out!

    • I’ve thought about Raiders, but my kids are definitely not ready yet for melting Nazis. When they get old enough that I feel comfortable with showing them movies containing profanity, I plan to hit them with Eight Legged Freaks.

      A babysitter let my wife watch Poltergeist when she was 6. To this day it freaks her out and she won’t want any horror movies with me. When I told her I was listening to a podcast about horror for kids, the first thing out of her mouth was “NOT Poltergeist.”

      • I find it odd that my parents were so strict about what we could watch, but they definitely let me watch Poltergeist at a young age. I’m not sure why they thought I wouldn’t be scarred by it (I still count the seconds between flashes of lightning and thunder to this day).

  17. My early Horror Experience: I may have already related this before- but I believe I was around 4 or 5 years old and there was a crack in my bedroom door. I was able to peek out through the crack and see the television, and one night I heard someone calling my name- “Maarrrk” followed by tapping. I go to the door and I peek through, and the Tobe Hooper version of “Salem’s Lot” is playing on television and there’s this kid with glowing eyes and fangs and he’s calling for “Mark” to open his window. And I was hooked.

    From there I moved on to some of the classics they would show on Saturday afternoon matinee shows on local broadcast… it wasn’t always “horror”, per se. Lots of sci-fi, Kung Fu, and blacksploitation. But I was also exposed to some Hammer faves… Captain Kronos, Curse of the Werewolf, and the Frankenstein films were all favorites.

    I’d watch a few other scary movies over the years, but really got hooked on HORROR when I turned eleven and decided to watch Friday the 13th part 4 during a birthday party- my mom was furious as she didn’t actually know what the movie was but I loved it. And so between 1985 and 1990, I pretty much lived at the video store where I rented one scary movie after another.

    I have exposed my son to “horror” a little early, much to my wife and my in-laws consternation- the thing is that I also make it “safe” for him. He goes with us on Zombie Walks, he meets people who have similar interests, he sees the artistry and creativity that goes into creating monsters. We don’t just sit and watch a movie- we watch the “making of” features and we see how they create a scene, how they move a camera. He loves it and we make the occasional movie ourselves- there are, of course, limitations. But I set those limitations based on Thematic elements more so than specific gore or monsters.

    RE: Monster House:

    Jay, I love that you enjoyed this movie and I think it’s a fantastic example of a fun horror film for children. I do think it sort of falls apart in the third act, but I think it did what it set out to do. I’m wondering if you heard that this director is in charge of the live action version of the “Five Nights at Freddy’s” game and how much you think it may be toned down for a wider audience? With that said, I’m going to have to go with Josh on preferring Para-Norman. I’m also going to throw Coraline in there- in the year that Coraline was released, I picked it as my favorite horror movie for the whole year (beating out Drag Me to hell, the Uninvited, House of the Devil, Black Devil Doll, The Collector, Doghouse, Friday the 13th Remake, Grace, and Last House on the Left Remake). It was creepy, the stakes were never low, and it just delivered on all aspects.


    Honest truth- I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen the “Legend of Sleepy Hollow” paired with Mr. Toad, so- no comment on that pairing, but I will say this: The story has always been absolutely terrifying to me. And I’ve seen many different incarnations throughout the years. I’d give it a 7 out of 10… but the Burton version is pretty gank.

    Haunted Honeymoon:

    I’m surprised to see it on the list- I have seen the film and I see it as a comedy, not even a blend of any sort. But I’m not going to debate it- I concede the points made by Josh and will say it plays a bit like a horror film. Gilda Radner is brilliant in the film. I need to find it, again- haven’t watched it since I was eleven or so.

    Introduction to Horror:

    I used to love reading “There is a monster at the end of this book!” to my son. But, oddly, he never really took to Sesame Street- he was more into The Little Einsteins and stuff- but his introduction to scary things came with Star Wars and I let him watch Raiders of the Lost Ark when he was four. He fell in love with Indiana Jones- and from there he wanted to watch Army of Darkness with me one day and he laughed his butt off. I wouldn’t let him watch the other movies, but for a few years we would watch some of the lighter fair- As he turned eleven this past year, I’m expecting him to want more intense things. He broke me down for Evil Dead in the theater and we saw a matinee show that came with nightmares that night, but he mostly took it in stride.

    He’s watched a few R rated films while sitting next to me and I did the “fast forward” past questionable content a few times. He’s seen The Lost Boys, Friday the 13th Part 6, “Zombieland”, the original “Dawn of the Dead”, and such.

    Here is a list of movies we’ve enjoyed over the years, films that I found appropriate.

    NOTE: While I love Coraline- here is the thing; I actually don’t find it very child appropriate. I saw that movie and it scared the hell out of me. Tonally, the movie really hit a few major points for me and it drifted very far from the child friendly film it could have been.

    10. The Witches
    9. Watcher in the Woods
    8. Something Wicked This Way Comes
    7. Addams Family (both movies)
    6. Gremlins
    5. The Blob (original)
    4. Tremors
    3. Killer Klowns From Outer Space
    2. Paranorman
    1. Monster Squad.

    • redcapjack, great comments.

      Do you find that showing your son “the making of/behind the scenes” helps to desensitize him a bit – like in a good way? I wondered if I were to do that with my future unborn children, if it will help.

      That’s awesome that he made it through Evil Dead at 11. Trooper!

      • in some cases it absolutely works and in some.. he’s still a child. He can have some bad dreams every once in awhile. =( i would never make a recommendation to other parents because every child and parent is different.

    • Now that you mention The Witches (called “Hexen Hexen” here in Germany)…The story the grandmother tells the child must have had an effect on my kids back then. So creepy, especially the scene with the missing girl appearing in the painting. To me it was THE justification to not shower as much. That didn’t work of course…Thanks mum! 😀

      • Whoops, not on *my* kids, of course. I meant kids in general. I challenge any parents to watch that one with their little ones and not cover their eyes when the witches reveal themselves at the gathering. >:)

        8/10 movie in my book!

  18. Such a wonderful episode, fellas. Loved this one… definitely good to have another themed episode, and the topic was a lot of fun. Also, a very appropriate topic for me, personally, since I’m in the process of trying to get my 6 y/o son into the genre. Right now, we’re reading through the Harry Potter series and watching each corresponding movie once we finish a book. This has proven, so far, to be our best entry point into horror themes. I never would have considered Harry Potter to be an intro into the horror genre, but as Wolfman Josh said, it’s all about how they respond to and interpret the material (paraphrasing). We’re currently mid-way through Prisoner of Azkaban. We’ve also recently watched the new Goosebumps movie, as well as the original Ghostbusters. So far, so good.

    My intro to the horror genre seems very similar to Doc’s in that I didn’t really ease into it with “kid friendly” movies containing horror themes. Sure, I watched movies like The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth, but my horror cherry was blown to smithereens the night of Halloween 1987. I’ve shared the story here before, so I’ll give the short version.

    My extended family had gathered at my grandparent’s house, as we always did for the holidays. My parents, aunts and uncles were all hanging out on the main floor, while all the grandchildren were crammed in an upstairs bedroom decked out in our Halloween costumes. I was 7 y/o, the youngest of my generation in my extended family – I have one older sister and 24 cousins on that side, so there are 26 of us in total (not all of us were there that night, though). And the next closest to me in age was my sister, who is about 4 years older, so they were all well-versed in the genre.

    That night, my christening into the horror genre was a triple-feature of Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives, A Nightmare on Elm Street and Phantasm. So, not exactly eased into the genre.

    I know I watched Jaws frequently throughout my childhood – it was my favorite movie while growing up (still one of my favorites) – but I can’t remember exactly when I watched it for the first time. Anyway, that was my real indoctrination into the horror genre.

  19. I loved hearing Wolfman Josh’s childhood antics. It reminded me a lot of a game my friends and I played as kids called Graveyard Hunt.

    Basically, we would wait until it was dark, then we would separate into groups of 4-6 people. Carrying flashlights, we would roam our neighborhood golf course trying to find and capture other teams. Whoever you catch then becomes part of your horde until you either catch everyone or get tired and go home.

    It was a massive game that almost everyone in our school played. We wouldn’t all commune at a central location to begin the game. It was just understood that if you wanted to play the game, you and the rest of your group would bring a flashlight to the golf course and start playing.

    Some of my favorite childhood memories are from playing Graveyard Hunt, hiding in bunkers or behind trees and roaming the massive moonlit golf course with my friends. And, for reference on the size of the game, people generally started playing it from 3rd grade on… (can’t imagine 3rd graders running around a golf course at night nowadays; how things have changed)

    • I remember playing flashlight tag in the neighborhood in the summer at like 9:30 at night when I was 7. I can’t imagine parents letting their kids do that now. It’s sad.

  20. Wow! What an episode! I have quite a bit to say, especially since my 12 year old is the most pragmatic and unscarable person ever, but… I’ll do that when I have more time. (So awesome that I won that sticker! Much thanks!!!!!)

    I do want to SINCERELY thank Jay for promoting my podcast, HORROR CORRIDOR! Folks, you’ve all gotta know… JOTD was so incredibly helpful to me in getting my podcast launched. We had some lengthy discussions via e-mail. He’s pretty much the man.

    WOLFMAN JOSH and JOTD get some serious airtime in my second episode that just dropped on iTunes yesterday. And so does the gangsta, REDCAPJACK! Wish I could tag you like on FB. Oh well. Much love. Great episode. I’ll write more tomorrow!

        • Oh, and Redcapjack…

          Our conversation from long ago really inspired me… as you can tell. Ha ha.

          And yeah… that sketch was fun. The only difference between the sketch and the real life party was that I actually shot her for sitting on my motorcycle! :)

          • Conversations should inspire thought and consideration. I do see your point in several aspects, I just tend to be a little more lax when it comes to seeing animals as monsters. It’s actually because I don’t anthropomorphize them but rather see them as alien from human emotion. In some cases, the animals are acting completely in concert with their natures… in others, I just find their stalking to be a frightening and horrifying thing.

            I guess it’s also because I consider Man to be the ultimate predator and am taken aback when the tables are turned.

      • Thank you so much, Doctor Shock! I’m SINCERELY honored that you’ve take the time to listen! I’m having a blast with HORROR CORRIDOR. Recording episode 003 this week end.

        Here’s to a Doc Shock solocast!

        • Mister Watson,
          I am LOVING your podcast! I’ve made sure to tell my peeps on Instagram and Twitter to check it out. I was very impressed with how well-researched everything was. The content was entertaining and interesting. I am definitely looking forward to listening to episode 2!

          • Allison,

            I am SO HAPPY you gave HORROR CORRIDOR a listen! Thank you so much! If you like demonic-themed horror, episode 003 (which I’m about to record) gets pretty deep into it.

            Also, thanks for telling your friends! Can I ask you, Allison (or anyone else)… is Twitter worth getting on to promote the show? The FB group has almost 100 members now, which is cool… but I know NOTHING about Twitter! What do ya think?

    • Mister Watson,

      Your podcast is great; listenend to the first two episodes. Haven’t had a chance to comment on your page but will do as soon as I can. Looking forward to hearing more.

      • Jonathan, dude… thanks a TON for giving my episodes a listen! Can’t wait to read any comments you leave, my friend. Episode 003 coming next week! I hope you dig it, sir.

  21. Thank you so much for this episode! Hearing the three of you talk about your early experiences with horror really sent me down memory lane and temporarily put me back in my childhood mindset. As someone who studies psychology, I thought it was really powerful when Dr. Shock was talking about drinking Hawaiian Punch and watching Monster Squad in his basement, only to realize that he had not thought about this event in decades. I honestly think I could have listened to your early experiences for hours on end and not minded in the least.

    I grew up with Scooby Do, Are You Afraid of the Dark, and the Goosebumps books. It was exciting to hear Mr. Boogedy come up! That was an early horror experience for me and I have not encountered too many other people that have seen it. My family still has a grainy VHS version of it that we taped off of the Disney channel in the late 80s.

    A lot of my early horror movies were things I snuck watching when my parents weren’t around. USA used to show horror movies on Sunday afternoons, which allowed me to catch glimpses of films like Child’s Play 3 and Friday the 13th VIII. Perhaps not the best films, but they have a spot in my heart because of what they represent – accessing something forbidden and mysterious and staying up all night terrified (funny things to romanticize I suppose). Around age 12, I recall spending the night in my basement and coming across a creepy movie on FX. I did not know what it was but its tone and “edgy” nature kept me watching. As the characters began to get killed off, I recognized that I was watching a slasher of sorts. Long story short, the movie turned out to be Friday the 13th III. I did not realize this until Jason got his famous mask 2/3 of the way through. As some of you might remember, Jason’s name is not used in that installment, so it was easy for me to ignorantly watch the movie unaware of what I was taking in.

    Although I have access to so many movies these days, I wish I could still experience movies the same way that I did when I was a child.

    • Chris, I feel the same way. I could have listened to this episode for hours! I also got into horror books, especially Fear Street by R.L. Stine, Richie Tankersley Cusick, and Christopher Pike. That wasn’t until late middle school/early high school, but I always loved scary books.

      If I concentrate hard enough, I can still get that small twinge of fear that I got when watching those movies as a kid/young teenager. Once my parents (super strict) figured out that I had seen most of those movies, I was okay to rent them. We had a video store in town that did 5 movies for 5 days for 5 dollars (older releases). This place has a huge place in my heart. It was called Nobles Video and Mr. Noble ran the place. He was covered in tattoos, smoked in the building, and had a secret video room in the back behind a black curtain. :) Most Friday nights I would rent the entire Halloween franchise, minus Halloween III (it only went up to Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers at that time), The Shining, the Psycho franchise, Firestarter…wow, the memories.

  22. Yes! I’m loving this episode so far guys.

    And my mind was blown when Jay brought up Grizzly Tales for Gruesome Kids. It’s one of those things that you totally forget about as an adult but as soon as you hear the name it sets off alarm bells. I guess I was about 12 when that show was on so maybe a bit older than it’s intended audience but I remember coming home from school back when my parents couldn’t afford any more than the standard 5 channels (including ITV) and putting it on. I don’t recall much about the individual episodes other than thinking they were pretty dark for a kids show but I do distinctly remember the creepy claymation narrator guy who was like across between the crypt keeper and the weird old man who always sits in the same place in his window and glares out at passing kids across his over-grown garden. At the time I had no idea it was Nigel Planer though (Who famously played depressed hippy Neil in The Young Ones).

    And this has got me thinking about so many British kids TV shows from my childhood that had a distinct horror vibe. Some of those memories go so far back that they’re little more than impressionistic moments; there was something called Uncle Jack which I kind of remember as being like a version of Dr Who for really little kids and one episode distinctly sticks out in my memory that had to do with a lake monster of some kind. Then there was a show called Earthfasts that just left me with an eerie recollection of a ghostly drummer boy emerging from a hill and big standing stones making weird noises and moving around by themselves (and these shows were all live action as far I remember). More solid in my memory is The Demon Headmaster which was a pretty big deal in the playground at the time and I remember it having some seriously creepy elements. There was another really early one too that I think was aimed at even younger kids and featured a pair of bickering witches (the classic green pointy nosed kind) so in retrospect the aesthetics of the spooky were kind of common place for me as a little kid in the 90’s. And of course there were the US offerings like Goosebumps, Are You Afraid of the Dark and Eerie Indiana. And I was watching The Adams Family (and also sometimes The Munsters) with my Dad as far back as I can remember.

    • And how could I forgot the totally insane Australian kids show “Round the Twist” which was mostly kind of a surreal wacky comedy but had some terrifying episodes; haunted out-houses, weird mutant bird-boys and all.

  23. Great episode guys! I’ve only been listening for a little over two weeks but have gone back and listened to a lot of thematic episodes. Really amazing podcast.

    Having grown up in the 90’s, I think it was a wonderful time for kids to get into horror. Between “Are You Afraid of the Dark,” “Goosebumps” (including the books), to more adult things like “The Outer Limits” which is more sci-fi but definitely had some horror aspects to it (just the opening theme still gives me chills) and the X-Files, to all the ghost and alien documentaries playing late at night.

    I very much agree with Kagan with the idea of baptism by fire. My older sister would always watch slashers and horror movies and one of the most scarring scenes for me was at the end of Carrie when the hand emerges from the grave. I was maybe 8 years old and I would hallucinate hands coming through the floorboards late at night. I think as an adult, I’ve just been trying to chase the primal fear I originally had back then.

    My family and I went out to see the Blair Witch Project when it came out, I was around ten years old, and I remember thinking Are You Afraid of the Dark episodes were scarier, so I imagine it’s very subjective to the type of kid you have as well. Hell, I saw Edward Scissorhands when I was about seven and I used to think I could see his shadow flicker in the light of the fireplace and that he would come “accidentally” cut up my face as I slept.

    One movie no one ever seems to mention is The Others, which I saw in theatres when I was around twelve and that movie creeped me the hell out. Between that, What Lies Beneath and The Sixth Sense (all of which I must’ve seen between the ages of 10-12) it really shaped my love of ghost movies.

    Now, I know that you guys are coming at it from a parent’s angle that would have to pick up the pieces of your scarred children, so my experience comes more from the perspective of a child WANTING to be scared and horrified. I say play it by ear with kids, start off soft and see if they can stomach something big when you feel the time is right.

    I would also like to add that I think Paranorman far outweighs Monster House, mostly due to the way it deals with more mature themes, but in a way that children can understand and relate to. Finally, I totally agree that Coraline is very unsettling for children but feel that The Nightmare Before Christmas is simply fun for all ages.

    Keep up the great work guys!

    • So glad you mentioned The X-Files. That show was definitely a gateway drug into the horror world for so many people my age. Some of those episodes truly terrified me when I was a kid and they imparted in me a love for really weird monsters; from the murderous Basketcase-esque deformed Siamese twin in “Humbug” to the humanoid flukeworm in “The Host”. Such a great show.

      • David, I’m a huge X-Files fan. I am such a geek…I would probably cry if I ever met David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson. The X-Files was my LIFE when I was a teenager, and my love for it is still as strong today. Kagan knows I get emotional over the theme song. hahahaha I’m such a dork.

  24. I don’t quite know where to start. This episode was AWESOME!!! It made me so happy to hear all the old movies and cartoons from my childhood. I guess my intro to horror came from a lot of different angles. My dad has always been a Halloween (holiday) fanatic and it rubbed off on me. To this day, I get as excited as I did when I was 10 years old when Halloween rolls around. My early intro to “horror” started with Garfield’s Halloween Adventure, It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, Raggedy Ann and Andy, The Watcher in the Woods, The Worst Witch and this great old VHS that I can’t find anymore called The Great Bear Scare. When those ghost pirates came into the house with Garfield and Odie I was usually hiding behind the couch. Hahaha. My mom recorded the Disney DTV Monster Hits special from TV and it was the worst recording (she tried to cut the commercials out and did a terrible job and the tape was jumpy and shaky and full of tracking), but I watched that tape until it wouldn’t play anymore. I saw Lady In White when I was 8 and it quickly became a favorite. My best friend and I rented Halloween 4 when we were 11 years old for a slumber party. Neither of us had seen a real horror movie all the way through (I had seen bits and pieces of scary movies like Halloween II, Amityville Horror, etc, on USA on Halloween). Halloween 4 scared the living shit out of us and, for me, a love was born. The next film was Candyman and, oh boy, did it mess me up. I knew who Freddy Krueger was, but I never saw any of the ANOES films until last year, believe it or not. Even though I’d never seen any of the films, I had a terrible fear of Freddy because he could get you any time, anywhere. I didn’t see any Friday the 13th films until I was 19. Michael Myers was my first love at 11. Hocus Pocus came along, and The Witches, and they also became favorites. I was a huge fan of Are You Afraid of the Dark on Nickelodeon and The X-Files. I even love horror video games, like Resident Evil 2, Resident Evil 4, Until Dawn, Devil May Cry, and even Castlevania. I’ve just always been drawn to the genre in some shape or form. So here is the list I’ve used to draw my kiddos (8 and 4 years old) into horror:

    1. Garfield’s Halloween Adventure
    2. The ‘Burbs
    3. It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
    4. The Worst Witch
    5. Hocus Pocus (called The Three Witches by my kids)
    6. Curious George Boo Fest
    7. The Berenstain Bears Trick or Treat
    8. Halloween 1978 (with the 8 year old…she was not scared in the least)
    9. Friday the 13th 1980 (again, the 8 year old…and she doesn’t watch the sexy stuff)
    10. Roseanne Halloween specials
    11. Are You Afraid of the Dark (8 year old)
    12. The X-Files (8 year old)
    13. Jaws (8 year old)
    14. Goosebumps 2015 film
    15. Paranorman
    16. Monster House
    17. Hotel Transylvania II
    18. Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman
    19. Abbott and Costello – Hold That Ghost, Meet the Mummy, Meet Frankenstein, Meet the Invisible Man (they LOVE them)
    20. Ichabod and Mr. Toad (usually not Mr. Toad)
    21. The Simpsons Tree House of Horror (8 year old)
    22. The Amityville Horror 1979 (8 year old)
    23. Beetlejuice (8 year old)

    Can’t wait to listen to this episode again!

  25. I watched the South Korean zombie film Train to Busan last night and I now have my number one horror movie of the year set in stone…It may be my favorite movie of the year period…You know its been a pretty great year for horror when 3 of my top movies of the year in general are horror movies…

  26. Wolfman Josh is totally right about Mad Monster Party. For anyone who doesn’t know, this was a stop motion animated movie from 1967 by Rankin/Bass production. You know, the guys who did all of those great Christmas Specials like Rudolph. So you’d think their animation style with monsters would make a great film. Well, the look of it is great and many monsters are represented but the problem is the story. It’s soooo boring! It’s just loosely thrown together with some songs as a vehicle to show off the great stop motion characters. Mad Monster Party is best viewed on mute in the background of a Halloween party with kids. You might want to listen a little because Boris Karloff does one of the voices.

  27. There was a 1986 movie based on a children’s book series called “The Worst Witch.” It played on HBO and the Disney channel for a few years after that. Many of my friends saw it as kids and still love it. Every October people want to watch it. At my house, we didn’t get cool TV channels so I never watched it growing up. As an adult, I don’t really have a nostalgic love for this film but I thought I’d mention it anyway. Tim Curry’s in it.

  28. Another great podcast, growing up in 70’s in England I was into the children of the stones, tomorrow people ,early dr who , but two films really stand out for me , Invasion of the body snatchers 1978 (I think) , with donald Sutherland , that ending gave me nightmares for years and still the hair on my neck goes up when I watch it.
    Also the omen , the music is enough to scare me, it has to be some of the scariest choir music ever, I think the breaking point for my sanity was the next day after watching the film I went to the school library to read the bible in particular the book of revelations and it was all in there, now I wasnt brought up in religion so this blew my mind.
    From those moments I was hooked on the thrill of horror there is no genre like it.
    My youngest son who is six watched the monster squad the other day and cried at the end because he felt sorry for Frankenstein .

  29. Hi guys. So, I’m at Fantastic Fest in Austin and I’m having such a blast that I was inspired to write some mini reviews for you to maybe add some of these movies to your queues. The guys at Alamo Drafthouse have done a great job at picking strange and weird little genre films that I think horror fans can appreciate even if not full fledged horror.

    The Invisible Stranger (8/10)
    A deliciously dark thriller that is heavy on exposition but that more than makes up for it with so many twists and turns that you’ll leave the theater completely satisfied even if it doesn’t all quite make sense.

    Safe Neighborhood (9/10)
    If John Hughes ever tried to do horror, this is probably what it would be like. Safe Neighborhood is Home Alone meets Ferris Bueller’s Day Off meets a home invasion movie and the results are mind blowing. Never has a horror movie made me feel tense, scared, and strangely happy all at once.

    The Void (7/10)
    A throwback to practical effects splatter fest horror films from the ’70s and ’80s. The atmosphere, visuals, and music are great. Practical effects are rare these days, so it was a treat to see something that managed to look reminiscent of movies like The Thing and The Fly. The story although ambiguous, is ambitious, but its average actors weren’t able to bring it fully to life.

    It’s the end of the first day. Let’s see what films I can get to tomorrow.

    • Day 2

      My second day was not very productive since I spent most of the day with a good friend of mine. I had a great time, but only got to see one movie. I’m glad it was a great one. Quality over quantity, right?

      The Red Turtle (8/10)
      A dialogue-less film that tells the powerfully poignant journey of a man trying to cope with a life of solitude and loneliness and searching for happiness in dire circumstances. It’s slow and quiet, and the animation is a sight of absolute beauty. It’s a tear jerker, so bring your tissues.

    • Day 3

      I’m back on track watching all 5 movies of the day, but I’m very tired and I think I’m going to just do 4 the next.couple of days because there’s just no way I’ll be able to keep up the pace.

      The Dwarves Must Be Crazy (4/10)
      A weird and pointless slapstick horror comedy that appeals to the most base of one’s instincts. By the 10 minute mark, I had pretty much seen everything the movie had to offer. It’s wrong in countless ways, but it’s fun and it’s just cool that this oddity exists.

      Science Fiction Volume One: The Osiris Child (5/10)
      There’s a reason why few indie sci-fi movies work. They tend to be overambitious and with a finite budget, it can be easy for a film’s reach to exceed its grasp. There are some cool ideas here and there that suffer because of its low budget, but overall the movie is derivative of better movies and shows.

      Buster’s Mal Heart (10/10)
      The complex and layered story of a man who is struggling to find freedom in a world where the meaning of the word is often eschewed. The message is powerfuly clear and poignant, but the story and characters demand multiple viewings to get the most out of the film. Similar to Enemy, but very different.

      We Are the Flesh (8.5/10)
      I’m not entirely sure what the hell I just saw, but it was one of the most vibrant, esoteric, weird, surreal, and memorable things I’ve seen in quite sometime. We Are the Flesh will test you in every way imaginable. Your patience, tolerance, morals, and ideals will be pushed to their limits and will leave you spinning in a whirlwind of thoughts. Not a horror movie in the literal sense, but its visuals, tone and music will probably appeal to the horror crowd. Maybe.

      Headshot (9/10)
      Hands down the most energetic, intense, and inventive action movie of the year. This is up there with The Raid in terms of badassery and wtf-ery. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it sends a.clear message that after countless explosions and punches to the face throughout the years, the genre still has plenty of new and exciting things to offer.

    • Day 4

      Another productive day. I got to catch four movies, but sadly, only one of them was great. My picks for tomorrow seem really solid, so I’m hopeful my last full day at the festival will end with a bang.

      Salt and Fire (5/10)
      Perhaps I should’ve familiarized myself with more of Herzog’s work before going into this. I’m not sure if this is one of his worst movies, but I wasn’t impressed with anything the film had to offer other than its oddly placed humor. Its randomness and silliness where refreshing in an otherwise boring and mundane slog fest.

      Elle (9.5/10)
      An incredibly complex and layered character study that is taken to a whole other level by the amazing performance of its lead actress. The subject mater here is dark and it’s portrayed with the same boldness that Verhoeven is known for, but it’s also elegant and refined. This is at its core a drama, but it’s intertwined with heavy thriller elements and even comedy, which works to great effect. Paul Verhoeven is still at the top of his game.

      Fashionista (7/10)
      A tale about addiction and consumerism that’s taken to the extreme to show the horrors hat both can bring to one’s life. The unorthodox structure of the film can be confusing, but it all comes together in the end and it keeps the guessing game interesting throughout. A solid story, with solid characters and some great acting.

      Dog Eat Dog (6/10)
      I’m not sure I understood what this film was trying to accomplish. It was kind of fun, kind of entertaining, but ultimately kind of pointless. I suppose that could be part of the message. That criminal life is absolutely pointless. The hyper violence, funny dialogue, and over-the-top performances were definite highlights, but a whole the movie felt disjointed.

  30. I stumbled across this trailer (yes, I watched a trailer) for a Friday the 13th fan fiction short film called Never Hike Alone, and was floored. The trailer is awesome and what it hints to is a different, but exciting, take on the F13 universe. Here’s a link to the trailer:


    If you’re as interested as I am, you might want to check out their Kickstarter campaign. There are 12 days left, and they’re still about $21k away from their relatively modest $40k goal. There Kickstarter campaign is at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/neverhikealone/never-hike-alone-a-friday-the-13th-fan-film?ref=user_menu

  31. This was an awesome episode, guys. My early horror experiences varied between productions geared more at children and stuff I probably shouldn’t have watched as many of you have already commented on.

    I was born in 76 and had an Uncle who was only ten years older than me. So in the early eighties he was showing me all kinds of films I should not have been watching. My fondest memories are being freaked out by the killer reveal in ‘Terror Train’ and the subway scene in ‘American Werewolf in London.’ I also remember watching the broadcast premiere of ‘Halloween’ in 81; I remember that broadcast being a pretty big deal at the time and this was probably the only cut of it I saw until I was in my teens so was surprised to find out there was no mention of Laurie being his sister when I finally saw the original version.

    Poltergeist, I believe, was my first horror film in the theaters which seems to be the case for most kids born around the same time as myself, and it scared the crap out of me. To this day, I still have problems with watching the clown scene. The spider scene in ‘Something Wicked this Way Comes’ is another scene I remember scaring me to death as a child.

    And I also watched a lot of Scooby Doo, Twilight Zone, Night Gallery, etc. I was also a big fan of Alfred Hitchcock presents, which wasn’t as much horror related material but still very intense at times especially for a child.

  32. Hope you guys cover the new Blair Witch next episode. Just saw it last night and I have few ideas about it. Don’t want to spoil it for everyone, but I have a feeling some people will hit on the same fan theory that I have.

    I’ll save my comments for the episode you cover it in.

  33. Hi everyone,
    Long time listener, first time commenter. I wanted to jump into the conversation since I am a Kindergarten teacher and this is a subject near and dear to my heart. I also have my own kindergartner at home so I am constantly surrounded by horrors on a daily basis (usually involving bodily functions).

    As a teacher we talk about feelings all the time- identifying what they look like and feel like and appropriate ways to deal with them. Feeling scared may be my favorite though since most kids love to be scared if it is in a safe environment- then they learn to laugh at their fears and want more. Obviously you need to know your kids – this year I have a student who is afraid of virtually everything (when we were learning about space she screamed “Please stop! I’m scared of planets!) so I am dong a lot of prep with her.
    It is pretty hard to find appropriate material for 5 year olds but we teach the kids different stories they can share orally so they can eventually tell them to other friends and family members. In a Dark Dark Wood anthology is a great one we always use (some of the stories are pretty scary though but most are great), and
    I Need My Monster is a silly fun story. Here it is read by the great Rita Moreno with awesome monster voices:
    Thank for the great podcast!!

  34. Brilliant episode that still resonates with me. Especially with having two kids, 8 & 5, wanting to watch “spooky” movies with me.
    We have annual viewings of many listed in the episode. But a conversation I had in the past with my brothers and sisters a few years back.
    Walt Disney cartoons are like gateway drugs to horror. Pinocchio is a prime example, plenty of horror-esque scenes. Little Mermaid, 101 Dalmatians, The Rescuers, Snow White, etc.
    Not the whole movie, but moments, scenes, just enough for a brief taste of horrific imagery. A gateway drug to horror.

  35. Fantastic episode chaps totally loved all the reminiscing of movies I enjoyed growing up! Bought back fond memories of cold rainy Sunday Autumn evenings watching old black and white films like Abbot and Costello meet Frankenstein and ‘creepy mansion’ movies who’s titles I can’t recall.

    Realised at the end of the episode my girlfriend and I watched the new Blair Witch film on the same night you guys did! I’m quite easily entertained when it comes to films, never very critical, and I had a seriously good time watching this film. When the first Blair Witch was released I wasn’t into horror as much as I am now, so kinda missed out on all that initial excitement and build up and sadly never got to see it on the big screen. Really enjoyed this new one and looking forward big time to your review and discussion.

    You spoke of films that were watched when you were probably to young to see them. Films that left you a little scared and scarred, mentally! Well when I was about six my sister sadly was regularly in and out of hospital and I was occasionally left with my grand parents for the night. My grandmother loved her thrillers and horror novels, I have distinct memories of seeing books lying around with creepy covers, featuring skulls, skulls with snakes entwined in them, menacing shadowy figures, blood stained daggers, withered boney hands emerging from behind curtains or a book case or out of fog! Well one night when I was staying over my gran and I were watching TV and I was quite excited as it was well past my bedtime, it must’ve been about 11pm!!! Anyhoo a film came on called The Amityville Horror!!! Clearly my Gran wanted some company to watch this damn film! I found the spookyness of it so gripping and unsettling I sat frozen to the spot eyes wide and glued to the screen! I think maybe I was to young to really comprehend what was going on but remember being pretty damn terrified! After watching that I was a shell of a child for a while! I already had an ‘overactive imagination’ at the best of times so this was all I bloody needed! It has only been in recent years I have had the nards to revisit it, prompted by the 2005 remake! It’s weird how memory works especially as a child. In the original 1979 version there is a scene or sequence in which dark grey/black sludge comes oozing out of the taps and overflows a toilet! BUT in my panic stricken six year old head I was convinced it was thick dark red blood and that memory remained until I recently watched it again. (Actually as a, sort of, adult now I am a little disappointed, I think blood would have been scarier than ambiguous black goop!) Anyway thanks to that scene washing my face, brushing my teeth and flushing the toilet all became heart pounding nerve shredding ordeals for quite a long time after, when I was done doing my business I would flush the toilet and run away as fast I could for fear of seeing the toilet overflow with that same thick dark red blood! On one occasion my mum saw me sprinting down the hall from the bathroom and asked why the hell I was scared of a flushing toilet? So I explained about the film I watched and well I never spent the night at my grans house again!

    Keep up the really great work gentlemen you do a sterling job.

  36. This episode was fantastic, it really took me back to the movies I watched as a kid that have really shaped my horror tastes. I remember sleeping in between my parents one night when I was six years old scared out of my tiny little mind after having watched Killer Klowns from Outer Space and envisioned one of the klowns standing in the doorway watching me.
    Gremlins is also up there in nightmare scarring movies for me, so much that they still crop up in my dreams to this day! I am so glad Jay that these two favorites of mine are in your top 4.
    Thank you Doctor Shock for reuniting me with “The Lady in White,” I remember seeing this as a kid and not remembering what it was called. The two scenes that stick in my mind are the coat closet scene and when the boy realizes who the killer is. I need to re-watch this since it’s been a good 27 years.

    Does anyone remember this 80’s children’s Halloween gem?

  37. Pingback: Universal Monsters Poll |

  38. I’ve been on a work hiatus from the podcas back doing some catch-up. I have to mention one of the big hooks in my younger days was Joe Bob Briggs on cable TV. Not always a horror movie but his show had me every time with his various rating scores ( body count, breast count, car chases, etc). He made forgettable movies into lifelong memories and kickstarted my obsession with Z-grade movies.

    Also to note: first horror movie- Friday 13th part 4 (still one of my all time favorites)

    Movie that scarred me: Nightmare on Elm Street

    Both were cable TV viewings at night after everyone was asleep. The early days of cable TV was exciting. Authorities underestimated its growth and popularity and were unprepared to monitor or control it .

    Now as a parent I’m on the other side constantly monitoring YouTube (I was able to pull up and watch “The New York Ripper” with no loggin or age check) and social media apps.

    Thanks for the amazing show,

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