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The Surprising Movies That Parents Use To Introduce Their Kids To Horror

One of the many wonderful things about film and television is the variety that comes with each medium. There's a range of styles and formats to check out, as well as diverse franchises that ensure there's something for everyone to enjoy, no matter their preference. Although, it's fair to say that these offerings become even more diverse as we get older, since we mature over time, and can handle subjects not particularly suitable for our youth.

This is especially true when it comes to horror movies, which are as far from child-friendly as a big screen production can get. Between jump scares, graphic bodily dismemberment, and more, you're more likely to make kids cry than keep them thoroughly entertained with such a screening. At the same time, these minor storytelling devices don't define the entirety of horror-based narratives. In fact, it's not unheard of for younger audiences to take to them rather well from the get-go.

Want to find out if your offspring are ready to join you for your next Nightmare on Elm Street marathon, but don't want to risk throwing them into the deep end just yet? No problem, because there's a handful of classic films that serve as a perfect gateway into the spooky side of cinema — and one particular film that many horror fans swear by.

There are a few options to consider when exposing your kids to toned-down horror

As it stands, there aren't many genuinely scary movies that cater to a demographic any younger than teenagers. The genre often goes from simple, goofy, Halloween-centric films for children before jumping straight into terrifying territory, with no substantial middle ground. However, the fine folks of the r/horror subreddit have managed to deduce the most viable contenders for baby's first horror flick, the foremost being Universal Pictures' game-changing hit, The Mummy, from 1999.

Reddit user Iam_Joe brought this title to the forefront, recalling a recent movie night with his two kids who had never seen the Brendan Fraser-led adventure before. "I remembered it being action packed, funny, adventure, camels, etc. in the vein of Indiana Jones, with what I remember being really mild horror elements [...] So I toss it on this past weekend for me and my 2 kids, and it's actually a lot more intense than I remember," he wrote, citing some of the feature's more gruesome moments that may turn children away.

Despite The Mummy's brief frights, he adds, "The kids ended up LOVING it. They thought it was really exciting and I didn't hear any complaints at bed time. I think it had just the right amount of horror for young kids." 

In response, a handful of other users provided some alternative titles to broaden the spectrum a bit. Redditor vibrotramp replied "Agreed! Was just rewatching Signs (2002) this weekend and had the same thought," and Robinhood515 mentioned "Jurassic Park is a good one too. Scary, but not nightmare inducing (since dinosaurs are awesome)."

No matter which avenue to take, introducing kids to horror is not impossible, but it's far from simple. At least, for now, you can give The Mummy and these other suggestions a try, until more options come to light.