Do not watch with the lights off (ages 17+)
Some of the best scary movies start with young adults hanging out in the woods. So it begins with "The Cabin in the Woods" (2011), until something completely unexpected happens. This one’s gory, bloody, violent and does have breast nudity… but my oh my, it has such magnificent monster mayhem! Plus it’s got Thor in it, and he’s awesome even when he’s not being Thor.
Okay, this next flick is definitely not for the younger set, but it is hands down my favorite creepy movie. "Sinister" (2012) is about a writer investigating a supernatural force in his own house. It’s not for the faint of heart, but if you’re looking for something to watch with your high school senior or college-age kid, and you’re up for some legit chills, this one fits the bill.
"Host" (2020) falls into that found footage/reality genre of horror movie that took off with “The Blair Witch Project” back in 1999. It’s very timely, set during Covid-19 lockdown, and all the action unfolds over Zoom. If your kids have already seen it, they can have fun watching you get scared out of your wits.
I wanted to end on my top suggestion, chosen because it will allow you to have an important conversation with your kids when it’s over. There’s a good chance your teen has already seen the fantastic thriller "Get Out" (2017). But the movie also happens to be an amazing commentary on systemic racism and white privilege, the kind of film that Trojan Horses some deeper thinking into your kids’ heads. It’s worth checking out and then discussing these issues.