Gateway zombie movies for pre-teens by Sylvester Barzey

This week on the blog, I have the amazing zombie author Sylvester Barzey, sharing his wisdom on some great, age- appropriate horror movies to watch with your little rugrats. I don’t have any kids myself, and I’m not sure my cat Pudding would be interested, but maybe I’ll try them out with nieces and nephew.

Hey Survivors! So, as some of you may know, I have a little monster at home and it is up to me to show him the wonders of horror and zombies but, being that he’s young and I’m the one that has to wake up when he has nightmares, I have to ease him into it. So, I look for gateway horror titles that are good for Pre-Teens; here is a short list of a few that feature zombies!

Trolls World Tour

So, here’s one that many parents who were trapped in the house last year bought for a bit of peace. Trolls World Tour is the second movie in the Trolls franchise and unlike the first movie, it’s based around the society of the trolls. 

Early in the movie you learn there are groups of trolls for every genre of music, and they all live separately in peace and harmony with their own magical musical cords. Well, the Rock Trolls want to control all the cords, and in doing so, turn Trolls into mindless Rock n’ Roll Zombies. 

It’s pretty cool to see a popular franchise incorporate zombies into their world. TWD has made zombies main stream, but you really don’t notice how big that is until you see things like this.


I’ve never seen Bunks but the concept seems interesting enough. Two trouble making teen brothers scam their way into working at a summer camp instead of going to military camp for troubled youths. The brothers are put in charge of an unruly cabin of kids, and get into it with the other camp counsellors.

The movie has a Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark theme as the brothers find a book of scary stories and break the camp’s only rule of not telling scary stories, releasing a curse from the past and a zombie named Anson who used to work at the camp in the 70s before turning and eating the campers.


Haven’t seen this in forever! So, Norman is an 11 year old who can talk to the dead but no one believes him, because why would you? It’s much more likely that he’s making this up because he enjoys being picked on and having the whole town hate him. Anyways, Norman’s town was big on witch hunting back in the day, so much so, his school makes the kids do a play about the witch hunts and celebrate the murder of a witch three centuries ago (This town sounds fun! That’s sarcasm) 

Norman’s crazy Uncle tells Norman it is his time to do a ritual to keep the town safe, and then dies before telling him what that ritual is. But it’s okay, cause Norman talks to the dead and learns from his dead Uncle that he must read from a book (that the uncle was buried with) before sunset.

Simple enough, right? Wrong!

Norman doesn’t read the book and zombies come out of their graves to destroy the town… Kids with books are a dangerous thing in horror movies, books in general come to think of it… but buy my book, I swear you won’t get cursed (that statement is not legally binding)

Disney’s Zombies

Remember when we talked about how main stream zombies have become? Well, there is nothing more main stream than a Disney channel musical. Yes, there is a Disney Zombie Musical and yes I’ve watched it more than once.

Zombies is about a place name Seabrook where cheerleading is the only sport people care about, and everyone is pretty stepford-wifeish. Oh, and the whole west side of town are where the zombies live after an explosion at the town power plant (that got its power from an unknown force… I’m not paying my electric bill if even the Mayor don’t know where the power comes from) 

The zombies used to be wild and rabid but now they have things called Z bands that allow them to live normal lives, and this year the zombies get to go to school with the normal kids. It’s a story about high school love and segregation… old girl wanted to date him on the down low and he was like “yeah, that sounds great,” he’s a zombie with no self respect and is extremely hypocritical in part two, but it’s still a nice way to ease your kids into the world of zombies.

Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island

The best movie for your kid who loves zombies or who isn’t sure about zombies is the one that I sat and watched premier on Cartoon Network in 1998. I’m talking the mother of gateway horror, Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island! 

This was advertised as the first Scooby-Doo mystery where the monsters were real! (It’s not true, do we not remember when Scooby was hanging with Price?) I sat there with my popcorn and soda cause I had zombies and cartoons! It was the dream team combination! I’m not gonna fill you in, put down your phone and go watch this movie!

Well, I hope you enjoyed this kiddie ride into the world of zombies. Let me know what some of your favorite gateway horror movies are and let me know if your kids love any of the ones on this list

Author Bio

Sylvester Barzey is a best selling horror and fantasy author who grew up in Bronx, NY and was later transplanted to Lawrence, GA. A military veteran with an addiction to all things horror, Sylvester’s goal is to shine a spotlight on BIPOC characters within the horror/fantasy genre. 

You can find Sylvester at:

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