22 Family-friendly Movies to Watch on Halloween

The candy, the costumes, the movies; this is what Halloween is all about. Sadly, times have changed and by the time night falls, most towns wrap up Trick or Treating. That doesn’t mean the fun has to stop. There is still the movies, and this holiday has more movies to bring out the spirit than any other (yeah that’s right Christmas, deal with it)

Everyone can agree one of the best parts of Halloween night is sitting in the dark watching a classic scary movie. It’s always more fun to share the fright. Of course not everyone can handle the intensity of The Exorcist or Halloween. So, for those of you with youngins or a better-half that can’t take the terror, you can still celebrate the season. Here is a list of 22 favorites sure to bring out the spirit in even the most easily scared.

1. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

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This classic is still a treat after 50 years. Why else would we return each year to sit with Linus and eagerly await the Great Pumpkin?

2. Toy Story of Terror

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This special may not have been around too long, but it’s already become a tradition. Pixar continues to bring heart and humor to everything they do. With Toy Story of Terror we get some mild scares too.

3. The Nightmare Before Christmas

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The stores start displaying Christmas decorations as early as September. Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas has some fun giving Christmas the Halloween touch, and we’re glad to be along for the musical ride.

4. Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein

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This classic deserves a lot of credit for taking the genre and it’s most recognizable dark figures and allows us to laugh. Neither the monsters or Abbott and Costello ever met a more worthy foe.

5. Ernest Scared Stupid

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Ernest accidentally summons a troll that collects children. He bumbled his way into this mess, and he bumbles his way out. Ernest Scared Stupid may not be the best movie on this list, but it sure has the greatest scene of any Halloween movie. You’ll be run-down with laughter.

6. Hocus Pocus

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This somewhat of a cult classic has everything for a fun Halloween night. Led by Bette Midler, three witches are brought back for one night to try to gain ever lasting life. *Spoiler Alert* they spend more time chewing the scenery than accomplishing their goal.

7. Casper

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Casper was a household name long before his 1995 movie. Some scares, heart, and a lot of laughs, makes this movie live up to his name.

8. Halloweentown

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Made for the Disney Channel is usually a bad sign for the quality of a movie, but this Disney Channel original starring Debbie Reynolds as a grandmotherly witch goes above and beyond expectations to deliver a charming Halloween treat.

9. Scooby-Doo

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This is for the 2002 movie not the beloved classic cartoon or it’s hundreds of incarnations. This wonderfully cast live action adaptation of the classic cartoon brings the spirit and the fun of the original source.

10. Mickey’s House of Villains

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A collection of classic and new Halloween themed cartoons, tied together with a plot involving Disney’s classic villains taking over the show. This one is perfect for the youngest viewers with a short attention span.

11. Goosebumps

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While the show from the 90’s is fun in a cheesy way, it’s the 2015 film starring Jack Black that you should watch. Admittedly it takes some time to kick things off, but once it does it’s a fun trip down memory lane for fans of the books and TV show. (Slappy is the real star of the film, rightfully so)

12. ParaNorman

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The Laika studio has produced visually unique and beautiful films. ParaNorman is a perfect example. Norman is a child with paranormal abilities that must fight zombies to save his town. This may be the best of the studio, second only to the next entry on this list.

13. Coraline

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Visually, this is one of the most exciting movies on the list. Coraline follows the story of a little girl who enters a door to a parallel universe where everything seems perfect. Unfortunately for her, but fortunately for us, the only thing perfect is how wonderful this film really is.

14. Monster House

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Dated visuals aside, Monster House is a fun and unique story that follows three kids in their quest to stop the living, evil house before unsuspecting Trick-or-Treaters are hurt. The character of the house is worth the watch itself.

15. Addams Family Values

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While the 1991 original brought television’s kookiest family to the big screen, it’s this 1993 sequel that is the better movie. It brings the fun of the first movie, but is more focused. In Joan Cusack we get a perfect foil for the family.

16. Ghostbusters

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This cinematic masterpiece has withstood the test of time. With the brilliant talents of Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Harold Ramis, the plot is secondary. Thankfully the plot is as strong as the combined talent. While you may not be afraid of these ghosts, your youngest might be, and there is no better way to conquer those fears.

17. Hotel Transylvania

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Any recent Adam Sandler movie may be too scary to show up on this list, but that’s because he’s all but given up. Thankfully, this charming animated turn on the classic monsters can pull past the critical death touch of Sandler.

18. Frankenweenie

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Speaking of giving a twist to a classic, leave it to Tim Burton and Disney to take the well-known tale of Frankenstein’s Monster and put a child in the role of the doctor and man’s best friend as the “monster”. The results may not be their best collaboration, but it’s certainly worth a visit.

19. Monster Squad

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This 1987 gem has become a cult-classic and for good reason. If you are looking for a way to introduce someone to the world of the classic monsters by all means show them the original black and white movies. Then show them Monster Squad, it’s all the classics in one movie. Who could ask for anything more?

20. Monsters Inc

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One of the most innocent movie on the list. A buddy comedy about two monsters who must find a way to cope with a little toddler; nothing scary here. Not a single thing in this movie will make even the youngest viewer cry. In fact, because it’s one Pixar’s best, the adults in the room are more likely to cry.

21. Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

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Even though Wallace and Gromit were appreciated enough to get a feature length movie, they are still underrated. Their wonderful brand of slapstick lends itself perfectly to spooky situations, even when it’s mutant rabbits terrorizing a small village.

22. Young Frankenstein

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The last movie on the list is still innocent enough for the entire family, (not to mention its Mel Brooks’ masterpiece) but it may be more geared to the boys in the family. It is juvenile and silly to the point that it is pure genius. With that said, everyone should watch a perfect cast play off each other in a silly take on the Frankenstein story.

About Mike Cramer 18 Articles
Michael Cramer is an ambitious 20-something go-getter who is always looking for his next step up the corporate ladder. Nah, he's just a guy who loves horror movies and wants others to hear his opinions like "that movie was great" and "that could have been better".

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