Family Friendly Halloween films: We get it. You have kids. Or you’re scared of the dark, or whatever. Here’s ten movies for you and your tinies.
This list inspired in part by our own Mia Moore’s post on her blog last year.
- Scooby Doo: This movie is perfect. That’s all there is to it. It’s a wonderful, lovely, hilarious movie that DEFINITELY deserved a sequel. Using “Who Let the Dogs Out” in the soundtrack was a subtle, nuanced choice that just examplifies the tact behind every other decision made while filming. The cartoon characters are ACTUALLY brought to life–literally, not figuratively–by the cast. Plus it’s where Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinz jr. fell in love. Probably. Which makes it a classic of the early 2000s.
- Edward Scissorhands: It’s a beautiful film about Johnny Depp and Winona Rider falling in love over snowflakes. Along the way, Johnny Depp gives some suburban housewives much better hairstyles and Nick Carter makes a cameo. And that’s all I’d like to say about that.
- The Addams Family: Everyone’s family is a little weird, except for the Addams family. The Addams Family is perfect and this is a movie about how perfect they are. Angelica Houston still has movement in her face, but you wouldn’t know it. Christina Ricci is displeased with the sun, and pretty much everything else in the universe. Lurch is the best character by a landslide. Or a Lurch. There’s a pun there.
- Nightmare Before Christmas: There are few who deny at what it does it is the best and its talents are renowned far and wide. When it comes to surprises in the moonlit night this film excels without ever even trying. With the slightest little effort of its ghost-like charms it has seen grown men give out a shriek. With the wave of its hand and a well-placed moan it has swept the very bravest (toddlers) off their feet.
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: Harry Potter is the best movie for all holidays, and yet it seems the most appropriate on Halloween and Christmas. It might be the only thing (besides both being on this list) that Sorcerer’s Stone and Nightmare Before Christmas have in common. Keep an eye out for trolls and inevitable eight part movie marathons.
- It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown: Linus Van Pelt proves he’s not just a philosophy spouting mouthpiece but a kid after all as he believes in The Great Pumpkin; an Easter-Bunny-meets-Santa-Claus rip-off that only Linus seems to believe in. If you see someone wearing a ghost sheet with multiple eye holes all over, it’s from this.
- Ghostbusters: International film star Rick Moranis blows audiences away in another of his classic roles, as the guy down the hall from Sigourney Weaver.Don’t cross the streams, and also don’t think about the stay puft marshmallow man. And also if someone asks if you’re a god, you say yes, Ray. You say yes. Can you believe this movie is 30 years old?
- Beetlejuice: The scariest part of this movie is how Alec Baldwin looks NOW compared to how he looked in 1988. Seriously. Ghosts are the cutest and Michael Keaton is the cutest and Winona Rider makes her second appearance on this list! Win-win-win!
- Casper: Speaking of second appearances. Christina Ricci falls in love with the tiniest Devon Sawa, but in his translucent form. Eric Idle plays a horrible underling to Aunt Spike, from James and the Giant Peach. If you’re reading this and you haven’t seen Casper, I don’t even know who you are anymore.
- Paranorman: Kid talks to dead people. Puritains were bonkers. Don’t live in New England. Moral of the story? Bullying isn’t nice.
Not so Family Friendly Halloween Films: For nights without the kids, or if you’re pulling a classic snuggles-from-fear date night (and if you are, seriously come up with something more original. It’ll impress them more than that played out crap.), or if you’re really into scaring yourself silly or making drinking games out of movies that scare other people silly. I’m not questioning your motivations. (Unless they’re cliched. in which case, do better. I believe in you.)
- Trick R Treat: This movie is popular and there are Funko Pop bobble heads representing characters from it. Also it comes highly recommended by my friends fiance’s cousin and you know. He seems like he knows his stuff. Additionally, Sam is the cutest murderer ever according to Leia.
- Hellraiser: Puzzle enthusiasts will rejoice as this flick leaves you screaming for more with a peek into heaven AND hell (only one of which was raised in the making of this film.)
- The Exorcist: Pea soup never looked as appetizing as it does spewing forth from the demon-possessed Reagan, who lives at home with her mother. A fun encounter with a ouija board certainly livens things up a bit! Sidebar, if you’re ever in Georgetown, MD, you can see the stone steps from this film while enjoying a lovely day of shopping.
- Halloween: This movie is the best fucking reason to be kind to the odd person in your family/at school. Not even in your dreams are you safe from Mike. Run all you want, but you’ll have to sleep eventually.
- Friday the 13th: Babysitters beware of the man in the hockey mask. Jason takes no prisoners.
- Texas Chainsaw Massacre: There’s a certain era of horror films that all kind of blend together. TCM, which no one calls this movie, is one of those films. There’s a lot of bloodshed. There’s a barn in a big empty space. There’s an insane serial killer that hacks off faces with (you guessed it) a chainsaw. Much like Scooby Doo, this movie is highly nuanced and enjoyable when sober.
- Nightmare on Elm Street: Remember how we said you can’t escape horror even when you’re sleeping? Remember how we warned you to be nice to the weird kid? Should have listened, fool. This time it’s Freddy coming for your face.
- Interview with a Vampire: Yeah, it’s gay.
- Scream: Real talk for a second; this movie kicked off a whole genre of horror films, which resulted in classics like I Know Who Killed Me, and Prom Night. Never hate on Scream or the guy in the mask will find you and it will be you, like in that episode of Boy Meets World.
- Fright Night: Everything is about David Tennant in leather pants and eyeliner. This movie gets that bang on the head.