Whether you’re watching with little ones or prefer a milder spooky season, this list includes charming classics and contemporary Halloween movies that are perfect for an entertaining movie night.
Halloween is just around the corner, and goodness knows, I’ve written plenty of Halloween-related blog posts here. However, I’ve always struggled between the right balance between fun and fright. That’s why, this year, I’ve revamped and separated old lists into family-friendly films and the ultimate scare-fests. In this blog post, I focus on the spoopy side of Halloween with movies that are perfect for the whole family, and will upload a list of the absolute scariest movies next week. Each film listed includes streaming platform links and a rating on the Scare’o’Meter™️ (lol).
For those looking for a little extra fun during your movie night, I’ve also created Halloween movie bingo cards that you can download at the end of this post. So, keep an eye out for all the spooky scenes to claim your bingo victory!
🎃 Barely Spooky (G)
🎃🎃 Slightly Spooky (PG)
🎃🎃🎃 Spooky! (PG-13)
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966) 🎃
Director: Bill Melendez
Screenwriter: Charles M. Schulz
Starring: Peter Robbins, Christopher Shea, Sally Dryer & Cathy Steinberg Where to Watch: Apple TV+
This classic has been a Halloween staple since the 1960s! Join Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang as they celebrate Halloween with trick-or-treating and a spooky party. Meanwhile, Linus waits patiently for the arrival of the Great Pumpkin, a mystical figure said to deliver presents to good children all over the world.
Did You Know? After the special aired, children from all over the United States sent candy to Charlie Brown out of sympathy.
The Addams Family (1991) 🎃 🎃 🎃
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Screenwriters: Caroline Thompson & Larry Wilson
Starring: Anjelica Huston, Raul Julia, Christopher Lloyd, Dan Hedaya, Elizabeth Wilson, Christina Ricci & Jimmy Workman
When a man claiming to be Fester (Lloyd), Gomez Addams’ (Julia) long-lost brother, arrives at the Addams’ home, the family is thrilled. However, Morticia (Huston) begins to suspect the man is a fraud since he cannot recall details of Fester’s childhood. With lawyer Tully Alford’s (Hedaya) help, Fester manages to evict the Addams clan from their home. To save his home and family legacy, Gomez must challenge Fester.
Did You Know? To replicate Morticia’s iconic figure from the comics, Anjelica Huston wore a metal corset. She also had to get daily gauze eye lifts, neck tucks, and fake nails. She told Entertainment Weekly in an interview, “Come afternoon, I could be prone to a really good headache from my various bondages, and because I couldn’t like down [in the corset] or rest, it was fairly exhausting.”
Hocus Pocus (1993) 🎃 🎃
Director: Kenny Ortega
Screenwriters: Mick Garris & Neil Cuthbert
Starring: Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy, Omri Katz, Thora Birch, Vinessa Shaw, Doug Jones & Jason Marsden
Where to Watch: Disney+
“It’s just a bunch of hocus pocus!” This film is a Halloween favorite for many! Join three wild witches (Midler, Parker, and Najimy) as they return from 17th-century Salem. Chaos ensues as they set out to cast a spell on the town and reclaim their youth. But first, they have to outsmart three kids and a talking cat.
Did You Know? Actor Sean Murray of NCIS fame played the human Thackery Binx. He was dubbed over by actor Jason Marsden, the voice of the cat Binx, for consistency.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) 🎃 🎃
Director: Henry Selick
Screenwriter: Caroline Thompson
Starring: Chris Sarandon, Catherine O’Hara, William Hickey, Glenn Shadix, Danny Elfman, Paul Reubens, Ken Page & Ed Ivory
Where to Watch: Disney+
This beautiful stop-motion animated film follows the misadventures of Jack Skellington (Sarandon), Halloweentown’s beloved Pumpkin King. Bored by the same annual routine of frightening people in the “real world,” Jack accidentally stumbles into Christmastown. With all its bright colors and warm spirits, Jack gets a new lease on life and decides to take care of Christmas and become the new Sandy Claws! What could possibly go wrong?
Did You Know? It took 100 people three years to complete the animation for this movie—up to 12 stop-motion moves made in one second of the film.
Casper (1995) 🎃 🎃
Director: Brad Silberling
Screenwriter: Sherri Stoner & Deanna Oliver
Starring: Bill Pullman, Christina Ricci, Cathy Moriarty, Eric Idle & Malachi Pearson
Where to Watch: Netflix
Casper (Pearson), a young ghost, peacefully haunts a mansion in Maine until paranormal specialist James Harvey (Pullman) arrives to communicate with Casper and his ghost uncles—Stretch, Stinkie, and Fatso. Casper quickly falls in love with James’ daughter Kat (Ricci), but their budding relationship is complicated not only by his transparent state but also by his troublemaking uncles and their mischievous antics.
Did You Know? While filming, Bill Pullman and Christina Ricci had to interact with tennis balls, and the ghost characters were added in post-filming with CGI.
Monster House (2006) 🎃 🎃
Director: Gil Kenan
Screenwriters: Dan Harmon, Rob Schrab & Pamela Pettler
Starring: Mitchel Musso, Sam Lerner, Spencer Locke, Steve Buscemi, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jason Lee, Jon Heder, Kevin James, Nick Cannon & Kathleen Turner
Where to Watch: Hulu
The adults in town don’t believe three kids (Musso, Locke, and Lerner) when they claim that a neighbor’s house is actually alive and possessed by an evil spirit. With Halloween approaching, the trio must find a way to destroy the house before innocent trick-or-treaters meet ghastly ends.
Did You Know? The film used 3D motion capture techniques to digitally record the actors' physical performances before "skinning" them with their animated forms.
Coraline (2009) 🎃 🎃
Director & Screenwriter: Henry Selick
Starring: Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, Keith David & John Hodgman
Based on Neil Gaiman’s novel of the same name, this movie is a spooky twist on the classic “be careful what you wish for.” While exploring their new home, Coraline (Fanning) discovers a secret door leading to an alternate world that mirrors reality but seems so much better. However, Other Mother (Hatcher) and the rest of her parallel family try to trap Coraline, and she has to use all of her resources and bravery to return to the real world.
Did You Know? By the end of production, artists had made 24 different Coraline puppets; each puppet took ten artists three to four months to construct.
Hotel Transylvania (2012) 🎃 🎃
Director: Genndy Tartakovsky
Screenwriters: Peter Baynham & Robert Smigel
Starring: Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg & Selena Gomez
Where to Watch: Hulu
When monsters want to get away from it all, they go to Count Dracula's (Sandler) Hotel Transylvania. In this lavish resort, they can be themselves without humans around to bother them. On one special weekend, Dracula invites creatures like the Invisible Man, the Mummy, and others to celebrate the 118th birthday of his daughter, Mavis (Gomez). However, an unforeseen complication unfolds when an ordinary human, Johnny (Samberg), unwittingly crashes the party and falls in love with Mavis.
Did You Know? The movie uses chronological order following the original Dracula story as if it were a telling of the original Stoker novel. Mavis’ mother was killed by a mob in 1895, and Hotel Transylvania has operated since 1898. Bram Stroker’s Dracula was written in 1896 and released in 1897, between Mavis’ mother’s death and Dracula's opening Hotel Transylvania.
ParaNorman (2012) 🎃 🎃
Directors: Chris Butler & Sam Fell
Screenwriter: Chris Butler
Starring: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Tucker Albrizzi, Anna Kendrick, Casey Affleck, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Leslie Mann, Jeff Garlin, John Goodman & Elaine Stritch
Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video
Young Norman Babcock (Smit-McPhee) can speak with the dead and often prefers their company to that of the living. Norman receives word from his strange Uncle Prenderghast (Goodman) that a centuries-old witch's curse on their town is real and about to come true and that only Norman can stop it. When zombies rise from their graves, Norman must summon all his courage and compassion and push his paranormal abilities to the limit to save his fellow townspeople.
Did You Know? Animating the cheesy horror movie Norman watches at the film's start was reportedly very difficult for the filmmakers to produce. They had to intentionally make a bad movie with bad camera angles, poor focus, bad "acting," etc., while still working within the technically demanding confines of stop-motion animation.
The Boxtrolls (2014) 🎃 🎃
Director: Graham Annable & Anthony Stacchi
Screenwriters: Irena Brignull & Adam Pava
Starring: Ben Kingsley, Isaac Hempstead-Wright, Elle Fanning, Dee Bradley Baker, Steve Blum, Toni Collette, Jared Harris, Nick Frost, Richard Ayoade, Tracy Morgan & Simon Pegg
Where to Watch: Netflix
Eggs (Hempstead-Wright), an orphan, lives with the Boxtrolls—a community of quirky, mischievous creatures who inhabit a cavern beneath the city of Cheesebridge. When villainous Archibald Snatcher (Kingsley) hatches a plan to get rid of the pretty harmless beings, Eggs decides to go above ground, where he meets and befriends feisty Winnifred (Fanning). Eggs and Winnifred devise a daring plan to save the Boxtrolls from extermination.
Did You Know? Dee Bradley Baker, who voiced the characters Fish, Wheels, and Bucket, also helped develop the boxtroll language.
Goosebumps (2015) 🎃 🎃
Director: Rob Letterman
Screenwriters: Darren Lemke, Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski
Starring: Jack Black, Dylan Minnette, Odeya Rush, Amy Ryan, Ryan Lee & Jillian Bell
Where to Watch: Netflix
Upset about moving from the big city to a small town, young Zach Cooper (Minnette) finds a silver lining when he meets his beautiful neighbor Hannah (Rush). The teen is surprised to learn that Hannah's mysterious father is R.L. Stine (Black), the famous author of the best-selling Goosebumps series. When Zach accidentally unleashes the monsters from the fantastic tales, it's up to Stine, Hannah, and Zach to return the beasts to the books where they belong.
Did You Know? Author R.L. Stine makes a cameo at the end of the movie, walking through the halls of the school. R.L. Stine’s character was named Mr. Black, and he says “hello” to Jack Black, playing a fictionalized version of the author.
The House with a Clock in Its Walls (2018) 🎃 🎃
Director: Eli Roth
Screenwriter: Eric Kripke
Starring: Jack Black, Cate Blanchett, Owen Vaccaro, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Sunny Suljic & Kyle MacLachlan
Where to Watch: Hulu
Ten-year-old Lewis (Vaccaro) goes to live with his oddball uncle in a creaky old house that contains a mysterious “tick-tock” noise. He soon learns that Uncle Jonathan (Black) and his feisty neighbor, Mrs. Zimmerman (Blanchett), are powerful practitioners of the magic arts. When Lewis accidentally awakens the dead, the town's sleepy facade suddenly springs to life, revealing a secret and dangerous world of witches, warlocks, and deadly curses.
Did You Know? Screenwriter Eric Kripke has repeatedly stated that he was a fan of John Bellairs’ novel The House With A Clock In Its Walls while growing up, and that novel inspired his long-running CW show Supernatural, which he created in 2005.
The Witches (2020) 🎃 🎃
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Screenwriters: Robert Zemeckis, Kenya Barris & Guillermo del Toro
Starring: Anne Hathaway, Octavia Spencer, Jahzir Bruno, Stanley Tucci, Kristin Chenoweth & Chris Rock
Where to Watch: HBO Max
In late 1967, a young orphaned boy (Bruno) goes to live with his loving grandma (Spencer) in the rural Alabama town of Demopolis. As the boy and his grandmother encounter some deceptively glamorous but thoroughly diabolical witches, she whisks him to a seaside resort. Regrettably, they arrive at precisely the same time that the world's Grand High Witch (Hathaway) has gathered her fellow cronies from around the globe—undercover—to carry out her nefarious plans.
Did You Know? Judge Doom from Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), one of Robert Zemeckis' previous book-based films, was one of Anne Hathaway's influences for her Grand High Witch performance. She was also inspired by Chernabog, the nocturnal demon from the “Night on Bald Mountain” segment in Fantasia (1940), reasoning that she viewed the evil creatures in the film as more akin to demons whose disguise makes them appear more like traditional witches.
Now, with this treasure trove of family-friendly Halloween films, you’re all set for a spooktacular movie night. So gather your loved ones, grab some snacks, and dim lights for a ghoulishly good time! Don’t forget to download the Halloween movie bingo cards for an extra dose of fun.
Happy Halloween and enjoy the show! 🎃👻🍿
Halloween Movie Bingo
Directions: Throughout the movie, keep an eye out for the bingo prompts. For example, if watching Hocus Pocus, mark your bingo card when the Sanderson Sisters appear on screen if your card includes "witch"! If watching ParaNorman, mark your bingo card when the pilgrims appear on screen if your card includes "zombie"!