Instead, I devised a list of 10 fun family-friendly Halloween films we could choose from. A few of these are actually a bit too old for my daughter to enjoy, but that won’t stop my husband and me from re-watching some of our favorites this month!
10. Harry Potter
The first two films, The Sorcerer’s Stone and The Chamber of Secrets, are probably okay for kids around ages seven or eight. They’re lighter than the rest of the series and feature plenty of giggles, goblins, and fun creatures to delight children. The third film, The Prisoner of Azkaban, might also work as well—though after that, characters do start dying and the series becomes darker.
9. Corpse Bride
Tim Burton’s lovely story about a dead bride and her restitution—as well as a shy, stuttering couple who are more vibrant than the rest of their town combined—is so lively and fun to watch! Like many of these movies, however, it’s probably more appropriate for ages seven and up.
Labyrinth—the best cult classic of all time, in my opinion (I know Rocky Horror lovers are hissing!)—is one of my all-time favorite movies. While it isn’t actually a Halloween movie, it has lots of Halloween-ish elements and costumes. My almost-five-year-old loves it (especially Ludo and Sir Diddymus), which makes me think it might be okay for other kids of a similar age.
Combine genius Neil Gaiman with the amazing stop-motion animation of Henry Selig and you have this wonderfully crafted fantasy. Coraline is darker than many people think, however (those who’ve read the book know!), and should probably be reserved for older children. We haven’t let our daughter watch this one yet.
6. Hocus Pocus
I let my daughter watch this one with me the other day for the first time and told her to tell me if it was too scary—which she never hesitates to do—but she actually really enjoyed this movie. Some parts seemed pretty dark to me, but the funny walking zombie, talking cat, and silly witches kept making her laugh. I loved this one as a kid and named my cat Binx because of it; I wish they’d make more like it.
Casper is the perfect ghost story that won’t scare. The annoying “adult” ghosts, the sweetness of Kat, and Casper himself all make this a fun one to see.
4. Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit
I couldn’t wait to see this one when it came out and was not disappointed! Stellar voices lead this super cute, slightly scary tale about everyone’s favorite stop-motion cheese-loving dog and man duo.
3. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
This is a must-watch classic for every Halloween!
2. The Goonies
Adventures, pirates, treasure, skeletons—what’s not to love in this ‘80s classic movie? Definitely one for the older kids, The Goonies isn’t just one of my favorite Halloween films, it’s one of my favorite movies, period.
1. The Nightmare Before Christmas
Tim Burton’s wonderful fantasy is my ultimate favorite Halloween movie. While it’s more appropriate for the older kids, it’s definitely one to buy and save to watch later even if your child is still in diapers!
Speaking of young ones, in addition to It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! you might be interested in these films if you have tiny tots in the home.