Halloween is an exciting time of year, especially for movie lovers. And although horror is the main genre for many, it is not exactly perfect for children or scary cats. For those who prefer lightweight flicks over those who are completely intimidating, these choices will appeal to your entire family.
Each movie will be shown on various streaming services, either through a subscription or as a rental. Because everyone has a different combination of streaming services available, we only provide one general link for each to a site called JustWatch. This site lists all the platforms on which the movie can be streamed or rented, making it easy to find what works best for you.
1. Hocus Pocus
Originally released in 1993, Hocus Pocus has since become a cult-favorite Halloween movie. The Sanderson sisters return 300 years after being executed for practicing witchcraft, thanks to the hijinx for the new child in town, Max. They have a day to secure their continued existence before disappearing forever, while Max, his little sister and his classmate try to stop them. Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimi’s performances are silly and delightful.
Casper is based on the old children’s book and cartoon, Casper the Friendly Ghost. In this live-action movie, the eponymous ghost and his three horrible ghost brothers share the scene with Dr. James Harvey (played by Bill Pullman) and his daughter Kat (Christina Ricci). Harvey, a post-life therapist, moves her daughter to Casper’s haunted home after being hired by the greedy heir who inherited it. After Casper’s uncles have scared her out, she needs it lost so she can make money, so it’s up to Kat and her dad to help the ghosts get over.
3. The Addams family
The Addams family is one of the most iconic Halloween movies. The film’s named macabre family goes about their eccentric lives while a crooked accountant and loan shark plots to infiltrate and steal from them. The film is based on Charles Addams’ 1964 television program and New York-bo cartoons.
4. Monster House
This movie takes the phrase “haunted houses” to a scary new level! On the eve of Halloween, the 13-year-old DJ learns that his parents are leaving the city for the night and he gets stuck with a terrible babysitter. DJ calls his friend to play basketball, but the two soon focus on the scary house across the street. They quickly learn that the house itself is a monster and rush to find out how to destroy it.
It’s the big pumpkin, Charlie Brown
Originally aired as a television movie in 1966, It’s the big pumpkin, Charlie Brown is the Halloween classic that we have all watched for generations. The iconic peanut gang enjoys celebrating Halloween while Linus waits for Great Pumpkin in a magical pumpkin patch.
6. Hotel Transylvania
This movie is about the overprotective father Dracula, who runs an advanced resort that is only for monsters. He turns around when the human boy who stumbles across the resort falls for his teenage daughter. Hotel Transylvania directed by the wonderful Genndy Tartakovsky (creator of Samurai Jack and Dexter’s laboratory) and stars Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Selena Gomez and lots of other celebrities.
7. The Haunted Mansion
The Haunted Mansion is based on the spooky journey of the same name at Disneyland. The film is a textbook Gothic story, from the gloomy dilapidated house to the unanswered arch of love and abundant supernatural beings. Eddie Murphy plays a realtor who takes his wife and children to a mysterious house when they are called by their enigmatic owner, only to learn that there is no escape.
8. Corpse Bride
No Halloween movie list would be complete if Tim Burton did nothing, and it certainly would not be a Tim Burton movie if Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter were not in it. Thankfully, this beautiful stop-motion movie gives you all of this, along with a story of an engaged marriage in Victorian times gone wrong. Like, drawn to the underworld wrong.
9. Wallace & Gromit: The Were-Rabbit’s Curse
Wallace & Gromit is a beloved British clay education franchise, and in this film, the two friends enjoy their successful pest control company. Everything goes well until a monstrous var-rabbit starts attacking the neighborhood’s vegetable gardens, which is bad news for everyone who participates in the upcoming giant vegetable competition. Weakness follows thanks to a determined hunter, three “24-carrot” gold balls and a mind-control machine.
Who should you call? ghost hunter! In it, three parapsychology professors are fired from the university they teach because of their unethical experiments. The guys then start their own paranormal investigation and elimination service called Ghostbusters. They make headlines and get into trouble when they do their very best to save the day.
11. Sleepy Hollow
Sleepy Hollow is based on Washington Irving’s story of the legacy of The Headless Horseman. A New York City police constable, Ichabod Crane, is visiting the city of Sleepy Hollow to investigate the recent beheadings. The film mixes fantasy, romance, horror and the supernatural, and is definitely a better choice for older children and adults, not small ones.
Local child Norman Babcock says he can talk to the dead, but no one but his new friend believes him. One day, Norman’s eccentric uncle stops by and says that it’s now up to Norman to perform the ritual that will protect the city from the curse cast by an evil witch several centuries ago.
13. ET the alien
This Steven Spielberg classic features a gentle alien, called ET, who is discovered by a young boy, Elliott. The boy hides the foreigner in his home and only tells his brother and little sister. But when ET falls ill, the siblings work together to save him before government agents find him.