If you’ve setup the Halloween decorations, carved the pumpkins, purchased all the best Halloween candy, the only thing left to do before all ghouls’ eve is to watch some of the best family Halloween movies to get into the spooky splendor of the season. Nothing gets us excited for trick-or-treating like a good Halloween movie, whether it’s full of goblins and ghosts or something a bit lighter for the scaredy cats at heart. A Halloween family movie is one of the best ways to get the family together (willingly) before October 31. But picking a movie for the whole family to watch is no small feat, especially when everyone has their own opinions on which Halloween flicks are the best.
To help out, we rounded up some of the very best Halloween movies that the whole family will enjoy. We found options that will satisfy young kids, pre-teens and adult movie buffs alike, so there will be more watching and less wrestling over the remote. From animated to live-action, Sandler to Stone, the movies on our list are all PG-13 or under, so there’s no need to shield the kids’ eyes at any point.
Check them out below.
1. Hocus Pocus (1993)
When brother and sister Max (Omri Katz) and Dani (Thora Birch) explore an abandoned house in their new hometown of Salem, Massachusetts, they accidentally release a trio of evil witches (played by Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy). Sadly, the witches are set on becoming immortal, but luckily, they’re also incredibly entertaining for the whole family. To put a stop to the witches schemes, Max, Dani, their new friend Allison and a magical black cat must join forces.
2. Casper (1995)
Casper the Friendly Ghost provides a much-needed break from evil spirits, witches, vampires and so on, delivering a heartfelt love story with a Halloween backdrop. This family Halloween movie follows Casper as he falls in love with Kat (Christina Ricci), the daughter of a ghost therapist. But Casper’s mischievous ghost friends and Kat’s father pose some issues as Kat tries to help the friendly ghost and his friends safely out of the house.
3. Monster House (2006)
Something is wrong with a spooky house on DJ’s street: it’s actually a living monster. Obviously, DJ has some trouble convincing his babysitter or the police that the house is alive, so DJ and his two friends must take matters into their own hands. They set off to save the poor souls eaten by the house, and hopefully stop the house before it terrorizes the whole neighborhood.
Monster House can get a little scary for younger kids, but any horror-lover-in-the-making will really enjoy it.
4. Corpse Bride (2005)
Tim Burton is the master when it comes to critically acclaimed family Halloween movies that the whole family can genuinely enjoy. Corpse Bride is one of his best, earning an Oscar nod for best animated feature. As with most Burton films, expect beautiful stop-motion and music you’ll be humming days later.
The film picks up right before an arranged marriage between Victor (Johnny Depp) and Victoria (Emily Watson). Victor likes his fiancé, but after he’s pulled into the land of the dead by Emily (Victoria Everglot), he worries he might lose Victoria to Barkis Bittern (Richard E. Grant) before he can get back to the land of the living.
5. Scooby-Doo (2002)
Calling this live-action Scooby-Doo movie a Halloween flick might be a stretch, but we think evil monsters of any kind qualify. The movie brings Mystery Incorporated to life (though Scooby is still animated) as the gang reunites on Spooky Island. There’s been a series of — you guessed it — spooky incidents all over the party resort island, and the crew must put their heads together to solve the case.
6. The Addams Family (1991)
While we wait for the new Addams Family movie to come out this December, we’ll be catching up with the 1991 version. The quirky clan is brought to the big screen with an all-star cast including Anjelica Huston, Raul Julia, Christopher Lloyd and Christina Ricci. When Gomez Addams’ missing brother Fester returns home, the family welcomes him with open arms. But soon, Fester starts acting strange, and the family realizes he might not be one of them.
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7. Beetlejuice (1988)
After a family moves into a deceased couple’s former home, a foul-mouthed ghost named Beetlejuice (played by Michael Keaton) is hired to scare away the new residents. Before the rise of The Nightmare Before Christmas, Beetlejuice was the Tim Burton spectacular everyone had to watch. This family Halloween movie makes a spooky, quirky choice for the whole family to enjoy, and will otherwise revamp your inner child after hearing Beetlejuice’s name said three times.
8. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Five years after the advent of Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice, The Nightmare Before Christmas was released and history was made, forever changing how people watch stop-motion. This movie is one of the most famous, if not best, stop-motion films ever created. It follows the misadventures of Jack the Skellington — the beloved pumpkin king of Halloween Town — who after becoming bored of routinely celebrating Halloween, discovers Christmas Town and spirals into trouble when he cannot fulfill Santa Clause’s role.
9. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)
Based on the popular comic strip, Peanuts, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is an American Prime-Time Special released in 1966. With a run time of 25-minutes, it makes a worthy family Halloween movie to watch this year. With characters such as Snoopy, Charlie Brown and Lucy, the Peanuts gang displays a silly group of friends that anyone can adore.
10. Coraline (2009)
After moving into her new home, Coraline discovers a secret door that opens into an alternate world that reflects her own, but is better. Her discovery makes her happy until her alternate family tries to keep her from returning to the real world.
The movie makes a valuable family Halloween movie choice as the plot dances with gothic fantasy and popular Halloween symbols. Also, it’s difficult not to appreciate Coraline’s movie excellence given its great storyline and stop-motion production.
11. Edward Scissorhands (1990)
Not only did this movie manifest one of Johnny Depp’s most beloved character roles, but it also displays one of the most versatile family Halloween movies by Tim Burton. The story is established around a grandmother telling her grandchild why it snows every Christmas. However, the duration of the film is set in a flashback when the grandmother, Kim, is in her youth and meets the gentle Edward Scissorhands.
Their relationship grows and although Edward has scissors for hands, he almost learns to exist with Kim’s suburban life — but fails after realizing his hands are too dangerous to be a part of society. The movie’s gothic elements and warm spirit, exhibited by Edward Scissorhands, makes a great Halloween-themed movie for everyone to watch.
12. Fun Size (2012)
In the grand tradition of films that explain why older kids cry when their parents announce they’re getting a younger sibling comes Fun Size. Victoria Justice plays high schooler Wren, who finally gets invited to a Halloween party by the hottest guy in school only to be relegated to babysitting duty for her little brother. If Adventures in Babysitting met Can’t Hardly Wait with a touch of Hocus Focus, it would be Fun Size.
Chelsea Handler, Thomas Middleditch and Johnny Knoxville also make appearances and the film is directed by The OC’s Josh Schwartz, so it’s got some edge for young teens while still being kinda appropriate for the whole family.
13. Hubie Halloween (2020)
Although Adam Sandler threatened to release the worst movie of his career if he didn’t garner an Oscar nomination for Uncut Gems (#robbed), Hubie Halloween is actually … pretty cute. Yes, Sandler’s favorite film voice gets grating after the first five minutes, but the movie about a local man who just wants everyone to have a safe and happy Halloween is endearing with just enough scares to keep older kids entertained.
As for parents, they’ll appreciate the impressive cast, which shows the power of Sandler’s black book and includes several fellow SNL veterans like Maya Rudolph, Kenan Thompson, Tim Meadows and Rob Schneider, as well as Ray Liotta, Steve Buscemi, Julie Bowen and Ben Stiller. Hubie Halloween definitely isn’t helping Sandler on his quest for an Oscar, but its cast can rival any Best Picture winner.
14. ParaNorman (2012)
Norman Babcock is like most kids, except he sees dead people. Okay, so maybe not like most kids. The dead are thankfully a friendly bunch and Norman enjoys having a group of friends that don’t judge him as much as the living, but when his uncle (John Goodman) warns him about a curse on Norman’s small town, the young boy with the special powers knows it’s up to him to save the world.
As zombies begin to attack those around him, Norman’s special power, which has always made him an outcast, now makes him a hero. This family Halloween movie has a sweet message about what makes you different also making you special and it’s tame enough for the whole family to enjoy — even scaredy-cat grownups.
15. Goosebumps (2015)
If a Goosebumps novel was the last book you read from cover to cover, we’ve got the perfect family Halloween movie for you to watch with the fam jam this Halloween. Jack Black plays a fictional version of famed author R.L. Stine, who is just a guy that created hundreds of monsters and now keeps them locked in books. No biggie, right? Until his new nosy neighbor, played by Dylan Minnette, unlocks one of the books and effectively frees every monster that has ever graced a Goosebumps cover.
A fun film for Goosebump lovers and anyone who appreciates a scary film that isn’t too scary (raises hand), the family-friendly flick is a bibliophile’s dream come true on the big screen. Also, maybe pick up something new to read this year?
16. Roald Dahl’s The Witches (2020)
It’s pretty tough to beat Angelica Houston’s incredible performance in the 1990 version of The Witches, but the 2020 remake starring Anne Hathaway does an admiral job of giving the OG adaptation of Roald Dahl’s book a run for its witchy money. Along with Hathaway, the Robert Zemeckis remake also features an impressive cast of Octavia Spencer, Stanley Tucci and the voice of Chris Rock.
When a young boy is orphaned and moves in with his grandmother (Spencer), the pair set off on an unintended quest when a weekend away at a resort coincides with a witch conference that is intended to wipe out all children. Will good prevail over evil, mice over witches? It’s a family-friendly Halloween movie, so we’ll let you guess the outcome.
17. Cruella (2021)
Like some of our other picks (we see you, Scooby Doo), Disney’s 2021 live-action film Cruella isn’t a standard Halloween or horror flick, but it has enough baddies to land firmly on our list. A great option for teens who aren’t much for scares, Cruella tells the origin story of a fashion designer with a penchant for black and white prints.
The excellent Emmas (Stone and Thompson) face off as dueling fashionistas who shared a checkered-print past and a battle for the future of fashion and every runway in London. The film is likely too dark for little kids, but parents will appreciate the rock and roll soundtrack and dazzling shots through jolly old England.
18. The House with a Clock in Its Walls (2018)
For older kids who can handle some serious scares, there’s the adaptation of John Bellairs’ spooky The House with a Clock in Its Walls. Starring Jack Black and Cate Blanchett as the wardens of a house with a mind (and monsters) of its own, this family Halloween movie tells the story of a young boy who is sent to live with his uncle (Black) and discovers home is where the ticking is.
The film is directed by Eli Roth, whose other works include Cabin Fever, Hostel and Death Wish, so there’s no shortage of genuine scares in the film. We should note that The House with a Clock in Its Walls is Roth’s first project to not earn an R-rating, so it is still okay for families, just make sure that little ones are already in bed before the screening.
19. Hotel Transylvania (2012)
Watching your kids grow up can be difficult for any parent, even the undead. An animated Adam Sandler and Selena Gomez lend their voices to Hotel Transylvania, which stars the pair as a dueling Dracula father and daughter who disagree on how much freedom a 118-year vampire should get.
Sandler also reunites with his My Boy co-star Andy Samberg, who plays a (*gasp*) human that quickly develops a crush on the vampire teen. Good news if your kids fall in love with this fun and funny film, because there are two more installments with a fourth to be released by the end of 2021.