Nothing gets us excited for trick-or-treating like a good Halloween movie. Plus, a holiday movie is one of the simplest ways to get the family together (willingly). 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. The movies 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. The film 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. Halloweentown (1998)
Where do all those monsters go for the 364 days between Halloweens? Marnie Piper finds out when she discovers that she’s a witch with special powers and follows her grandma (Debbie Reynolds) to Halloweentown. It all seems like fun and spells, but soon Marnie finds out that an evil power is plotting to take over the world — and she’s the only one who can stop it.
4. 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.
5. Corpse Bride (2005)
Tim Burton is the master when it comes to critically acclaimed spooky 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 is 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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. The 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.
9. 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.
10. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)
Based on the popular comic strip, Peanuts, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is a 25-minute American Prime-Time Special released in 1966. With a run time of 25-minutes, it makes a worthy Halloween-themed movie to watch with the whole family. With characters such as Snoopy, Charlie Brown and Lucy, the Peanuts gang displays a silly group of friends that anyone can adore.
11. Coraline (2009)
After moving into her new home, Coraline discovers a secret door which 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 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.
12. 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 holiday 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.