Top Family Friendly Picks For Halloween
Updated: Sep 3
I know a lot of our fans and followers are going to be stuck inside this Halloween, unable to take their little ghosts and goblins out for trick or treating. So to tide you over I've put together a list of 'Family Friendly Horror Films' you can watch with your kids this Halloween. And believe me, most of these are just as much fun for the adults as they are for the kids, so enjoy!
The Witches (1990)
Adapted from the classic Roald Dahl book, a young boy stumbles onto a witch convention and must stop them, even after he has been turned into a mouse.
Young Vincent Malloy dreams of being just like Vincent Price and loses himself in macabre daydreams which annoys his mother.
Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)
Wallace and his loyal dog, Gromit, set out to discover the mystery behind the garden sabotage that plagues their village and threatens the annual giant vegetable growing contest.
Hotel Transylvania (2012)
Dracula, who operates a high-end resort away from the human world, goes into overprotective mode when a boy discovers the resort and falls for the count's teenaged daughter.
Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015)
Dracula and his friends try to bring out the monster in his half human, half vampire grandson in order to keep Mavis from leaving the hotel.
Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (2018)
Count Dracula and company participate in a cruise for sea-loving monsters, unaware that their boat is being commandeered by the monster-hating Van Helsing family.
When a young girl living with her good-witch grandmother learns she too is a witch, she must help her grandmother save Halloweentown from evil forces.
Dracula: Dead & Loving It (1995)
Mel Brooks' parody of the classic vampire story and its famous film adaptations.
When a boy's beloved dog passes away suddenly, he attempts to bring the animal back to life through a powerful science experiment.
Hubie Halloween (2020)
Despite his devotion to his hometown of Salem (and its Halloween celebration), Hubie Dubois is a figure of mockery for kids and adults alike. But this year, something is going bump in the night, and it's up to Hubie to save Halloween.
Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School (1988)
While working as gym teachers at an all-girls finishing school, Scooby-Doo, Shaggy and Scrappy-Doo get tangled up in a monstrous mystery.
Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf (1988)
Shaggy is turned into a werewolf, and it's up to Scooby, Scrappy and his girlfriend to help him win the contest.
Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island (1998)
The Mystery Gang reunite and visit Moonscar Island, a remote island with a dark secret. Daphne wants more than just a villain in a costume, and they get more than they ever expected.
After an acrimonious break up, the Mystery Inc. gang are individually brought to an island resort to investigate strange goings on.
Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004)
The Mystery Inc. gang must save Coolsville from an attack of their past monsters brought to life by an evil masked figure trying to take down the gang.
Scooby and the gang face their most challenging mystery ever: a plot to unleash the ghost dog Cerberus upon the world. As they race to stop this dogpocalypse, the gang discovers that Scooby has an epic destiny greater than anyone imagined.
Happy Halloween, Scooby-Doo! (2020)
Scooby-Doo and the team gather again to solve the mystery of gigantic proportions and save Crystal Cove.
I'll be honest, anything with Scooby-Doo and you're gonna be onto a winner here! Of course the best is the original cartoon TV Series, but there's various Scooby-Doo films and series to choose from. Those above are just my particular favourites.
Young Frankenstein (1974)
An American grandson of the infamous scientist, struggling to prove that his grandfather was not as insane as people believe, is invited to Transylvania, where he discovers the process that reanimates a dead body.
In the town of Blithe Hollow, Norman Babcock is a boy who can speak to the dead, but no one besides his eccentric new friend, Neil, believes his ability is real. One day, Norman's estranged eccentric uncle tells him of an important annual ritual he must take up to protect the town from a curse cast by a witch it condemned centuries ago. Eventually, Norman decides to cooperate, but things don't go according to plan. Now, a magic storm of the witch threatens Blithe Hollow as the accursed dead rise. Together with unexpected new companions, Norman struggles to save his town, only to discover the horrific truth of the curse. With that insight, Norman must resolve the crisis for good as only he can.
The Adams Family (1991)
The Addams Family steps out of Charles Addams' cartoons. They live with all of the trappings of the macabre (including a detached hand for a servant) and are quite wealthy. Added to this mix is a crooked accountant and his loan shark and a plot to slip the shark's son into the family as their long-lost Uncle Fester. Can the false Fester find his way into the vault before he is discovered?
Addams Family Values (1993)
The Addams Family try to rescue their beloved Uncle Fester from his gold-digging new love, a black widow named Debbie.
The Addams Family (2019)
The eccentrically macabre family moves to a bland suburb where Wednesday Addams' friendship with the daughter of a hostile and conformist local reality show host exacerbates conflict between the families.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Jack Skellington, the pumpkin king of Halloween Town, is bored with doing the same thing every year for Halloween. One day he stumbles into Christmas Town, and is so taken with the idea of Christmas that he tries to get the resident bats, ghouls, and goblins of Halloween Town to help him put on Christmas instead of Halloween -- but alas, they can't get it quite right.
Hocus Pocus (1993)
300 years have passed since the Sanderson sisters were executed for practicing dark witchcraft. Returning to life thanks to a combination of a spell spoken before their demise and the accidental actions of Max, the new-kid-in-town, the sisters have but one night to secure their continuing existence.
After delving into the supernatural one time too many, the scientists and ambitious paranormal researchers, Dr Peter Venkman, Dr Raymond Stantz, and Dr Egon Spengler, find themselves out of work. Intent on proving everyone wrong, the team comes up with "Ghostbusters", a paranormal search-and-destroy service, targeting the Big Apple's rogue spirits, until they come face-to-face with the ancient shape-shifting demon, Gozer the Destructor. Now, the possessed former client, Dana Barrett, and her love-smitten neighbour, Louis Tully, are up to something, eager to usher in a new era of evil. For the first time in their career, the Ghostbusters are on to something big; however, do they have what it takes to thwart the inter-dimensional entity's malevolent plans?
Ghostbusters II (1989)
Having lost their status and credibility five years after covering New York City with marshmallow in Ghostbusters, the once-famous band of spirit-hunters find themselves struggling to keep afloat, working odd jobs. However, when Dana Barrett and her baby, Oscar, have yet another terrifying encounter with the paranormal, it's up to Peter Venkman and his fearless team of supernatural crime-fighters to save the day. Now, once more, humanity is in danger, as rivers of slimy psycho-reactive ectoplasm, and the dreadful manifestation of the evil sixteenth-century tyrant, Vigo the Carpathian, threaten to plunge the entire city into darkness unless the selfless Ghostbusters take action. Can they save the world for the second time?
Corpse Bride (2005)
When a shy groom practices his wedding vows in the inadvertent presence of a deceased young woman, she rises from the grave assuming he has married her.
An afterlife therapist and his daughter meet a friendly young ghost when they move into a crumbling mansion in order to rid the premises of wicked spirits.
The Haunted Mansion (2003)
A realtor, his wife and children are summoned to a mansion, which they soon discover is haunted, and while they attempt to escape, he learns an important lesson about the family he has neglected.
After moving to a new small town, teenage Zach Cooper (Dylan Minnette) meets the beautiful girl next door, Hannah (Odeya Rush). But every silver lining has a cloud, and Zach's comes when he learns that Hannah has a mysterious dad who is revealed to be R. L. Stine (Jack Black), the author of the bestselling Goosebumps series. It turns out that there is a reason why Stine is so strange - he is a prisoner of his own imagination - the monsters that his books made famous are real, and Stine protects his readers by keeping them locked up in their books. Zach unintentionally unleashes the monsters from their manuscripts and they begin to terrorise the town. It's up to Stine, Zach, Hannah, and Zach's friend Champ (Ryan Lee) to put all the monsters back in their books.
Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (2018)
Three years after the nearly catastrophic events that took place in Goosebumps (2015), once more, R.L. Stine's monstrous creations--including the vengeful doll, Slappy the Dummy--come to life, when best friends, Sam and Sonny, bring to light a mysterious book. With Halloween just around the corner, the unsuspecting citizens of Wardenclyffe, New York, must brace themselves for yet another endless nightmare, as the boys inadvertently unleash the unfathomable terrors of an unpublished leather-bound manuscript of Goosebumps. This Halloween, Slappy intends to finish what he has started. Can Sam, Sonny, and his older sister, Sarah, thwart the supernatural megalomaniac's plans?
And of course if you find yourself with more time on your hands, the fantastic 90s Fox Kids TV show is another great choice for Halloween. In fact you can find the entire series available to watch on Netflix!
Edward Scissorhands (1990)
In a castle high on top of a hill lives an inventor's greatest creation - Edward, a near-complete person. The creator died before he could finish Edward's hands; instead, he is left with metal scissors for hands. Since then, he has lived alone, until a kind lady called Peg discovers him and welcomes him into her home. At first, everyone welcomes him into the community, but soon things begin to take a change for the worse.
When Coraline moves to an old house, she feels bored and neglected by her parents. She finds a hidden door with a bricked up passage. During the night, she crosses the passage and finds a parallel world where everybody has buttons instead of eyes, with caring parents and all her dreams coming true. When the Other Mother invites Coraline to stay in her world forever, the girl refuses and finds that the alternate reality where she is trapped is only a trick to lure her.
The Little Vampire (2000)
Based on the popular books, the story tells of Tony who wants a friend to add some adventure to his life. What he gets is Rudolph, a vampire kid with a good appetite. The two end up inseparable, but their fun is cut short when all the hopes of the vampire race could be gone forever in single night. With Tony's access to the daytime world, he helps them to find what they've always wanted.
The House With a Clock in its Walls (2018)
Lewis Barnavelt, after losing his parents, is sent to Michigan to live with his uncle Jonathan. He discovers his uncle is a warlock, and enters a world of magic and sorcery. But this power is not limited to good people: Lewis learns of Isaac Izard, an evil wizard who constructed a magical clock with black magic, as long as it exists it will keep ticking, counting down to doomsday. He died before he could finish the clock, but he hid the clock in his house, where Uncle Jonathan now lives. Now Lewis and Jonathan must find the clock before it finishes its countdown and ends the world.
It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown (1966)
The Peanuts gang celebrates Halloween while Linus waits for the Great Pumpkin.
Monster House (2006)
Three teens discover that their neighbour's house is really a living, breathing, scary monster.
Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein (1999)
Alvin, Simon and Theodore revel in their new gig at a movie theme park by wandering the grounds after hours. Among the attractions is the spooky Frankenstein's Castle, where a real mad scientist is bringing the monster to life. But when the boys cross paths with the creature, they soon learn that appearances can be deceiving, and Frankenstein is more misunderstood than malevolent.
Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman (2000)
In this animated adventure, chipmunk Alvin has werewolves on his mind. After being haunted by a creepy nightmare, he is convinced that his eerie next-door neighbour, Mr. Talbot, has a monstrous secret. As he and his brother Simon investigate, shy sibling Theodore, who has been reluctantly cast in the school's production of "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," finds his inner monster after being attacked by a strange dog.
The Universal Monsters Films
These are perfect for the younger horror fans on Halloween. Not only are they not too scary or intense but it goes back to the roots of the genre, which is something I think every horror fan needs to do at least some point in their life. And what better way to start your kids off with horror than the true classics that shaped the genre into what it is today.
I hope you got at least a few films off my list to keep you and your little monsters entertained for the spookiest time of the year. What did you think of the list? Any I left off that you'd recommend? Let me know in the comments! Of course if you want to double-check any of these films before showing your kids, there's any easy way to do so. Head over to IMDB, search for the film in question and have a look at the 'Parents Guide'.