Best Halloween Movies
Halloween Movies for the Whole Family
Halloween is my favorite holiday! I start preparing for it in August and don't take my decorations down until late November. I would skip all the other holidays just to have Halloween all year… that's how much I love it. In fact, some of my bedroom decor is from Halloween lol. Here are the best Halloween movies – our favorites and some of yours, too!
Best Halloween Movies
Most definitely the best Halloween movie of all time, Hocus Pocus is a classic that must be watched at least once a year (more, preferably).
You're in for a devil of a time when three outlandishly wild witches! Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy return from 17th-century Salem after they're accidentally conjured up by some unsuspecting pranksters! It's a night full of zany fun and comic chaos once the tricky 300-year-old trio sets out to cast a spell on the town and reclaim their youth — but first, they must get their act together and outwit three kids and a talking cat! Loaded with bewitching laughs, HOCUS POCUS is an outrageously wild comedy that's sure to entertain everyone!
Want a fun, wholesome Halloween movie the whole family can watch? Look no further! Casper is funny – and fun. Casper is not a scary ghost, he's the friendly ghost.
Casper is a live-action fun house ride filled with laughter, excitement and ghostly surprises. “Ghost therapist” Dr. James Harvey (Bill Pullman) and his daughter Kat (Christina Ricci) arrive at drafty, old Whipstaff Manor. Its greedy owner, Carrigan Crittendon (Cathy Moriarty), has hired Dr. Harvey to exorcise the house's apparitions: a friendly but lonely young ghost named Casper, who's just looking for a friend, and his outrageous uncles Stretch, Stinkie, and Fatso (The Ghostly Trio). If the plan works, she and Dibs (Eric Idle), her partner-in-slime, can get their hands on the manor's fabled treasure. Meanwhile, Casper has found a kindred spirit in Kat, but The Ghostly Trio will not tolerate “fleshies” in their house. With hilarious antics and dazzling special effects from many of the creators of Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Jurassic Park, Casper is a mile-a-minute adventure comedy for the whole family.
The Casper DVD was super cheap when I last saw it on Amazon; you can also get a 4-pack with other family-friendly DVDs. My kids adore Casper, but their favorite is Casper Meets Wendy. That may be my favorite, too! A close second is Casper's Scare School.
Growing up we all had that one creepy house we avoided at all costs. This movie builds upon that childhood trope and has tons of fun with it. While this movie does have it's scary moments for younger kids, there is more than enough humor to keep it interesting and fun. The animation is top quality, and the story is full of exciting twists and turns.
Even for a 12-year old, D.J. Walters has a particularly overactive imagination. He is convinced that his haggard and crabby neighbor Horace Nebbercracker, who terrorizes all the neighborhood kids, is responsible for Mrs. Nebbercracker's mysterious disappearance. Any toy that touches Nebbercracker's property, promptly disappears, swallowed up by the cavernous house in which Horace lives. D.J. has seen it with his own eyes! But no one believes him, not even his best friend, Chowder. What everyone does not know is D.J. is not imagining things. Everything he's seen is absolutely true and it's about to get much worse than anything D.J could have imagined.
The Haunted Mansion
This movie may not have been a critical hit but it is a must-have for any Disney fan, especially fans of the original Disney ride! It sprinkles in references to the ride throughout the film, connecting them with a family-friendly storyline. Eddie Murphy is his usual funny self with plenty of humor in the story.
A realtor and 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.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
You can get away with watching this family movie any time, and we totally do! Some argue that it's more of a Christmas movie versus a Halloween one, but why not watch it all the time? It's really just that brilliant. The groundbreaking movie in the tradition Tim Burton style is fantastically well done and has a cult following around the globe. Our old house had a Nightmare Before Christmas themed stairway and it was magical!
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.
There is no end to TNBC merchandise and most all of it is awesome. You can rent or buy The Nightmare Before Christmas on Prime, snuggle into your soft microfiber sheets, and wake up with Jack Skellington without ever leaving Halloween Town. Oh, also check out this easy Jack Skellington makeup tutorial!
Whoever thought they would love monsters? Well, this adorable cast changed everyone's mind! Even though this movie came out 17 years ago, it's still a family favorite, still easily enjoyed by young and old alike. Have a screaming good time with the original movie in this franchise.
In order to power the city, monsters have to scare children so that they scream. However, the children are toxic to the monsters, and after a child gets through, two monsters realize things may not be what they think.
OUR FAVORITE MOVIE OF ALL TIME! 28 years ago, master of the macabre, Tim Burton introduced us to this mild-mannered, if not frightening looking Edward. Younger kids might initially be put off by his appearance, but ultimately that's the great thing about this movie. Just because he's different doesn't make him any less human. Edward Scissorhands can teach us so much! You'll probably shed a tear or two –I always do– but I won't tell.
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.
Ding dong, Avon's calling! Grab the movie. Or throw it back this year and dress up as the main character with these costume gloves. I bet if you searched Pinterest you could find some tutorials to make your own, too!
It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
Easily the oldest Halloween movie on this list, you can't leave off the ‘Great Pumpkin'. While I'm not personally a fan of Charlie Brown, I know many of you are! Hang out with Snoopy, Charlie Brown, and the whole gang as they await the arrival of the Great Pumpkin and have some Halloween fun. It's a great way to introduce the younger generations to these classic cartoons.
The Peanuts gang celebrates Halloween, with Linus hoping that, finally, he will be visited by The Great Pumpkin – while Charlie Brown is invited to a Halloween party.
This Disney Channel original quickly became a fun Halloween classic for your family. With a stellar cast, fun story, and memorable characters, young kids will enjoy this movie and it will make younger adults nostalgic for when it originally aired.
Marnie, Dylan, and Sophie Piper have their first out of many adventures! On Halloween, while Marnie is arguing with her mother Gwen, the kids' grandmother Aggie comes to visit. Aggie wants to start Marnie's witch training before her 13th birthday or Marnie will lose her powers forever. But there is another reason for Aggie's visit. Something dark & evil is growing in Halloweentown & Aggie wants help to defeat it. While Aggie and Gwen are arguing, Aggie uses magic which Marnie observes. After Aggie leaves to return to Halloweentown, Marnie, Dylan and, unknown to Marnie and Dylan, Sophie follows her onto the return bus. Soon afterward, Gwen follows the children to Halloweentown. While there, Aggie & Gwen are attacked by the dark force in a movie theater. Marnie, Dylan and Sophie race to get the ingredients to activate Merlin's Wand to stop the evil.
If you're looking to head off to Halloweentown, you can rent or buy the digital version quickly and easily.
Return to Halloweentown
Can't get enough Halloweentown? Neither could we! Marnie is all grown up and heading to Halloweeentown University. We loved her so much we followed along. We have loads of fun learning new secrets of the town and a whole bunch of fun new characters.
Marnie and Dylan have graduated high school and are now going to go to college at Witch U in Halloweentown. Marnie is offered a full scholarship, Marni's mother, Gwen, of course, does not want her daughter at school in Halloweentown so she forces Dylan to tag along. At the school, witches and warlocks can't use magic. Marnie soon makes a new friend named Aneesa, who is a genie. Marnie soon discovers that she is partly to blame for the rules against the use of magic at school. At one point a box, with the name “S. Cromwell” inscribed on it, magically appears in front of her. Most people at the school believe that Marnie used her magic to conjure up the box, but it was brought to her by fate.
I loved this movie and I usually hate stop-motion films! A more recent stop-motion animated Halloween move, Paranorman, is great for kids and adults. There are some spooky moments, but the tale is wonderful and whimsical, in a dark sort of way. With a tagline like, “It's all fun and game until someone raises the dead.” how can it not be a blast?
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.
Put on your Paranorman Slippers while you watch the flick. You can pick it up in a full Laike Collection (along with BoxTrolls and Coraline!) or on its own here. If you are more curious as to what goes on behind the scenes in a movie like this, be sure to check out the‘Art and Making of' book!
Halloween Any time is a great time for a Harry Potter marathon. While only the first movie features the annual Hogwarts Halloween Feast, the aura of magic and wonder permeates through no matter which you choose to watch. Pottermania is alive and well despite the years that have passed and there's no time like Halloween to enjoy this magical world. My girls LOVE Harry Potter!
An orphaned boy named Harry Potter enrolled in a school of wizardry, where he learns the truth about himself, his family and the terrible evil that haunts the magical world. As he grows he learns that he is the one who has to save them all from the evil Lord Voldemort.
ANOTHER FAMILY FAVORITE! My girls know every word to this movie! Be careful what you wish for in this unique and uneasy tale. Another stop-motion movie from the Laika collection. It is another beautifully animated tale about a young girl ultimately learning how good she really has it in the real world. The characters are quirky, and the whole atmosphere of the film leaves you on edge, but it has a devoted following who list it in the favorite movies.
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.
You're also in luck if you're a Funko Pop collector as you can easily find the Other Mother and Coraline and Cat figures. The movie itself is available to rent or purchase and you can unlock your own “other” world with this awesome replica key.
Need a Halloween movie to watch? Who ya gonna call? That's right: Ghostbusters! It's a classic most young adults grew up with but cool enough for kids to appreciate it, too. Younger generations are very aware of the franchise after the recent remake, and all the charm is there.
Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz and Egon work at the University where they delve into the paranormal and fiddle with many unethical experiments on the students. As they are kicked out of the University do they really understand their knowledge of the paranormal and go into business for themselves. Under the new snazzy business name of ‘Ghostbusters', and living in the old firehouse building they work out of, they are called to rid New York City of paranormal phenomenon at everyone's whim… for a price.
So slap on your Electron Proton Pack Projector, put on the movie, and have a blast. LEGO has even gotten in on the Ghostbuters love with this Firehouse Headquarters kit (who would pay that much, though?!).
From the more lighthearted side of Tim Burton comes this delightful take on Frankenstein. We all hate to lose our pets, and Victor is no different. So he decides to bring his beloved dog back using powerful science. Fun for all, Frankenweenie will convince you as well as the town he lives in, that he is indeed a “good boy”. Some fan theories state that this is a prequel to ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas' and that Frankenweenie does eventually become Jack Skellington's dog!
‘Hotel Transylvania' has that perfectly fun balance of being suitable for young kids and entertaining for adults. Its heartfelt message about children growing up and moving on and accepting those that are different from you is just as meaningful for both age groups. Its characters are relatable and make fun of the classic monster movie tropes.
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. Pick up the first and original movie here and keep the fun going with fun playsets and action figures!
“Hey, you guys!” ‘The Goonies' will never go out of style. A classic childhood adventure flick, we all knew which goonie we were. The hunt for the pirate's treasure makes this the perfect family Halloween movie. It's even funnier to see the cast as kids and the classic mid-80's fashions are truly something spooky. In order to save their home from foreclosure, a group of misfits set out to find a pirate's ancient valuable treasure to pay off the developer. Meanwhile, a family of thieves plans on getting the treasure for themselves.
Make this classic movie a part of your collection and prove that Goonies never say die with this Ripple Junction t-shirt. Throw in ‘The Sandlot'for an 80's childhood double-feature. Show the world your Goonies love with this “Never Say Die” decal.
The Addams Family
I was Wednesday Addams. 100%. The A+ cast of this movie and killer story make this movie a family favorite. Who wouldn't want to be a part of their wonderful family where it's Halloween year round?
A con artist and crooked accountant scheme to steal the Addams' wealth using an accomplice who looks just like their long lost Uncle Fester. Will Gomez be taken in? What is their Uncle's real secret? Make the Macabre the “norm” and throw on this great movie just in time for Halloween.
So pop a lightbulb in your mouth and buy or rent on Amazon Prime today!
When it comes to the adorable gremlins there are three simple rules. No water, no food after midnight, and no bright light. Seems simple enough, right? Well, all goes awry when a bank-teller violates the rules with his new pet. Stephen Spielberg's classic is rated PG but may be a little intense for the youngest viewers… it's pretty scary, even for me LOL
Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice! As raunchy as this film can get, most goes right over the little one's heads, making it fun for the whole family. And who can resist singing along with the “Day-O Banana Boat” song? Not to mention “Shake, Shake Senora”. Another by Halloween master Tim Burton, the youngest kids may find certain scenes too scary. Older kids and adults both must have this on their Halloween “must-watch” list, though.
Get Beetlejuice in this massive 8-disk Tim Burton Collection (for super cheap!). Be sure you're all prepped with your very own “Handbook for the Recently Deceased” and you know where to summon the man himself with Beetlejuice's tombstone.
Scooby Doo 1 & 2
Ruh roh, Shaggy! Join Scooby and the gang as they round up all sorts of monsters this Halloween. These live-action versions of the classic cartoon were perfectly cast and feature the campy stories just like the originals. Entertaining and fun, what's not to love about this mystery-solving dog and his friends? Discover monsters imagined and real in this fun double feature.
Pick up your double-feature here, and don't forget your very own Mystery Machine. Your tiniest humans can dress up as the Scooby this Halloween, or if you're in the mystery business yourself, this business card holder will be perfect for you!
The Little Vampire
Vampire stories have been a hit for centuries, long before they sparkled. This fun tale of a lonely little boy befriending a tiny vampire is rated PG for mild peril but is fun for all. Tony and Rudolph must work together, day and night, to keep the vampire from being wiped out. Being lonely is no longer on Tony's mind as he sets upon his adventure to help his new friend.
A fun and dramatic time is had by all as you follow their tale. You can rent or buy the digital version of the film here to enjoy on Halloween this year! If your kids are inspired, get them set up with this kid's little vampire costume to trick or treat in.
Goosebumps books = LIFE!! ‘Goosebumps' bring the series of books to life, literally. Fans of the original book series will easily recognize many of the horror characters in this updated film version. Kids will love the action and sometimes rude humor.
Two teenage neighbors, Zach and Hannah, must team up with Author R.L. Stein and get all of his not so imaginary creatures recaptured into his book. That is, of course, only after Zach unwittingly unleashes them in the first place.
P.S. Did you notice Clay from 13 Reasons Why is in the Goosebumps movie? Check out my post about why you should watch 13 Reasons Why with your teens.
This list wouldn't be complete without this one last Tim Burton film, “Corpse Bride”. With a mild-mannered Johnny Depp voicing Victor (possibly the same Victor from Frankenweenie?!?!) and Helena Bonham Carter as the vivacious Corpse Bride because of course, you're whisked away through a tale of misunderstandings, death, and love. Younger children may not appreciate the PG-rated moments and may become bored with the grey-toned and quiet first scenes, but for older audiences, you can truly appreciate the mastery of the art in the film. The elegant Victorian motif counter balanced visually and musically with the bright and fun underworld is truly something to behold.
Pick up your very own gothic garter with the DVD in this set, or make it a double feature with ‘Frankenweenie'. Decorate for Halloween with this Corpse Bride Bouquet (or make your own), or dress as the bride herself with this costume. Or, simply kick back and relax with these comfy leggings.
Coco is by far one of the cutest movies I've seen by Pixar in recent history. With a classic adventure in the Land of the Dead, the story leaves you with so many heartwarming moments you can't stop watching. With the best of traditional culture, great music, and engaging characters, this is a must have movie for you collection. A boy who dreams of becoming a great musician embarks on a journey to uncover the mysteries behind his ancestor's stories and traditions.
Buy the digital copy on Amazon or grab the DVD. I also found some cool Coco action figures and toys, coloring books, and of course the book. You can even stream the Coco soundtrack for free with Prime.