Scary movies seem to resurge around Halloween time, but all Halloween movies don’t have to fit that genre. Our round-up of some of the all-time best Halloween movies for families guarantees a great night at home after a late afternoon or evening of trick-or-treating.
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)
Recommended for all ages
This animated television special based on the Peanuts comic strip is sure to be a hit for the whole family. Poor Charlie Brown can’t catch a break while trick-or-treating, and hopeful Linus faithfully waits in the pumpkin patch for The Great Pumpkin to arrive. This 25-minute special is a perfect length for keeping the attention of younger children while parents take a trip down memory lane with this Halloween classic.
Recommended for ages 9 and up
Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice! A favorite haunt wreaks havoc on the Deetz family as he attempts to scare them out of the house. This comedy directed by Tim Burton is great fun for the whole family. With rumors of a sequel making the rounds on the Internet, now’s a great time to watch this flick if you haven’t done so already.
The Addams Family, Addams Family Values (1991, 1993)
Recommended for ages 7 and up
“They’re creepy and they’re kooky. Mysterious and spooky. They’re all together ooky, The Addams Family (Snap Snap).” Aside from an extremely catchy theme song from the hit television series, The Addams Family makes spooky look seriously cool.
Hocus Pocus (1993)
Recommended for ages 10 and up
After 300 years, the Sanderson sisters – three witches who were executed for practicing witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts – are accidentally brought back to life on Halloween by new-kid-in-town Max. Now it’s up to him, his friends and an immortal cat to send the sisters back from whence they came, in this family-friendly comedy. With a cast that includes Bette Middler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy, how could you go wrong?
Recommended for ages 6 and up
It’s your classic love story: Ghost meets daughter of afterlife therapist. Ghost and girl fall in love. Girl and her father help the ghost and his three uncles to cross over to the “other side.” Well, maybe it’s not such a typical love story, but you and your family will be rooting for Casper the Friendly Ghost and the human girl, Kat, until the very end.
Recommended for ages 7 and up
After learning that she is a witch, Marnie Cromwell and her younger brother and sister visit their grandmother in Halloweentown to begin her witch training – which she must do before her 13th birthday or be faced with losing her powers forever. But there is something evil lurking in Halloweentown, and the Cromwell family has to band together to defeat it.
The Harry Potter Series
Recommended for ages 7 and up for movies #1-4
Recommended for ages 12 and up for movies #5-8
Although the Harry Potter series is not necessarily focused on Halloween, the witches and wizards and magic most definitely fit the Halloween vibe. The first few movies in the series are suitable for a younger audience, but we’d recommend keeping movies five through eight for children 12 and up, since they’re a bit more mature.