This month we have been talking about 31 Days of Horror, but maybe gore isn’t your thing. Parental discretion is absolutely advised, but we have included a recommended age guide for these Family Friendly Halloween Films. The N next to some of the movies denotes current availability on Netflix.
Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971) 7+
A synopsis of Bedknobs and Broomsticks seems like a joke, but here goes: A witch in training played by Angela Lansbury teams up with some children to save London from Nazis. Doesn’t sound real, right? Check out the trailer.
E.T. The Extraterrestrial (1982) 8+ N
E.T. is one of the most iconic Halloween movies. Young children find an alien and you follow these kids (including adorable Drew Barrymore) on the journey of trying to help E.T get home. I remember seeing it as a child and I was terrified. Oddly enough, it wasn’t the alien that scared me, it was the human adults.
The Dark Crystal (1982) 7+
A Jim Henson film that always resonated with me. It has a distinct good vs evil story line. You also find the characters coming into there own. A gelfling embarks on a journey to find a shark and help bring order back to his world. He meets a lot of interesting characters along the way.
The Neverending Story (1984) 7+
Bastian is being bullied and takes refuge in a bookstore, where he finds a very special book. Bastian begins to read about a world called Fantasia and the adventures of Atreyu, trying to save his world from the Nothing. The movie conveys a theme of having faith in yourself and using your imagination.
Gremlins (1984) 9+
While technically a Christmas movie, Gremlins is a horror comedy. A boy receives some new “pets” and he learns the hard way that you must follow rules and take proper care of your pets.
Labyrinth (1986) 8+
Sarah makes a wish that she soon regrets. She must race against time to rescue her baby brother from the Goblin King. Along the way she meets a variety of interesting creatures. Ludo would be my personal favorite. I may also quote the door knockers…
The Monster Squad (1987) PG-13
Vampires, Werewolves, Mummies.. You can’t call the Ghostbusters. You need the Monster Squad.
Beetlejuice (1988) 9+
A young couple dies unexpectedly and they must enlist help to rid their home of the unwanted living family that now resides there. This horror comedy is a must see, any time of year.
Hotel Transylvania 1 & 2 (2012/2015) 5+
Hotel Transylvania is a fun movie that involves all of the monsters from classic horror movies. You see the world from their perspective. The monsters are afraid of humans, just as humans are afraid of them. Most importantly you can’t judge people by what they look like.
The Addams Family (1991) 8+
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) 7+
Jack Skellington wants to know why Christmas is so special. He has grand plans to evolve from the King of Halloween to become the next Santa Claus. Things go awry in this great Halloween film. You will have the song This is Halloween stuck in your head for days.
Hocus Pocus (1993) 11+
A trio of soul sucking witches are accidentally resurrected in Salem, Massachusetts. The young man who awakened them, must defeat them before they can carry out their evil plans.
The Witches (1990) 8+
A young boys stumbles upon a witches convention and realizes they must be stopped. Based on the Roald Dahl children’s book.
Halloweentown (1998) 7+
There is a place where fantasy creatures reside, it is known as Halloweentown. A portal opens between Halloweentown and the mortal world once a year. The first movie follows the Piper family as they unravel their family history. Spoiler free family Halloween adventures ensue. There are two sequels for Halloweentown.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone 7+
Harry Potter is always a great time. Good vs Evil, Monsters, ghosts, and mythical creatures. On his eleventh birthday, Harry Potter discovers that he is no ordinary boy. Hagrid, a fearsome looking giant, tells Harry that he is a wizard and has a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 8+
It’s Year 2 at Hogwarts, and Harry Potter, Ron and Hermione are back learning, but their year doesn’t go past quietly. Members of the school are turning up petrified and bloody writing are appearing on the walls, revealing to everyone, that someone has opened the chamber of secrets.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban 10+
Harry’s life is in mortal danger yet again, this time more than ever. First, a killer named Sirus Black has escaped from Azkaban Prison, and it seems that he broke out just to finish what his master wanted to do 13 years ago: kill Harry Potter!
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (through the rest of the series) is ages 12+
Family Friendly Halloween Films For Tiny Halloween Fans:
Winnie the Pooh: Boo to You Too! 2+
Winnie the Pooh’s cuddly adorableness combined with Halloween. There really can’t be anything more fun to watch with your toddler.
Spooky Buddies 4+ N
Everyone’s favorite pack of puppies is back in a Halloween adventure. Okay, so I haven’t actually seen any of the Buddies movies, but kids really love cute animal movies.. right?
Spookley the Square Pumpkin 3+
Spookley is a square pumpkin in a round patch. Not only can your little one learn the value of being unique but you can have some Halloween fun as well.
Curious George: A Halloween Boofest 3+ N
In George’s first Halloween adventure, he engages in his curious hi-jinks and is introduced to the story of the headless scarecrow.
If episodic horror is more your speed, we have a few options for you available on Netflix.
Both series are based on R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps novels. My son and I have watched both seasons of the Haunting Hour and several episodes of Goosebumps. Each episode covers a different story from toys that come alive, aliens, and vampires to haunted houses and ghosts. The quality of Haunting Hour is a little higher than the original Goosebumps, but we recommend checking out both.
Scooby Doo is fun for all ages. The original cartoon from the 80’s is available in all of its glory. Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and Scooby hunt ghosts and ghouls to solve the mysterious crimes. Be sure to have plenty of snacks on hand to keep up with Shaggy and Scooby.
Spooky Stories 1 & 2
Dreamworks presents spooky stories involving characters from their previous films. We have aliens, monsters, and “scary” stories. These are more in the vein of Monsters Inc.
What do you think of our Family Friendly Halloween Films? Did we miss a family favorite? Did you really enjoy one of our picks? Let us know in the comments!