Halloween is simply the best when you're a kid. The costumes, the candy, the decorations—what could be better? Don't let the fun stop just because you're an adult now. In the days leading up to Halloween, pop in one of these almost-scary movies that you and the kids will love. We've hunted around in anticipation of creating the perfect list, and we're pretty excited to snuggle under the blankets and give these movies a watch.
Here are our picks for the best Halloween movies for you and your kids.
It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)
A holiday classic, Charles Schulz’s Peanuts characters wait in anticipation of the Great Pumpkin in It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. While Linus is the only one who believes in the Great Pumpkin, he has some companionship as many of the other kids go trick-or-treating. Staying true to character is Charlie Brown, whose blasé costume garners him rocks from the homes he visits.
What happens when the home you’ve been haunting becomes inhabited by people? You hire someone to handle the problem, or at least that’s what happens in Beetlejuice. The film’s namesake character appears to scare the living away.
Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Sometimes traditions get old. At least, that’s what the pumpkin king of Halloweentown, Jack Skellington, finds. When Skellington stumbles upon Christmastown, he’s inspired to take over Santa Claus’ role by kidnapping him. Let’s just say, those plans to spread Christmas joy go a little awry in the process in Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Hocus Pocus (1993)
After moving to Salem, Massachusetts, siblings Max and Dani explore an abandoned house with their friend, Allison. In the process, Max accidentally frees a coven of witches who used to live in the house. To keep the witches from becoming immortal, the kids must steal their book of spells in Hocus Pocus.
Imagine your grandma lived in a fantasy world (that’s not code for living in past memories). That’s what Marnie Piper and her siblings discover once they find out their grandmother is a witch. After venturing around, they discover a plot that endangers the world they grew up in.
Who ya going to call when your space gets filled with ghosts? That’s right, Ghostbusters. The team of scientists fights New York City’s ghost population in the 2016 remake of this classic 1984 Halloween film. While fighting, the Ghostbusters discover a portal to another dimension and must save the city from an evil creature.
The Little Vampire (2018)
Living in a Scottish castle doesn’t seem rough, but after Tony and his parents move into one, they befriend a family of vampires. And that’s the good part, since a vicious vampire hunter is out to get them, and they need help becoming human again.
Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie
Even the critters of the Hundred Acre Wood go all-out for Halloween after they realize it’s not so scary after all in Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie. In the movie, Roo and Lumpy the Heffalump follow a magical monster in order to make a Halloween wish.
Double, Double Toil & Trouble (2009)
The Olsen twins are back and determined to trick an evil aunt in Double, Double Toil & Trouble. The pair endeavors to trick the aunt out of a magical moonstone in order to save their family home. Along the way, they meet new, strange friends.
In the film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Matilda, the namesake character has to put up with a distant father. Things change for Matilda once she discovers she has the power of telekinesis. She uses the powers for good—defending her friends from the evil principal and fighting back against her own unkind parents.
Don’t Look Under the Bed (1999)
When a no-nonsense teen finds the bogeyman under her bed, she reconsiders her beliefs in the supernatural. After the girl is blamed for pranks happening in her neighborhood, she realizes the boogeyman is to blame, and she changes her mind about the paranormal in Don’t Look Under the Bed.
Under Wraps (1997)
A trio of 12-year-olds discovers a mummy that’s been resting for 3,000 years in Under Wraps. After accidentally reviving him, they are faced with another dilemma: They must return the mummy to his resting place by midnight on Halloween. Otherwise, the mummy will never find his long lost love.
Young Frankenstein (1974)
Once medical lecturer Dr. Frederick Frankenstein inherits his grandfather’s infamous Transylvania estate, he begins to re-create his grandfather’s experiments. The result? A new monster, of course.
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Mom’s Got a Date with a Vampire (2000)
When two kids set their mom up on a date, they didn’t realize it could be with a vampire. The pair calls a vampire hunter, who tries to help. After some scuffles, their mom comes to the conclusion that she dates, but "just not vampires."
Staying true to form, a young Victor Frankenstein finds a way to electrically resurrect his beloved dog, Sparky, after he dies. Once his classmates find out, they try to resurrect other animals. The result? Some scary happenings in Frankenweenie.
Monster House (2006)
Twelve-year-olds DJ and Chowder spy on the creepy old man living next to DJ. The man’s house is equally creepy, as it sucks in anything that’s on its lawn. The boys learn the house holds the spirit of the neighbor’s wife, and they race to figure out how to destroy it in Monster House.
The Dog Who Saved Halloween (2011)
When the Bannisters move into a new house, they start to notice strange lights and sounds coming from their neighbor’s house. In The Dog Who Saved Halloween, a talking dog encounters the haunted house and creepy neighbor, and finds out that he must save Halloween.
Halloweentown High (2004)
Why go to a traditional school when you could attend Halloweentown High? The only catch is you must be a witch, warlock, troll, or ogre to attend. After Marnie finds out, she organizes an exchange program between her school and Halloweentown High.
Toy Story of Terror (2014)
In this 21-minute special, the Toy Story toys go on a road trip and spend the night in a motel. After Mr. Potato Head goes missing, the others search for him and find themselves caught in a large conspiracy in Toy Story of Terror.