Halloween is a spooktacular time of year! Between the costumes and the candy, there are parties to throw and scary or not-so-scary movies to watch. We’ve put together a list of Halloween movies for kids that you can and should watch with your children this festive fall season.
Enjoy a Halloween Movie Marathon
Plan a family-friendly Halloween movie night. Whether you want a safer alternative to trick or treating or just another fun Halloween activity to add to the seasonal festivities, a spooktacular movie marathon is a great way to go. Set up an outdoor theater, invite the neighbors, make some popcorn balls or set up trick or treat stations, and you’ll have a new Halloween tradition for years to come.
Picking Halloween movies for kids that won’t cause a fright night or leave them sleeping with the lights on is not always easy. To help out, we’ve compiled a list of Halloween movies that should be safe for kids of all ages, but watch at your own risk!
Top 5 Halloween Movies for Kids Aged 5+
While fun and in the Halloween spirit, these 5 movies are safe for the little ghouls and goblins in your brood. They won’t leave them too frightened. However, these movies do contain some possible frights for the wee ones.
Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas
This stop-motion animated film, from the mind of Tim Burton, focuses on Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King (basically, Santa for Halloween). Bored of Halloween, Jack leaves Halloweentown and ends up in Christmastown, a place that entrances him, so he decides to bring Christmas to Halloweentown. His plan goes awry, and chaos ensues. Potential fright factor: Oogie Boogie, the villain, and characters who remove their heads or limbs, skeletons, and creepy toys. Rated PG.
Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
Lovable claymation characters Wallace, an inventor, and his dog, Gromit, are hired as pest control agents to protect the villagers’ vegetables from critters before the annual giant vegetable competition. Due to a malfunction in Wallace’s invention, a were-rabbit is created and begins terrorizing the town. Wallace and Gromit must come to the rescue. Potential fright factor: The were-rabbit and Victor, the villain/hunter. Rated G.
In this animated movie, Dracula, voiced by Adam Sandler, runs a hotel getaway for other monsters, like the Invisible Man, Werewolf, Frankenstein, and more. Unwittingly, a young human finds the hotel on his travels and decides to stay. He becomes friends with the Count’s daughter much to Dracula’s dismay, so he tries to keep them apart. Potential fright factor: Creepy characters and scary villagers but pretty mild and full of funny songs. Rated PG.
Featuring Debbie Reynolds, this movie follows a young girl on her path to discovering she’s a witch with magical powers. The girl, her siblings and her grandmother work together to protect the citizens of Halloweentown from the dark force that is trying to turn them into zombies. Potential fright factor: An evil warlock with a deep, scary voice and reptilian-like face. Rated G.
This classic Pixar cartoon takes place in the monster-only city of Monstropolis and centers on the city’s power company, Monsters Inc. The screams of children power the city and monsters harness them. They do so by going into children’s bedrooms at night and making them scream; then they capture the screams in a container. A little girl named Boo finds her monster hilarious and decides to follow him back to Montropolis. They must get her back to her room before it’s too late. Potential fright factor: Scary monsters who try to steal children’s screams; one of which is extra dubious. Rated G.
Top 5 Halloween Movies for Kids Aged 11+
This list of movies is just right for the tween set. They are a little scarier but still fun and enjoyable. They offer the perfect amount of fright while still being entertaining and safe for the children who aren’t into super scary movies. Plus, adults will enjoy these Halloween movies for kids too!
As the title implies, the movie is about a creepy house in the neighborhood that turns out to be alive! The neighborhood kids set out to convince the police that the house is alive and to, ultimately, stop the house from eating people. Even though it is animated, it is potentially too scary for many young kids. Potential fright factor: A house that eats people, mean babysitters and a “creepy” neighbor. Parental note: Some sexual references, bullying, and crass language. The children in this movie are badly behaved and not role models. Rated PG.
In order to impress his neighbor, Max lights the Black Flame Candle, which awakens a trio of evil witches, the Sanderson sisters, from the dead, and of course, havoc ensue. The neighborhood kids must stop the Sanderson sisters from becoming immortal by stealing their book of spells. Potential fright factor: Some creepiness in witches’ spells and mild gross-out moments. Parental note: The dialogue contains cuss words and as well as sexual references. Rated PG.
The stop-motion animation film follows Norman, the odd boy out, who claims to be able to speak to the dead. No one believes him until the town gets overrun by 17th-century zombies, and Norman and his group of misfits are the only ones who can save them. Potential fright factor: There are a lot of jump scare scenes, monsters, zombies, ghosts, corpses, characters chased, and more. Parental note: There is some foul language, bullying, and some adult content. Rated PG.
A young boy “adopts” a furry, little creature who is adorable. The boy has strict rules to follow, but he slacks on his pet owner responsibilities and the creature spawn several other monsters that wreak havoc on the town. Potential fright factor: Gory scenes involving death and mutilation of Gremlins and humans, and lots of frightening acts committed by the Gremlins. Parental note: The dialogue contains profanity, more than you may remember from watching this movie in your childhood. Rated PG.
After dying in a car accident, the Maitlands must learn to deal with being dead while trapped in limbo in their old home. A new teenage resident of the home calls on Beetlejuice, “the afterlife’s leading bio-exorcist,” to help alleviate the situation, but it does not go as planned. Potential fright factor: Dead characters, giant worms, and crude jokes. Parental note: There are multiple swear words used in this movie as well as sexual references and graphic gestures. Rated PG.