Halloween is an exciting time of year, especially for movie lovers. And while horror is the go-to genre for many, it’s not exactly ideal for kids or scaredy cats. For those who prefer lighthearted flicks to those that are downright terrifying, these picks will appeal to your entire family.
Each movie will be available to watch on different streaming services, either through a subscription or as a rental. Because everyone has a different combination of streaming services available to them, we’re just providing a general link for each to a site called JustWatch. This site lists every platform the movie can be streamed or rented on, making it easy to find what works best for you.
Update, 9/28/21: Double-checked that links and trailers are still good!
Originally released in 1993, Hocus Pocus has since become a cult-favorite Halloween movie. The Sanderson sisters return 300 years after being executed for practicing witchcraft, thanks to the hijinx of the new kid in town, Max. They have one day to ensure their continued existence before perishing forever, while Max, his little sister, and his classmate try to stop them. Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimi’s performances are silly and delightful.
Casper is based on the old children’s book and cartoon, Casper the Friendly Ghost. In this live-action movie, the eponymous ghost and his three terrible ghost uncles share the stage with Dr. James Harvey (played by Bill Pullman) and his daughter Kat (Christina Ricci). Harvey, an afterlife therapist, moves his daughter into Casper’s haunted abode after being hired by the greedy heiress who inherited it. After Casper’s uncles scare her out, she needs it exorcised so she can cash in, so it’s up to Kat and her dad to help the ghosts cross over.
The Addams Family is one of the most iconic Halloween movies. The movie’s namesake macabre family go about their eccentric lives while a crooked accountant and loan shark plot to infiltrate and steal from them. The movie is based on Charles Addams’ 1964 TV show and New Yorker cartoons.
This movie takes the phrase “haunted house” to a terrifying new level! On the eve of Halloween, 13-year-old DJ learns his parents are going out of town for the night and he’s getting stuck with a horrible babysitter. DJ calls his friend up to play basketball, but the two soon turn their focus to the creepy house across the street. They quickly learn that the house itself is a monster and rush to figure out how to destroy it.
Originally aired as a TV movie in 1966, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is the Halloween classic we’ve all been watching for generations. The iconic Peanuts gang enjoys celebrating Halloween while Linus waits for the Great Pumpkin in a magical pumpkin patch.
This movie centers on overprotective dad Dracula, who operates a high-end resort that’s only for monsters. He flips when the human boy who stumbles upon the resort falls for his teenage daughter. Hotel Transylvania is directed by the wonderful Genndy Tartakovsky (creator of Samurai Jack and Dexter’s Laboratory), and stars Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Selena Gomez, and tons of other celebs.
The Haunted Mansion is based on the spoopy ride of the same name at Disneyland. The movie is a textbook Gothic tale, from the gloomy decrepit house to the unrequited love arc and plentiful supernatural beings. Eddie Murphy plays a realtor who takes his wife and kids along to a mysterious house when summoned by its enigmatic owner, only to learn there’s no escape.
No Halloween movie list would be complete if Tim Burton didn’t make an appearance, and it wouldn’t really be a Tim Burton flick if Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter weren’t in it. Thankfully, this beautiful stop-motion movie gives you all of that, alongside a tale of a Victorian-era betrothed marriage gone wrong. Like, dragged to the underworld wrong.
Wallace & Gromit is a beloved British claymation franchise, and in this movie, the two friends are enjoying their successful pest control company. Everything is going great until a monstrous were-rabbit starts attacking neighborhood vegetable gardens, which is bad news for everyone participating in the upcoming giant vegetable competition. Wackiness ensues, thanks to one determined hunter, three “24-carrot” gold bullets, and a mind-control machine.
Who ya gonna call? Ghostbusters! In it, three parapsychology professors get kicked out of the university they teach at because of their unethical experiments. The guys then start their own paranormal investigation and elimination service called Ghostbusters. They make headlines and get into trouble while doing their darndest to save the day.
Sleepy Hollow is based on Washington Irving’s tale about the legacy of The Headless Horseman. A police constable from New York City, Ichabod Crane, visits the Town of Sleepy Hollow to investigate the recent spree of decapitations. The movie mixes fantasy, romance, horror, and the supernatural, and is definitely a better pick for older kids and adults, not little ones.
Local kid Norman Babcock says he can speak to the dead, but nobody besides his new friend believes him. One day Norman’s eccentric uncle stops by and says it’s now up to Norman to perform the ritual that will protect the town from the curse that was cast by an evil witch several centuries ago.
This Steven Spielberg classic features a gentle alien, dubbed E.T., that’s discovered by a young boy, Elliott. The boy hides the alien in his home, only telling his brother and little sister. But when E.T. gets sick, the siblings work together to save him before government agents find him.