Settle down with your little spooks, grab some fiendish snacks and get your fangs into the perfect Halloween movie!
Halloween is almost here! So once you’re done with the trick or treating and have hung up your broomstick for the night, why not extend the spook-fest with a great Halloween movie for the kids, suitable for little monsters of all ages? We’ve conjured up some of our favourite scary (but not too scary!) fright-fests for tots, teens and everyone in between…
Best Halloween movies for kids
1. Hocus Pocus 2 (and the original!)
The black flame candle has been lit once again! The Sanderson Sisters are back for a long awaited sequel to the cult hit Hocus Pocus, and we can confirm this one is almost as funny as the original. With some cameo appearances by beloved characters from the first movie and some fresh new talent, this story about friendship and sisterhood is sure to become a Halloween fave for the next generation. Revisit the first one before watching the second so you can really get into the storyline. Warning: it might be a little scary for younger kids! Now streaming on Disney+
2. Zombies 1, 2 and 3
If you have tweens in your house and you are probably already familiar with star-crossed Zed the Zombie and Addison the mis-fit cheerleader and their gang of singing Zombies. Following in the footsteps of High School Musical and Descendants, expect slick choreography, catchy tunes, and a sweet first-love storyline that reminds us not to judge a book by its cover. Best of all, there are not one, but two sequels – a whole day of Halloween movie magic!
3. Muppets Haunted Mansion
Who doesn’t love a little Muppets craziness, especially around fun holidays like Halloween? Muppets Haunted Mansion sees famous daredevil The Great Gonzo spend a night in the scariest place on Earth – the Haunted Mansion. Kermit and the gang play the ghosts and there’s music and laughter throughout. Streaming now on Disney+
4. Descendants (1, 2 and 3)
If you’re looking for Halloween costume inspiration, check out Disney’s Descendants. The story is about the kids of the fairytale villains, in a classic (dance) battle of good-versus-evil. Brightly coloured wigs, fun special effects, epic costumes and Kenny Ortega styled choreography means this is another singing and dancing crowd pleaser. Keep an eye out for Dove Cameron and Thomas Doherty who’s chemistry steals the show
5. Hotel Transylvania
When an unwitting awkward teenager discovers the Hotel Transylvania holiday resort for monsters, he gets more than he bargained for when he falls in love with the owner’s daughter… Daddy is Dracula and he is VERY protective of his (not so) little girl. Plenty of laughs for kids and grown-ups of all ages – even our own teenager cracked a smile!
Fabulous fashion and a kickin’ soundtrack, we are huge fans of Emma Stone and Emma Thompson in pretty much everything they do, so having them team up in this version of Cruella is really something else. Stellar performances and an intriguing storyline make for entertaining viewing for the whole family.
7. Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie
For kids not much bigger than a pumpkin, we suggest playing it safe with the oh-so-sweet Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie. Familiar favourites, including Pooh Bear, Tigger and Roo, are on the hunt for tricks, treats and the dreaded Gobloon around The Hundred Acre Wood in a feel-good adventure for the young and old alike.
8. Monsters, Inc. and Monsters University
Has there ever been a funnier set of monsters than Sully, Mike and co. over at Monsters, Inc.? We think not, and their hilarious antics while trying to help a small tot named Boo never get old. Guaranteed giggles all around.
9. Scared Shrekless
Light up the Jack O’Lanterns, settle down with the spooky snacks and join everyone’s favourite ogre, Shrek. He’s on a Halloween mission through a haunted castle in the animated movie, Scared Shrekless. At only 26 minutes long, this is the perfect pick for tired kids, or kids who are on a ‘can’t sit still’ sugar rush after all that trick or treat candy! Add all of the Shrek movies to your list while you’re at it – these are modern day classics that are always good for a giggle.
10. Spooky Buddies
While you might not think that a bunch of super-adorable talking golden retriever pups is good Halloween movie fodder, Spooky Buddies brings us haunted mansions, ghost dogs and plenty of adventure with a puppy gang kids will love. Prepare for demands to adopt a dog.
11. The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
Cheery but bumbling Wallace, and his ever-faithful dog, Gromit, set out to discover who, or what, is behind a series of mysterious events that are threatening to sabotage the village event of the year: the annual giant vegetable growing contest. The title of the movie, The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, does kind of give the ‘mystery’ away a bit…
12. The NeverEnding Story
We’ll use any excuse to whack on one of the greatest family movies of all time, The NeverEnding Story. It’s full of weird characters, spooky scenes and a really quite scary wolf thing, making it perfect Halloween viewing. Remember the tissues: that creepy make-up you took hours applying will never survive the horse-in-the-mud scene…
13. Monster House
We’ll admit it, Monster House scared even us grown-ups the first time we saw it – even if it is rated PG! A very clever animation in which a bunch of tweens discover their neighbour’s house is actually a living, breathing monster.
14. The Mummy
Another one for older tweens and teens, but one that the family can definitely get wrapped up in… The 1999 version of The Mummy makes for slightly scary, often funny Halloween viewing. Full of curses, icky looking mummies and the odd missing eyeball, this adventure to ancient Egypt gets a big thumbs up. The latest Tom Cruise version? Not so much.
15. The Book of Life
Meet Manolo, a teenager full of angst (show us one who isn’t…) who finds himself torn between pleasing his family or following his heart in The Book of Life, a visually beautiful animated adventure that spans three fantastical worlds. Prepare for demands for Day of the Dead style make-up for the kid’s Halloween costumes this year immediately after viewing.
16. The Addams Family
Anjelica Houston rocks the role of Morticia the witch in a classic that’s absolutely stood the test of time. The Addams Family still reigns supreme as an all-around Halloween favourite – this is a seriously dysfunctional family and we love them! We challenge you NOT to have the theme tune on loop in your head right about… now.
If ghosts do ever prove to be real, then we want them to be just like Casper the friendly ghost. The 1995 version is our favourite, where a paranormal expert and his daughter move into an abandoned house that turns out not to be so abandoned after all.
Anything with Winona Ryder in it instantly gets our vote, so Frankenweenie goes on the list for that alone. Add in a dead dog that comes back to life and some pretty cool science experiments, and you’ve got yourself a ghoulishly great Halloween family movie.
Twilight is definitely worth a Halloween airing for tweens and teens (and their middle-aged mums). Team Edward or Team Jacob? Either way, this girl meets boy (with a vampire secret) love tale still makes our heart flutter. Plus, if nothing else, the soundtrack is pretty cool.
Jack Black is always funny, and he doesn’t let us down in the movie version of the classic book series, Goosebumps. Plenty of jump scares, eery characters and fright night fun in a story involving dark secrets and books that come to life.
21. A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting
Maybe it’s just us, but we’ve never gotten into any exciting adventures whenever we’re babysitting… A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting is about a boy who has been taken away by the Boogeyman and his monsters during Halloween. It’s up to his babysitter to battle the monster goons and save him.
If your child’s a budding writer, this movie could be an inspiration for them… or a deterrent (we hope not!). In zNightbooks, a young boy is abducted by a witch, who then demands him to come up with a scary story every night… Otherwise, it’s the end for him. While coming up with the stories, the boy plots his escape with a fellow prisoner. The ever-excellent Krysten Ritter stars in this, so you bet it’s going to be a good one.
23. The Witches
The HoneyKids team loves Roald Dahl, and we really enjoyed the movie adaptation of his stellar book, The Witches. It’s mice versus humans – in this case, sinister witches – so who do you think will win? The 2020 version stars Anne Hathaway, Octavia Spencer and Stanley Tucci. But if you prefer the darker adaptation, the 1990 movie‘s the one you should be watching.
While not exactly a movie about Halloween, it is about the dead so we have to include this in. Coco is another amazing Pixar animated film that tells the story of 12-year-old Miguel, an aspiring young musician who got accidentally transported to the Land of the Dead. He seeks help from his dead great-great-grandfather to return him to the living world and reverse a ban that has been in the family for too long. Get the tissues ready – we cried buckets watching this!
Tim Burton can do no wrong when it comes to quirky creepy movies. Coraline is a stop-motion animated film about a young girl who discovers a secret passage leading into a parallel universe… A universe where things seem too good to be true… And everyone’s eyes are made of buttons!
26. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
The film that introduced us non-Americans to the whole concept of trick or treating in the first place… E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial! This timeless, heartwarming tale of a ridiculously endearing lost alien and his best friend, Elliot, gets us every single time. He just wanted to go home!
One for older kids, and another classic, Gremlins has been laying on the annual frights since 1984! Hands up who wanted a Gizmo as a small pet when they were a kid? Despite the risks! Warning: there is one scene in the film that categorically dispels the Santa Claus myth, so if you have believers in the house, DO NOT let them watch this movie (we speak from experience: a parenting lesson learned the hard way).
We can’t mention an oldie but a goodie like Gremlins without also giving a shout out to Ghostbusters! Again, suitable for older kids (10 and up), but definitely a movie that epitomises all things Halloween. The remake is also worth a watch, but it’s not nearly so whacky and charming as the original. It does get a thumbs-up for including a team of kick-ass girls though.
29. Harry Potter
With kids dressed up as witches and wizards all over Singapore, it’s not Halloween at all without a mention of the Harry Potter movies! The films get progressively darker, and scarier, as the series continues, so pick the film best suited to the age of your kiddos. Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire is our favourite. Nothing at all to do with Robert Pattinson either… #mumcrush
In ParaNorman, a small town comes under siege by zombies galore, and only young ghost whisperer, Norman – often misunderstood and seen as a misfit – can take on the ghosts, witches and, worst of all, the grown-ups, to save his home from an old curse. This one feels pretty dark and creepy, so maybe a bit too scary for very young tots. Or very scared adults.
Love this list of family-friendly Halloween movies? Check out these Halloween crafts for kids too!