I absolutely love this time of year. Keep in mind that I love the fun, playful side of Halloween, not the “Freddy Kruger” side of Halloween. I’m kind of a big wimp. Case in point: When I was in the 7th grade, I spent Halloween night at a friend’s house. We stayed up and watched several classic Halloween movies (Friday the 13th, Child’s Play, etc.). I had nightmares for days. Even movies like Scream left me very freaked out.
Therefore, I don’t go to Haunted Houses or watch the latest horror movie at the theaters. Instead, I enjoy Halloween by watching a few of my favorite family-friendly movies, visiting a nearby pumpkin patch, and carving pumpkins.
A Few of My Favorite Halloween Movies
Here are a few of my favorite Halloween-inspired movies that I enjoy this time every year, in no particular order. Some of these movies aren’t appropriate for little ones, so I’ve included a link to the parental guide on IMDB. You can read through and see for yourself if it is something you want to view with little ones around. Keep in mind I do not have cable; I do, however, have Netflix and Amazon Prime. Some of these movies are available to stream; another place to check is your local library. Ours has a good selection of DVDs that we “rent” for free. I’ve also included a link to the movie on Amazon. I am an affiliate, so I do earn a tiny amount if you decide to purchase. Think of it as a way to support my blogging.
I don’t think you can have a “best of” Halloween list without including this movie. It’s a classic that I rarely find on Netflix or Amazon Prime. Finding it for $5 at the local discount store made purchasing this one a no-brainer. I watched this movie when it first came out, and every year I continue to watch it. It does not get old. Ever. I haven’t let H watch this one yet, as there are discussions about a character’s virginity, sexual innuendos, a very lusty witch, and a few curse words. Plus, I think it might be a little scary at times for him. Parent’s Guide | AMAZON
Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas
Some people watch this at Christmastime. Understandably so, since it’s about Jack Skellington and his Halloween crew taking over the domain of “Sandy Claws.” However, I find this movie to be at its best when viewed near Halloween. Maybe it’s because of the characters and their take on Christmas (presents that attack, Jingle Bells with dissonant chords, a coffin-shaped sleigh). Regardless, it’s a favorite in our household. I let H watch this last year for the first time. He LOVED it. Having said that, it might get a little scary for wee little ones, particularly scenes involving Oogie Boogie and Lock, Shock, and Barrel. Parent’s Guide | AMAZON
Okay, so I might be a fan of Tim Burton. And of stop-motion animation. I also am drawn to movies with Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. (Apparently, so is Tim Burton.) I love Victor’s trip to the underworld, but my favorite scene is when everyone is preparing for Victor and the Corpse Bride’s wedding. As the dead descend upon the church, the priest (who is excellently voiced by Christopher Lee, another favorite) is attempting to prevent them from entering sacred ground by hollering at them. To which a dead guest quips: “Keep it down! We’re in a church.” Oh, who am I kidding? There are about a million quotes I love from that movie. I let H watch this movie for the first time a few days ago. There was only one scene that frightened him (when Victor first meets the Corpse Bride). I also noticed a curse word (a parody of Gone with the Wind) but for the most part, there were no problems. Even though it is an animation, I wouldn’t recommend it for wee little ones. Parent’s Guide | AMAZON
This really isn’t a “Halloween” movie but it is so incredibly creepy that it is perfect for Halloween. This is probably one of the creepiest animations I’ve seen, yet I love it. The book, Coraline, is written by Neil Gaiman, who is notorious for writing odd stories. This isn’t a Disney fairytale story. It’s dark and you wonder throughout if there will be a happy ending. If the animation style seems familiar, it should; the movie was directed by Henry Selick, who also directed Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. The protagonist of the movie, Coraline, and her family have just moved to a new home. Our heroine, who is incredibly frustrated with her parents (what pre-teen isn’t) enters an alternate universe with the perfect parents…only this universe isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I have not let H watch this movie, nor will I anytime soon. The images would bring on nightmares. In addition, there is one scene that shows a little too much skin in my opinion (one of the neighbor’s in the alternate universe has a rather large bosom with very little covering it). Parent’s Guide | AMAZON
The Addams Family
Anjelica Houston as Morticia Addams. Raul Julia as Gomez. Christopher Lloyd as Uncle Fester. And Christina Ricci as Wednesday. Perfect casting. I love how everything in the Addams family home has a morbid twist to it (i.e. Morticia cutting the flowers off the roses and arrange the stems in a vase). I realize this is a spin off the original TV series, but I love the twisted world the Addams family lives in. The Uncle Fester storyline is wonderfully written and acted as well. I don’t think H is quite ready for this one, as there are a few adult themes featured. Gomez and Morticia have a very passionate relationship, and while there isn’t any explicit love scene there are some implications. There’s also a few curse words, which we try to avoid especially with H. Parent’s Guide | AMAZON
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
I imagine a few of my movies above probably caused some eyebrow wagging, especially with more conservative parents. But, I believe everyone can agree this movie is definitely a family-friendly movie. All children of all ages can watch Charlie Brown. There is always a great moral to every story presented, and this movie is no exception. There isn’t even anything on the Parent’s Guide to this movie…because there isn’t anything inappropriate. The lovable Peanuts children celebrate Halloween while Linus waits for the Great Pumpkin. I think part of the reason why I love this movie so much is because I watched this every year when I was a child. H loves Snoopy, so we watch this one more than once during the season. The link at the end of the paragraph is for the single edition of the DVD, but if you are a Charlie Brown fan like I am, you would be better off buying the Holiday collection. Parent’s Guide | AMAZON
Garfield’s Halloween Adventure:Garfield in Disguise
This is another classic from my childhood. I loved Saturday morning cartoons, especially Garfield. Perhaps he is why I am such a sarcastic person? Like Charlie Brown, this was annual TV event around Halloween. We always had to wait for it to come on the television. And if you missed it, well…you were up a creek without a paddle. Early in my marriage, I found this as part of a 3-video DVD (along with a Thanksgiving special and a Christmas special – the version I have is no longer made, hence the hefty price tag. The version linked at the end of this paragraph is the newer one and includes an extra video, as well as a much more budget-friendly price). Picking it up was a no-brainer, especially since it was only $5. Garfield dresses up for Halloween for the
pure joy candy and drags Odie along with him. However, things don’t go according to plan as they discover a true haunted house. H loves this movie as well, and we watch it numerous times throughout the season. Parent’s Guide | AMAZON
The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
Whenever I watch a claymation movie, I am transported back to my childhood when I used to watch Gumby. When Gumby went off the air (or at least the reruns I watched), I was devastated. That might be part of the reason why I love Wallace & Gromit. However, another big reason why I have watched every Wallace & Gromit video I could get my hands on is, simply put, it is hilarious. Wallace is a genius inventor who can be quite a dunce. His loyal dog, Gromit, has way more common sense and gets Wallace out of a few scrapes. In this movie, Wallace and Gromit set out to discover what (or who) is behind the were-rabbit criminal acts. The culprit is quite a surprise, but the two lovable characters manage to save the day. And their reputations. H, like me, loves the Wallace & Gromit videos. We watch this one any time of the year since it’s not really a Halloween movie. Parent’s Guide | AMAZON
Of course, as I write this I can think of at least 10 more movies perfect for Halloween. I might do another post at a later date. In the meantime, check out this post from 2014 from the Dating Divas’ website on a Halloween Movie Marathon date. It really is the cutest idea for a stay-in date night that is pretty inexpensive.
For more Halloween inspiration, check out my Halloween Pinterest board and my Costumes Pinterest board.
What movies do you recommend for an enjoyable Halloween?