Best Halloween Movies: Ultimate Movie Night List With Mom Reviews & Previews

Y’all. I can’t get over that I couldn’t find a family-friendly Halloween movies list. Oh sure, there were lists alright, but not for this conservative Mama. Um, no. So I created an Ultimate family friendly Halloween movies list of a few that you won’t be scared to watch with your family (see what I did there?)!  Enjoy the movie trailers and my Mom reviews of each one of the movies below.

Halloween Movies scene of foggy wilderness person walking



Best Halloween Movies

These days, my family likes to be spooked a little – on the light side and it’s hard to find Halloween movies that aren’t gory or full of inappropriate nonsense. We love cool movies, so of course, I’ll be checking out the appropriate ones on the Official 31 Nights Of Halloween 2018 Schedule on ABC Family/Freeform like everyone else.  To be honest, the Halloween movies schedule is a little odd this year and there are only a few we’ll watch.

BEST HALLOWEEN FAMILY MOVIES THAT ARE ANIMATED

I’m sharing the best animated Halloween movies for the slightly older kids. I was very disappointed that the two new (to me) Halloween movies for kids that I was excited to check out for were not good choices at all.  A “groping” boyfriend on top of a young girl that he calls a prude when she pushes him off in one kid’s animated movie and homosexuality jokes in another is not something I’m going to support (Monster House and Paranorman), animated or not.  Everyone is different, so it’s up to you to know which Halloween movies are best suited for your family.

This is why I do what I do, friend, to save you the time, money, and headache if you care about these things as I do.

The Halloween Tree –  After digging very hard to find this one that I’d never heard of, it’s a book-to-movie Ray Bradbury classic adventure about four youths who try to save their friend from the ghosts of Halloween past. They take a journey that sweeps them back as far as 4,000 years and teaches them the meaning of Halloween and friendship.

The Halloween Tree movie trailer 
The opening credits and pretty much the whole The Halloween Tree movie’s style took me back to my childhood of watching Saturday morning cartoons.  That’s due to it being a Hannah Barbera film and great old-fashioned storytelling.  I loved this cute retelling of the original book and loved that it went through the history of Halloween in such an interesting way.  Don’t tell the kids that it’s slightly educational though and they won’t notice!

date: 2012

cast: Ray Bradbury, Leonard Nimoy, Annie Barker

runtime:  69 minutes

rating: NR

rating explanation: not rated

available to watch: DVD Amazon Prime Video

Hotel Transylvania 1 This movie is about a single Dad, Count Dracula, who does what he has to do to protect his only daughter from his most feared opponent… humans.  His solution is to build a hidden monstrous (get it?) castle hotel where all monsters and goblins can feel safe from the outside world.  His problems begin when a human young man accidentally walks through the door and catches the eye of his daughter.

Hotel Transylvania movie trailer
I know this is an old movie but I had not seen it.  Although not my favorite animated film, it’s a silly one to sit around and watch with the fam during the fall season.  It plays out similar to Scooby Doo cartoons with spooky but silly characters.  There’s also the gross stuff that’s supposed to be funny like bodily functions and bug-crawling sandwiches that aren’t awesome to me, but tolerable.

What I did love was the ‘human’ character, a millennial backpacker dude, that shows up with his hilarious dialogue.  That was my favorite part.  All in all, it’s super cute and a good way to bond with the fam.

date: 2012

cast: Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez

runtime: 91 minutes

rating: PG

rating explanation: Parental Guidance Suggested

available to watch: DVD, Blu-ray & Amazon Prime Video

BEST HALLOWEEN MOVIES TO WATCH WITH OLDER KIDS/TWEENS

Halloween movies for tweens can be really fun to watch with them.  Because they are a little more mature, the topics don’t have to be kiddie.  Even still, this one choice, though outdated, can be a fun tradition they’ll look forward to when they are even older.

Double Double Toil and Trouble  – This cute little movie stars Mary-Kate and Ashley Owen, back in their little girl heyday.  They win a magic wand at a birthday party and then meet a goofy gravedigger who tells them that their grouchy, old Aunt Agatha is a bad witch. The girls, with friends in tow, try to save their own house and their Aunt Agatha’s sweet twin sister, Sophia, that Aunt Agatha has put under a wicked spell they race.  They also learn lessons about the importance of sisterly love that knows no bounds.

Double Double Toil and Trouble movie trailer
Ten minutes into the movie a nervous gravedigger tells the twins about the annual  “All Hallows Eve” gathering where witches summon ghosts and goblins to do their bidding and that the dead rise from their graves.  He goes on to tell them about a legend 200 years ago about a moonstone that belonged to a witch that was burned at the stake. The bad witch is pretty intense with her threats and meanness, but as a tween, teen or adult, she’s pretty ridiculous, not scary.

To be honest, I was pretty bored with this one midway through it, but my daughter seemed to enjoy it.  There’s a good message at the end about friends and family sticking together.  Even though it’s very outdated and a little slow, I have a feeling that this is one that we’ll be watching every year together from here on out!

date: 2009

cast: Mary-Kate Olsen, Ashley Olsen, Cloris Leachman, Meshach Taylor

runtime: 91 minutes

rating: NR

rating explanation: not rated

available to watch: DVD & Amazon Prime Video

Halloweentown – A single Mom and her kids are surprised when their unusual Grandma shows up to visit, and the kids are even more shocked when they follow Grandma home.  Halloweentown is a haven for ghosts, goblins, and witches to live a normal life in their own society.  They shortly realize that they have to help save the town from an evil one trying to take over the world.

Halloweentown movie trailer
This is one of my favorite Halloween movies to watch with the fam and I know it will be a tradition now.  The kids in this movie are very disrespectful at the start of the movie but have a change of heart at the end.  The fact that this film is outdated is part of its charm for me.  Tell the kids to hang in there and they’ll fall in love with it too.

There are four Halloween Town movies…

  • Halloweentown
  • Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge
  • Halloweentown High
  • Return to Halloweentown

I have only watched the first Halloweentown movie, but will give you reviews of the others when I watch them!

date: 1998

cast:   Debbie Reynolds, Kimberly J. Brown, Judith Hoag

runtime: 84 minutes

rating: G

rating explanation: general audiences

available to watch: DVD & Amazon Prime Video

FAMILY FRIENDLY HALLOWEEN MOVIES FOR TEENS AND ADULTS

Here’s the deal:  your older kids/teens/grandkids have probably already watched the movies that I am listing below.

You could score major brownie points when you have a movie night and watch one of these cool Disney movies with that older kid!

Disney’s Channel’s Original movie, Girl vs. Monster – The main character is a confident girl who finds out that her parents have been leading a secret life of monster hunting.  When she realizes that she’s a 5th generation monster hunter, she fearlessly goes where she’s forbidden to deal with it with her friends in tow (including her fearful bestie).  There are pretty catchy tunes you’ll be singing for days after this cute film.

Disney Channel’s Girl vs. Monster
When the subject matter gets intense in this family-friendly Halloween movie, like the monsters coming to steal souls, it’s presented in a lighthearted way that’s not creepy or scary at all.

My least favorite part is when the mean girl and main boy appear possessed and have red eyes (it’s not bad though). It’s a good movie to watch with older ones because it’s refreshingly clean with no bad language, romance, or any other inappropriate stuff.  I think you’ll fall in love with it whether you want to or not. We’ll definitely have this clean one to watch every single year at Halloween time.  Hallelujah!

date: 2012

cast: Brendan Meyer, Luke Benward, Olivia Holt

runtime: 89 minutes

rating: G

rating explanation: general audiences

available to watch:  Amazon Prime Video

Disney Channel’s Zombies – This is another Disney Channel musical-style movie, but for Halloween.  In a perfect, cookie-cutter society of traditions and pep rallies, a chemical explosion causes one side of the town to be changed into zombies with the green haze.  Humans and zombies live separately in Seabrook, until this year, when the zombies are allowed into the human high school and two brave teens, a cheerleader and a zombie boy, form a special friendship.

Zombies movies trailer
When I first heard about this one, I fought the idea of watching a zombie movie.  I mean, yuck!  What I didn’t realize was this wasn’t a typical movie about gross zombie life, it was a silly, but fun musical by Disney Channel.  I dare you to watch and not fall in love with the characters and the catchy tunes!  You may even learn some new dance movies.  It’s actually a really good movie – I enjoyed it more than I’d like to admit to the kiddos!

date: 2018

cast: Milo Manheim, Meg Donnelly, Trevor Tordjman

runtime: 94 minutes

rating: NR

rating explanation: not rated

available to watch: DVD & Amazon Prime Video

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow –  You know that the short story published by Washington Irving in 1820, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, of a Hessian mercenary, wounded in the Revolutionary War that tormented the town of Sleepy Hollow, right?  Stoic Ichabod Crane arrives on the scene to become the new headmaster of the school and wants to court Katrina, who has another beau sweet on her as well, Brom Bones.  Ichabod faces the headless horseman on the trail – or was it Brom Bones in disguise?

a deleted scene from 1980 Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Since the latest movie starring Johnny Depp is rated R is not an option at my house, I started looking for other options.  Disney has an animated version HERE that I haven’t seen yet.  There are two other ‘real’ versions on YouTube, but this one is the shortest and best of the two.  While it’s grainy and displayed in black and white, it’s worth every second. Come on, live a little!

Here is the link to the actual movie.  You can watch on YouTube on any device and even stream through your TV by connecting your device to the TV with a hdmi cord or by doing what we do…streaming it through a YouTube app with our Roku device.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow movie
date: 1980

cast: Jeff Goldbloom, Paul Sand, Meg Foster

runtime: 104 minutes

rating: PG

rating explanation: parental guidance

***Related:

I hope you enjoy these suggestions of super clean Halloween movies to watch with your family.  Apparently, Hulu heard that we watch everything including sports without cable and offered me a free trial link. I just signed up for a free month so I can check out the Season #1 Episode #1 S1 Pilot of the TV series of Sleepy Hollow.  It is different than the rated R movie and a modern tale full of incredible full of American history by the looks of the trailer.  Slightly scary + historical fiction = I’m all in.

Wish me luck because you know what a wimp I am with scary stuff.  Also, if I find that it has bad language or vulgar stuff as I’m screening it ahead of time for the fam, I’ll be gone.  Until next time, Happy Halloween, Y’all!


I’D LOVE YOU TO TELL ME WHICH ‘SQUEAKY CLEAN’ HALLOWEEN MOVIES I MISSED IN THE COMMENTS!





 

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Published on Huffington Post, Okefenokee Living Magazine, multiple sites and her local newspaper, Shan Walker is a Family Travel Journalist and adoring Wife to Superman and Mom to older kiddos. She shares “How-To” plan the BEST family vacations in the South with travel reviews and insider travel secrets that Women REALLY want to know!

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30 Comments

  1. October 1, 2018 / 12:53 pm

    I’ve never heard of most of these. We’ll have to check them out.

    My littles love the Curious George one, Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest. And also we all love It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

  2. October 2, 2018 / 7:56 am

    Thank you for providing a family-friendly list of Halloween movies. It is difficult to find seasonal movies this time of year that do not scare my kids (or me). I look forward to trying some of these suggestions.

  3. October 2, 2018 / 8:01 am

    Thanks for sharing. I’ve always loved Double Double Toil and Trouble, and Halloweentown! I actually watched them both last year with a friend – going back in time to when we were young. 🙂 I’ve seen some of the Zombies movie and it’s cute! I want to watch the Hotel Transylvania movies, I haven’t seen any of them.

    -Lauren
    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…2018 Ohio Renaissance Festival: A ReviewMy Profile

  4. October 2, 2018 / 8:11 am

    Wow I can’t believe haven’t seen most of these. We love Spooky Buddies at Halloween time.

  5. candy
    October 2, 2018 / 8:21 am

    Hocus Pocus is one of our all time favorite halloween movies to watch every year. Hotel Transylvania is a favorite of the kids and okay adults as well.

  6. October 2, 2018 / 11:52 am

    I need more Halloween films to watch! This list is really helpful and I shall be checking a few of them out 🙂

  7. October 2, 2018 / 7:51 pm

    We love Hotel Transylvania in our house! It’s so funny!

  8. October 3, 2018 / 12:00 pm

    My favorite one is hotel Transylvania! I have watched all the parts with my family cant wait to watch it again for Halloween.

  9. October 3, 2018 / 12:01 pm

    I truly appreciate this list! I am not a fan of creepy and overly scary movies, but it’s always fun to watch family movies to celebrate certain times of the year. We’ll be looking out for those teen Disney movies. Thanks for putting this together!

    • Shan
      Author
      October 4, 2018 / 12:21 pm

      Glad it was helpful, Yolanda. It’s my pleasure. Have fun!!!

      much love,
      shan

  10. October 3, 2018 / 2:16 pm

    Thank you for sharing a family-friendly list of Halloween movies! In my house, we love Halloween, but my little one is much too young to break out the horror movies just yet. Hotel Transylvania and Halloween Town are musts for me this time of the year.

  11. October 3, 2018 / 5:12 pm

    This is a great list, thank you so much for sharing. I am going to share it with some friends whose children I think would enjoy these movies. And thank you for telling us what not to watch too! I am right there with you on those,

    • Shan
      Author
      October 4, 2018 / 12:20 pm

      So glad you found it helpful, Susan. Have fun and thanks for sharing!!!

      much love,
      shan

  12. October 3, 2018 / 5:18 pm

    Ahhh these are so great I want to see them! I so badly want to see halloween town again and of course hocus pocus!

  13. October 3, 2018 / 6:08 pm

    Ok as a disney fan I cannot wait to watch the Zombies movie! Gonna check that out on netflix/amazon!

    • Shan
      Author
      October 4, 2018 / 12:20 pm

      It’s really super cute, Di. Have fun!

      much love,
      shan

  14. October 3, 2018 / 6:41 pm

    I was just thinking about figuring out a good Halloween movie for family movie night on Friday. I loved Halloweentown when I was younger, but my boys are still too young that they prefer animated. I think we are going to watch CoCo.

  15. Christa
    October 3, 2018 / 8:38 pm

    Thank you for this list! My kids love Halloween but not the scary stuff. This is incredibly helpful.

    • Shan
      Author
      October 4, 2018 / 12:19 pm

      Aw. I’m so glad it was helpful, Christa! Have fun!

      much love,
      shan

  16. Marjie Mare
    October 3, 2018 / 8:46 pm

    My kids are big on Halloween movies and they probably have a list which they enjoy with their dad only. I am afraid to say that I am not a fan of any horror movie

  17. October 3, 2018 / 9:53 pm

    The Legend of Sleepy Hollow movie is my favorite. it was a great movie 🙂

    • Shan
      Author
      October 4, 2018 / 12:18 pm

      I love it too for some reason! 😉

      much love,
      shan

  18. Nathan Tran
    October 4, 2018 / 6:18 am

    They are such fantastic films which are suitable for all ages! Thanks for sharing

  19. October 4, 2018 / 6:34 am

    This is a great round up of Halloween movies. I have seen several of them, but I need to watch a few of them again!!

  20. October 4, 2018 / 9:53 am

    I haven’t seen any of these except hotel transylvania, there’s three of those now. You’ve also got me curious about Paranorman as I remember it being a good one.

  21. October 4, 2018 / 12:04 pm

    We are so excited about Halloween! Since it lands on school day this year, we will be staying home, watching movies. This list helps!

    • Shan
      Author
      October 4, 2018 / 12:12 pm

      I’m so glad, Evelyn! Sounds like you have a perfect night planned with the family.

      much love,
      shan

  22. October 6, 2018 / 2:15 am

    This is very helpful. Sometimes its hard to tell if it’s going to be a good movie for my kids to watch!

    • Shan
      Author
      October 6, 2018 / 9:05 am

      Exactly, Holly. Thanks.

      much love,
      shan

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