10 Spooky Family Halloween Movies
Written by: Emily Rayner
As October arrives, and the days get colder and the nights get darker, we all have our own ways to embrace the change of the season. Whether that be autumnal walks in the park, pumpkin picking or a steaming cup of hot chocolate with all the works, new rituals are all part of the joy of this time of the year. For me and my family, as well as all of the above, we watch films. Lots of films!
As an avid cinema lover, I don’t really need an excuse to watch more films, but the spooky season gives me a great excuse anyways! Luckily, I have a family who love to watch lots of films too! My wife and I like to do #31DaysOfHorror every October, watching a different horror film every day in October. My little boy, now 6, has been going to the cinema since he was very young, first watching the likes of Peppa Pig and Paw Patrol, which are great ways to get little ones used to the bright lights and loud sounds of the big screen. He also loves the spooky side of cinema, and has enjoyed watching many creepy family movies. Below are 10 movies that are tried, tested and loved by me and my family. All are rated by the BBFC as PG (parental guidance) or U (Universal and suitable for all), but please be careful if you think some films may be a bit too creepy for your little ones!
While little ones may be more attracted to the recent colourful CGI incarnations of the creepy and kooky, mysterious and spooky, and altogether ooky Addams Family, the two live action movies from the early 90s will always be my favourites. The cast are note perfect, with Anjelica Huston, Raul Julia and Christina Ricci seemingly born to play Morticia, Gomez and Wednesday. Lots of fun and very funny!
Pixar’s tale of a young boy who ends up in the Land of the Dead and must find his way back home, is a beautiful and touching film. The CGI animation is some of the most impressive you’ll ever see, the music is brilliant and story is both exciting as it is emotional. Just wonderful.
One of the more genuinely scary entries to this list, this stop-motion animation is about a brave young girl who ventures through a secret door to an alternative universe and finds things there are not what they seem. It is funny, moving, looks absolutely amazing and yes, quite scary too.
From the gloriously gothic imagination of Tim Burton, this is a take on the famous Frankenstein tale. Here a young boy tries to bring his beloved pet dog back to life, but things don’t go quite according to plan. With many loving nods to classic horror films, genre fans will be pleased. For everyone else, you’ll be treated to one of the best movies Tim Burton has made in the 21st Century.
The Goosebumps books, first published in 1992, are the second best selling book series of all time, only behind the Harry Potter series. And as a child of the 90s, I was obsessed with them! Here, instead of adapting one particular book, the clever idea at the heart of this film is the author of the books R.L. Stine, here played by Jack Black, keeps all of the monsters from his stories trapped. But they escape, causing mayhem in a small US town. Loads of spooky characters need to be stopped by the local teens, this has a classic 80s film vibe to it, which is never a bad thing!
Another 21st Century film with the heart and soul of an 80s movie. This story of a young boy and his friends in suburban USA, his creepy neighbour and his even creepier house is a favourite of my son! Steve Buscemi does great work voicing the menacing Mr Nebbercracker, who confiscates any item that appears on his lawn and is protecting a dark secret relating to his house.
Another stop-motion classic directed by Henry Selick (director of Coraline), this is the only Christmas movie acceptable to watch in October (at least in my house)! Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King from Halloweentown, stumbles on Christmastown, and plans to kidnap Santa Claus! Catchy songs, memorable characters and a mix of Halloween and Christmas, what more can you ask for?!
A film I have very fond memories of taking my son to the cinema to see is the second big screen adventure of Shaun the Sheep. Like all Aardman films, this appeals to all ages, from the very young to grandparents, and everyone will find something to love here, with a heart-warming tale and gags that come thick and fast. The story follows Lu-La, an adorable alien, who lands on the farm and causes Shaun and his friends all kinds of fun as they try to get her reunited with her family. Here at Lights4fun we've introduced our own light up Shaun the Sheep figure new for 2022, so we can continue our traditions of watching his films with the cheeky character himself.
If you aren’t familiar with Studio Ghibli, the Japanese animation studio who have produced some of the greatest animated films of all time, then this their biggest worldwide hit is a great entry into their films. A young girl and her family find a seemingly abandoned theme park, but when her parents are turned into pigs, she must work there in order to free them. A landmark in global animation, this is a genuine weird masterpiece and a must see.
Another Aardman film here, and one that continues to delight families. The feature film debut of beloved characters Wallace and Gromit is a joy from start to finish. There are clever references to classic monster and Hammer movies. So many jokes, both verbal and sight gags, it’s hard to take them all in on first watch. A true British classic that all ages can enjoy.