Want to get in that Halloween spirit but without so much of the frightening parts? Never fear, there are some kinder, gentler ways to channel the spirit of the holiday without all the haunty ghosty bits and horror movie carnage. Thankfully, for the faint of heart, there are plenty of Halloween movies that aren't scary to choose from and hey, they don't totally suck, either.
Trust me, I'm a total wimp when it comes to horror movies and even some thrillers make me so jumpy it's ridiculous, so I totally get it. You want to embrace the spookiness of Halloween, but in a more PG, family-friendly way that won't have you peeking from behind a pillow or shrieking every time the music swells and something jumps out of the shadows. Gotcha.
For the horror movie phobic, there are quite a few options to satisfy your urge to immerse yourself in that Halloween feeling but without so much blood and gore. From the total squeaky clean Halloween fun of a Disney classic, to stop-motion perfection, to the spooky-esque vibe of Tim Burton flicks, and more, we've got you covered for entertainment that leans pretty far from anything that will haunt your nightmares. You're welcome, fellow horror movie wimps.
Now, grab a bowl of candy and let's do this.
1. Hocus Pocus
First and foremost, you must, must, must include Hocus Pocus on any Halloween viewing list because it is perfection wrapped up into one tidy movie. True, this '90s classic is a little cheesy, but Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy's witches are hilarious and this musical number is the bomb.
2. The Nightmare Before Christmas
Is The Nightmare Before Christmas a Christmas or Halloween movie? I say it's both, but the director, Henry Selick, set the record straight about Nightmare Before Christmas at a Q&A session at Colorado's Telluride Horror Show film festival in 2015, saying,: "Oh boy ... It's a Halloween movie." There you have it.
Check out young Alec Baldwin, Michael Keeton, Gina Davis, and Winona Ryder in this Tim Burton classic from 1988. It involves the most obnoxious ghost of all time in Keaton's Betelgeuse... find out what happens when a newly dead couple in need of some ghostly advice say Beetlejuice's name three times.
4. Shaun of the Dead
When you're feeling like you want to throw a little zombie fun into the mix, but don't want to be entirely creeped out, Shaun of the Dead totally fits the bill. There's a little bit of blood, but it's all done in such a hilarious way, you'll never once scream out of fright.
5. The Addams Family
Please don't overlook The Addams Family just because it's based on an old-timey TV series. You know this is required Halloween viewing, right? Plus, Wednesday Adams is totally my spirit animal.
Creepy, yes. Scary, no. The whole portal to a parallel dimension where everything is a better version of reality, but everyone has button eyes? Well, it's not going to give you nightmares, but there is a creep factor.
7. Sleepy Hollow
Did I mention Tim Burton? Oh yes, he easily fits the bill on this list again, with something a little spooky, but also hella kooky with this retelling of the story of the Headless Horseman. And Johnny Depp. Did I mention Johnny Depp?
8. Fun Size
Hear me out, this is actually a really fun movie and it completely revolves around Halloween night, so it's perfect. The Nickelodeon teen comedy has all the Halloween hijinks you can handle.
Please. This is '80s gold that's the most fun you'll have watching a movie, like ever. For added fun, have back-to-back viewings of the original Ghostbusters and the female Ghostbusters remake and you won't ever be sorry you did it.
10. The Rocky Horror Picture Show
If you've never had the pleasure of going to a midnight showing of Rocky Horror, well, you haven't lived, sorry. The only entry on this list that's also a full-on campy musical, it may be from way back in the '70s, but I guarantee there's nothing else quite like it.
See? Halloween movies don't have to be scary at all. You can't go wrong with any (or all, let's be honest) of these. Happy Halloween!
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