I walked into a theater today and as I waited for the movie to start. The seats begin to fill with parents and their children, to my delight! The theater filled about Halfway, which isn’t bad on a Sunday in Texas during the football season. That caused me to think or wonder really… when are kids old enough to start enjoying the films and not just the candy of Halloween.
Spending most of my childhood sneaking to watch the forbidden movies. In hindsight I wonder, would I even have started watched them if I wasn’t told I couldn’t? It’s hard to say! What I do know that doesn’t mean kids today should have to suffer. Here it is 13 films to watch with your kids during Halloween. Not ranked in any order.
Hocus Pocus (1993)
A boy who is charged with keeping an eye on his nosy little sister on Halloween night accidentally unleashes the Sanderson Sisters—three witches from the Salem witch trials that suck the youth from little girls. Best part of the movie? The sisters performing “I Put a Spell on You” at a Halloween party, hands down!
The Addams Family and Values (1990&1993)
Halloween is a great reason to introduce your older kids to this creepy classic. Moody tweens will love Wednesday and Pugsley, and parents will get to soak up screen legends like Anjelica Huston and Christopher Lloyd in this witty comedy.
A newly dead husband and wife discover that a family of the living has moved into their house, so they hire a crude “bio-exorcist” to scare them off. The friendship between the deceased couple and Lydia—the epitome of a neglected and gloomy teenager—is heart-warming and the rockin’ ’80s styling will give you a good chuckle. Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! Do we need to say more?
The iconic cartoon character stars in this sweet film. Poor Casper has always struggled with being lonely and when he finally finds a friend, he tries to bring himself back to life. But things do not go according to plan. At its heart, this is a tender ghost-meets-girl story. And Casper whispering “can I keep you” never fails to make us tear up!
Harry Potter Franchise (2001-2011)
Harry Potter is a year-round gem, but Halloween seems especially appropriate. There is something about Harry boarding the Hogwarts Express that really evokes that start-of-the-school-year, fall feeling. Oh, and there’s magic and witches, too! The first few movies are aimed at younger children while the later ones are better suited to their older, tween siblings.
Marnie Piper has always been obsessed with Halloween, much to her mother’s despair. But it turns out there is something her mom is keeping from her—she’s a witch! When grandmother Aggie arrives for her annual Halloween visit, Marnie follows her to a strange place called Halloweentown. This installment is the first of a magical trilogy—so be sure and check out the sequels.
The Witches (1990)
While visiting the seaside with his grandmother, Luke stumbles upon a convention of witches who are hatching a plan to exterminate children. He must find a way to stop them—a task that seems infinitely harder once he is turned into a mouse. The witches are scary enough to give us a fright—especially when they peel off their human costumes.
Stick to the original… don’t bother yourself with that remake! A young family are visited by ghosts in their home. At first the ghosts appear friendly, moving objects around the house to the amusement of everyone, then they turn nasty and start to terrorise the family before they “kidnap” the youngest daughter.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Dreamed up by Tim Burton, The Nightmare Before Christmas tells the story of Jack Skellington—the “King of Halloween”—who, tired of staging Halloween festivities year after year, finds a door to Christmas Town and decides to try his hand at that holiday, instead. We dare you not to have the songs from this musical flick stuck in your head for days after watching. “This is Halloween” should be the unofficial theme song of October! Best of all, it also makes a great Christmas movie.
Unhappy about relocating to a new house and leaving all her friends behind, the gutsy heroine discovers a door to an alternative world. There she finds attentive, doting versions of her real parents and other exciting wonders. But this new world is more dangerous than it seems and Coraline must find a way to rescue her family and herself.
Corpse Bride (2005)
This is another gem from Tim Burton’s twisted imagination. Victor, a nervous and clumsy young man, accidentally marries a dead bride. He is taken to the Land of the Dead and must somehow escape in order to be reunited with his true fiancée in time for their wedding.
This isn’t your average 11-year-old. Norman can talk to the dead, and it’s not exactly normal, but his judgy town is soon to change its tune when 17th-century zombies want to come out and play. We love this film because it’s quirky and teaches compassion and tolerance for the strange and unusual
*** Once I finished I realized Tim Burton really has cornered the market on halloween for kids!