The Best Family Halloween Movies
Halloween is the time of year when many of us love to watch a good scary movie. Many of these movies are obviously not for children. So what are some good Halloween movies that you can watch with your kids? The answer to this is not always easy. How old are they? What is their maturity level? Do they scare and have nightmares easily? These are all good questions to ask yourself. I have put together a list of some of my favorite Halloween movies rated PG and below. I believe the best way to know what your child can handle, is to watch the movie first yourself. Then you can be ready to censor or explain anything that might comes up. I put these movies in order from my favorite down to my least favorite.
Something Wicked This Way Comes
This was one of my favorite scary movies as a kid. Based on a story by the great Ray Bradbury, it tells the tale of two overly curious boys who wish to discover more about a mysterious carnival that comes their way. The townspeople also get caught up with Mr. Dark and his strange carnival. The movie was made in 1983 and has a PG rating. As for the time period in the movie, you never really know. I always thought it took place in the late 1930's. Although Halloween is not a theme of the movie, the whole vibe just makes me think "Halloween". There are some creepy scenes and adult situations, but it also deals with childhood experiences and the bond shared between parents and kids. Good acting, good story, and enjoyable for all ages make this one a must see.
Twilight Zone The Movie
I have always been a huge fan of the original Twilight Zone T.V. show. This movie has remakes of three classic episodes, plus a original story. Burgess Meredith takes the place of Rod Serling as the narrator, but you never see him, nor is he in the credits. The movie was released in 1983 and also has a PG rating.
All four stories are really well done, but the last is my favorite and will make you think twice next time you board a plane. Maybe this one is not for all kids, but if you think they can handle it, it makes a great Halloween movie night!
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
We have all seen this Disney classic when we were kids, right? When was the last time you sat down to watch it? Well on a cold fall night close to Halloween, do yourself a favor and sit down with the family and watch it. The first part is a adaptation of "The Wind In The Willows". This story deals with Mr. Toad and his journey to clear his name and get his house back. The second part is one of the best versions of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" that I have ever seen. It tells the tale of schoolmaster Ichabod Crane and the legendary Headless Horseman, narrated by "The Man" himself, Bing Crosby. This film was released in 1949 and has a G rating. It starts out very campy but really turns into a creepy thrill ride (for a cartoon). The animation, voices, music and awesome chase scene means this one will never get old.
This movie was released in 1995 and has a PG rating. Having been a fan of the old Casper comic books, I saw this flick when it first came out. It was OK, but never really grew on me. I rediscovered this one a few years ago after watching it with my own children. They absolutely loved it! A woman is left a old run-down mansion and believes that a treasure is hidden inside. It just so happens that Casper and his three not so friendly uncles live in the mansion. So Caspers uncles want to scare everyone away and Casper has his own troubles to deal with. More funny than scary, this one appeals more to the kids. Caspers uncles do provide some adult humor though.
Lately, Tim Burton has been getting mixed reviews for some of his recent endeavors. I don't think anyone can deny that his second movie Beetlejuice, was a original work of art. The story is about a newly wed couple who die in a car accident. Their ghosts come back to find their home being taken over by annoying yuppies. The two ghosts try everything to scare the yuppies away, including trying to conjure up "Beetlejuice". Even though Beetlejuice (Michael Keaton) is only in the movie for a few scenes, they are the best scenes in the movie. Many people have criticized the movie for "no storyline" and being "all camera tricks and gimmicks". In my opinion that what makes the movie original. This movie will make you laugh, has a few creepy moments, and the kids loved the craziness of it. It was released in 1988
and received a PG rating.
The Haunted Mansion
At times this movie can be very entertaining, but overall it's more for the kids. A Realtor and his family get the scoop on a remote mansion for sale in the Louisiana bayou. After being stranded by a storm at the haunted mansion, they start their adventure on finding out the history of the old spooky place. The movie has some good special effects and does a good job blending funny and scary. The film was released in 2003 and received a PG rating. If you have not seen this movie, it is worth seeing at least once.
This film was released in 2006 and received a PG rating. Here is another movie I am not a huge fan of, but it has become a instant classic with the kids. A teenage boy is forced to stay home on Halloween night and babysit his siblings. They soon discover that their house is haunted and a mysterious portal may have something to do with it. The movie has some good visual effects in it. The fact that it has a Halloween theme and the kids really enjoy it, make this one a good choice for a Halloween movie night.
Halloween should be more fun for the kids and not too scary. I hope I gave you a few new ideas for a great family Halloween movie night. If you know of any other good family Halloween movies, please feel free to let us know in the comments section.