It’s finally the best time of the year – Halloween. I love Halloween and Autumn/Fall, so I’m very happy at the minute. Spooky films are my favourite genre of movies and I’m not ashamed to say I watch them all year round, but now I have a good reason.
Towards the beginning of the year, I made a list of my favourite horror films – you can find that here. Although I really recommend checking them out, and also watching them this October, I thought I would make a more family-friendly version for all the family.
1. The Corpse Bride (2005)
I love this film so much. It’s emotional and spooky at the same time. It includes some beautiful songs, and just like any other Tim Burton film the soundtrack is magical.
Victor is a living man who has been arranged to marry Victoria. After running out on his wedding rehearsal, Victor practises his vows in the woods alone. Without realising, he accidentally marries a corpse bride who has been waiting for marriage.
Emily was murdered by her Husband-to-be the day of her wedding. She vowed to wait until ‘her true love come set her free’. This just happened to be Victor, wrong time and place.
The cinematography of this film is spectacular – I’m a sucker for an aesthetically pleasing colour scheme. The use of colour is very clever – dark and grey for the living world where Victor is reserved and forced into this marriage, then colourful and musical down in the underworld when you can visibly see Victor open up around Emily. Tim Burton used stop-motion to create this film, just like ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’.
It’s definitely one of my favourite Tim Burton films and even one of my all-time favourite films. It’s not too scary, there are some cool dancing skeletons, a singing spider, and an ear-worm or two. It instantly became a classic. I can’t believe there are people out there that still haven’t seen this!
2. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1999)
What a classic! A wonderful film that became a classic almost instantly. Is it a Halloween or a Christmas film? Could be either. To be safe I watch it on both holidays. Another killer soundtrack, and awesome characters. Tim Burton is most definitely a genius in the film department. I’m very grateful for his visions, they’re nothing short of magnificent.
In the town of Halloween, all sorts of creepy and scary creatures are celebrating Halloween night, including the ‘King of Halloween’, Jack Skellington. Jack then seems to have some sort of epiphany, there’s got to be more to life than just Halloween, right? After a walk, Jack stumbles across the doors to all the other holidays we celebrate, including Christmas Town. Once returning to Halloween Town, Jack decides to take over Christmas. Doesn’t really go to plan.
I know this film is such a classic and will be for a very long time to come. I’ve loved this film for as long as I can remember. Maybe some kids will find it a bit scary, but generally, it’s a pretty tame film. They’re all just misunderstood.
3. Edward Scissorhands (1990)
Can you see a theme here? Tim Burton films are some of the best Halloween films ever made – specifically for all the family. I think that Edward Scissorhands can be a little bit harder for younger children to watch, just because the plot may be a little complicated – but that doesn’t stop it from being an amazing film. Always makes me emotional.
A man with scissors for hands made by a scientist is left abandoned after the scientist dies. After a woman named Peg comes across Edward years later, she brings him back to her home in a quaint neighbourhood.
It’s such a sad movie with the most amazing cinematography. You can certainly watch this film at Halloween or Christmas, it gives vibes for both seasons. Obviously, there are no rules as to when you can and cannot watch movies though.
4. Scooby-Doo Movie Franchise (2002 + 2004)
Scooby-Doo and Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed are honestly some of the best family-friendly films ever made. They’re actually quite witty with great humour.
I’m really hoping you’ve heard of the Scooby-Doo series and franchise before; if you have then you have a good idea of what it’s all about. Five best friends investigate some strange mysteries. Daphne, Velma, Fred, Shaggy, and their Great Dane dog, Scooby-Doo.
There have been so many different versions of Scooby-Doo, but I think these two live-action films hold the top spot for me. I definitely recommend checking them out if you haven’t, I’m sure you’ll be pleasantly pleased.
5. Labyrinth (1986)
I’ve never really classed Labyrinth as a Halloween film before, but the more I think about it the more I think it could be classed as one. I’ve seen a lot of people dress up as the characters for Halloween, therefore I think it’s holiday-worthy.
David Bowie plays the Goblin King who gives Sarah, played by Jennifer Connelly, thirteen hours to make it through his labyrinth to his castle so she can save her little brother, Toby. Obviously, he doesn’t make it easy for her and she picks up some unexpected friends along the way.
It’s a great film with a brilliant soundtrack and some even more spectacular costumes. If the ballroom scene doesn’t give you chills then I don’t know what to tell you. It’s got the humour and the wit. It’s another classic.
6. The Haunted Mansion (2003)
Not only one of my favourite rides at Disneyland Paris but also one of my favourite films to watch at Halloween. It’s one of the scarier films I’ve included in this list, but it’s also one of the best.
Starring Eddie Murphy and Marsha Thomason as Husband and Wife realtor team, they get an opportunity to sell a huge mansion. But when they get there they realise the mansion is haunted by lots of different spirits with lots of different motives.
I think it’s one of Disneys best live-action movies. Plus Eddie Murphy was the perfect choice to play Jim Evers. You should all definitely check this film out and let me know what you think of it.
7. Coraline (2009)
A film I believe was ahead of its time. There’s something charming yet uncomfortable about this film. It’s quite dark, cinematically and emotionally. I would say younger children wouldn’t particularly like or understand it, but older kids would probably see the attractiveness of the film.
Coraline is an eleven-year-old girl who has just moved to a new house with her family. She doesn’t really get along with her parents and feels a bit neglected by them. One day, whilst exploring her new house, she comes across a door that has been wallpapered over. After entering through this door she finds an alternative to her family, one she has always dreamed of. Things aren’t that simple though.
It is similar to Tim Burton’s work, but it isn’t. It has the same sort of cinematography. The film was made with stop-motion, just like some of Burton’s work. I do know that it was originally supposed to be a live-action film, but was later decided to be stop-motion. A good decision I think, it really adds to the theme and vibe of the film.
8. The Addams Family (1991)
Everyone has heard of this dark family. This dark comedy will speak to adults and children alike! The actors were perfect for the roles. The Addams Family TV life started in the 60’s with their own TV series. There have been a lot of adaptations ever since, but I believe this version is probably the most famous, especially for my generation. I remember watching this when I was a child and just loving it.
I wouldn’t say there is anything particularly scary about this film. It’s more spooky than anything else. A completely gothic family, what more could you want?
9. Ghostbusters 1 and 2 (1984 + 1986)
Who you gonna call? That’s right! It wouldn’t be a family-friendly Halloween list without mentioning either of the original Ghostbusters films. They’re classics, and from what I can gather, they’ve been classics from the moment they were released.
I feel like I don’t need to explain these ones too much because the title of the films are pretty self-explanatory, but also because I think everyone has seen them. I remember my Dad telling me that the day the first film was released, the queue for the cinema was out the door! That is the making of a classic.
10. Hotel Transylvania (2012)
Finally, we have Hotel Transylvania. This fun film is one of my favourites for this season. I don’t really know why I like it so much, but I actually really do!
Dracula is about to throw his daughter, Mavis, her 118th birthday party at his monster-only hotel. An unknowing human stumbles across the party whilst backpacking, and Mavis takes a liking to him. Dracula becomes overprotective over his only daughter but learns a vital life lesson.
I just think it is a feel-good film with some funny humour and a catchy song at the end of the film. I really recommend this film, especially if you have younger children, I think they’ll really enjoy it.
Thank you for reading and have a great Halloween!