Halloween is an amazing holiday, but if you have kids who are sensitive, have nightmares, or just plain don’t like to feel scared, it can go awry quickly. This includes family movies and shows. Sometimes things are just a little too spooky or too creepy.
Perhaps that has to do with the fact that I, personally, do not like scary movies. I just don’t. It’s funny because I saw all of the Friday the 13th movies that had come out by the time I was 7 or 8 by choice. I was also Jason Voorhees for a few Halloweens in a row when I was a sweet, young, innocent girl and all of my friends were princesses, fairies, and cats. I was weird. But that’s a whole different story.
But we love love love Halloween. So we have been trying to figure out just which movies to watch for the Halloween sleepover.
(Keep in mind the audience here includes one grown scaredy-cat mom, one 10 year old girly girl, and one 5 year old rough and tumble boy.)
Enough of the suspense! In no particular order, here are…
5 of our Favorite Family Halloween Films
- Curious George: A Halloween BooFest
This is a cute story about George and a town legend of a headless scarecrow named No Noggin who kicks people’s hats off. I have to admit, for Curious George, it was a little scary at first. Of course George, being curious, gets to the bottom of the legend and everything works out in the end. This movie is becoming sort of a tradition in our house
- Girl vs. Monster
Good ole Disney channel. Of course this movie was chosen by my daughter as itstar’s Disney channel’s Olivia Holt and definitely has some girl power themes running through it. Which I like. Also, I didn’t have to scream repeatedly at the TV that “boys won’t get you into college.” That happens more than I’d like to admit with these shows targeted at preteens. (Not that there wasn’t a crush and a boy issue involved in the plot, but there were bigger issues to deal with.) See, Skylar’s parents are secret monster hunters and have monsters locked in a containment unit in the basement and Skylar accidentally lets them out the night before Halloween. One happens to be her own personal monster who grows stronger with Skylar’s fear. (Bee tee dubs, we all have them.) So she has to learn to be brave and overcome her fear to save her friends and her parents. 3 Thumbs Up from our house. Regardless of the fact that the target audience is preteen girls, my son enjoyed it too.
- Hotel Transylvania
This is a cute animated film. It is definitely a love story however, sort of a Romeo and Juliet-esque one (ya know without the suicides). A 21 year old human boy falls for a 118 year old vampire birthday girl…or should I say woman. (Get it 118 = 18?) Her dad does not approve because what would the other monsters say? Also, he runs a hotel and having a human in the hotel would be REALLY bad for business. So the story becomes one of acceptance. Can they love each other even though one is a human and one is a vampire? Can the townspeople get over the fact that there is a human in their midst? AND that Dracula knew the whole time??? Well done. Good animation. Great characters. Very fun. We all laughed. My son still says “I do not say blah, blah, blah” repeating Dracula and giggling. Fun family movie definitely.
- Spooky Buddies
My son really enjoyed the Super Buddies movie so when we saw a Halloween version, we couldn’t help ourselves. The movie begins with some of the usual Halloween haunted house tropes – verbalized dares to enter the house, a myth of an evil spirit that can come through a mirror if only someone repeats thier name three times. You guessed it, the buddies go into a haunted house, free the evil Halloween Hound by saying his name three times in the mirror, get scared off by a good dog ghost, Pip, who lives in the house, and run away just before the Halloween Hound and his master, Warwick the Warlock, are freed. Of course, the Halloween Hound and Warwick just so happen to need 5 pups who share the same bloodline a.k.a. the buddies. And the chase ensues. It can be a little creepy at times and of course there is a lot of fart humor and all that kind of stuff little boys love. All in all, we all enjoyed it. My son has not asked for it repeatedly the way he did with Super Buddies, but he did like it. My daughter got a kick out of it and doesn’t mind fart humor thanks to her brother.
- The Nightmare Before Christmas
This was actually a huge winner in our house. I was hesitant to put it on as I
remember being frightened by it
as a kidwhen I was younger (came out in ’93 I wasn’t THAT young). But neither of my kids had an issue with the inherent creepiness of a Tim Burton film. The main character, Jack Skellington, is now well known as a character on the Disney Infiniti video games and he seems to be making quite a comeback…unless he never actually left. Jack is a long-legged skeleton who lives in Halloween town, but discovers Christmas town. He thinks Santa is so wonderful, he wants to be him on Christmas night and promptly sets a plan into place. They do kidnap Santa so that part can be a little emotional for little ones. And the character Oogie Boogie has a prolonged creepy musical scene during which there is the threat of Santa’s impending torture. It kind of got to be kind of a lot. (Maybe mostly for me. Ha!) But it had the kids talking and asking to see it again for quite some time so I think it made quite an impression. It might even be first tomorrow night.
For another list of great Halloween movies check out this post of the 10 Best Halloween Movies for Kids over at DudeMom. I am loving some of the classics on that list!
I miss It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. The kids won’t watch it with me any more. Super Sad Face!
How about you? What are some of your must have Halloween movies?