Best Halloween movies for toddlers, big kids, tweens and teens – all age appropriate choices for some scary (or not so scary) fun.
Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and cauldron bubble… Halloween and trick or treating is just around the corner, and for some that means it’s time to get decorating and carving up Jack-o’-lanterns out of pumpkins (or these cheaper alternatives). It’s also a great time to conjure a movie night for the entire family. Settle down with your little monsters pour the hot chocolate or pumpkin spiced lattes, dish out the popcorn, and choose an age-appropriate freaky film from our list of Halloween favourites.
Click through our gallery for movie ideas for toddlers, bigger kids, tweens and teens – all age appropriate choices for some scary (or not too scary) fun.
No matter what film you pick, here’s wishing you a very Happy Halloween!
If the kiddos are still small, it’s best to keep the movie sweet and simple and avoid anything too scary or stimulating.
- Barney’s Halloween Party: Starring the world’s favourite purple dinosaur, this movie in true Barney style, teaches about autumn, seasonal crafts, the Halloween holiday and we like that there are some safety rules on how to trick-or-treat safely.
- Mickey’s Monster Musical: A story that was part of the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse TV series, this Halloween special has Count Mickula and Goofymonster living in a spooky looking castle. There is some thunder and lightning, a few hidden doors, but on the whole this movie is a whole of fun for kids.
- Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest: (3+) Join George on his spooky adventure that has some ghosts and spiders. Nothing too scary though, and the film’s humour keeps things light-hearted and enjoyable.
The slightly older ghouls can perhaps handle a few floating ghosts and screechy banshees, but it’s always better to keep the creepy quotient low and pause for a cuddle if necessary.
- Monsters Inc: Who would have imagined that monsters can be so adorable? Join Mike, Sully, and Boo as they go an adventure with a few shrieks and a lot of laughter.
- Scared Shrekless/Shrek: Either do a Shrek marathon with your own ogres, or do a special screening of Scared Shrekless. In addition to lots of kid friendly potty humour, there are magic wands, ghosts, adventure and plenty of Halloween fun for the whole family.
- Eloise’s Unusual Halloween: Though it starts with a character dying in a horse carriage wreck, the rest of this movie has all the Halloween staples of ghosts, scary sound effects, surprising twists and harmless general creepiness.
If your kids are approaching tweendom and feeling brave, then some of these movies are just the right mix of spooky for big kids (who might not be brave enough for the scarier options out there.)
- Casper: Who does not love Casper the friendly ghost who can squeeze fresh OJ through his ghostly little hand? This all-time favourite film has a haunted mansion and slightly scary adult ghosts, but remains a delightful watch nevertheless.
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: Who can forget the magic of the first Harry Potter film? It’s also perhaps the most child friendly movie of the franchise. Joining the wizards is a troll, he-who-must-not-be-named, scary Snape, and lots of spells and magic potions. Vengardium leviosa!
- The Nightmare Before Christmas: A classic by Tim Burton, this stop motion film is offbeat but fun. Jack Skellington, bored of Halloweentown, wanders off to Christmastown and falls in love with Christmas. But will transporting Santa with skeleton reindeers be anything but easy?
No longer tiny, but not that grownup either, tweendom is tough, but there’s nothing like a cosy movie night to spend some time with your semi little ones.
- The Addams Family: The hands that appear out of boxes and a most unusual looking family, the Addams are just the right combination of creepy and cute, and their antics are more entertaining than truly spooky. Invite this queer quartet home this Halloween and we guarantee they will be very popular.
- Goosebumps: Goosebumps is a live-action movie based on the best-selling middle-grade horror novels by R.L. Stine. Though there are some scares, the main focus is on action, with lots of chases, fighting and chaos. It would be a good idea to perhaps introduce the kids to the books first before watching the movie.
- Hocus Pocus: While this movie may need some parental guidance along the way, it’s mostly a fun ride with a bewitched candle, an immortal cat and three witches who are up to no good. Just the right amount of spook for your brave tweens.
- Edward Scissorhands: This movie might give you a tear or two, and while Edward’s strange appearance can be a little scary early on in the film, this is an emotional movie that kids are sure to enjoy.
If you have older teens who can handle some seriously chilling thrills, these movies are right up your street for a scare fest.
- The Sixth Sense: There is nothing innocuous about saying “I see dead people” and certainly not after this superb thriller starring Bruce Willis. Also, who saw that plot twist coming at the end… Ok no more spoilers, but this one we highly recommend.
- The Shining: All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, but there is nothing dull at all about this Stanley Kubrick movie that can scare even the bravest souls, and change your thoughts about hotel stays. Scaresational!
- A Nightmare on Elm Street: This is not a pre-bedtime watch but if you are a family of brave hearts then do revisit this enormously successful horror-slasher film.
- Omen: If something really scary is more your kind of pumpkin then why not opt for Omen? Omen tells the story of an American diplomat whose adopted son is actually the antichrist. Safe to say, Damien was not a popular name with parents after this movie released.