Who doesn’t like to get into the spirit of Halloween with a scary movie? Choosing the right family movie to watch can be tricky with children of different age groups in the house. Since the line between fun-scary and too scary is different from child to child, and certainly from one age group to another, we put together our top 10 Halloween movies for families divided by rating, with notes to help you decide which movie is right for your kids. So get the popcorn ready and gather the family for an age-appropriate Halloween flick that the kids will love and be able to sleep after!
Halloween Movies For All Ages
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
For a family friendly Halloween classic that kids of all ages can enjoy, look no further than the Peanuts crew. This movie is a safe choice for kids of all ages, relying more on Halloween images than scares to keep the plot moving.
Halloween Movies That Are Rated G:
These family Halloween movies are funnier than they are scary, and are appropriate for kids who are 6 or 7 years old and up.
Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
More funny than scary, the only scene that might be frightening to young children in this claymation classic involves a rabbit becoming a Were-Rabbit that the townspeople then go after. Kids who are 7 years old should be fine, and use your discretion for your younger kiddos. You know them best!
What’s better than Halloween? Halloween with puppies! This movie aims for the spooky parts to be funny, and apart from some ominous music and dark scenes, most kids should be able to enjoy this family favorite with no trouble. They might start asking for a puppy after, however.
PG Halloween Classics That 7 or 8 Year Olds Can Enjoy
These timeless Halloween favorites are appropriate for ages 7 and older, but do contain material that might be scary for some children. Check the parent guides for these manageably scary classics to see if your children are ready to watch two films that have stood the test of time.
“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”
Wizards, witches, and a Halloween scene make October a great month to introduce your children to Harry Potter, though compared to the movies listed above it contains some imagery that might be scary for some kids. You can find more details in the parent’s guide. You know your kids best, so if you think they’re old enough to handle a fight with a troll, a face that appears on the back of someone’s head, and the age-old trope of killing the parents off, start the Harry Potter Halloween tradition in your family this year!
Love it or hate it, this cult favorite has become a Halloween staple. The movie is about witches who come back to life for one night, with potential scares for kids coming from jump scares and themes about sacrifice and the afterlife. With some adult themes lightly mixed in the plot throughout, this family movie is probably best saved for kids 8 and above. You can check the parent’s guide for more details. People tend to have a love/hate relationship with Hocus Pocus, so if you aren’t a fan, the same considerations apply to Beetlejuice!
PG Halloween Movies for Tweens and Teens
Amping up the scare factor and imagery a bit while remaining in the PG-rated category, these movies are great for teens and tweens. They aren’t horror movies, but they’re deliberately spookier than the Halloween movies above.
Based on a Roald Dahl children’s classic, the 2020 remake of The Witches is a family movie great for teens and tweens. It’s about a boy and his grandma’s encounter with a coven of witches with a nefarious plan to squish all the children. Even though it’s less scary than the 1990 movie version, it uses CGI that might be frightening to younger children. See the parent’s guide for details, and if you feel like your kids are ready for it, you can find the movie on HBO Max.
Here’s a Netflix option for older kids who want a taste of an actually scary movie without all the gore of adult horror movies. Rated TV-PG for language, violence, and scary elements, it contains scary imagery, evil forces, and intensely spooky music and settings, and is best reserved for older kids and tweens. Read more in the parent’s guide to decide if your kids are ready for Nightbooks.
PG-13 Halloween Flicks for Teens
Though rated PG-13, The Ring is genuinely creepy at times, though not gory like a slasher movie. The plot is about an urban legend, and a journalist’s question to beat the clock to save herself and her son when they find themselves caught in a race to beat the curse. Check the parent’s guide to see if your teens are ready for The Ring.
Bonus: Keep the Spirit of Halloween Alive Even After the 31st With These Classic Post-Halloween Family Movies
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Before arguing about whether or not Die Hard counts as a Christmas movie comes the inevitable discussion about The Nightmare Before Christmas. Let your kids in on the debate and keep the Halloween spirit alive just a little longer with this classic Disney movie that combines Christmas and Halloween into a holiday season classic! Though some scary images may be too much for very small children, most older kids will love this story about what happens when Halloween Town tries to put on Christmas for a change.
Want something to watch the day after Halloween? Treat the kids to a family movie (in the deepest sense of the word) with this Disney/Pixar hit! Coco is about Día de los Muertos, a traditional holiday in Mexico when families take time to gather to remember loved ones lost, and in so doing, keep them alive in our memories. Word to the wise: set aside some time to check in on your loved ones after watching.
Happy Halloween from HHER!
Want a snack while you watch? Check out “5 Halloween Candy Alternatives” on the Hospitality Health ER blog. For giveaways, updates, and COVID-19 tips, like us on Facebook and Instagram.