Halloween films for the whole family

kids watching halloween films

Whether you're looking to spook your children or scare yourself, there's a classic Halloween film out there for everyone – and we've rounded up the best of the best. So choose your chilling flick and get curled up on the sofa with your family (or hide behind it, whatever works). And don't forget some spooky snacks to accompany your movie night.

Family-friendly frights

Children love to watch scary films, but probably best not to scar them for life. Here are some not too frightening Mumsnet favourites.

addams family

The Addams Family (1991, PG) Creepy enough to be scary, but kooky enough not to give the DC nightmares

Casper (1995, PG) If only all ghosts were as friendly as Casper

Coraline (2009, PG) Those things with the button eyes!

Corpse Bride (2005, PG) Tim Burton can always be relied upon for something good and gothic

Frankenweenie (2012, PG) “Took my 13 and 14-year-olds to see this last Halloween. They both wept uncontrollably, as did I.” Shockers

hocus pocus

Hocus Pocus (1993, PG) “Hocus Pocus wins hands down. It's the only good thing about Halloween.” EatShitDerek

Hotel Transylvania (2012, U) Count Dracula runs a hotel for monsters and, to be honest, it all goes pretty well until a clumsy human literally stumbles across it

Paranorman (2012, PG) When his town is overtaken by zombies, schoolboy Norman is the only one who can help

Scooby Doo (2002, PG) The Mystery Inc gang come to life. Zoinks!

Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005, U) Our favourite plasticine pals get spooked by a mysterious monster

Comedy spooks

Let's face it, Halloween is fun – but it's generally nicer to cry with laughter than with fear when watching a spooky film. Here are some more light-hearted suggestions, suitable to watch with children of different ages. Do check the certificate first though, as they're not all suitable for the younger little'uns.

Beetlejuice (1988, 15) Tim Burton's ghoulish haunted house film is a cult classic

Evil Dead II (1987, 15) A satirical follow-up to the much scarier original


Ghostbusters (1984, 12A) Who you gonna call?

Gremlins (1984, 12A) Don't feed them after midnight! “I found Gremlins scary as a child, but my friend's four-year-old loves it.” yellowsnownoteatwillyou

Little Shop of Horrors (1986, PG) Camp horror with catchy tunes, what's not to love?

Scary Movie (2000, 18) The first film in this ridiculous parody series was actually quite funny

Shaun of the Dead (2004, 15) A rom-com with zombies, this film really does have it all

rocky horror picture show

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975, 12A) Let's do the time warp again. Creepy and camp in equal measure, and maybe one for older children.

Young Frankenstein (1974, PG) This old school black and white flick will still make you LOL

Zombieland (2009, 15) Worth watching for the Bill Murray cameo alone

Really bloody scary

Once the children have gone to bed, maybe you fancy scaring the living daylights out of yourself? We would recommend Rosemary's Baby, but if you're pregnant that may not be the best idea. Instead, let us gently nudge you in the direction of these pant-wetters…

halloween film the exorcist

The Exorcist (1973, 18) We don't really need to introduce this one, do we?

Halloween (1978, 18) An obvious, but appropriate, choice

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984, 18) If you're struggling to sleep at night, Freddy Krueger won't help – just sayin'

Paranormal Activity (2009, 15) You'll never pick up a camcorder again. Mainly because it's not the '90s, but still.

Psycho (1960, 15) An old school classic, it'll have you looking over your shoulder in the shower

The Ring (2002, 15) Good thing nobody watches VHS cassettes anymore

Saw (2004, 18) Before the ridiculous sequels, there was the shocking original in all its gory glory

halloween film the shining

The Shining (1980, 15) Heeeeeeere's Johnny! Need we say more?

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974, 18) So scary, the original uncut version was banned in the UK until 1999

The Thing (1982, 18) Is one of your friends actually a parasitic alien lifeform? Not to be confused with a simple CF.