Hi everyone! I hope you’re all having a fantastic start to the spooky season and are enjoying the first couple weeks of October. With Halloween quickly upon us, I’m sure you’ve been wanting, possibly even craving, some spooky content to perfectly match the holiday season and get you in the festive mood. I love October because for me, it kind of signals the start of all the upcoming holidays to look forward to. Unfortunately for me, while I’m a big fan of celebrating holidays (Christmas is my personal favourite) and I do love Halloween spirit, I am a massive scaredy cat. You may have put two and two together and realized Halloween isn’t really a great holiday for me, and even more so, scary movies are really not for me. But hey! That doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy some Halloween-themed movies – and if you get scared easily like me, that doesn’t mean you can’t either!
So for all you fellow scaredy cats, I’ve compiled a fun list of some of my go to Halloween favourites that are great watches AND won’t give you a heart attack. I’ve categorized my list into three tiers: easygoing and festive, tolerably spooky, and lastly, a “we’re potentially testing your limits here” kind of scary. Whatever it is that you’re looking for, I hope I got you covered and you find some good recommendations here today. Let’s just dive in! Please enjoy 😀
Halloween-Themed Content That is 100% Festive, 0% Scary
Look, scary content isn’t for everyone and let me tell you, I hear ya. So whether you’re just looking for something that feels perfectly Halloween-y but not scary or something easy you can watch on Halloween with your kids, here are a couple of fantastic options for you:
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)
Perfectly capturing the fall vibes, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is a wonderfully heartwarming classic. My favourite thing to watch for ANY holiday are the Charlie Brown specials and for Halloween we’ve been blessed with this adorable 25m short. Nothing spooky here, just precious, wholesome, festive fun. And really, what better way to celebrate Halloween than with the beloved Peanuts gang.
Scooby-Doo: The Movie (2002)
If you grew up watching the beloved television series like I did, then Scooby-Doo: The Movie might be a fun nostalgic watch for you this Halloween. Totally outrageous and dramatic, this movie is anything but scary. But still, it provides a cheeky mystery that will for sure be a treat for fans of the Mystery Inc. gang. While you can’t expect solid writing, CGI, or acting out of this one, its festive spirit and energetic tone makes it a great family friendly watch.
*If you’re more interested in watching an animated Scooby-Doo film, I highly recommend Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island (1998)!
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
If there’s any director in Hollywood that screams “Halloween”, it’s got to be Tim Burton. But here’s the real question: is The Nightmare Before Christmas a Halloween or Christmas movie?! Why not make it both. This delightful stop-motion animated musical is an absolute classic that provides the perfect amount of mystical wonder that embodies the Halloween spirit. This one’s seriously such a fun watch, making it one of my go to watches for Halloween (or Christmas!) every year.
Warm Bodies (2013)
Feel like watching a good ol’ rom com that fits the Halloween spirit? How about a forbidden love story between a zombie and a human? Yeah it’s weird, but trust me, Warm Bodies works. Funny, sweet, and filled with zombies, this is a good choice if you’re wanting some lively Halloween fun mixed with a bit of romance. Did I mention that there’s a lot of zombies in this one?
Halloween Worthy Watches with a Tolerable Level of Spookiness
Alright guys, let’s take it up a notch. If you’re looking for something that might be a bit more dark and spooky, then this section is for you. Don’t worry though! Everything listed here is still completely tolerable and won’t, I mean, probably won’t, give you any nightmares (no promises though).
Corpse Bride (2005)
Now did I not say earlier that Tim Burton is the embodiment of Halloween? While Corpse Bride isn’t necessarily scary by any means, its darker themes and spooky atmosphere definitely make it a bit creepy. There’s a bit of an unsettling vibe stirring about here that feels very Tim Burton-esque. But visually, the stunning stop-motion animation in this one certainly fits the Halloween theme and makes it a very charming and mildly spooky watch to enjoy.
Monster House (2006)
Although this animated film may appear like it’s targeted for children, don’t be fooled because it’s actually a lot scarier than it seems. I remember as a child watching Monster House on YTV and honestly being scared of certain montages in the movie. While it’s perfectly tolerable overall in the scary department, the combination of its darker ideas and creepy tone make it a great movie to watch around Halloween.
Stranger Things (2016 – present)
Chances are if you haven’t been living under a rock, you’ve heard of this hit Netflix show, Stranger Things. I know, I know, this one’s not a movie, but it’s too good to leave out! While there are currently four seasons out (with the fourth season arguably being the scariest), my personal favourite is still season one. Perfectly chilling with the right amount of creepiness, I think this show is a great one to binge for the Halloween season. Maybe it’s time to pay Hawkins another visit?
*Warning: there are a couple of violent and graphic scenes throughout this show to be wary of (but nothing a good blanket to hide behind can’t help with!)
As one of my all time favourite Halloween movies ever, Coraline is the movie you’re looking for if you want something that is genuinely creepy and disturbing, but still watchable if you’re a scaredy cat (no need to cover your eyes for this one!). Everything from the visuals to the atmosphere to the music feels kind of chilling. Although Coraline is also a stop-motion animated film, trust me when I say this one’s just as much for adults as it is for children (in fact, it might be too scary for children). If you’re curious about this one, I’ve recently written a full review for Coraline which you can read here.
Werewolf by Night (2022)
Marvel Studio’s newest special presentation, Werewolf by Night, is a surprisingly entertaining watch that definitely has the right setting and vibe for Halloween. With a kind of eerie atmosphere and cool vintage flair, this special is very unique from what you might expect out of Marvel. Also with this being a relatively short watch, it’s a nice and quick one that you can easily enjoy any night of the week.
*Warning: there are some pretty violent and bloody fight sequences in this special that might not be suitable for you if you’re scared of graphic violence. However, it is pretty obvious when it’s about to get violent so you’ll be okay as long as you cover your eyes during those scenes 🙂
Genuinely Spooky Movies To Test Your Limit
Still haven’t found the level of scary you’re looking for? For all you adventurous scaredy cats who want to jump out of your comfort zone, these picks are ones that will surely up the ante (if you don’t think these are scary at all, don’t judge us scaredy cats!). While I of course won’t be placing any serious horror films that will surely keep you spooked for months, the ones on this list are certainly more scary and graphic than what I’ve already listed above. So tell me, are you up for the challenge?
Sleepy Hollow (1999)
Who wouldn’t love to watch a young, kind of gothic Johnny Depp in action? What Sleepy Hollow really excels at is creating a very creepy atmospheric vibe that stays with you throughout the entirety of the movie. If you’re wanting something that feels suspenseful and tense, this is a great one to check out. With a spooky supernatural mystery at its core, not only will you find the plot engaging and interesting, you’ll be wanting to uncover the mystery yourself.
*Warning: there are definitely some more violent and graphic images in this movie so please watch at your own discretion!
The Sixth Sense (1999)
Okay, this one might be a bit of a stretch for some of you, but let me just say that if I managed to watch this one back in high school, I think you’ll be okay too. As the ultimate, bonafide horror classic (some people call it more of a thriller), I feel like it’d be disrespectful to not put The Sixth Sense on this list. While it’s definitely a scary one to watch (hey, you might want to bring a blanket for this one), the plot is so engaging and thrilling it’s probably worth a watch once in your life. What’s nice is this horror film doesn’t rely on gory or horrifying shots to make you feel scared, it’s all in the plot. So for all you daring scaredy cats, it’s up to you if you want to take this challenge.
*Warning: yes, there are a couple of jump scares in this one and some disturbing/creepy scenes that might scare you. Here’s some friendly advice – this one’s honestly spooky so turn on the lights if you need, grab a couple friends and your favourite pillow, load up on some snacks, and you’ll be good to go 🙂
I really hope you enjoyed reading this fun movie guide! Please remember that this was written for scaredy cats like me in mind and that for many of you, you might not find these movies that scary at all. 🙂 So, what do you think of my list? And more importantly, what are some of your own Halloween favourites (scaredy cat friendly or not!). If there’s anything you think I missed here or if there’s a Halloween movie you think I might enjoy, please share it in the comments below! Always love hearing suggestions from you guys 😀
Love this list, Cathy. We already discussed my not seeing Coraline yet…hopefully that will rectify itself soon. The other one I haven’t seen on this list is Monster House. Enjoyed your advice on preparing for a watch of The Sixth Sense. I think before the next and final season, a rewatch of Stranger Things from the very beginning is something I should plan on. This time of year, I always give the original Halloween and the first two sequels a watch. It’s an October tradition…admittedly a little too “aggressive” to make this list!
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Hi Bruce, thanks for checking out my guide! Can’t wait for you to see Coraline and Monster House is a surprisingly great watch too that is seriously a lot darker than you may think. Definitely a worthy Halloween watch!
I’m also planning on a big Stranger Things rewatch before the finale. It’ll for sure take some time so thanks for reminding me that I should plan that soon too 😄
The Halloween movies I know are definitely some classics but yes, a little too violent for my taste. Funnily enough I did “watch” (hid behind some blankets) the last Halloween film with friends that came out before Halloween Ends (2022). 😂
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Halloween Kills was actually too gruesome (and stupid) for my taste, and really did the franchise a disservice IMHO. I would have hid behind a blanket if I had one at the theatre simply because it was so bad. If you haven’t ever seen the original 1978 John Carpenter Halloween film, I highly recommend it.🎃
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Thankfully my friends and I were watching that one at home so I had plenty of blankets and pillows handy. Will probably need some to check out the original Halloween film too, but I know it’s a beloved classic so I’m sure I’ll check it out at some point 🙂 Thanks for the recommendation 😀
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Great list! You could probably include any of the direct-to-video animated Scooby-Doo films on the first list as well.
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