The 15 Best Movies To Watch With Family on Halloween, Ranked
Whether you're into witches, ghosts, or homicidal creatures, this list has got you covered.
These films are fun, slightly creepy, and absolutely essential for setting that All Hallows' Eve mood.
1. Hocus Pocus (1993)
Look, if you're talking Halloween movies, you gotta start with this gem. Three witch sisters—Winifred, Mary, and Sarah—are accidentally resurrected by a teenager named Max in Salem, Massachusetts. The witches plan to suck the life out of the town's children to stay young. Max, his sister Dani, and their friend Allison steal the witches' spellbook, thwarting them until sunrise turns them to dust. It's a perfect blend of humor and just the right amount of spook.
2. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
What's this? A Christmas movie on a Halloween list? Well, it's both! Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, stumbles upon Christmas Town and decides to take over Santa's duties. It's a disaster—kids get shrunken heads as gifts, and Santa is kidnapped. Realizing his mistake, Jack saves Santa and restores Christmas. It's Tim Burton magic with Danny Elfman tunes. What's not to love?
3. Beetlejuice (1988)
Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetle—wait, better not say it three times! A young couple, Adam and Barbara, die in a car accident and find themselves haunting their old house. A new family moves in, and they're unbearable. Adam and Barbara try to scare them away, but they're just not creepy enough. Enter Beetlejuice, a rogue "bio-exorcist" who causes chaos until he's tricked into revealing his true name and is banished. It's laugh-out-loud hilarious but also has those eerie, unsettling moments.
4. Coraline (2009)
Don't let the button eyes fool you; this ain't for the weak-hearted. Coraline, a young girl, finds a parallel universe where everyone has buttons instead of eyes. At first, it's awesome—her Other parents are super attentive. But when they want to sew buttons on her eyes, Coraline realizes she's in danger. With the help of a talking cat, she finds the eyes of other trapped kids and frees herself. This movie brings stop-motion and the chills together in a memorable way.
5. The Addams Family (1991)
Creepy and kooky, mysterious and spooky—yes, we're talking about the Addams Family. When long-lost Uncle Fester returns, Gomez and Morticia are thrilled. But "Fester" is an impostor, planning to swindle them out of their fortune. Wednesday and Pugsley are suspicious and discover the truth. In the end, the real Fester shows up, and the impostor is revealed to be a guy named Gordon who undergoes plastic surgery to revert to his actual look. It's got that morbid charm and wit down pat.
6. Casper (1995)
Enter Casper, the friendly ghost. He haunts Whipstaff Manor with his less-friendly uncles—Stretch, Stinkie, and Fatso. A paranormal therapist, Dr. Harvey, and his daughter, Kat, move in to communicate with the spirits. While Casper falls for Kat, Dr. Harvey has a run-in with the obnoxious uncles. In the end, Casper becomes a human briefly, thanks to a special machine, dances with Kat, and everyone lives happily ever after—well, as happy as one can be in a haunted mansion.
7. Monster House (2006)
Remember that one house on the block you'd avoid on Trick-or-Treat night? This is that house, but sentient. DJ, Chowder, and Jenny discover that Nebbercracker's house is alive and eating people (and toys). The house is actually possessed by the spirit of Nebbercracker's wife, Constance. To kill it, they feed it an explosive. The house blows up, releasing Constance's spirit, and the swallowed items return. A killer house literally stealing your Halloween candy—how much more Halloween can you get?
8. Paranorman (2012)
Norman can see and speak to ghosts, which makes him an outcast in his town, Blithe Hollow. But when a zombie uprising threatens the town on the anniversary of a witch's execution, it's up to Norman to save the day. He discovers the "witch" is actually a little girl named Aggie, who was also a medium like him. He calms her angry spirit, stopping the curse and making him a hero. Zombies, witches, and a twist? This is peak Halloween cinema.
9. Hotel Transylvania (2012)
Vampires, mummies, and werewolves, oh my! Dracula runs a high-end resort for monsters. All is going well until a human, Jonathan, stumbles in and falls for Dracula's daughter, Mavis. Dracula tries all sorts of tricks to get rid of him but eventually has a change of heart, accepting their love. It's a comedy, it's a love story, it's a monster mash-up—what's not to adore?
10. The Haunted Mansion (2003)
Ever been on the Disneyland ride? Now picture that with Eddie Murphy. Jim Evers, a realtor, takes his family to Gracey Manor to check out a potential listing. But the mansion's owner, Master Gracey, is a ghost wanting to reunite with his lost love, who he thinks is Jim's wife, Sara. Jim solves riddles and survives spectral shenanigans to save his family. It's equal parts silly and spooky, the quintessential Halloween balance.
11. Sleepy Hollow (1999)
This Tim Burton classic dives into the legend of the Headless Horseman. Johnny Depp's Ichabod Crane isn't a timid schoolteacher but a New York City investigator. He's sent to Sleepy Hollow to solve a string of decapitations. He discovers that the Horseman is controlled by Lady Van Tassel, who wants to wipe out the town's leadership to control their wealth. Crane defeats her, ending the Horseman's rampage. If you like your Halloween with a side of period costume drama, this is your jam.
12. The Witches (1990)
Based on the Roald Dahl book, this one's got a childhood nostalgia factor. Luke and his grandmother go on a vacation only to discover their hotel is hosting a witches' convention, led by the Grand High Witch. The witches turn Luke into a mouse, but that doesn't stop him. He manages to sneak into the conference and turn the witches into mice, getting squashed by the confused hotel staff. It's all kinds of creepy but in a kid-friendly way.
13. Trick 'r Treat (2007)
This one's an anthology flick that weaves multiple Halloween-night stories in a small town. We've got a high-school principal who's also a serial killer, a college virgin seeking the right man to give herself to (who turns out to be a werewolf), and a grumpy old man getting a visit from a demon known as Sam. It's a Halloween overload, and its multiple storylines make it perfect for those of us with the attention span of a goldfish.
14. The Craft (1996)
Teen angst and witchcraft—what could go wrong? Four high school girls form a coven, and it starts off great; they get revenge on bullies, make themselves beautiful, the whole nine yards. But power corrupts, and soon they're turning on each other. Sarah, the newbie, finally stands up to Nancy, the ringleader, stripping her of her powers. It's Mean Girls with a supernatural twist. So fetch, right?
15. Gremlins (1984)
Okay, so technically it's a Christmas movie, but come on—evil, chaos-causing creatures are totally on-brand for Halloween. Billy receives a pet Mogwai, Gizmo, with three strict rules. Of course, the rules are broken, spawning a bunch of mischievous gremlins. They wreak havoc on the town until Billy and Gizmo expose them to sunlight, killing them. It's a creature-feature that'll leave you questioning every cute, fuzzy thing you see.