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Top 10 Halloween Movies for Kids

With the countdown to Halloween in full swing, your kids are probably starting to get excited for this fun holiday. As they are waiting in anticipation for Halloween night to arrive, watching some scary movies can help to get into the spirit with your little ones.

Most scary movies are going to be too much for young viewers, but this is a selection of movies that we watch with our 6-year-old, so they aren’t too much for the little ones. They are a little bit scary, a little bit fun, and totally kid centered.

10. ParaNorman (2012)

The movie ParaNorman is about a young boy who can see ghosts. This leads to all sorts of problems in his daily life, but leads him to become an unlikely hero on a night when ghosts are returning from the dead and causing mayhem for the townspeople. The story leads to the realization that sometimes darkness doesn’t come from where we think.

According to IMDB,

In the town of Blithe Hollow, Norman Babcock is a boy who can speak to the dead, but no one besides his eccentric new friend, Neil, believes his ability is real. One day, Norman’s estranged eccentric uncle tells him of an important annual ritual he must take up to protect the town from a curse cast by a witch it condemned centuries ago. Eventually, Norman decides to cooperate, but things don’t go according to plan. Now, a magic storm of the witch threatens Blithe Hollow as the accursed dead rise. Together with unexpected new companions, Norman struggles to save his town, only to discover the horrific truth of the curse. With that insight, Norman must resolve the crisis for good as only he can.

9. Monster Island (2017)

Monster Island is one of my daughter’s favorite monster movies. It is the story of a young boy who turns 13 and discovers that he is really a monster, after undergoing his first transformation. This is a unique story that is all about family, and embracing what it means to be a monster.

8. Coco (2017)

Not your classic Halloween story, the movie Coco explores Mexican culture with this interesting glimpse into the Day of the Dead. Although it is filled with ghosts at every turn, they aren’t seen as being scary, instead they are treasured family. Everyone is trying to reconnect through this holiday that reveres ancestry.

According to IMDB,

Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz. Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector, and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.

7. Goosebumps (2015)

Based on the best-selling book series by R.L. Stine, the movie Goosebumps shows what happens when scary stories accidentally come to life. This is a great scary movie that is fun for the whole family, with a bit of levity brought to the film by Jack Black.

According to IMDB,

After moving to a new small town, teenage Zach Cooper (Dylan Minnette) meets the beautiful girl next door, Hannah (Odeya Rush). But every silver lining has a cloud, and Zach’s comes when he learns that Hannah has a mysterious dad who is revealed to be R.L. Stine (Jack Black), the author of the bestselling “Goosebumps” series. There is a reason why Stine is so strange: he is a prisoner of his own imagination, the monsters that his books made famous are real, and Stine protects his readers by keeping them locked up in their books. Zach unintentionally unleashes the monsters from their manuscripts and they begin to terrorize the town. It’s up to Stine, Zach, Hannah, and Zach’s friend Champ (Ryan Lee) to put all the monsters back in their books.

6. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)

This is a Halloween favorite that has stood the test of time, and you may have even watched this yourself as a child. Here, the values of friendship are mingled with Halloween fun as the whole Charlie Brown gang celebrates together.

According to IMDB,

Charlie Brown is excited to be invited to Violet’s Halloween party — his first-ever party. Before the party, the Peanuts gang plans to go trick-or-treating; meanwhile, Snoopy, dressed as the WWI flying ace, takes his Halloween persona to extremes. Linus won’t be joining them for trick-or-treating or the party: he will be waiting in the local pumpkin patch for the arrival of the Great Pumpkin. Linus believes that the Great Pumpkin rises out of the most sincere pumpkin patch — one more sincere than his own local one — flies into the air, and delivers presents to all the boys and girls around the world. Because of his belief, Linus is the laughingstock among his friends. Sally is torn between going trick-or-treating for the first time and attending Violet’s sure-fire fun Halloween party, or following her love Linus and waiting for the Great Pumpkin’s arrival with him.

5. A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting (2020)

This is a new addition to our list of Halloween favorites, which features a young girl that gets a babysitting job on Halloween night, only to get her charge stolen by monsters. The movie blends the daily problems of a tween girl with a scary fantasy world that she must contend with.

4. Monster House (2006)

Have you ever heard that saying, “If walls could talk?” Well, what if a house could come to life? That is what happens in this terrifying Halloween favorite. My daughter loves this movie and watches it again and again. This is a great scary movie for kids — a little scary but a little funny too.

According to IMDB,

13-year-old DJ is observing his neighbor Nebbercracker on the other side of the street in the suburb that destroys tricycles of children that trespass his lawn. When DJ’s parents travel on the eve of Halloween and the abusive babysitter Zee stays with him, he calls his clumsy best friend Chowder to play basketball. But when the ball falls in Nebbercracker’s lawn, the old man has a heart attack, and soon they find that the house is a monster. Later the boys rescue the smart Jenny from the house and the trio unsuccessfully tries to convince the babysitter, her boyfriend Bones and two police officers that the haunted house is a monster, but nobody believes them. The teenagers ask their video-game addicted acquaintance Skull how to destroy the house, and they disclose its secret on the Halloween night.

3. Hocus Pocus (1993)

This Halloween classic tells the story of the Sanderson Sisters, historical witches returning to life in a new century on Halloween night. They only get to stay for one night, unless they complete a spell that allows them to live forever. This is a fun movie with kid hero’s that are trying to save Halloween while their parents remain unaware of the hijinx.

According to IMDB,

300 years have passed since the Sanderson sisters were executed for practicing dark witchcraft. Returning to life thanks to a combination of a spell spoken before their demise and the accidental actions of Max, the new-kid-in-town, the sisters have but one night to secure their continuing existence…

2. Hotel Transylvania (2012)

This is a great monster movie for kids, because it takes a new perspective on what life is like for a monster. It flips the script and shows how monsters are actually afraid of humans, and just want the freedom to exist somewhere safe. With this in mind, Count Dracula creates a hotel for monsters to go on vacation.

According to IMDB,

In 1895, Dracula builds a resort in Transylvania, hidden from the humans, to raise his beloved daughter Mavis in a safe environment. In the present, the place is the Hotel Transylvania, where monsters bring their families to vacation far from the frightening humans. Dracula invites his friends — Frankenstein and his wife Eunice; Wayne and Wanda, the werewolves; Griffin, the invisible man; Murray, the mummy; Bigfoot, among others — to celebrate the 118th birthday of Mavis. When the party is ready to start, the 21-year-old Jonathan is walking through the forest and stumbles upon the hotel. Dracula sees Jonathan and disguises him as a monster to hide Jonathan from the guests. But Mavis also sees Jonathan and Dracula forces him to pose as a monster. Soon Mavis believes that Jonathan is the “zing” of her life despite the advice of her father about humans.

1. Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

From the great characters to the catchy tunes, the Nightmare Before Christmas is hands down the best Halloween movie for kids. This classic from Tim Burton tells the story of how all the Halloween characters try to take over Christmas and puts a terrifying spin on a holiday they don’t really understand.

According to IMDB,

Jack Skellington, the pumpkin king of Halloween Town, is bored with doing the same thing every year for Halloween. One day he stumbles into Christmas Town, and is so taken with the idea of Christmas that he tries to get the resident bats, ghouls, and goblins of Halloween Town to help him put on Christmas instead of Halloween — but alas, they can’t get it quite right.

Bonus: Jillian & Addie — Stalked by Pumpkins (YouTube)

If your kids like scary movies, they will love this web series by two sisters, Jillian and Addie. They are YouTube stars famous for making all sorts of scary videos based on legends and pop culture. In this series, they are being stalked by evil pumpkins. If your kids like this video, they are sure to love Jillian and Addie’s other videos, just like my daughter does!


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