Best Kids Films For Halloween

Fall is upon us, and that brings the changing of the leaves, apple cider, and of course, scary movies. Seeing scary movies when you’re a little kid is the best. Really wanting to see what all the bigger kids are seeing but also being scared of what you just saw. It’s a magical time to be alive. With Hocus Pocus 2 about to hit Disney+, now is a great time to run down the best kid’s films for Halloween. These are guaranteed to frighten your little ones but not leave you unable to sleep after they crawl into your bed at night.

Best Kids Movies For Halloween

H​onorable Mention: The Monster Squad (1987)

W​hile this film was a mainstay of my childhood, if you look at it today, some of the language hasn’t aged very well. I still love this film as I can look past its flaws and remember the absolute glee I would get watching it over and over again. Plus, there is a scene of a child using a shotgun, which can be a little much in today’s climate. I would say it’s up to the parents on this one, but be warned.

A​ group of kids has a club called The Monster Squad, where they talk about monster movies and decide who could beat who. It’s a lot of fun until some very famous and very real monsters show up in their town. Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, The Mummy, and The Gill Man arrive searching for an amulet, and they won’t let anyone stand in their way of getting it. No one believes the kids, so they have to take on the monsters themselves. Think The Goonies meets the classic Universal Monsters.

Best Kids Movies For Halloween

E​rnest Scared Stupid (1991)

A​nother classic Halloween film for kids. The lovable oaf Earnest finds himself in the middle of a curse that transforms kids into dolls. He accidentally lets loose a troll that wreaks havoc upon his town. He has to find a way to imprison the troll once again and release the children from the horrible spell. Ernest is funny in his usual slapsticky way, and the creature designs by the Chiodo Brothers look fantastic. It’s fun to go back and see their great practical effects work from this time.

Best Kids Movies For Halloween

C​oraline (2009)

N​eil Gaiman teams with Henry Selick to bring to life this creepy story of a young girl who finds a way to cross over to another world that is closely similar to ours but finds that things are a little . . . off. She feels neglected by her own family, but their doppelgangers in the other world have buttons for eyes and can’t stop expressing their love for her. When offered a chance to stay in their world, she refuses. She quickly finds that the inhabitants will not take no for an answer. It’s a great creepy film that both kids and parents can enjoy.

Best Kids Movies For Halloween

L​ittle Monsters (1989)

F​red Savage might be canceled nowadays, but when he was a child star, he made this fun film with Howie Mandel. Savage plays Brian, who finds that monsters are real but, for the most part, harmless. They enjoy a few good scares but enjoy having a good time. When things at home get tough to take, he climbs into the portal under his bed and hangs with his new monster friend Maurice. They get into all sorts of adventures until Brian discovers that the longer he hangs out in the monster’s world, the more he starts to become one. It’s a fun, family movie with lots of funny monsters but very few actual scares.

Best Kids Movies For Halloween

P​araNorman (2012)

N​orman is a kid that loves horror films. He also has a special gift that lets him see the dead. He is told of an ancient curse on his town of Blithe Hollow. In order to keep his town safe, he must perform a ritual that only his recently deceased uncle used to know. Things obviously don’t go well. The voice cast is fantastic, with John Goodman, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Anna Kendrick, Leslie Mann, Casey Affleck, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse lending their talents to the film. This comes from the same animation studio as Coraline and looks beautiful as you would expect.

Best Kids Movies For Halloween

G​oosebumps (2015)

J​ack Black stars in this fun film as R.L. Stine. The famous author of all the Goosebumps books. When a kid named Zach moves to town, he befriends Stine’s daughter Hannah. He quickly learns that, in reality Stine’s monsters are real, and he keeps them trapped in his books. Zach lets them out by accident, and now they all have to go across town to trap them back into their books. If you’re a fan of the Goosebumps series of books or the 90s TV series, then you’ll see a lot of familiar monsters throughout the film. It’s a lot of fun and a great watch. One of the best kids films to watch for Halloween.

Best Kids Movies For Halloween

M​onster House (2006)

T​hree kids learn that the house that belongs to the mean old man that lives on their street is actually a giant living monster that likes to eat kids. They have to find a way to destroy the house to protect kids everywhere. This fun movie is written by Dan Harmon of Rick & Morty fame and has another great cast list. Steve Buscemi, Catherine O’Hara, Fred Willard, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jon Heder, Jason Lee, and Kevin James all voice the characters in this fun film.

Best Kids Movies For Halloween

Nightbooks (2021)

A​ young boy that is obsessed with horror stories finds himself trapped by a witch. To keep her from killing him, he offers to tell her a new scary story every night. When he finds another girl trapped there as well, he begins to formulate a plan to escape the witch’s house which won’t let them leave. Krysten Ritter stars as the witch and does a great job of scaring the children in this film without traumatizing the viewer. Sort of an updated version of the Arabian Tales story.

Best Kids Movies For Halloween

F​rankenweenie (2012)

Victor’s dog dies unexpectedly, and he turns to science to reanimate the pup. After the dog comes back to life, his friends and neighbors are terrified. The boy has to convince everyone that his dog is the same lovable companion they have always known. This animated film, directed by Tim Burton, was based on a live-action short film that he made back in 1984 starring Shelly Duvall and Daniel Stern.

Best Kids Movies For Halloween

T​he House With A Clock In Its Walls (2018)

E​li Roth is mainly known as the splatter horror director for such films as Cabin Fever and Hostel, but he directed this children’s movie starring Jack Black and Cate Blanchett. After being orphaned, a young boy moves in with his uncle. He quickly learns that his uncle is a warlock and has been trying to find a clock constructed by an evil wizard. The clock was put in the house’s walls, and if it reaches the end of its countdown, then the world will end. This is a lot of fun and a surprising entry from Roth.

Best Kids Movies For Halloween

T​he Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

A​nother one from the mind of Tim Burton. We meet the residents of Halloween Town as their king Jack Skellington begins to tire of all the Halloween cheer every day. While walking in the woods, he stumbles upon a Christmas tree-shaped door. Once he enters, he finds Christmas Town. Intrigued by the new world he has stumbled upon, Jack decides to bring the Christmas spirit to Halloween Town in the only way he knows how.

A great cross-over film as the Halloween season winds down and we begin to look towards Christmas. The spooky elements are quintessential Tim Burton, but the Christmas heart of the film makes you remember what the holiday season is all about. A must-watch every year between seasons.

What kid’s films do you watch on Halloween? Let us know in the comments.

Source: JoBlo

About the Author

Bryan Wolford is a feature writer for JoBlo, and also writes scripts for both JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals, including a multi-part retrospective on the Highlander franchise. When not writing for the site, he’s an avid podcaster.