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Movies to watch with your kids for an amazing Halloween

Do your kids love Halloween but you live in a non-Trick-or-treating country? Are you on nanny duty this Halloween night? Perhaps you just want to switch it up a little and reconnect with you inner child instead of watching your usual horror films? If any of these is you case, this post is for you. In it, you will find the best choices of Halloween movies based on your kid’s (or inner kid’s) personality and tastes.

Staying inside on Halloween night, especially if your company are kids on a sugar high from all the candy of the festivities, is tricky (no pun intended). So, to make your life a little easier, this post will show you the best Halloween films that you can watch with children. They will be accompanied by a small analysis on why each film has been chosen, some mood ideas for it, and what type of children will enjoy it the most, as well as a mention about how you, as an adult, will most likely feel about it. Hopefully, this will help you make the most of your Halloween night!

Addams Family (1991)

This quirky classic is fun for both kids and adults. If your kid is really into Halloween but gets scared easily, this is the best movie for them. It’s original and full of jokes directed to kids as well as adult audiences.

While the whole atmosphere of the film is gothic and Halloweeny, there are no jumpscares or specially terrifying situations. If your young audience is not too into horror, easily scared, or very young, this might be the perfect choice. In addition to being super fun, it will teach them to not judge people on their appearances as well as how fun being different can be. These values are often taken for granted instead of taught. They are important lessons to learn at a young age, where being different can be very hard.

As for the recommended experience for this movie, it is, of course, to watch it along with its sequel. Further details about this will be found in said film’s commentary below.

Addams Family Values (1993)

This is the second instalment of the Addams’ adventures. While it is a bit less Halloweeny than the previous one, it is just as heartwarming and hilarious. It goes past the message of being unapologetically strange to that of being proud of your uniqueness.

Much like the first instalment, it is great for kids who don’t like scary movies or are too young for them. It will be great fun for them and for you too.

You can make the experience even more fun and interactive with some black and white decorations or even dressing up as the characters! You can prepare some Halloween themed food. There are loads of simple recipes online that you can get done in minutes and any of them will fit the film perfectly. One of my personal favourites is themed pizzas. Just get some store-bought pizza dough and ask your kids what silhouette they want. After you carve it, they can decorate them themselves and have a blast!

Hocus Pocus (1993)

Personally, I don’t see the appeal of this film. However, it has been considered a cult Halloween movie, so it must have something that I’m not getting. I was incredibly bored when I watched it as a little girl and the same happened as an adult. Therefore, I can’t recommend it for a night of fun.

Why is it featured in this list then? Because this might just be your perfect choice if you want the kids to go to sleep soon. The cosiness of the 90s films along with the warm colour palette and the lack of intensity will put the children to sleep without them even noticing and you’ll finally get your well-deserved rest.

If you want to aid their sleep even further, a bit of edible colouring on warm milk with a bit of honey or maple syrup will do the trick. Just make sure to pick a potion-looking colour they will like!

In case you just want to play this film because you liked it a lot and want some advice on creating a whole vibe, aside from the obvious with costumes, you’ll find more ideas in the sequel’s commentary below.

Scooby-Doo (2002)

It’s one of the best live action adaptations of the legendary TV show Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!. If you used to watch the show as a kid, you’ll be giving yourself a very nice walk through memory lane while keeping the kids entertained for about an hour and a half.

This film is for everyone. It has plenty of jokes for adults and it’s packed with shenanigans that the children will love. Besides, in true Scooby-Doo fashion, it is super saturated with bright colours and lots of action, which will keep your kids hypnotised for the whole duration of the film.

You can find advice on how to prepare a nice Scooby-Doo marathon below, in the commentary of its sequel.

The Haunted Mansion (2003)

This film relies a lot on nostalgia. If you didn’t watch it when it came out, you might like the new version better. It is not good for kids that scare easily since some of the characters are quite unnerving. However, it is not a specially scary film either, so small children can watch it too. Its focus is on a love story, so if your kids like those they might like it a lot. If they are in their “love is icky” phase, go with the newer version, it’s way more focused on friendship.

Another option would be to watch both versions (maybe even along with the muppet’s special, also mentioned in this list). Decorate the room with some of those paintings that change as you move. Add some ghost themed food and decorations, and some candles for a final touch. Remember to always keep them out of the kids’ reach though, or get some led candles for maximum safety.

Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004)

Much like the first instalment, it’s good for kids and nostalgic adults. True to the Scooby saga, it has got lots of bright colours, random monsters, jokes and throwbacks.

A Scooby-Doo marathon is a great idea for kids who are in their monster-loving phase or who just want to have a spooky laugh instead of being terrified for Halloween. Needless to say, this marathon should feature Scooby snacks, burgers, hotdogs, icecream, cookies and other yummy food your kids love. After all, what’s Scooby without food?

For an extra kick to the experience, you can decorate the walls with orange flowers and blue and green decorations to give the whole room a Mystery Machine vibe.

The Corpse Bride (2005)

If your kids like love stories, this is the best choice. You won’t get a better spooky romance for children anywhere. It has got great songs, some dark humour that adults will enjoy, and a beautiful story that will soothe your kids and keep them enthralled. It is a little heartbreaking though, so if your kids are very sensitive or don’t like bittersweet endings, this might not be the film for them.

As for marathon ideas, any Tim Burton animation can be added, and so can any of the animations mentioned in this list. Personally, I am not a big fan of mixing animation and live action in movie marathons. Nevertheless, Haunted Mansion (2023) might be a good idea, especially if you want to get that bittersweet taste out.

About decorations and food, you can’t go wrong with ghosts, worms, skulls, skeletons and bones in general.

Monster House (2006)

If your kids are just discovering the delights of horror, Monster House is the perfect Halloween movie. If this is their first encounter with horror, make sure to not be in complete darkness, it can get intense. Lastly, if they are specially easily distracted, other choices would be better since this one has some slow-paced moments that may lose them completely.

About your experience as an adult, you might enjoy. It is entertaining, but don’t expect your mind to be blown. It won’t be.

As for how to create a marathon with this film, you can show it after a milder film like The Corpse Bride before, and before one even spookier like Coraline. This way, you’ll slowly raise the level of spookiness and you can evaluate how your kids react to assess whether to turn up the chills or not.

Coraline (2009)

Although it is rated PG, I’d say wait until they are around 12-13 to show them this film. Unless they are the type of kids who love bugs and creepy stuff on an extreme level, they won’t enjoy it. This film is probably the scariest in this list, so only true mini horror fans will enjoy it. Coraline gets really creepy even for adults. If your kid gets scared easily, do not, I repeat, DO NOT show them this film. Otherwise, you’ll probably have to let them sleep in your bed for a long while.

If you think your kid will enjoy this, pairing it with some gummy worms and eyes and other icky themed candy might be your best bet to make an extra special cinema session.

Paranorman (2012)

Super fun to watch as a kid and as an adult. Yes, there are zombies and witches, but it’s too scary, perfect for children. Like most witch films for children, this story teaches the importance of not paying attention to appearances and of acceptance. It’s quite a dark film however, so you should watch it in the dark if possible. Paranorman is 100% Halloweeny and it fits with any other film from the list to make a marathon. It also pairs well with films like Frankenweenie (2012) and Nightmare Before Christmas (1993).

The main themes for food and decorations should be zombies and witches. Check out some cementery cake or brownie recipes! They are super easy to make and fun to eat. Make some colourful “potions” to drink, get some decorations and you are all set!

Muppets Haunted Mansion (2021)

Definitely the best for children up to 12 and, as expected from the Muppets, also fun for adults. It’s a simplified version of Haunted Mansion (2023). Easier to follow for smaller children and way less scary. Some red juice, candy and chocolate will complete the experience.

Hocus Pocus 2 (2022)

The story has been adapted to the present times in a beautiful way. It has way more adventure and pzazz than the first one. Great story about friendship and sisterhood that is enjoyable for kids and not too bad for adults. Although I’d like to say that it is for all kids, being realistic I have to say that girls are more likely to enjoy it better since it has a very defined female perspective. However, if you are spending time with boys, this film is a great way to show them an example of female empowerment and representation while also keeping it fun.

If you are wondering this, no, you don’t need to watch the first one to understand the sequel since the relevant facts are explained before expanding on the story. You could watch it if you want to make a thematic night of Hocus Pocus. You could make some witchy decorations together, get dressed up and have some witch-themed snacks and colourful drinks with some edible glitter on them for an extra magical beverage!

Haunted Mansion (2023)

As mentioned before, this film explores friendship. It also explores grief in a very direct way, which is a very interesting subject to present to children. Getting used to the idea of mortality is not the easiest of things to do as a kid and Haunted Mansion surrounds it by a very light-hearted environment. This makes the whole thing a lot easier to process for children.

In addition to this, it has very bright saturated colours that will keep your kids glue to the screen for the whole duration of the movie. Also, don’t worry about ages with this film, it is fun for kids and adults all the same.

As for a marathon, check out the comments in The Haunted Mansion (2003) and Muppets Haunted Mansion (2021) and choose your favourite picks!

What’s your take? Do you have a child-friendly Halloween favourite? Don’t hesitate to let me know your opinion on them in the comments section below or leave a message in my contact page! For film reviews and cinema-related articles check out the rest of my blog! 😀

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