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Plan Your October Family Movie Night: The Best Scary Movies for Kids

Plan Your October Family Movie Night: The Best Scary Movies for Kids

Do you want to plan a fun family movie night to celebrate the Halloween season? 

Nothing is more fitting than watching a scary movie and getting into the spirit. The good news is that there are plenty of great options for the whole family to enjoy, even the little ones! 

Continue reading to learn more about the perfect scary movies for kids. 

1. The Nightmare Before Christmas 

The 1993 classic is one of the few films that focuses on two holidays. The Nightmare Before Christmas is as much of a Christmas movie as it is a Halloween movie.

While Christmas is a key part of its storyline, the film is a must-watch in October. A majority of the film takes place in Halloween Town and there are mild scary elements throughout the movie. 

Produced by Tim Burton, The Nightmare Before Christmas is weird, fun, spooky, and goofy all at the same time. Its main cast of characters such as Jack Skellington have become iconic Disney characters in their own right. 

Danny Elfman’s legendary performance as the singing voice of Jack is eery, yet elegant at the same time. This movie has been entertaining children and adults alike for nearly 30 years, and no Halloween family movie list would be complete without The Nightmare Before Christmas.

2. Frankenweenie

The brainchild of famed director Tim Burton, Frankenweenie is a modern, more family-focused adaptation of the classic Frankenstein story. In the film, a brilliant young boy brings his beloved dog back to life after the dog passes away.

The film follows the tradition of The Nightmare Before Christmas with stop-motion animation. To intensify the spookiness of the film, it is completely in black and white. Frankenweenie is perfect for kids of all ages, as it is not too scary but definitely stays true to the Halloween spirit. 

3. Monster House

Monster House is an animated masterpiece from the mid-2000s that is perfect for the Halloween season. Though it was initially released in the summertime, this movie feels very much at home in October. 

Taking place in the 1980s during Halloween, the film follows a group of kids as they explore a haunted house in their neighborhood. Weird things have been happening and the kids believe the house is to blame. 

Produced by ImageMovers and Amblin Entertainment, Monster House was created using similar motion-capture technologies as The Polar Express. This gives the movie an eery sense of realism in the animation. 

4. Hocus Pocus

One of the most famous Halloween movies of all time is another Disney classic from the 1990s. This is none other than Hocus Pocus. Watching this movie is more fitting this year than ever since The Walt Disney Company just released its anticipated sequel, Hocus Pocus 2 on Disney+. 

Starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy, the movie follows a young boy as he wakes up three witches that were killed in the 1600s. Hocus Pocus definitely has spooky elements to it, but it is fun, comical, and not too dark. Since its release in 1993, the movie has become a beloved cult classic that is a Halloween tradition for countless families

5. Goosebumps

Based on R.L. Stine’s iconic horror book series for children, the 2015 film follows a fictional version of Stine (energetically played by Jack Black) as he assists his daughter and her friends fight living versions of his creations.

By opening up locked manuscripts of Stine’s books, the children wake up Stine’s monsters and bring them to life. They need the help of Stine to chase the monsters down and put them back into the manuscripts. 

A perfect fantasy film that is equally as spooky as adventurous, Goosebumps has become a modern Halloween classic for children and young teenagers. 

6. Coraline

Coraline, directed by Henry Selick (who brought Tim Burton’s vision to life in A Nightmare Before Christmas), is a surprisingly dark stop-motion tale.

This movie is one of the scariest movies on the list! Show Coraline with caution. 

The film follows a young girl (played by Dakota Fanning) as she navigates life in a new city and home. As she explores her new house, she finds a secret door that leads to a different and horrifying reality. 

7. Corpse Bride

It should not come as a surprise, but Tim Burton is responsible for many family-friendly scary movies. Corpse Bride, another Burton-produced and directed film, focuses on a young man named Victor as he meets a deceased woman who claims to be his bride. 

One of the best parts about this movie is its stellar cast of A-list talent including Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. Corpse Bride is Burton at his finest and is a stop-motion animated masterpiece. 

8. Casper

This 1995 classic is a hybrid animated/live-action film perfect for families to enjoy together. Based on the iconic character Casper the Friendly Ghost introduced in the mid-1940s, the film follows a father and daughter as they engage with ghosts in a haunted mansion.

As they explore the mansion, they meet Casper and his friendliness comes as a surprise to the duo. While the movie is darker than the Casper comics and animated specials, it is still fun and goofy. Death is discussed in some detail during the movie and this may be challenging for young kids. 

Scary Movies for Kids Are Just the Beginning

There are so many great scary movies for kids to enjoy this Halloween season! As you cuddle up for a family movie night, get cozy. 

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