Halloween is the time for horror movies: for spine-tingling fright fests filled with blood, gore, and screams. At least, that’s the case for those of us who are child-free and have a pal or two for a late night horror binge or two over the course of October.
But for parents, Halloween is a time for the kiddos, for trick-or-treating and family costume parties and some family bonding movie nights. But what should you watch on the movie night when your kids are little? It can be difficult to find a movie appropriate for the season that doesn’t contain any scares that would make it unwatchable for a child; just because the movies are named “Halloween” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s what you should be watching on Halloween.
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Streaming luckily has a mountain of family-friendly options to choose from this Halloween season, with almost every streamer having a large collection of animated films or family-friendly comedies starring ghosts, witches, or other spooky creatures of the night. That said, not every kid-appropriate Halloween film is a home run for adults as well, with plenty of the typical filler dreck flooding the proverbial streaming airwaves. So the challenge is to find something cute and fun enough to avoid giving the youngest children nightmares for weeks, but still smart enough to keep their parents from reaching over to check their phones from boredom.
With Halloween weekend upon us, IndieWire decided to do that work for you. We combed through Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Prime Video, Peacock, Paramount+, and even Apple TV+ to find the best Halloween-adjacent movies that will thrill kids and still delight adults. This Halloween season, their are plenty of great choices, including animated faves “Coraline,” “Monster House,” and “Wallace and Gromit: the Curse of the Were-Rabbit.” If you’re up for something more fleshy, there’s live-action favorites like “Addams Family Values,” “Hocus Pocus,” and the 2002 “Scooby-Doo” film. And if you’re looking for something truly iconic, we threw in one of the most legendary TV specials of all time, starring every TV watcher’s favorite blockhead.
Read on for our list of the top 10 family-friendly Halloween movies currently streaming this October. We promise you they’re a better use of you and your kids’ time than going to see “Five Nights at Freddy’s.”
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