For those of us who aren’t avid fans of horror films, haunted houses or getting frightened in general, Halloween isn’t always the best time of the year. However, there are plenty of Halloween films without gore, frights or terror. They often get overshadowed during the season by horror films, but these classics are sure to put even the biggest scaredy-cat in the Halloween mood.
The Sanderson sisters may be a little odd — they want to feast on little children’s youth to remain eternally young, after all — but they aren’t scary. The origin story of these three witches is set in Salem, where the witch trials were ablaze, making this movie a comedic take on history. This 1993 classic is perfect for anyone wanting to get into the Halloween spirit.
“Halloweentown,” “Halloweentown: Kalabar’s Revenge,” “Halloweentown High” and “Return to Halloweentown”
When Marnie discovers she comes from a witching family, she’s ecstatic. She’s thrown into the world of Halloweentown and all the magic that comes with it. This Disney series has everything that a good Halloween movie should: strong witches, ghouls and skeletons who drive cabs. These films were a smash hit upon their releases and will instantly transport you to a world which revolves and relies on Halloween.
“The Addams Family”
If Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus are known for Christmas, then the Addams family is known for Halloween. They’re odd, dramatic and cooky. Most of all though, there’s something incredibly relatable in the woes that the Addams family faces. The familiar theme song will immediately get you excited for the Halloween season.
“The Nightmare Before Christmas”
The title may seem misleading, but don’t be fooled. This Tim Burton film encompasses both Halloween and Christmas. Pumpkin King Jack Skellington is tired of Halloween and wants to spread Christmas cheer with everyone. His plans don’t work so well though. If you’re looking for a film that is detailed and has great graphics, this is it.
Moving to a new town is hard for anyone, let alone a 13-year-old girl with two absentee parents. Coraline is thrown into her new peculiar home and is extremely curious. When she finds a secret door which leads to an alternate reality where everyone has buttons for eyes, she thinks she’s finally found a place to make her feel at home. But when things start to go sour with her “other” family, Coraline realizes she may have gotten more than what she bargained for. This film is creepy, but not scary.
In Tim Burton’s take on “Frankenstein,” Johnny Depp plays the role of the protagonist, Edward. The scientist who creates Edward passes away before he can finish him, leaving his creation with scissors as hands instead of the real thing. Edward feels like an outcast his entire life, much like Frankenstein’s monster, but this film is more warm than frightening.
“The Rocky Horror Picture Show”
This musical classic is hard to describe in a way that gives it true justice. Travelers Brad and Janet get a flat tire in the middle of the night, and on their way to solve the problem, they come across the mansion of Dr. Frank-N-Furter, a trans mad scientist. Unique with rock jams and interesting characters, this film is an intriguing seasonal classic.
This recent film tells the tale of la Dia de Los Muertos or the Day of the Dead. Miguel loves music despite a generational ban imposed by his family. When his secret passion is discovered, he runs to the grave of a famous musician, Ernesto De La Cruz. Unexpectedly, he is transported to the world of the dead when he strums the musician’s guitar. There, he learns the truth about his family, meets his ancestors and races against time to make it back to the living world. This film is colorful, vibrant and heartfelt. Most importantly, it tells the story of a tradition which goes past candy and dressing up.
“Twitches” and “Twitches Too”
Another Disney movie which features witches and alternate universes with a dash of comedy. When two funny, bold and passionate witch twins are reunited on their 21st birthday, they come together to eliminate the darkness and save the kingdom which belongs to them. Featuring Tia and Tamera Mowry, this two-part series is sure to capture your attention.
“Harry Potter” Series
If you’re looking for something longer to get into the season, you can never go wrong with Harry Potter and his magical world. With eight movies, you’ll be immersed in the thrills of the Wizarding World in no time. There’s something about the series which exudes autumn vibes.