28th Oct2019

Opinionated: Great Halloween Movie Options for Non-Horror Fans!

by Chris Cummings

Not everybody loves the horror genre, but that doesn’t mean that the season of pumpkins and candy-corns hasn’t got plenty of film goodness for the scaredy-cats among us. There really are an array of terrific and festive family films that feel completely packed with Halloween goodness. So, here’s a fistful of recommendations for those of you who are looking for some charming Halloween movies to watch around the fire with the while clan this October.


Hocus Pocus

I mean, come on now. Hocus Pocus is THE family Halloween film. It’s become a huge favourite and has a real solid following of fans nowadays. A story of witches being awoken in modern (well, 90s) day and running amok on an unsuspecting suburban neighbourhood is full of whimsy and silliness and creepiness. A great cast and a bloody brilliantly entertaining story, Hocus Pocus is a total unadulterated joy and I never tire of watching it. If there’s ONE film you watch at Halloween, make it this one.

Fun Size

Now, this one might not be as well known or as well liked as my previous mention. Fun Size is a 2012 Victoria Justice fronted film that is totally corny and pretty damn saccharine, yet it’s still a ton of fun. It’s one of those movies you can throw on with your kids and chill out to on Halloween night, with no concern of scary things happening. It’s not exactly a “good” movie, but it is a Halloween film that has a lot of that October charm. A girl on her way to a Halloween party loses her younger brother in a sea of trick or treaters and has to find him. It’s easy stuff, but it’s cute.

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

I’m a big Peanuts fan. I love the seasonal specials, from their Christmas classic and this… It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. It’s just magical and nostalgic and so bloody lovely. This, for me, is one of the best Halloween specials ever made, and it’s a quick and easy animated classic that should be shown to every kid and adult at least once. I mean, good grief, if you haven’t seen this, you really should.

Monster House

I’ve actually only seen this one once, but I remember thinking it was a cute movie with fun animation and a real spooky October tone that made it stand out. It’s that tale of a house in the neighbourhood that is really freaking creepy, and managed to inject humour and a dash of child-friendly animated horror to keep things spicy. An enjoyable one, and a worthwhile recommendation in my view.


Now, this is an animated Halloween movie I’ve seen a number of times, and I bloody love it. With tons of homages to the horror genre, yet completely realised in a family-friendly way, this Laika Studios animation is so good. It looks really nice and the story never feels slow or boring. I think this is an underrated one, and that’s a shame. A kid who tries to save his cursed town from zombies, ghouls and monsters? I mean… come on now, what’s not to love?


I didn’t grow up reading the Goosebumps books, I was a Point Horror kid, but I knew of the books and thought the film, which stars Jack Black, was a blast. I wasn’t expecting much from this, but it turned out to be a really fun-filled family romp featuring the characters from the famous RL Stine book series. It again manages to add some creepiness and horror elements in a way that is still suitable for all ages. I haven’t seen the sequel yet, but this first movie was really fun. A good option for the whole family on Halloween night, surely.


This is one I grew up watching over and over. Michael Keaton playing a ghoul who will, when called upon, help to drive out a new family who have moved into the dead former-owners home, is a blast. It’s got that weird Tim Burton look and feel, but in the best way. This was Burton at his best, and Keaton too, full of obscure energy. It’s timeless and iconic and, though more adult than many on this list, it’s one that non-horror fans can fall in love with, for sure.

Idle Hands

This is a movie I don’t hear much about, but I’ve always loved. It’s a teen-movie back when teen-movies like American Pie, Dead Man on Campus, Road Trip and the ilk were being released. A teenagers possessed hand begins to… well… terrorise his town. It’s a simple concept but it’s a bloody lot of fun. I reckon more people would love this movie if they remembered that it existed.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

This is a strange film in the sense that it’s both a Christmas film and a Halloween one. Set during Christmas-time, yet with the majority of the story taking place in Halloweentown, this is full of spooky whimsy, weird monsters, horror creatures and a story of abduction, poison and love. It’s a classic, and with that iconic style of animation has become a huge favourite to watch at both seasons, of good will and of good chill. Absolutely brilliant.

So, there we have it. Now… there’s a bunch more I could talk about, but I wanted to have a wide range that covers a few different styles and types. I also haven’t seen a few that other folks may mention, such as Ernest Scared Stupid. Here is a list, though, of some Halloween flicks you can enjoy in October without being a fan of the horror genre.

Are there any I missed that YOU would like to recommend? Let us know! Thanks for reading, and have a Happy Halloween, folks.


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