Boo! Any of these films is a great way to spend Halloween night, October 31, or evenings before or after, to replace Halloween parties or trick or treating in this Pandemic year, which is scary enough.
Some of these films are classics, some are recent, some have nothing to do with Halloween except for their general theme, some are lighthearted comedies, but all are worth watching.
Grab some popcorn and a beverage, and get ready for a spook-tacular night at the movies.
This list of scary and not too scary Halloween movies is available through such streaming services such as Amazon Prime, Vudu, Fandango, Twitch and others, to rent or buy from other sources such as Redbox, or available FREE from the library or on YouTube.
Note that despite some of the (G) and (PG) ratings, some of these films can be quite disturbing or have mature themes not suitable for young or sensitive children, so use your discretion.
Scary and Not Too Scary Halloween movies
A Quiet Place (PG-13).
In a post-apocalyptic world, a family is forced to live in silence while hiding from monsters with ultra-sensitive hearing.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992, R).
Francis Ford Coppola’s version–not faithful to the original story–with the vampire creating havoc in England.
A comedy murder mystery based on the popular board game. Six guests are invited to a strange mansion. After their host is killed, they work to identify the murderer as the bodies pile up.
Dracula (1931, NR).
Considered the most iconic performance of Dracula with Bela Lugosi as the suave, blood-sucking Count. This early talkie film was the first of many more monster movies to come, and considered a classic.
- The Spanish-language version of Dracula (1931), was made at the same time with the same sets but a different cast.
Edward Scissorhands (PG-13).
An artificial man who was incompletely constructed and has scissors for hands. His unhappy, solitary life changes when he meets a woman who introduces him to her real world. It’s a magical modern fairy tale with gothic overtones and a sweet center. This is the film which made Johnny Depp a star.
Gemini Man (PG-13).
From Jerry Bruckheimer, this sci-fi action thriller features an over-the-hill assassin played by Will Smith, who must fend off his younger clone – a peak version of himself. Panned by critics but fairly well-liked by audiences.
In this wacky story, three parapsychology professors set up shop as a ghost removal service in New York City. Be sure to get the original, with a brilliantly funny cast including Bill Murray, not the dreadful and horrible recent remake.
The final movie in the franchise has Harry and friends battling Lord Voldemort at Hogwarts Castle in an epic showdown where the forces of darkness may finally meet their match. Any other movie in the series will do.
When 16-year-old Sarah wishes her baby brother would go away, it is granted by the Goblin King Jareth (David Bowie). To rescue her brother, she must solve a labyrinth in 13 hours. From Jim Henson, creator of the Muppets.
Disney’s Maleficent (Angelina Joie) and her goddaughter Aurora begin to question the complex family ties that bind them as they are pulled in different directions by impending nuptials, unexpected allies, and dark new forces at play. Panned by critics, but highly rated by audiences.
Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979, PG).
Count Dracula spreads death and the Black Plague as he travels. An intense version of the fable with stunning visuals, but not nearly as scary as the 1922 silent original.
This Hitchcock thriller is about a U.S. government agent (Cary Grant) who recruits the American daughter of a convicted German war criminal to be a Nazi spy. One of Hitchcock’s best films, full of plot twists and superb camera work.
At first idyllic and charming, this supernatural tale is about a family terrorized by ghosts in their home who kidnap their young daughter and their fight to save her.
Secret of Nimh (G).
A dark tale with truly terrifying moments (for young children) about a field mouse seeking to save her ill son. The story involves the survivors of scientific experiments, a rat-eating cat named Dragon, a gruesome encounter with an ill-fated spider, and a traumatic visit to the Great Owl whose home is littered with bones.
Shadow of a Doubt (PG).
Another classic Hitchcock movie. A young girl, overjoyed when her favorite uncle comes to visit the family, slowly begins to suspect that he is in fact the “Merry Widow” killer sought by the police. And like most Hitchkock thrillers, there’s an unexpected final twist ending.
Spirited Away (PG).
The story of a girl lost in a world ruled by spirits is as whimsical as a Disney film, but includes some disturbing imagery. Young protagonist Chihiro sees her parents transformed into monstrous pigs and the spirit No Face begins to devour all the employees of the bathhouse in a wild frenzy. It’s a dazzling and gorgeous animated fairy tale that some children enjoy as an enchanting, magical experience, but other kids could find it too frightening.
The Others (2001, PG-13).
Moody, eerie, and unsettling story about a woman (Nicole Kidman) who moves her two children to a big house in the country after the end of the Second World War, where she waits for her husband to come back from the war.
This Sixth Sense (PG-13).
M Night Shayamalan’s ghost story about a child psychologist who is helping a young boy frightened by visitations from dead people who seek his help with unresolved issues. Also with one of Shayamalan’s surprise twist endings
Check back tomorrow for our list of scary, racy and truly gory Halloween horror films.
Thanks to sister site Greater Seattle on the Cheap for assistance in putting this list together.