When you think of Halloween, it’s easy to think of terror and frights throughout the whole month of October. Sure, the perfect Halloween night for many would be to pop on a scary movie to get into the spirit. However, there may be some out there who still wish to experience the magic of All Hallows Eve but aren’t quite as hardened to the horror of horror movies. Well, if that’s you, there are many Halloween movies that aren’t scary at all. Here are the best non-scary movies to watch around Halloween.
Updated on October 22nd, 2023 by Samuel Cormier: If you love Halloween but aren’t a fan of horror movies, then you’ll be happy to know this article has been updated with more entries.
11 Hotel Transylvania (2012)
- Release Date
- September 20, 2012
- Genndy Tartakovsky
- Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, Fran Drescher, Steve Buscemi
- Animation, Comedy, Family, Fantasy
As one of Adam Sandler’s better films of late, Hotel Transylvania is the perfect family Halloween movie to pull laughs in a spook-ish atmosphere. Although it may not exactly be a “Halloween” movie, the film centers around iconic characters like Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, and The Invisible Man, just to name a few. Hotel Transylvania is a hilarious, animated flick for the entire family, with simple writing and a similarly simple story that will keep kids and adults engaged the whole time.
The plot follows Count Dracula (Adam Sandler), owner of the Hotel Transylvania, a safe haven for monsters of all shapes and sizes. Dracula has invited everyone for his daughter Mabel’s (Selena Gomez) 118th Birthday. However, when an unexpected human guest turns up at the hotel, Dracula must risk everything to prevent the other monsters from finding out.
Right now you can stream Hotel Transylvania on fuboTV. You are able to watch Hotel Transylvania by renting or purchasing on Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, and Vudu.
10 Goosebumps (2015)
- Release Date
- August 5, 2015
- Rob Letterman
- Jack Black, Amy Ryan, Dylan Minnette, Odeya Rush, Ken Marino, Jillian Bell
- Adventure, Comedy, Family, Horror, Thriller
2015’s Goosebumps was a surprise hit for everybody. While it doesn’t break any new ground, or shy away from being predictable, it is still a lot of fun. After moving to a small town, Zack (Dylan Minnette) befriends his new next-door neighbor, Hannah (Odeya Rush), whose Dad is the mysterious author R.L. Stine (Jack Black). However, after Zach accidentally unleashes the monsters from the terrifying tales, they all must come together to put the creatures back from whence they came.
Jack Black is always a delight on screen, and more so, as a socially inept author who writes terrifying monster stories. He also plays the villainous puppet, Slappy The Dummy, brilliantly. Being terrifyingly maniacal and still hilarious is something Jack Black pulls off so perfectly. Seeing all the creatures on screen together is strangely similar to The Cabin in the Woods, but obviously a family-friendly and tamer version. It’s a delight seeing all our favorite Goosebumps monsters come to life.
Right now you can stream Goosebumps on Netflix. You are able to stream Goosebumps by renting or purchasing on Google Play, iTunes, Amazon, and Vudu.
9 Frankenweenie (2012)
- Release Date
- October 4, 2012
- Tim Burton
- Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau, Winona Ryder, Charlie Tahan, Atticus Shaffer
- Animation, Comedy, Family, Horror, Sci-Fi
Stop-motion never runs short of spooky films. Frankenweenie is a refreshing take on the story of Frankenstein’s monster, where Victor Frankenstein (Charlie Tahan) is just a little kid and the monster is his dog Sparky. There is of course Igor, renamed Edgar, but also many other colorful characters such as the haunted unnamed “Weird Girl” (Catherine O’Hara) or the somber Elsa van Helsing (Winona Ryder). When his creation escapes, it causes chaos to his neighbors, so Victor must find Sparky — fast.
This movie makes the smart choice to show claymation in black and white, winking back at the old horror movies before color. Despite this oddity, it’s a very nice watch because the characters are so colorful in personality. They have the delightful design of big eyes and slender faces so recognizable from Tim Burton’s animated movies.
Right now you can stream Frankenweenie on fuboTV or Disney+. You are able to watch Frankenweenie by renting or purchasing on Google Play, Amazon, iTunes, and Vudu.
8 The Addams Family (1991)
The Addams Family is a classic family Halloween movie to watch every year. It has an iconic cast that includes Christopher Lloyd, Anjelica Huston, Christina Ricci, and Raul Julia, just to name a few. The movie centers around a spooky family that could have in fact created the idea of Halloween themselves.
When a man claiming to be Uncle Fester (Christopher Lloyd), the missing brother of Gomez Addams (Raul Julia), arrives at their home, the family is thrilled. Morticia Addams (Anjelica Huston) isn’t sold on who this man claims to be, after failing to recall important details of Gomez’s life. It is soon revealed why this man has arrived, and it could put the safety of the whole family at risk.
Right now you can stream The Addams Family on Prime Video or Paramount+. You are able to watch The Addams Family by renting or purchasing on Google Play, Amazon, iTunes, and Vudu.
7 Coraline (2009)
- Release Date
- February 5, 2009
- Henry Selick
- Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, Keith David, John Hodgman
- Animation, Family, Fantasy, Thriller
Probably one of the most well-known animated spooky movies, Coraline tells the story of the eponymous Coraline — NOT Caroline! (Dakota Fanning) as she moves into an old house with her absent parents. She soon discovers that there is an alternate version of this house where her parents love and cherish her, but are obsessed with giving her buttons for eyes. Coraline will have to enlist the help of Mr Bobbinsky the Russian mice tamer and former burlesque dancers April and Miriam, her odd neighbors, as well as local weird kid Wybie and his talking black cat, to save herself from her Other Parents.
Coraline creates a world so full of details, that fans are still theorizing about the events that unfold almost fifteen years later. The iconic design of Coraline and her blue hair, yellow raincoat, and sassy attitude make the movie recognizable from any frame. To watch and rewatch, at Halloween or anytime you feel like diving into a disturbing adventure into dreamland.
Right now you can stream Coraline on Prime Video or Max. You are able to watch Coraline by renting or purchasing on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, and Vudu.
6 Hocus Pocus (1993)
- Release Date
- July 16, 1993
- Kenny Ortega
- Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy, Omri Katz, Thora Birch, Vinessa Shaw
- Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Horror
This Halloween classic is the perfect blend of comedy, charm, and Halloween spirit. The main draw to this movie is the hilarious witches, the Sanderson Sisters, who are brought to life by the brilliant Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy. After moving to Salem, a teenager and his younger sister explore an old abandoned house in the creepy woods of Salem, after being warned by their new-found friend not to go in there.
Soon, the three accidentally free a coven of witches who used to live in the house. Now, with the help of a talking cat, they must find a way to stop the witches from becoming immortal. The three actresses manage to deliver exceptional chemistry and hilarity all throughout the film, notably with the iconic out-of-nowhere musical number of “I Put a Spell on You”. Sure, this movie is predictable and helms a simple story that we have seen ample times, but it’s saved by the phenomenally iconic characters.
Right now you can stream Hocus Pocus on Disney+. You are able to watch Hocus Pocus by renting or purchasing on Google Play, Amazon, iTunes, and Vudu.
5 The Witches (1990)
Adapted from a Roald Dahl novel of the same name, The Witches explores a world where witches disguise themselves as regular women but in reality sport a bald head, square feet with no toes, and claws instead of fingernails. Luke and his grandmother Helga, a witch hunter, unluckily find themselves at the exact hotel where the witches have their yearly convention to discuss their evil plan to transform all the children in the world into rats. They will have to find a way to prevent this disaster.
The character design of the witches is so strange, you forget to get spooked by their appearance. The very end of the movie is also delightfully absurd. Anjelica Houston delivers an unforgettable performance as the Grand High Witch, despite a character design as ugly as Morticia Addams is pretty! Her enigmatic smile and restrained acting style is exactly what was needed to drive the evilness of the witch leader. It’s a Halloween classic whose style may have aged a bit. Therefore, you can also choose to watch the 2020 remake of this film for more modern special effects, starring Anne Hathaway as the Grand High Witch.
You are able to watch The Witches by renting or purchasing on Google Play, Amazon, iTunes, and Vudu.
4 What We Do In The Shadows (2014)
- Release Date
- June 19, 2014
- Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi
- Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, Jonathan Brugh, Cori Gonzales-Macuer, Stuart Rutherford, Ben Fransham
- Comedy, Horror
While not exactly a family film, Taika Waititi’s What We Do in the Shadows is still one of the best non-scary Halloween movies to watch this year. What We Do in the Shadows centers around a documentary crew documenting the lives of three roommates who also happen to be vampires.
This hilarious mockumentary is a laugh-a-minute movie with relentless and uproarious jokes and so many comedic camera zoom-ins that, by the end, your stomach will be hurting. Waititi is perfect in the lead role as Viago, with Jemaine Clement and Jonny Brugh also delivering hilarious performances. The movie is such a cult classic that it led to an equally brilliant, dare we say, better, Emmy-nominated TV series.
You are able to watch What We Do in the Shadows by renting or purchasing on Google Play or Vudu.
3 Ghostbusters (1984)
- Release Date
- July 14, 2016
- Paul Feig
- Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Zach Woods, Ed Begley Jr.
- Comedy, Action, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
This hilarious comedy flick isn’t only one of the best Halloween movies, scary or not, but is among many of the best comedies of all time. After three scientists lose their jobs at a University, they decide to form a group called the Ghostbusters, which is a group that uses tech to defeat any and all supernatural entities. When a gateway to another dimension is opened, they must use everything to prevent evil from being released.
The film is nothing short of iconic, from the Giant Stay Puft Marshmallow Man showdown, to the first encounter with Slimer, and Rick Moranis giving a gut–busting performance as the nosy neighbor. The cast holds some of the best the ’80s had to offer, with Bill Murray, Dan Akroyd, Sigourney Weaver, and Rick Moranis, just to name a few. Sure, this movie may be PG and is a little dated with its humor, but Ghostbustersis nothing but legendary, and deserves to be watched by everyone around Halloween.
Right now you can stream Ghostbusters on Prime Video, fuboTV, and Peacock. You are able to watch Ghostbusters by renting or purchasing on Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, and Vudu.
2 Casper (1995)
- Release Date
- May 26, 1995
- Brad Silberling
- Bill Pullman, Christina Ricci, Eric Idle, Ben Stein, Chauncey Leopardi, Spencer Vrooman
- Comedy, Family, Fantasy
Ghosts don’t have to be evil entities; sometimes, they’re just looking for a friend. In Casper, the protagonists are 13-year-old Kat (Halloween queen Christina Ricci) and her father, Dr. James Harvey (Bill Pullman), a ghost therapist who travels the country to help lost souls, and attempts to find of his deceased wife. One day, spoiled and broke heiress Carrigan Crittenden hires Dr. Harvey to coax out the ghosts of the gigantic old manor that she inherited in Friendship, Maine. The duo moves in, but as Dr. Harvey has to deal with three cruel jokester ghosts, Kat comes to develop a friendship with Casper, the ghost of a boy around her age. Kat will learn more and more about Casper’s life as well as his father, a rich inventor who lived in this house…
This star-studded, comforting cast and heart-warming story make for a perfect movie to snuggle with a loved one and a nice hot chocolate around Halloween. The design of Casper’s character is cartoonish enough that the movie ages well, and the spooky backdrop of a gigantic abandoned house is simply to die for. Characters have clear-cut intentions, making for a plot that is easy to follow for viewers of all ages.
Right now you can watch Casper on fuboTV or Netflix. You are able to stream Casper by renting or purchasing on Google Play, iTunes, Amazon, and Vudu.
- Release Date
- June 11, 1982
- Steven Spielberg
- Henry Thomas, Dee Wallace, Robert MacNaughton, Drew Barrymore, Peter Coyote, K.C. Martel
- Adventure, Family, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
What is there to say that hasn’t already been said? E.T. the Extraterrestrial is easily among acclaimed director Steven Spielberg’s best work, and that is very hard to achieve considering his impressive filmography. E.T. follows a young child named Elliott (Henry Thomas), as he stumbles upon a gentle and friendly alien, who was stranded on Earth, and is searching for a way to get home. The two become the best of friends, and they must avoid the government, which wants to capture E.T. for testing.
E.T. is a beautiful and heartbreaking tale of friendship. The relationship between E.T. and Elliott is timeless and makes every single audience member wish for a relationship as close as theirs. The film is filled with iconic moments, with E.T. and Elliott flying across the moon in one of the most recognizable shots in cinematic history. There is also a great scene where Elliott dresses E.T. as a ghost during Halloween, and they walk by a child in a Yoda costume, which holds an awesome theory about E.T. recognizing Yoda. E.T. is a timeless motion picture for everyone to enjoy no matter how heartbreaking its ending might make you feel.
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