Titles guaranteed to give you chills, thrills and laughs
As October rolls in, we shelve our Christmas decor for a while and bring out the sweet candies and spooky tricks. Trick or treating might be out of our Halloween plans this year, but it doesn’t mean all types of festivities would have to take the backseat. Again. There are tons of at-home celebrations that you can do this season. Blast a Halloween-themed playlist or take it up a notch by wearing a costume even at home—the sky’s the limit when you want to make the most out of this holiday.
One favorite at-home activity is living our horror nightmares vicariously by watching horror movie classics. For costume ideas, take a quiz to find out which horror movie villain you are and get some inspo along the way.
But of course, Halloween is a family affair, too. So, for those parents and older siblings looking for kid-friendly movies to put on, ahead are eight spooky Halloween movies. These titles are guaranteed to send some chills and thrills down everyone’s spines while balancing it out with fun, humor and life lessons.
Matilda teaches young children one rule often forgotten: to stand their ground. The movie follows Matilda Wormwood, a young prodigy with neglectful parents and an unappreciative brother. To add insult to injury, her elementary school principal, Agatha Trunchbull, is a bully, too. But after discovering her telekinetic powers, Matilda learns how to fight back and defend herself and her friends when the adults in their lives go out of line.
Spirited Away (2001)
Halloween calls for a Hayao Miyazaki rewatch. Let’s be honest. In Spirited Away, Chihiro and her parents come across an abandoned amusement park. After her parents mysteriously transform into pigs, the 10-year-old girl discovers that they have entered the wondrous world of spirits and magic. Thanks to the help of a dragon named Haku, Chihiro learns that she must work in the supernatural realm to free her family. This classic is sure to bring everyone together, even during the spooky season.
Catch Chihiro’s daring and whimsical adventure on Spirited Away, only on Netflix.
Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)
Another magical creation by storyteller Hayao Miyazaki is Howl’s Moving Castle. Teenager Sophie leads an uneventful life as she runs her late father’s hat shop. One day, she gets swept off her feet—literally– by a handsome young wizard named Howl. However, the mysterious Witch of Waste disagrees with their budding friendship. She casts a curse on Sophie and transforms her into an older version of herself. In a quest to break the curse, Sophie runs to Howl and his moving castle filled with magic and mystery.
Follow Sophie and Howl’s journey by watching Howl’s Moving Castle on Netflix.
Corpse Bride (2005)
Victor Van Dort encounters a ton of mishaps leading up to his arranged marriage to Victoria Everglot. After setting his future mother-in-law’s dress on fire, he flees to a forest in shame and practices his vows to impress the Everglot family. However, Victor gets more than what he bargains for and suddenly finds himself betrothed to a corpse in the Land of the Dead. This Tim Burton creation stars Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, and is made to give the entire family some chills, laughter and tunes for Halloween.
Stream Corpse Bride on Netflix.
Hotel Transylvania Movies (2012 and 2015)
Tucked safely away from humankind, Hotel Transylvania serves as a safe haven for all monsters to be themselves. Vampire Count Dracula runs the five-star monster establishment while raising his daughter, Mavis, on his own. For Mavis’s 118th birthday, Count Dracula plans to throw a huge party where their supernatural friends are the guests. Preparations are going smoothly until Johnny, a human backpacker, stumbles his way into Hotel Transylvania. Will the monsters learn how to coexist with humans, or is Johnny walking into his demise?
The Addams Family (2019)
Is the world ready for this crazy, spooky bunch? Happily settled in their eerie but perfect hilltop mansion in New Jersey, the members of the Addams family live a comfortable life. But as they gear up for Pugsley’s Marzuka and a visit from all of their equally freaky relatives, a TV personality named Margaux sees the Addams’ family home as an obstacle to her plans of selling a pretty neighborhood. Will they keep the peace in their community, or will The Addams Family be driven out of the city?
Ronald Dahl’s The Witches (2020)
In 1968, an orphaned boy moves in with his grandmother at Demopolis, Alabama. The two encounter glamorous and devious witches, barely escaping their charms. The grandmother and the boy run off to a seaside hotel to stay far away from the clutches of the sinister witches. But much to their surprise, the Grand High Witch gathers her allies in the same establishment to plot the extermination of children—for good. It’s up to them and their newfound friends to stop her, either as humans or as mice.
Check out the modern adaptation and remake of Ronald Dahl’s book The Witches on HBO Go.
A young boy named Alex has a huge affinity and penchant for telling scary stories. After one sour turn, he gets an urge to stop writing altogether and plans to burn his creations in his building’s furnace. However, he passes an open door that pulls him to enter, which ends up being an enchanted apartment owned by a witch named Natacha. She traps him in her place, demanding him to write and tell her scary tales every night. Alex must join forces with fellow prisoners Yazmin and Leonore to defeat Natacha and safely return to his family.
Watch Alex share his spooky stories on Nightbooks by streaming it on Netflix.
If you’re looking for more adult-centered recommendations, have some fun and let this quiz decide for you.
Quickly tick as many Halloween movies off your watchlists with Globe’s GoWATCH promos. Available for both prepaid and postpaid numbers, this is your shot at enjoying endless scares and thrills this Halloween season.