14 of the best Halloween movies that aren't too scary

Warner Bros.‘Practical Magic’ is a classic for a reason.
  • Not every Halloween movie is scary and filled with gore, ghosts, and violence.
  • “Beetlejuice” (1988) is a beloved family-friendly film starring Michael Keaton.
  • “Teen Witch” (1989) is a popular ’80s flick that’s more fun than it is scary.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Many celebrate Halloween by streaming tons of terrifying, chilling, or just plain scary movies – but even those who don’t like to be frightened by gore and jump cuts can get into the holiday spirit.

Here are 14 of the best Halloween movies for those who don’t like to be scared.


“Nightmare Before Christmas” (1993) is a Tim Burton classic.

YouTubeThe film has music, too.

The Nightmare Before Christmas” follows Jack Skellington as he decides to kidnap Santa Claus and take over the winter Holiday.

It’s filled with animated clay figures, music, and even a love story.

Read More: 18 things you didn’t know about ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’


“Nightmare Before Christmas” (1993) s a must-see.

Columbia PicturesThere’s a reason it’s been remade so many times — it’s iconic.

Harold Ramis, Dan Aykroyd, and Bill Murray are “Ghostbusters” tasked with saving New York City from a gateway to another dimension threatening to release evil upon the city.

Although the film deals with ghosts, it’s filled with fun jokes… and the spirits are a lot sillier than you may think.

If you’re in the mood for a double feature, pair this with the equally fun 2016 all-female remake.


“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” (1975) is a bizarre musical that’s more fun than scary.

screengrab from ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’You might be left quoting the film for days.

This Halloween favourite is a bit too campy to be seriously scary.

Although the best way to see this film is at a midnight showing at a brick-and-mortar theatre, it’s still a fun throwback to watch. Gather your friends and your singing voice for this wild musical romp about an eerie haunted mansion filled with bizarre characters.


“Hocus Pocus” (1993) is an iconic witch movie.

Buena Vista PicturesYes, it’s cheesy and very PG, but if you loved it as a kid — you’ll probably still love it now.

Although “Hocus Pocus” deals with a shockingly dark premise (the witches kill a young girl in order to gain immortal life), it’s actually a Disney flick, so you can be sure that it’s more fun than frightening.

The film stars Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy as witches.

Read More: 11 surprising things you never knew about ‘Hocus Pocus’


The rom-com “Practical Magic” (1998) stars two big Hollywood names.

Warner Bros.Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock star in the film.

This 1998 rom-com stars Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman as sisters and witches who are doomed to live by the Owens family curse: That any man who falls in love with either of them will die.

Fortunately, nothing seriously scary happens in this romantic throwback.


“Edward Scissorhands” (1990) is ultimately a story about acceptance.

20th Century Fox via YouTubeIt has an odd but loveable premise.

Before Tim Burton solidified his place in the CGI family-film space, the visionary director made his mark on Hollywood with “Edward Scissorhands.”

It stars Johnny Depp as Edward Scissorhands, a humanoid creation who is cast out from society for having scissors for hands.

Despite its dark subject matter, it’s really a tender and sweet film about acceptance.


“Shaun of the Dead” (2004) makes zombies funny.

StudioCanalKeep in mind that the film may be a bit too gory for some.

Yes, it’s a movie about zombies, but it’s really a whip-smart comedy about a boy becoming a man and proving to his girlfriend that he’s both brave and capable of change.

As critic Christy Lemire wrote for the Associated Press, “It’s a horror movie that’s funny, intelligent – and, yes – horrific, and seamlessly so.”


“Little Shop of Horrors” (1986) can thrill you without scaring you.

Warner Bros.It stars Rick Moranis in all his ’80s glory.

Little Shop of Horrors” is a musical comedy starring Rick Moranis, Levi Stubbs, and Ellen Greene. In the film, Moranis plays a florist seeking success with the help of a man-eating plant.

Fortunately, you can get your Halloween fix without any real horror because the murderous plant is actually played by a cartoonish puppet.


“Beetlejuice” (1988) is a beloved film starring Michael Keaton.

Beetlejuice / Warner Bros.The film has since been turned into a Broadway musical.

It wouldn’t be a Halloween-movie round-up if Tim Burton’s name didn’t appear several times.

This bizarrecomedy-fantasy flick stars Michael Keaton in the titular role as a demon tasked with haunting a family until they move out of their home.

Sure, the premise sounds spooky, but the film is actually pretty hilarious and kid-friendly.

As critic Dave Kehr wrote in the Chicago Tribunereview, ” Burton has captured the sweet ghoulishness of a 12-year-old pouring over horror comics, dreaming of the greatest Halloween costume ever invented.”


“Teen Witch” (1989) should be your go-to ’80s flick.

Trans World EntertainmentThe film is about teen drama and magic.

Teen Witch” is an aggressively ’80s flick about a young girl who learns that she’s a witch and uses her newfound powers to attract popularity.

It’s definitely the kind of cheesy movie you can put on in the background at a Halloween party.


Watch the “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” (1992) film instead of watching eight seasons of the show.

Twentieth Century FoxThe film is a fun romp.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer” was actually a movie before it was a TV show.

The original “Buffy” movie was silly, campy, and had more in common with “Clueless” (1995) than it did the spooky Sarah Michelle Gellar-led series that followed.

The film is a fun romp and a faster alternative to watching all eight seasons of the television series.


“Halloweentown” (1998) is a Disney classic.

Disney ChannelThere are multiple sequels to the film.

Teenage girls learning they’re witches is a popular micro-genre, but perhaps none did it better than “Halloweentown.”

This Disney Channel original movie was so successful that there are made several sequels, so you can have an entire nostalgic binge with “Halloweentown,” “Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge,” “Halloweentown High,” and “Return to Halloweentown.”

Read More: Every Halloween-themed Disney Channel original movie, ranked by audiences


“Young Frankenstein” (1974) has solid ratings.

20th Century FoxIt’s a parody of the classic film.

“Young Frankenstein” follows the legendary mad scientist’s grandson as he inherits the massive Frankenstein estate and ends up creating his own monster.

It’s a critically acclaimed parody of classic horror films that’s filled with Mel Brooks’ silly style of humour.


Watch “Casper” (1995) for a trip down memory lane.

Universal PicturesIt’s just as good over 20 years later.

Fortunately, there’s nothing to fear in this film about a friendly ghost.

The classic 1995 film “Casper” is all about a kind spirit, his teenage friend, and the antics they encounter.

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