Some of the scary movies on television at this time of year are truly scary, and they may be too scary for the younger members of the family. Fortunately there are several best Halloween movies for tweens to choose from that fall into the thrilling but not terrifying category of the Halloween night. Look for these titles so your little kids can join in the fun without the worry of nightmares for weeks to come.
The spooky season is upon us, and that means it’s time for Halloween movie marathons. While teenagers might gravitate towards PG-13 horror movies and adults towards classic horror films, tweens fall into a unique age group that’s looking for something in between a mix of thrills without the heavy jump scares.
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Here’s our Guide to the Best Halloween Movies for Tweens
The story of Casper goes way back, but this movie version came out in 1995 starring a young Christina Ricci and Bill Pullman. Another movie that combines animation and live action the story starts with Kat and her paranormal investigator father moving into a broken but charming home with a past and some unexpected guests.
Count Dracula (voiced by Adam Sandler) runs a lavish resort away from the human world. The story comes alive when Dracula’s daughter Mavis meets a young boy, introducing tweens to a hilarious mix of classic monsters in a contemporary setting.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Directed by Tim Burton, this stop-motion film stars the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, Jack Skellington. When Jack discovers Christmas, he tries to bring its joy to Halloween Town, but not everything goes as planned.
Harry Potter Series
Though not strictly Halloween, J.K. Rowling’s universe brims with magic, haunted mansions, and mythical creatures, making it a favorite Halloween movie pick. From the lighthearted Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone to the darker Deathly Hallows Part 2, fans of all ages can enjoy a spooky Halloween movie night featuring these beloved tales. Even if you’re not a huge fan of witches and wizards, there are plenty of Easter eggs in each film that will keep you entertained long into the night. This series consists of eight enchanting films, commencing with “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” (2001) and concluding with “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2” (2011). It has the power to captivate you throughout the entire month! So gather your friends, indulge in some butterbeer, and prepare for a truly magical Halloween experience!
Another Tim Burton gem, this animated film explores a tale of a young man who accidentally proposes to a deceased bride while rehearsing his wedding vows in the woods.
Set in a 19th century European village, this extraordinary stop-motion animated feature tells the captivating tale of Victor (portrayed by Johnny Depp). As fate would have it, Victor finds himself unexpectedly transported to the underworld, where he becomes entangled in an enigmatic union with a mysterious Corpse Bride. Meanwhile, his rightful bride-to-be, Victoria, patiently awaits his return in the realm of the living. Amidst the vibrant and vivid existence in the Land of the Dead, Victor discovers that no force, in this life or the next, can ever separate him from his one true love.
This 2002 movie has the gang reuniting after having gone their separate ways. They all get a mysterious invite to a spooky island where the questions and freaky characters start to add up quickly! The cast is terrific and includes Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Rowan Atkinson.
This movie for younger children aired on Disney Channel in 1997 and my children watched it several times that October. Three 12 year old friends accidentally stumble upon a friendly mummy who has been brought to life. The kids need to find out how to help him get back to the right place before it’s too late on Halloween!
This is an adorable monster movie with a plot that kids love. A blast from the past going all the way back to 1989 Little Monsters has a great cast including real life brothers Ben and Fred Savage as well as comedy great Howie Mandel. A mysterious world exists under young Brian Stevenson’s bed, and the mischievous monster Maurice is going to show him how wild monster life can be. There are a lot of fun costumes and a lot of trouble making that kids can giggle with and relate to.
Hocus Pocus & Hocus Pocus 2
This movie plays every single October and my daughter watches it each year even though she’s fifteen years old now! This perfect tween Halloween movie has an excellent cast including Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy, and the great comedic actress Bette Midler. The actresses play a trio of witches who are brought back to life after being dead for three hundred years thanks to some local kids who light a special flame. In order to stay living the witches will stop at nothing to get what they need from the children. This movie provides a great mix of funny and freaky for younger and older kids.
Hocus Pocus 2 is the sequel to the 1993 Halloween classic, Hocus Pocus. It follows Max, Dani, and Allison as they battle a new batch of witches in Salem Massachusetts after they are drawn back through time. The trio must thwart their plans while trying to get back home.
The Walt Disney Studio is officially developing Hocus Pocus 3
Editor note- No additional information is available at the time of publishing this article. We will update when information is available.
Halloweentown/ Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge/ Return to Halloweentown/ Halloweentown High
This series from Disney movies brings you into a world where it’s always Halloween. Marnie Cromwell is a young witch who learns her craft from her grandmother Aggie, played by the wonderful Debbie Reynolds. The Cromwell family has much to do in each movie as they battle evil forces in the real world and in Halloweentown.
Bedknobs and Broomsticks
Released in 1971 and starring Angela Lansbury this classic movie for the whole family and has just enough fantasy and mystery to be thrilling but not truly frightening. It combines real life with animation, and it is also a musical. The movie is set during World War II and Ms. Lansbury plays a novice witch who is suddenly charged with the care of three war orphans. The children, the witch, and a conman friend all travel on a magical bed in search of something very special.
The Monster Squad
The Monster squad is an oldie but goodie from 1987! It’s about a group of younger kids that form a monster club for fun, only to realize that there are indeed monsters lurking about that are wreaking havoc on their town. It has all those classic horror monsters in it from Dracula to a gentle and cool Frankenstein. It also has the Mummy, Wolf Man and Swam Creature. Not too scary and definitely a lot of fun, this is one movie the kids will want to watch again and again.
Toy Story of Terror
When the toys stop at a roadside motel during a trip, they encounter a series of spooky events. Watch out for Mr. Potato Head’s antics as he embodies the Halloween spirit.
This animated feature film was a big hit when it first came out, and it probably will still be popular with the kiddies, especially on Halloween. The movie is about a house that eats whoever and whatever lands on its doorsteps and it’s up to the kid across the street and his two best friends to stop it. It’s a very fun movie to watch that includes lots of action, comedy and, again, a trio of young heroes.
The Little Vampire
This good Halloween movie is definitely for the younger crowd. It’s about a little boy who makes friends with a young vampire. He decides to help his newfound blood-sucking friend find an amulet that will help all the vampires in the town become human, while at the same time keeping an evil vampire hunter from catching and exposing his friend. This one also has a lot of action, fun and adventure that the kids will surely love.
The Haunted Mansion
Eddie Murphy stars in this live-action film, where a family discovers their new home is a haunted mansion filled with spirits, including a friendly ghost.
Haunted Mansion 2023
“Haunted Mansion” draws inspiration from the iconic theme park attraction. The story follows a brave woman and her son as they seek assistance from an unconventional group of spiritual experts to cleanse their home of otherworldly occupants. The highly anticipated theatrical release of this thrilling tale hit theaters July 28, 2023, with expectations high for its Disney Plus premiere in October 2023.
This is one for both young and old alike. Though it may be geared more towards the older kid crowd (8 and up), it can definitely catch the attention of the young ones too, though if they scare easy I wouldn’t recommend it. With everything from ghosts to possessed shrimp and of course that foul-mouthed dead guy, this one is a sure bet for some good old Halloween fun. Beetlejuice 2 is expected hit theaters in 2024.
In the whimsical world of Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie, we follow the story of young Victor as he embarks on a scientific endeavor to resurrect his dear canine companion, Sparky. Little does he know that his noble intentions will lead to unforeseen and, at times, monstrous consequences.
A collaboration of Steven Spielberg, Richard Donner, and Chris Columbus brings forth a legendary children’s adventure. Brace yourself for a breathtaking journey through subterranean caverns, sunken galleons, and a fortune in lost pirate treasure. Meet the Goonies, a group of friends determined to unlock the secrets hidden beneath the earth’s surface. As their home faces demolition at the hands of greedy developers, brothers Mikey (Sean Astin) and Brand (Josh Brolin) must find a long-lost treasure to save the day. Follow their quest as they unravel a treasure map, descending to a subterranean sea and discovering an abandoned galleon. Get ready for non-stop fun and excitement in this high-energy adventure!
Anjelica Huston shines in this fantastical adaptation of a beloved Roald Dahl novel. The story follows a young boy and his compassionate grandmother as they bravely stand against an enchanting coven of witches determined to rid Britain of children by transforming them into mice. During a delightful seaside vacation, the boy uncovers the unsettling presence of the witches and unravels their malicious plans, orchestrated by the cunning Grand High Witch portrayed by Huston. Notably, this film showcases the imaginative creature effects crafted by the late Jim Henson, adding to its allure.
Emma Stone, an Academy Award® winner, takes on the role of the infamous and fashion-forward villain, Cruella de Vil, in Disney’s new live-action film, “Cruella.” Set in 1970s London during the era of punk rock, the movie follows Estella, a cunning and imaginative young woman determined to establish herself as a renowned designer. Alongside a duo of mischievous thieves who appreciate her love for mischief, they forge a life on the vibrant streets of London. One fateful day, Estella’s unique fashion sense catches the attention of the Baroness von Hellman, an iconic figure in the fashion world portrayed by Emma Thompson, a two-time Oscar® winner. However, their relationship sets off a chain of events and revelations, ultimately leading Estella to embrace her darker side and transform into the bold, stylish, and revenge-seeking Cruella.
Halloween is a fun time for kids to watch some kid-friendly spooky movies. You can find many of these not-so-scary Halloween movies being shown on television or streaming on your favorite service during the month of October.