Well, it’s finally here! 31st October – Halloween. The day that everyone loves to scare themselves silly with a horror film and the doorbell and knocker gets more activity than it does in the entire year with little kiddies dressed up as witches, ghosts and other delightful monster creations, begging for sweets.
For those staying in to watch a movie, it can be difficult to decide what to watch when you’ve both adults and kids in the house. Fear not! With some handy suggestions from Dr Lenera (thanks Doc!), I’ve put together this handy list of Top 10 family movies to watch at Halloween, that everyone including your grandma will enjoy. So get a blanket, a big brew and cuddle up on the sofa to watch these family horrors… Oh, from all of us at HorrorCultFilms, have a Happy Halloween!
Starring Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker as the dreaded witch trio, The Sanderson Sisters, Hocus Pocus follows the story of Thackery Binx, a teenage farmer who’s turned into an immortal cat by three evil witches, out on the hunt for childrens souls. With an angry mob out for revenge, witch Mary Sanderson puts a spell on herself and her two sisters which will allow them to return should a virgin light their black-flame candle. 300 years later, teens Max, Allison and Max’s little sister Dani accidentally resurrect the three sisters and with the help of Binx the cat, they must find a way to send them to hell before they claim the lives of the town’s children.I always enjoyed Hocus Pocus as a kid and even watch it now when it’s on TV. Midler, Najimy and Parker make hilariously wicked witches, with plenty of comedy elements for both children and adults to enjoy, as some scary scenarios too with the three antagonists’ appetite for youthful souls. Being a Disney film, it’s well suited for the family audience, and there’s plenty to entertain, with the three child protagonists battling against the witches with the help of a talking cat. What’s not to love?! There’s some cracking musical numbers too that will stick in your mind for eternity.
Who doesn’t love The Addams Family? Starring Anjelica Huston and Raul Julia as Morticia and Gomez Addams, the Addams’ are rejoicing as their beloved Uncle Fester (played by a marvellous Christoper Lloyd) returns back to the family home after disappearing in the Bermuda triangle. But all is not what it seems…
A terrific film based on a family who’s normal day-to-day life involve their children Wednesday and Pugsley Addams electricuting one another, a severed hand named Thing having a life of its own and parents who love nothing more than dreaming of how beautiful their rotting corpses will be. Yes, welcome to the Addams family, played to perfection in this movie. The kids will love what Wednesday, Pugsley and Thing get up to, and the parents will enjoy the dark comedy that Anjelica, Raul and Christopher bring to the table.
When there’s something strange in your neighbourhood, who ya gonna call? GHOSTBUSTERS! Bill Murray, Dan Akroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson star as the titular spirit removal team in this classic family fantasy film. With an outbreak of pesky poltergeists, the ghostbusting team quickly become celebrities and saviours in New York. However, when a lawyer forces them to deactivate their ghost containment grid, hundreds of ghosts are unleashed upon the city. With Gozer, God of Destruction on the warpath, the Ghostbusters must battle with all their might if they are to save New York City!
With the iconic appearance of the towering Stay Puft Marshmallow Man rampaging through the Big Apple and the dry sarcasm and wit of Murray’s Dr Peter Venkman, Ghostbusters became one of the all time classic movies of the 80’s. Every kid wanted to be a ghostbuster and have their own proton pack, and even now I see many adults cosplaying as ghostbusters at comic con events with passers by eager for their photo taken with them.
After coming across the diary of Dr Abraham Van Helsing, a group of monster-loving kids learn that a group of Universal monsters, led by Dracula, will descend upon the Earth in a bid to plunge it into darkness if they do not find an ancient amulet that will send the monsters into Limbo.
Featuring Dracula, The Mummy, The Wolfman, The Gill-Man and Frankenstein against a group of kids is entertaining for any horror fan, young or old, especially with its Goonie-style.
Vitches of England! When a little boy named Luke goes on holiday with his grandmother to the seaside, the last thing he expects is to bump into the Grand High Witch! Eavesdropping on her plans to turn children everywhere into mice, Luke must warn everyone and with his grandma’s help, stop them at all costs.
With puppetry by master Jim Henson and the direction of Nicolas Roeg, Roald Dahl’s terrifying childrens story is brought to life, with one of the scariest scenes in family horror cinema. Anjelica Huston stars as the wicked Grand High Witch and when her real appearance is revealed, it will shock not only the kiddies, but some adults too!
I still find this film frightening, particular the beginning scenes in Norway, the painting and of course, Anne Lambton’s appearance early on in the film. One of my all time favourites.
Quite frightening yet glorious stop-motion animation feature film from the brains of Tim Burton, and directed by Henry Selick.
‘Pumpkin King’ Jack Skellington leads the celebrations at Halloween each year in Halloween town, who’s residents consist of witches, ghouls, goblins, werewolves, vampires and other delightful monsters. However, Jack becomes fed up with the annual celebration and after stumblng into Christmas Town via a portal in the woods, decides to celebrate the more joyful Christmas instead by taking over the role of Sandy Claws (Santa Claus to you and me!), with disasterous consequences.
The Nightmare Before Christmas is quite frankly one of the scariest, yet brilliant animations for kids (and adults) ever put to film. Warped, but in a good way, the film is brimming with ideas, visuals and catchy songs. A great film for Christmas too!
Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice! Don’t say his name three times else you’ll unleash the mischievious bio-exorcist Beetlejuice!
A recently deceased couple return as ghosts and are horrified to find that their former home is now inhabited by a obnoxious couple, Charles and Delia Deetze, and Charle’s sweet, but ignored gothic daughter, Lydia, from his first marriage. Though the ghostly couple strike up a friendship with Lydia, they are keen to scare Charles and Delia away, but struggle with numerous failed attempts. They decide to hire Beetlejuice to help them, but they soon regret their decision when he becomes more of a pain than the Deetzes.
With the news of a Beetlejuice sequel on the horizon, what better time to introduce the young uns to this Tim Burton classic. Surreal and scary, this fantasy film hits all the right notes thanks to a outstanding performance by Michael Keaton as the notorious titular character.
Not strictly horror, but with gothic elements, Edward Scissorhands is one of the most touching tales put to screen. Directed by Tim Burton, Edward Scissorhands is tale of a man named Edward, created by an inventor (Vincent Price), who remained unfinished at the time of the inventor’s death. Finding him alone in the dilapidated house at the top of the hill and with scissors for hands, Avon lady Peg Boggs (Diane Wiest) takes him home to live with her family. However, Edward struggles to fit in with suburban life and after an accident, the townsfolk turn on him.
Starring a young Johnny Depp in his first leading movie role, Edward Scissorhands is certainly a tear-jerker but has enough comic and gothic influences for the family to enjoy. The perfect fairytale.
A father brings home a furry little creature, called a Mogwai, for Christmas for his teenage son Billy, but when the mogwai, named Gizmo, accidentally gets wet, he multiplies. Unfortunately for Billy, the spawned mogwai are not friendly and cute like Gizmo, and have mischief on their mind as they purposely trick Billy into evolving them into reptilian gremlins! Breaking out of the house, the gremlins go on a rampage, and Billy, his girlfriend Kate and Gizmo must stop them before they destroy the town.
I always wanted my own mogwai after seeing Gremlins as a child and I’m sure your kid will too! An enjoyable comedy-horror romp from Joe Dante, that may be more of a Christmassy horror but a fun one to watch anytime of the year, particularly Halloween!
Casper the friendly ghost is probably one of the few friendly ghosts out there, as he lives with his three troublesome uncles, Stretch, Stinkie and Fatso, in the abandoned Whipstaff Manor. When Carrigan Crittenden comes to claim Whipstaff Manor, having been left the home in her father’s will, she discovers there may be treasure hidden within the manor. However, with Casper and his uncles haunting Whipstaff, she decides to hire professionals to drive them out. Enter Dr James Harvey, a paranormal therapist, and his teenage daughter Kat, who Casper instantly falls in love with. Kat and Casper strike up a friendship, but the balance could be jeopardised when Casper’s uncles return home, not best pleased to see the house occupied by mortals.
It’s been a long time since I saw Casper but I remember it being light-hearted and fun, with most of the chaos and practical jokes that kids will enjoy provided by Casper’s uncles Stretch, Stinky and Fatso. A tale of friendship and good vs bad (Carrigan being the antagonist), the film is easy to follow by both the younger and older viewers.