Home » blog » 14 Not-So-Scary Movies for Halloween

14 Not-So-Scary Movies for Halloween

Not-So-Scary Movies for Halloween
Photo: Columbia/Tri-Star

Halloween “approacheth” everyone. Are you ready to be terrified out of your mind? Are you all set for horror movie marathons – the sort which involves turning off all the lights and watching people being tortured, maimed, stalked, assaulted and attacked for an hour and a half to two hours? This is called fun – for some. I have never enjoyed the truly terrifying sort of movie which is acceptable for this time of year. Some of us need more fun than Freddie Kreuger, more adventure than vengeful demons, more thrills than the chilling chainsaw wielding maniacs.

The great thing is there are lots of movies for Halloween that appeal to those of us who would like to be able to sleep nightmare free, so I’ve compiled a list of movies you can watch with friends or family. Movies you need not fear watching on your own.

I used some pretty stringent (not really) criteria to make my picks. For instance, I’ve looked at suitability for the season. You’ll notice that the amount of scariness varies though most of these end positively. I’ve noticed that even if there are some chills in a movie, it can help when it doesn’t end with someone escaping from the cave of unspeakable horror and then suddenly waking up in chains in a mental asylum overrun by zombies.

Take note that a lot of my recommendations are usually considered family friendly, but before you show any of these to very young children or very sensitive people, do some more research and approach with care. As we all know what’s scary for some people can be very subjective. None of these are rated higher than PG-13 though. Expect some very mild spoilers too.

So now, hop to my list of 14 Not-So-Scary Movies for Halloween night in no particular order.  (A Word to the Wary: Observe how I made sure not to stop at 13, so this list is guaranteed to be free of possible curses or coincidental, suspicious unfortunate accidents. You’re welcome!)

14 Not-So-Scary Movies for Halloween

(In No Particular Order)

#1: Beetlejuice

Not-So-Scary Movies for Halloween
Photo: Warner Brothers

What it is about: A sweet newly dead couple hire a kooky ghoul – better not to be mentioned just in case- to help them scare some obnoxious people out of their home.

Spookiness factor: This is a Tim Burton movie after all, so be prepared to see some weird and sometimes disturbing undead shenanigans, but the action tends to be more wacky and silly than scary.

Alternative suggestion: Another Tim Burton option: Edward Scissorhands.

#2: Corpse Bride

Photo: Warner Bros.
Photo: Warner Bros.

What it is about: A nervous Victorian era bridegroom finds himself accidentally engaged to an undead bride. This causes a lot of complications with his living fiancée, their overbearing parents, and various other interested sinister parties.

Spookiness factor: This is definitely a ghost story but with a sweet and endearing ghost. It’s mostly the living who are the villains around here. The ghostly aspects are only occasionally chilling

Alternative suggestion: Young Sherlock Holmes. Supposedly Sherlock Holmes’ very first case. This is also set in Victorian times and has the suspenseful, sometimes macabre Sherlock feel to it with lots of fog and eerie happenings.

#3: Ghost Busters

Not-So-Scary Movies for Halloween - Ghost Busters
Photo: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

What it is about: You should know this one: a group of scientists trap ghosts with some unlikely unwieldy looking equipment and fight to save New York from a supernatural threat.

Spookiness factor: Be prepared for chilling moments but there’s more the thrill of adventure you might get from an Indiana Jones movie with demon dogs, an all-powerful evil being played by a fashion model and a smiling but sometimes really, really mad marshmallow man sent to effect our heroes’ demise.

Alternative suggestion: Some people don’t care for it, but I enjoy Ghostbusters 2 as much as the first one.

#4: The Witches the witches - Not-So-Scary Movies for Halloween

What it is about: An adaptation of Roald Dahl’s book about the witches of England plotting to get rid of all the icky children they hate. They’re led by the most fearsome witch of all in the form of the fantastic Angelica Houston. Only a little boy and his grandmother know enough about their plans to try to stop them.

Spookiness factor: I wouldn’t recommend this for very young children as they’ll be fleeing from any lady they meet who fits the bill of Roald Dahl’s typical witch. Don’t expect any lovable witches here; these are menacing and sometimes horrifying.

Alternative suggestion: Hocus Pocus: Never seen this but it was recommended when I asked online. Perhaps it has some much nicer witches.

the great pumpkin#5: It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown

What it is about: Not movie length but this special is still worth a mention. The Peanuts gang enjoy tricks or treats fun while Linus tries to spread awareness about the Great Pumpkin.

Spookiness factor: Not a scare here. Just lots of Peanuts fun and the usual wise observations from little children, though that tantrum Sally throws when she gets disappointed must send chills through the spine of every Great Pumpkin believer.

Alternative suggestion: Disney’s Ichabod and Mr. Toad. Also very short. Full of Disney scares but with lots of laughs.

#6: Coraline coraline - Not-So-Scary Movies for Halloween

What it is about: A girl discovers another world through a door in her house but finds out it’s not quite what it seems which tends to happen with these strange mirror worlds, unfortunately.

Spookiness factor: Another one that probably shouldn’t be shown to the very young as losing your parents can disturb even adults. The Other Mother Coraline discovers in the alternate world is the stuff of nightmares, but this is still fun, and it’s great seeing Coraline stand up against evil.

Alternative Suggestion: Alice in Wonderland: another small town girl roaming in a mirror world. As if the typical story isn’t unsettling enough, Tim Burton’s version ramps it up by having Alice facing up to the dreaded Jabberwocky.

#7: Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein

Not-So-Scary Movies for Halloween- Abbott and Costello
Photo: Universal Pictures

What it is about: If you like the sort of high jinks and pratfalls which were so well done in films of the 40s then you can’t miss one of the best Abbott and Costello movies as the famous comedy duo contends with not only Frankie himself but Dracula and the Wolf Man too! Movie buffs will enjoy that Lon Chaney and Bela Lugosi reprise the roles of the monster characters they played in dramas.

Spookiness factor: The monster characters play their parts straight, but there’s mostly laughs as Bud and Lou tear around trying to escape them.

Alternative Suggestion: Almost any other Abbott and Costello movie where they encounter horror movie staples like the Mummy.

By on October 28th, 2015

About Dixie-Ann Belle

I’m from a Caribbean island you should definitely consider visiting (Hint: Trinidad and Tobago). I have a BSc in Mass Communications and an MA in English Literature. I’m a lifelong reader, and I love the classics, fantasy, urban fantasy, YA, historical novels and various combinations of these which might explain why I believe that in some alternate universe, I am The Last Unicorn. When I’m not reading, procrastinating online or watching television and movies in this universe, I’m working as a freelance writer, proof reader and editor. Sometimes I also write about creative things that inspire me on my blog Crossroads of Imagination

More posts by this author.

6 thoughts on “14 Not-So-Scary Movies for Halloween”

  1. Great list! I’m not one for scary stuff either. I definitely need to see The Nightmare Before Christmas this Halloween and I’d like to see Labyrinth as well.

  2. Great job, Dixie-Ann! I’m not a scary movie kind of girl either. You put a LOT of work into this list and of course, it’s the perfect list to publish this week. Thanks for sharing. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  3. This is a such a great list! I don’t like horror much but horror-lite I am up for and there are quite a few mentioned here that I’ve never seen.

    Coraline was a weird one for me. I didn’t find it that scary while watching it, but after I’d finished I found myself in that very watchful state where you notice every tiny sound. I found it really charming, but it got deep into my head. Which shows it’s a great film, of course. I’d say anyone whose childhood was very frightening, especially if, like with me, that was partly because of their mother, might want to be cautious about seeing it.

    • That’s a very insightful observation about Coraline. Sometimes something might not be overtly frightening but can leave us feeling unsettled just like you said. This can happen with a lot of stories aimed for children. If you’ve never read the Coraline book look out for that feeling if you ever do.

      I hope you found some good options to check out and thanks for reading!


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.