The Best Halloween Films For Scaredy Cats

By Olivia Emily

9 months ago

All of the spooky vibes, none of the jump scares

If you’re not a jump scare fanatic but you’d still like to participate in spooky season, we’ve got you covered. These are the best Halloween films for scaredy cats, from comedies to thrillers – slashers sold separately.

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Best Halloween Films To Watch In 2023

Hocus Pocus (1993)

Disney’s Halloween cult classic follows a villainous comedic trio of witches, played by Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy, who are inadvertently resurrected by a teenage boy, played by Omri Katz, in Salem, Massachusetts, on Halloween night. If you loved it, there’s also Hocus Pocus 2 (2022).

Where to watch? Disney+

Halloweentown (1998)

For a family friendly Halloween flick, look no further than Disney’s Halloweentown (1998), which follows 13-year-old Marnie, a girl who discovers she is actually a witch on her 13th Halloween. She then finds a secret portal and is transported to Halloweentown, a magical place where supernatural beings live apart from humans.

Where to watch? Disney+

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

Less family friendly is The Rocky Horror Picture Show, a cult classic first released in 1975 and brimming with absolute bangers (‘The Time Warp’ and Meat Loaf’s ‘Hot Patootie – Bless My Soul’ both found fame here). A tribute to early science fiction and horror ‘B’ movies, the story follows a newly-engaged couple who seek shelter at the bizarre residence of Dr. Frank-n-Furter, a transvestite scientist.

Where to watch? Disney+, Prime Video, or dress up and get yourself down to a special Halloween cinema screening to sing along surrounded by other Rocky Horror lovers.

Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Challenging the notion that animation is only for children, this 1993 classic perfectly bridges the gap between Halloween and Christmas, following Jack Skellington, the King of Halloween Town who one day stumbles upon Christmas Town and schemes to take over the holiday. Plus, at only 74 minutes long, it’s the ideal flick to switch on for a brief, spooky time, with stunning visuals to boot.

Where to watch? Disney+

Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)

Speaking of stop-motion cartoons, it’s over to the UK for Aardman’s Curse of the Were-Rabbit, a family-friendly spoof of classic horror films. The film follows our beloved and eccentric cheese-loving inventor Wallace and his intelligent dog Gromit as they work as pest control agents to rescue their town from a rabbit infestation before the annual Giant Vegetable Competition.

Where to watch? BBC iPlayer

Carrie (1976)

If there’s one time of year to watch Carrie, it’s Halloween. This supernatural horror film is based on Stephen King’s 1974 novel of the same name, and is a classic in the horror sphere, despite not being all that gruesome or jumpy. Sissy Spacek stars as Carrie White, a shy and bullied 16-year-old girl with telekinetic powers trying to navigate teen life in a world of bullies and overseen by her religious, domineering mother.

Where to watch? Prime Video

Freaky Friday (2003)

Another low key Halloween classic is Freaky Friday, which follows mother Tess (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her teen daughter Anna (Lindsay Lohan), who switch bodies and must adapt to each other’s lives for one day.

Where to watch? Disney+, Prime Video

Beetlejuice (1988)

Merging fantasy, horror and comedy, Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice follows a recently deceased couple who, as ghosts haunting their former home, contact Beetlejuice, an obnoxious and devious ‘bio-exorcist’ from the Netherworld, to help them scare away the new living residents. At times gruesome, others trippy, and continuously witty, it’s a perfect Halloween watch.

Where to watch? Prime Video, Apple TV

Heathers (1989)

Fans of teen comedies looking for a flick with a dark twist should watch Heathers this Halloween, starring a young Winona Ryder opposite Christian Slater. The film revolves around Veronica Sawyer (Ryder), a high school student who is part of a popular-but-feared clique with three wealthy and beautiful girls, the three others with the same first name: Heather Duke, Heather McNamara, and the ruthless queen bee, Heather Chandler. A satirical take on teen life in the 1980s, Heathers deconstructs various teen angst and clichés in a plot of rebellion and revenge gone awry – perfect for fans of The Breakfast Club and Clueless, with a dark twist.

Where to watch? Prime Video

Scooby-Doo (2002)

The 2002 live-action version of the beloved cartoon, Scooby-Doo became an instant Halloween classic, starring Freddie Prinze Jr. as Fred, Sarah Michelle Gellar as Daphne, Matthew Lillard as Shaggy, and Linda Cardellini as Velma – our Mystery, Inc. gang. The plot follows the gang as they reunite after two years to investigate an amusement park called Spooky Island, where they encounter real demons.

Where to watch? Prime Video

Corpse Bride (2005)

Another dark yet enchanting film from Tim Burton, Corpse Bride is a musical fantasy film set in a fictional Victorian era village in England, filtered through Burton’s classic gothic style. We follow Victor Van Dort, the son of a nouveau riche merchant, and Victoria Everglot, a young woman from a financially struggling noble family. They are set to be married, but Victor, nervous about the wedding, practices his vows in the forest, accidentally placing the wedding ring on a tree branch that turns out to be the finger of a deceased young woman, Emily, who rises from the grave and claims to be his wife.

Where to watch? Prime Video

The Addams Family (1991)

If you loved Netflix’s Wednesday, throw it back to an older adaptation of Charles Addams’ cartoon characters: The Addams Family. The plot centres on a bizarre, macabre, aristocratic family who reconnect with whom they believe to be a long-lost relative, Gomez’s brother Fester Addams. However, the ‘Fester’ who arrives is actually an imposter, part of a con artist’s plan to fleece the Addams family fortune.

Where to watch? Prime Video

Featured image: Sabina Music Rich, Unsplash