16 family horror films to watch this Halloween
James R | On 31, Oct 2020
Halloween means one thing for cinema fans: a chance to catch up with some scary movies. For families, though, finding the right blend between spooky and not too creepy can be challenge. Fortunately, it’s never been easier to access a whole range of tricks and treats for all ages, from Disney+’s collection of stop-motion gems to Netflix and NOW’s library of old and new favourites.
Looking for something to watch with the relatives this Halloween? Here are the 16 best family frightfests to enjoy together:
A Beginner’s Guide to Monster Hunting
This bright and breezy adaptation of Joe Ballarini’s books is a likeable family adventure.
The Addams Family
Barry Sonnenfeld’s live-action take on the creepy, kooky family is a delightfully dark comedy with a flawless cast.
Addams Family Values
Its title may beat around the Bush, but this superior sequel goes straight for the jugular.
Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
This animated outing from Aardman takes Wallace and Gromit from the small screen to the big without spilling a single bit of plasticine. Now running their own anti-pest business (anti-pesto), the duo find themselves facing a strange new beast, who is devouring the village’s carrots. With delightfully hammy turns from Ralph Fiennes and Helena Bonham Carter, not to mention an endless array of genre nods, word play and slapstick, this is that rare thing: a perfect family film.
Creepy fun for kids of all ages.
The Dark Crystal
Jim Henson’s classic family adventure boasts superb world-building and sensational puppet action.
This dark yet sweet story of one boy’s attachment to his best friend is a lovely lightning bolt of brilliance.
The director mixes his Gothic sensibility with stunning stop-motion to spooky effect in this darkly comic tale of a man who finds himself accidentally betrothed to a dead woman.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Tim Burton’s stop-motion flick takes the festive charm of Christmas and twists it with the warped horror of Halloween – a combination that director Henry Selick whips up with visually breathtaking glee. Combined with Danny Elfman’s superb soundtrack (Elfman sings the part of Pumpkin Jack), this is one musical guaranteed to freak out the whole family. Best of all, you can watch it again next October.
Toy Story of Terror!
This heartfelt, female-led Pixar short is frighteningly fun for the family.
Johnny Depp stars in Tim Burton’s beautifully unusual gothic love story about a half-finished mechanical boy.
The Witches (1990)
A brilliantly grotesque children’s horror film from the late, great Nicolas Roeg.
“I ask for so little. Just fear me, love me, do as I say and I will be your slave.” If you’ve never seen David Bowie as Jareth the Goblin King in this iconic 1986 fantasy, this is your chance.
Not quite The Nightmare Before Christmas, but Coraline is a pleasingly unpleasant bedtime story.
Watch on Sky Cinema / NOW
Impeccably designed and madly plotted, this cartoonish caper is haunted by its rewrites.