Halloween is tomorrow, and although it’s the time to scare and be scared, some folks don’t necessarily enjoy that aspect of the holiday.
So for other chickens like this writer who don’t enjoy the horror, slasher movies, I’ve put together a list of alternatives.
These movies have just enough Halloween vibes for me, without being too creepy… well, not as creepy.
1. Hocus Pocus (1993)
This movie is a childhood favorite of mine. There’s something very sassy about these witches, and they embody creepy.
Coming out in 1993, the Disney movie a classic tale, set in Salem, Mass., no less, of a couple of kids, and a talking cat, trying to send three resurrected witches back to the grave to end a town curse. All in a day’s work.
Plus, these are the sassiest witches to be featured in a movie. The movie has some very clever writing and plays on various Halloween phenomenons.
And… I hear they’re making a sequel?
2. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Whether we count this movie as Christmas-themed or Halloween-themed doesn’t really matter. What matters is I’ve watched this movie for both holidays for as long as I can remember.
Another Disney movie, directed by Tim Burton, so it dances on the side of creepy. But, the other 1993 production, is the story of the Pumpkin King of Halloween wanted to have a happier holiday. The songs are catchy, the characters are weird, yet lovable. The tale is a must-watch for Halloween.
And, Danny Elfman, the score composer, is from Kentucky, as in, “to a guy in Kentucky, I’m mister unlucky,” like Jack sings.
3. Beetlejuice (1988)
As with all of my favorite Halloween movies, this flick borders on the line of really creepy.
Michael Keaton plays this disgusting, smooth-talking, really weird dead guy. Is that the best way to describe Beetlejuice?
Anyways, Beetle.. oops! don’t say his name three times!
This character is a “bio-exorcist,” meaning he helps ghosts rid people from their homes. Interesting, huh? But, he has his own agenda.
The movie, to me, is classic. I watch it every Halloween, and really every time it’s on. Plus, the final scene is one of my favorites.
4. Halloween Town (1998)
Another Disney movie on the list, only this one was a made-for-TV flick. Remember being a kid and anxiously waiting for those movies to come out?
This film tells the story of Marnie, a 12-year-old girl who finds out she’s actually a witch. But she can’t start her training until her 13th birthday (how spooky). Marnie thinks that magic is really cool, but doesn’t know the dark side of it.
5. Edward Scissorhands (1990)
What’s Halloween without several Tim Burton movies?
“Edward Scissorhands” is basically a revamping of the classic tale “Frankenstein.” Edward, was created by some weird scientist that wanted a son. The scientist treated Edward like a son, but died before he was able to finish him.
Hence, the reason he still has scissors for hands.
But the story is about him trying to fit into a very cookie-cutter, suburban society.
And, like most Burton films, there is also the element of a love never meant to be.
It’s creepy enough for Halloween though. I wouldn’t want a scissor-handed Johnny Depp coming after me.
6. The Corpse Bride (2005)
How many Tim Burton movies are on my list now? This is the fourth. (Beetle… well, you know who, was directed by Mr. Burton as well.)
Another claymation movie, like “Nightmare Before Christmas,” only with more digital effects, and another tragic love story.
It is called the “Corpse Bride,” so you can guess what the film might be about. Victor, voiced by Johnny Depp, is nervous about his upcoming marriage. He’s practicing his vows in the woods and ends up proposing to the corpse, Emily, voiced by Helena Bonham Carter.
It’s a different view of death than what we’ve seen before in Burton’s films. And as usual, the music is catchy and the characters are lovable.
7. The Addams Family (1991) & Addams Family Values (1993)
In the first of these two movies, there are con-artists trying to scam the Addams’ out of their very large fortune. (How they make their money I’ll never know.) But the crooks impersonate Uncle Fester, trying to trick his brother Gomez into giving him part of the fortune.
This movie really introduces the folks to the odd family. All in preparation for “Addams Family Values,” which is definitely my favorite of the two.
First of all, Uncle Fester gets a girlfriend, Debbie, but we’ll talk about her later. There’s a new addition to the Addams Family, as Morticia and Gomez have had another child. But, the biggest thing is Wednesday and Pugsley are sent to camp. And they are not happy campers.
The interaction between Wednesday and Amanda is absolutely hilarious, even though Wednesday is so creepy.
In case you can’t read the gif, it’s got Amanda asking Wednesday, “is that your bathing suit?” and Wednesday replying, “Is that your overbite?”
Now, back to Debbie. She’s crazy. Just to forewarn you. I won’t give everything away, but I’ll leave you with this, just to give you a clue.
8. Scooby-Doo (2002)
Scooby-Doo is a classic. Scoob and the gang have been catching monsters since the ’70s. In the 2002 live-action version, they continue their work.
Some spooky ghosts, some Scooby snacks, some odd chase scenes and voila! a perfect flick for Halloween night.
“And I would’ve gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for you meddling kids!”
9. Hotel Transylvania (2012)
This movie is packed with talent — Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Ceelo Green, Fran Drescher, Steve Buscemi, Davide Spade, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, and the list goes on.
Adam Sandler is an overprotective vampire dad, Dracula, raising his vampire daughter, Mavis, voiced by Selena Gomez, on his own in the Hotel Transylvania.
The movie features all kinds of monsters, ghouls, ghosts, and creatures big and small.
The writing is clever. The characters are adorable. It’s a great Halloween movie, and it’s not Disney!
10. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)
The Peanuts gang is celebrating Halloween in the cartoon movie.
And while everyone is celebrating, Linus is waiting in a pumpkin patch for the “Great Pumpkin.”
You’ll have to watch this classic to see if Linus meets him though.
That wraps up my list of favorite Halloween movies that aren’t terrifying.
All would make for a great holiday movie marathon.
Movies that almost made my list:
All of the Harry Potter films. I don’t really consider these Halloween movies, even though it’s all about witches, wizards and all things magical.
“Frankenweenie” could also be on this list, but I haven’t watched it start to finish.
“ParaNorman” is one creepy kids movie. I caught the tail-end of it and, let me tell you, it’s odd.
I’m not a huge fan of “Casper,” for the record. And, “E.T.” is one of my least favorite movies of all time.