Halloween is a popular annual traditional when ghosts and ghouls awaken from their slumber and come back down to earth to pay a visit. To celebrate this event, children dress up in a wonderful variety of costumes, go trick or treating and generally scare themselves silly. Yay!
It’s also a great time of the year to watch some good old Halloween films. Word of warning – just be careful the films you select are suitable for the whole family! Interestingly a recent blog post on the McCarthy and Stone Retirement Living website claimed grandparents are the new cool so perhaps head over to their place, get the snacks in, shut the curtains and be prepared to be gently spooked rather than horrified with these fun and eerie films.
Without further adieu, here are our top 10 coolest Halloween films to watch with the family…
This 1982 classic groundbreaking “boy and his alien” movie is set at Halloween time of year and is the perfect Halloween family movie. Many childhoods around the world were forever moulded by three simple words: “ET phone home”.
This is the memorable Halloween scene from ET:
Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhandsis a 1990 American romantic dark fantasy film starring Johnny Depp who happens to have scissors for hands. It’s romance, it’s a horror, it’s gothic and it’s a fairy tale. What’s not to like about it.
Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part I and II
Depending on the age of your children, Harry Potter will be a great set of Halloween films to watch together. For those of you who’ve never heard of Harry Potter is (are there any?), Harry Potter is a series of seven epic fantasy novels written by the British author J. K. Rowling. The films chronicle the adventures of a young wizard, Harry Potter and his friends Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger, who are all students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Basically they get up to lots of mischief with wands and magic. Still ranking in the top 5 highest grossing movies of all time, Harry Potter films will be watched by families for generations to come.
This intriguing animation has been rated by critics as ‘whimsical’ although some parts of it are quite eerie so it might be worth assessing it on your own before letting the kids take a peak.
For those who love quirky and spooky animations, it’s the perfect choice and watchers can follow Coraline’s adventures and cheer loudly when good conquers evil!
A childhood favourite that continues to warm our hearts. So, if you’re in the mood for a lighter Halloween film, especially with younger children, you can’t go wrong with casper!
The Addams Family is not your typical family: they take delight in most of the things that “normal” people would be terrified of. Gomez Adams is an extremely wealthy man, and is able to indulge his wife Morticia’s every desire: be it cultivation of poisonous plants, or a candlelit dinner in a graveyard. People visiting the Addams Family just don’t seem to appreciate the 7 foot tall butler “Lurch” or the helping hand (which is just a disembodied hand named “Thing”).
Shaun of the Dead
One for older children, the dystopian fantasies about zombies and all other types of weird characters who are said to populate the earth are a fascinating topic for many horror films, but this classic offering gives the familiar story a new, hilarious spin.
Simon Pegg is more ridiculous than scary but this doesn’t stop him on his mission to rid the world of zombies! You can even see the early beginnings of Pegg’s film partnership with Nick Frost in this cult hit which is the first of Pegg and director Edgar Wright’s so-called Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy (Hot Fuzz and The World’s End being the other two instalments).
Although this isn’t strictly classified as a Halloween movie, it does have the elements of fear, surprise and humour. The plot involves a self-centred family who move into an old house, that’s still inhabited by the previous owners … who just happen to be ghosts.
Winona Ryder puts in a stunning performance as the heroine of the film who befriends the ghostly duo. Watch out for the scene where the whole family end up doing some amazing acrobatic dances around the dining table while miming to the soundtrack of the Banana Boat song.
This film is definitely more amusing than horrifying and portrays Gene Wilder at his comedic best. Even though the film was made in 1974 it never ceases to amuse, which makes it an ideal choice for families.
Although it does contain some macabre elements, they are all tempered with a light dose of humour, so both adults and children should find plenty to enjoy.
Last but certainly not least is this perennial favourite with a great storyline, a memorable soundtrack and some beautiful one-liners from its stars – everything you could hope for in a top Halloween movie.
The film combines a love story along with the fight by the intrepid trio to rid New York of all its ghosts. This film has stood the test of time and will provide the whole family with great entertainment – even if it does prompt the occasional laugh at outdated outfits and special effects!