We all have those movies that aren’t for us. For me, it’s horror. This can make Halloween a bit of a tricky time of year for me.
Sure, I like some scares, and some of my favorite spooky movies are Cabin in the Woods, Silence of the Lambs, and Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow, but that’s about where I draw the line. But not all hope is lost!
There are still plenty of fantastic movies to watch this time of year, with their share of scares (albeit tamer) and fun. So for those of you who aren’t into the slashers and the ghost stories, check out some of the best not-so-scary Halloween movies!
10. Scream (1996)
From legendary horror director Wes Craven, Scream is probably the scariest film on this list. However, it doesn’t neatly fit into the horror genre because of its humor and meta commentary. There are some genuinely funny moments in the movie, while still providing some great scream-worthy moments too. How it flipped the horror genre on its side, though, is really why this movie is worth the watch year after year.
9. The Addams Family (1991)
Is there a more ghoulish family than that of the Addams? Based on the cartoon of the same name, this film has exactly the right aesthetic and tone you want for Halloween. Creepy yet funny, the film deals with normal things but its unique characters are what make this movie a great choice for this time of year.
8. Hellboy (2004)
Frankly, nearly any Guillermo del Toro movie is good for Halloween. He has a way with vivid imagery and chills – just check out Pan’s Labyrinth if you haven’t yet. Still, there’s a soft spot in my heart for Hellboy. The lovable demon is wonderfully played by Ron Perlman and the colorful characters, all steeped in supernatural, are the best companions for Halloween.
7. Coraline (2009)
People often site director Henry Selick’s other stop-motion feature, The Nightmare Before Christmas, on their Best Of Halloween movie lists. And for good reason! However, to give you even more options, you should definitely check out Coraline. Based on the short story by Neil Gaiman (absolutely wonderful in its own right), this film is creepy and one-of-a-kind, the type of film to make shivers run down your spine – yet still be a children’s movie. It walks that line effortlessly.
6. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)
There’s nothing quite as classic as watching Charlie Brown during the holidays. When it comes to Halloween, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is the way to go. It features all your favorite Peanuts and lovable moments, and you can’t help rooting for Linus and the Great Pumpkin.
5. Beetlejuice (1988)
Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice! The iconic character, immortalized by Michael Keaton, is one of the best Halloween figures out there. Rounded out by great supporting performances from Winona Ryder, Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Catherine O’Hara, and Jeffrey Jones, the film is the best for your devious, ghostly side.
4. Shaun of the Dead (2004)
If you’re not a horror fan, what better way to celebrate Halloween than with comedic zombie films? That’s where Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead comes in. The first film in the Cornetto Trilogy, this take on the zombie genre features Simon Pegg and Nick Frost hilarious battling the undead in a pub.
3. Rear Window (1954)
Not a horror fan but you want some thrills on Halloween? Look no further than pretty much any of Alfred Hitchcock’s films. He’s not called the Master of Suspense for nothing. However I have quite the fondness for the understated, but masterfully crafted Rear Window with Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly. It’s not full of loud jump-scares, but the building tension is sure to put you on edge.
2. Hocus Pocus (1993)
As a millennial, I’d be remiss not to mention the film that’s come to define Halloween for my generation. Sure, it’s cheesy and a typical Disney flick, but it’s so much fun. As this fantastic article over at Birth.Movies.Death. explains, “it’s the unadulterated delight Hocus Pocus takes in the season of Halloween that earns the film its cult classic mantle.” There is sheer joy to be found here, and Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker’s performances make the film.
1. Young Frankenstein (1974)
Yet the best film on Halloween if you don’t like horror is Mel Brook’s classic Young Frankenstein. It takes one of the most well-known gothic stories and puts a comedic twist on it. Led by the hilarious Gene Wilder, this film will make you laugh out loud and put on the Ritz.
What are some of your favorite non-horror Halloween films? Let us know in the comments!