As ‘horror’ has become synonymous with Halloween, trying to find Halloween films without the horror aspect can be difficult. And if horror films are either too much for you or just not your thing, it can be a nightmare to sort through the ‘other’ films. So, here are my top 10 horror-free Halloween films to suit all of your spooky needs.
Addams Family Values
The Addams family are an essential part of Halloween, whether its costumes or their general ‘kookiness’,they are a permanent staple, so I had to include them!
Addams Family Values as you may have guessed is about family values, but not necessarily in the way, you’d expect. The Addams family grows larger in this film with the arrival of Gomez and Morticia’s third child and uncle Fester gets married. Both arrivals cause a ripple in the family, the Addams’s have to rescue Fester from his gold-digging murderous wife and Wednesday and Pugsley can’t stand their new brother.
The film has everything you could need for a spooky night in; family, kookiness, crazy characters and classic Addams family lines to make you laugh!
The Nightmare Before Christmas
While the main character of this film is the king of Halloween Town, there is much debate as to whether this film is a Christmas film or a Halloween film, or both. But regardless of what category you think it belongs in, it’s quirky and strange, making it a perfect choice.
In Tim Burton’s animated classic, the Pumpkin King Jack Skellington grows tired of his crown and sets off in the search of something new. He stumbles upon Christmas Town and delights in bringing it to Halloween Town, never imaging the destruction it could bring.
Disney films are a safe way to avoid horror films but don’t think that means scrimping on a good Halloween story.
In Hocus Pocus, the Dennison move to Salem, their teenage son Max – who doesn’t believe in Halloween stories, despite the town’s history – accidentally awakens a trio of supposedly diabolical witches, who were executed in the 17th century. Max must stop the witches from taking over the town before sunrise with the help of his sister Dani, a popular girl Allison and of course, a black cat.
Although it’s a very silly film, from start to finish, it has a lot of heart and is easily enjoyable.
If you’ve only ever seen Michael Keaton in Jack Frost or Batman, then you need to see how he can bring a creepy character to life from the afterlife.
Recently deceased couple Adam (Alec Baldwin) and Barbara Maitland (Geena Davis) are harassed by their new homeowners, the Deetz’s. In trying to reclaim their home they hire ‘bio-exorcist’ Beetlejuice, who turns their nightmare into a living hell.
With the running joke of mispronunciation of Beetlejuice/Beetleguese, crazy antics from both sides, the Delia Deetz’s interest in the recently deceased and her ‘rebellious’ daughter Lydia (Winona Ryder), you’ll love the strangeness from the moment Tim Burton’s exorcist appears!
Just remember, no mentioning the B-word!
The family are torn apart by the disappearance of uncle Fester, Gomez’s long-lost brother. Gomez’s lawyer is in serious debt to con artist Abigail Craven, together they plan to steal the family’s vault with the sudden reappearance of ‘Fester’ (Craven’s son Gordon), who is conveniently suffering from amnesia. Gordon eventually recovers his memory and re-joins the Addams family. He is welcomed back into the family on Halloween, Morticia then reveals she’s pregnant.
A must-see for all Addams family fans!
The Halloween Tree
This animated film follows the story of four children trying to save the life of their friend Pip, and in doing so learn the origins of Halloween customs. The four children strike a deal with Carapace Clavicle Moundshroud, who is after Pip’s ghost, to recover his ghost and save his life before sunrise. As they begin their journey into Halloween’s past and discover the significance of their costumes, they are sent back in time.
The film is narrated by the author of the book Ray Bradbury. Although this film isn’t widely known, it’s well worth checking out.
An animated story of a shy groom accidentally marrying a deceased young woman, while practising his vows in the woods. She arises from the grave to meet her new husband. Accidental husband Victor tries to get away from his deceased bride Emily to marry his fiancé Victoria. The corpse bride eventually helps him return to Victoria and gets her revenge on her killer.
The friendly ghost and his three despicable ghostly unclesreceive a somewhat unwelcome visit from ‘ghost therapist’ Dr James Harvey (Bill Pullman) and his daughter Kat (Christina Ricci). Homeowner Carrigan Crittendon (Cathy Moriarty) and her partner in crime Dibs (Eric Idle) hire Dr Harvey to exorcise the house to get their hands on the deceased family’s treasure.
Frankenstein is an easy choice for a Halloween film, but when there are so many how do you choose which one? Easy! Pick the one with comedians at the helm.
Mel Brooks’s Young Frankenstein is a wonderfully crazy tribute to the classic story. Young Dr Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) is summoned to his late grandfather’s castle in Transylvania. Although he begins the film distancing himself from the legend of the Frankenstein name but when he travels to Transylvania, he embraces the legend. With the help of hunchback Igor (Marty Feldman), he reanimates a dead body.
Don’t be put off by the fact the film is black and white, the lunacy and wonderfully strange lines will have you laughing right from the start.
The adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline sees an adventurous 11-year-old girl discovers another world that has the strange but an idealized version of her family – with sinister secrets waiting to be uncovered! While in the Other World, Coraline must uncover the secrets to save her parents who have been kidnapped by the Beldam.
Upon her return to reality, her parents have forgotten the ordeal, but the souls she saved come to thank her but warn her that Beldam will never stop looking for a way back…