Trick or treat may be canceled due to coronavirus — but at least you can still snuggle up on the sofa with the kids for a scary movie this Halloween.
Put on your Halloween costumes or your warmest pajamas, fill up a bucket of popcorn and check out our roundup of classic and brand new Halloween films for children of all ages. You and the family can find these movies onlike , , Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu or on VOD services like Google play and Vudu.
Let’s start with a brand new recommendation: Anne Hathaway plays the Grand High Witch in a new adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic book from Robert Zemeckis, moving the spooky story from the UK to the Deep South of the US. Originally intended for theaters, it’s going straight toon Oct. 22. If you don’t have HBO Max, look for the previous movie version of The Witches starring Anjelica Huston.
Another movie that missed theaters due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Scoob! is available to watch online now. It tells the origin story of Scooby-Doo, Shaggy and the Mystery Machine gang, with cameo appearances from other Hanna-Barbera animated characters.
Hubble, bubble, toil and trouble, cue up this movie on the double! Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker are a trio of weird sisters in this campy classic. It’s on Disney Plus now, along with a huge range of Disney’s past live action family films.
Vampires vs. the Bronx
Teens can sink their teeth into this fang-tastic new vampire romp streaming now on Netflix.
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
The Peanuts gang go trick-or-treating in this gentle animated classic.
The Addams Family
They’re creepy, they’re kooky, and they’re back! The 90s live action films are suitable for older kids, while younger ones will enjoy the 2019 animated version of The Addams Family featuring the voices of Charlize Theron, Oscar Isaac, Snoop Dogg and Bette Midler.
Gorgeous and gothic, Labyrinth is a much-loved classic for a reason. David Bowie is the Goblin King ruling over a realm of amazing Jim Henson puppet beasties as winsome teen Sarah journeys to rescue her baby brother. It’s an utterly timeless adventure with a classic theme song too. If your kids like this, try The Dark Crystal and its gorgeous prequel series on Netflix.
Share your youthful memories of R.L. Stine’s scary book series with your kids in this live action film adaptation starring Jack Black.
Toy Story of Terror
Woody, Buzz and the Toy Story gang have a toy-rrifying time in this Halloween-flavored Pixar film. Clocking in at a child-friendly 21 minutes long, you can stream it on Disney Plus.
In the right hands, there’s something a little unsettling about stop-motion animation. Andat any time of year, but at Halloween check out Paranorman, about a boy who can communicate with the dead. See also Coraline, based on a creepy Neil Gaiman story (is there any other kind?).
Visit the land of the dead in Pixar’s richly-designed Mexican-themed 2018 animation. Like all Pixar films, it’s available on Disney Plus.
Check in for Halloween high-jinks with Dracula and monster chums, created by much-loved animator Genndy Tartakovsky.
Pixar proves monsters can warm the heart as well as chill the blood in this colorful tale of a girl who makes friends with the creatures in her closet.
The Corpse Bride
Tim Burton’s creepy catalogue could while away a whole Halloween. The kids can enjoy monochrome stop-motion animations The Corpse Bride, about a macabre marriage, and Frankenweenie, about a deceased dog taking on a new life.
Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
More scares, Gromit? The claymation couple Wallace and his faithful dog Gromit face a bunny who means business when the moon is full in this adorable Oscar-winning animation from.
Christina Ricci meets cartoon phantasm Casper the Friendly Ghost in this live action caper.
Kiki’s Delivery Service
Witches don’t just brew up trouble in their cauldrons — sometimes they use their broomsticks for delivering things. Once you’ve seen it and fallen in love with the, pretty much all of their films — such as Spirited Away or My Neighbour Totoro — have a certain weirdness that works at Halloween or all year around. You’ll find them on HBO Max.
Don’t mess with Beetlejuice the unfriendly ghost. A riotous send-up of haunted house movies featuring a deliciously over-the-top performance from Michael Keaton as the anarchic Beetlejuice, with jokes and comically gory scares suitable for older kids.
They don’t make ’em like this any more… Older kids will love the mix of cuteness and delightfully naughty scares in this chaotic classic. If they like this, there’s a whole world of 1980s movies to explore, from The Goonies to The Lost Boys (if nothing else, they’ll finally get the references in).
Who you gonna call? The ghostbusting comedy that launched a thousand lunch boxes is still as addictive as ever. Bear in mind this 80s classic is probably ruder (and more filled with smoking) than you remember. Younger ones can join the fun with spin-off cartoon The Real Ghostbusters.