Looking for something to do after a cold night of trick-or-treating? Grab a blanket, snuggle up on the sofa with all your goodies and warm up with one of these great family friendly films.
Hocus Pocus (1993)
Set in Salem, Hocus Pocus tells the story of the Sanderson sisters, three witches who were executed in 1693 for practicing witchcraft, using children to bring them immortality. Three hundred years later, Max, the new kid in town, tries to impress a girl (Allison) and inadvertently brings the witches back. Max, Allison, Max’s sister Dani and a 300-year old cat called Binx, must stop the witches and save the children of Salem before it’s too late.
Twenty-six years on from its original release, this feel-good film boasts an epic musical number, and has become something of a cult classic and a Halloween staple.
The story sees starts with the deliciously wicked Carrigan Crittenden (Cathy Moriarty) inheriting a and haunted mansion, that apparently holds a great treasure inside. She hires afterlife therapist Dr Harvey (Bill Pullman) to move in, along with his daughter Kat (Christina Ricci), and rid the house of its ghosts. Kat befriends Casper, the friendly ghost of a young boy, but his uncles; Stinky, Stretch and Fatso, are not so welcoming.
I’ll admit, I don’t know how well this film has aged but I have very fond memories of watching this as a child so it had to be included in my list.
Hotel Transylvania (2012)
This charming and delightfully funny film sees Dracula (Adam Sandler) run a hotel just for monsters, where they can relax away from the terrifying human world. However, when human backpacker, Johnny (Andy Samberg) wanders in looking for a place to stay, all hell breaks loose and to make matters worse, he ‘zings’ with Dracula’s daughter, Mavis (Selena Gomez).
Not only is this a great film for all the family but it also features a lot of Halloween favourites including Frankenstein (Kevin James), Werewolves (Steve Buscemi), Mummies (CeeLo Green) and the Invisible Man (David Spade), and it has the added benefit of being the first in a trilogy, for added movie fun.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Bored of doing the same thing every year, Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town goes for a walk to clear his head, and stumbles upon Christmas Town, where everything is bright, colourful and cheery. Completely enamoured by what he has seen, he decides that they will bring Christmas to Halloween but unfortunately, they just can’t quite seem to get it right.
There have been many an argument over whether this is a Halloween or a Christmas film, but that just means you can watch it twice!!
After moving into a new house, eleven year old, Coraline begins to feel bored and lonely, somewhat neglected by her parents. When exploring, she finds a hidden door with a passage to an alternate reality where she gets every thing she thinks she wants. However, things soon turn dangerous when she realises that the ‘Other Mother’ is trying to trick and trap her. Our young heroine must rely on her wits and bravery, in order to get back to the real world and save her family.
As good as this film is, this film creeps me out, although if I’m honest, I think that the adults will struggle with this one more than the kids 😀
Young Miguel wants to be a musician but his family have a strange generations-old ban on music. During the Day of the Dead festival, Miguel sneaks off to the tomb of his idol, the great musician Ernesto de la Cruz, but a series of events see Miguel transported to the Land of the Dead, setting him on a path of discovery that will change his family forever.
Not only is this Oscar winning film a great watch but it also provides a interesting learning opportunity, offering an insight into the sacred Mexican multi-day festival that is celebrated by millions all over the world.
The Addams Family (1991)
The Addams’ are a wealthy yet somewhat eccentric family (arguably one of the best families in TV and cinema), who are excited to welcome back their long lost Uncle Fester into the fold. However, Fester is not who he says he is, as he is working with a lawyer to swindle the family out of their home and money.
This film has to be on your watch list as a new animated adaptation of this spooky and mysterious family is set to hit the UK cinemas this October, so this is a perfect time to watch this classic and compare the two.
Corpse Bride (2005)
The second Tim Burton film in my list (Nightmare Before Christmas), Corpse Bride sees Victor, a shy groom, practising his wedding vows in the woods but when he finally gets them right, he finds himself accidently married to a corpse bride, Emily. Trapped in the land of the dead with his new bride, Victor tries to get back to his fiancé in the land of the living before a mysterious new suitor whisks her away.
King of the creepy and mysterious, Frankenweenie is the third Tim Burton film to make it into my list, offering a play on the age-old Frankenstein story. When young Victor’s dog Sparky is hit by a car, the young scientist and avid filmmaker, uses electricity to bring his beloved best friend back to life. When the kids at school find out what he’s done, they attempt to bring back their own pets but with disastrous results.
The studio who brought us Coraline have provided another great Halloween film with ParaNorman. Norman is a normal boy, who can see and speak to the dead, although no one but his friend Neil believe in his ability. Norman is tasked with performing a ritual to protect his town from a witch’s curse, but when he is interrupted by the school bully, the dead rise again and begin to terrorise the town. Only Norman, along with some unexpected new friends, can save the town and restore peace.
So there you have it, ten family friendly films to snuggle up to this Halloween, or you can make an event of it and watch one each day.