Halloween movies: 22 films which are perfect for scaredy-cats who hate horror

Posted by for Film

From Hocus Pocus to Zombieland, these non-scary Halloween movies and comedies promise to be all treat, no trick. 

Whether it’s carving pumpkins or decorating the house with cutout bats and skeletons, ‘tis the season to get your spook on. And what better way to ease yourself into the Halloween spirit than by sticking on a good movie?

Of course, there are plenty of horror films available. However, if you’re one of those people who loves getting their ‘ween on but can’t think of anything worse than sitting down to watch a spine-tingling scary movie, then your best bet is to stick to one of the many, super-fun, non-scary Halloween films on offer. 

To help you out, we’ve rounded up some of our absolute favourites – and we’ve tested them out on some self-confessed scaredy-cats, too, to ensure there are no unpleasant surprises in store.

And, you guessed it, we’re making a point of keeping this list updated as and when new titles become available.

Happy viewing.

A Babysitter’s Guide To Monster Hunting

A Babysitter’s Guide To Monster-Hunting: Tom Felton
A Babysitter’s Guide To Monster-Hunting: Tom Felton is unrecognisable in his new role.

When high school freshman Kelly Ferguson (Tamara Smart) reluctantly agrees to babysit Jacob Zellman (Ian Ho) on Halloween, the last thing she expects is to be recruited into an international secret society of babysitters who protect kids with special powers from monsters. In order to keep Jacob safe from harm, Kelly teams with no-nonsense chapter Vice President Liz Lerue (Oona Laurence), tech genius Berna Vincent (Troy Leigh-Anne Johnson), creature expert Cassie Zhen (Lynn Masako Cheng) and potions master Curtis Critter (Ty Consiglio) to defeat a Boogeyman known as “The Grand Guignol” (Tom Felton), a glamorous witch named “Peggy Drood” (Indya Moore) and their legion of mysterious monsters.

Hocus Pocus

Hocus Pocus / Rex Features
Hocus Pocus: Sarah Jessica PArker, Bette Midler and Kathy Najimy as the Sanderson sisters.

“My brother’s a virgin: he lit the black flame candle. The witches are back from the dead and they’re after us. We need help.”

Thus sums up the plot of Hocus Pocus, which sees three long-dead witches return from the grave on Halloween night. And, sure, they’re out to murder and suck the souls out the children of Salem, Massachusetts, but this fun film is a campy masterpiece, packed to the brim with catchy musical numbers, hilarious one-liners, great visual gags, sumptuous costumes, talking cats (fine, just the one talking cat) and an outrageously good cast, too.

Little Shop Of Horrors

Houseplants are everywhere right now, so why not settle down to watch a Halloween musical about one?

In Little Shop Of Horrors, a nerdy florist buys himself a strange plant during a total eclipse of the sun, only to learn that… well, that the plant is not of this world. And it’s hungry, too…

Goosebumps

Everyone remembers R. L. Stine’s paperback horrors, don’t they? Well, in this nostalgia-fest, all the horrors concocted by the author come to life and spread havoc in Delaware. It’s up to three teens to work together and put a stop to the madness, before it’s too late.

Tucker & Dale vs. Evil

All Tucker and Dale want to do is enjoy a much-needed vacation at their cabin in the mountains. Too bad, then, that they’ve been mistaken for chainsaw killers by a group of college students.

What We Do In The Shadows

Living with housemates is all about holding tedious meetings to try and share out the chores fairly. Even if you’re a vampire. 

In this fly-on-the-wall comedy, a trio of blood-sucking undead invites a camera crew into their home in a bid to show off how they’re handling the complexities of modern life. (Spoiler: it’s not going all that well).

Hubie Halloween 

Hubie Halloween: Tim Meadows as Mr. Lester Herlihy and Maya Rudolph as Mrs. Herlihy.
Hubie Halloween: Tim Meadows as Mr. Lester Herlihy and Maya Rudolph as Mrs. Herlihy.

In this soon-to-be Netflix classic, Hubie Dubois thanklessly spends every Halloween making sure the residents of his hometown, Salem, celebrate safely and play by the rules. 

This year, though, an escaped criminal and a mysterious new neighbor have Hubie on high alert. And, when people start disappearing, it’s up to Hubie to convince the police and townsfolk that the monsters are real, and only he can stop them. 

The Corpse Bride

Tim Burton’s compelling tale of an undead bride launched 1,000 Halloween costumes when it first hit cinemas back in 2005. And, all these years later, the animated gothic romance remains as watchable as ever.

Casper

When Carrigan Crittenden hires paranormal expert Dr James Harvey to exorcise the ghosts from her mansion, it seems as if it’s going to be an easy job. But then Harvey’s daughter befriends Casper, a friendly ghost, and everything changes.

Wallace & Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit

When a huge vegetable-ravaging beast destroys the plots right before the Giant Vegetable Competition, Lady Tottington calls upon everyone’s favourite cheese-chompers (that’s Wallace and Gromit to you) to track the beast and rescue the village.

The Haunted Mansion

Workaholic estate agent Jim Evers surprises his family when he whisks them away on holiday, but prompts a whole lot of eye-rolling when he stops off at a sinister mansion that he’s hoping to sell. As you’ve probably guessed from the title, though, it’s haunted – specifically by Master Gracey, his stern butler, Ramsley, and two other servants.

And, yeah, they’re going to need Jim’s help breaking a curse.

Beetlejuice

Adam and Barbara are very much in love. So, when they unexpectedly die during their cosy staycation, they initially assume it’ll mean they get to spend eternity together – until an obnoxious family moves into their house.

Unable to scare their unwelcome living housemates away, the couple seek the help of bio-exorcist Betelgeuse. And that, as you’ll see from the film, quickly proves to be a big mistake.

Ghostbusters

Who you gonna call? Whether you opt to watch the original or the all-female Ghostbusters remake, you’re guaranteed a good time watching these bumbling paranormal investigators do their best to rid their city of ghosts.

Cabin In The Woods

Fancy something completely different? This smart-as-a-whip horror from Joss Whedon (yeah, the man who gave us Buffy the Vampire Slayer) takes all our favourite horror tropes and turns them completely on their head.

The Addams Family Values

The Addams Family Values: Anjelica Huston as Morticia Addams.

This brilliant 90s family comedy sequel – as unabashedly creepy and kooky as the first – sees the Addams family go head-to-head with Uncle Fester’s new gold-digging wife, played to perfection by Joan Cusack.

And, yes, it will see Morticia Addams serve up yet more powerful feminist life lessons, too.

The Frighteners

Frank can see and speak with ghosts. He’s friends with a couple, too. So he uses his skills to haunt a few houses in the neighbourhood and then… well, then use his ‘psychic’ abilities to exorcise the houses for a fee. As you do.

Young Frankenstein

Several years after living down his family reputation, Frederick Frankenstein (it’s pronounced “Froneksteen”) inherits his grandfather’s castle, where he discovers a book full of his granddad’s experiments and starts reworking on them. Cue history repeating itself in a big and entirely expected way…

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

This cult classic, which sees a newly-engaged couple forced to seek shelter at a nearby castle on a stormy night, is packed to the brim with brilliant tunes and Halloween costume ideas. Fact. 

Scary Movie 3

If you fancy dipping your toe into the Scary Movie franchise, make it the one with Queen Latifah as a chain-smoking psychic, yeah? 

The Witches

Fans of the Roald Dahl classic will definitely want to check out this movie about a young boy who accidentally stumbles into a group of child-guzzling witches at a seaside hotel. 

Arachnophobia

When Dr James Atherton moves into a small town, he witnesses a series of unexplainable deaths and, upon investigating, discovers that a flock of spiders are responsible for it. Gulp. 

Fair warning: I’ve been advised by my editor to flag that this one’s suitability for scaredy-cats entirely depends on whether or not you can handle spiders. If you’re chill with eight-legged critters, go for it. If they cause you to break out in a cold sweat, maybe leave this one and skip ahead to the next…

Coraline

Sick of being ignored by her mum, Coraline crawls through a secret door in her new home and finds herself in a magical, colourful nether-world overseen by her perfect “Other Mother”. However, she is stunned to discover that her idyllic new home has a sinister secret…

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Images: Netflix/Rex Features

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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