The Halloween season is upon us but not everyone has it in them to get spooked. If you are like me, you are slowly wading your way into the horror genre but overall enjoy being able to sleep at night with thinking about whatever might be lurking under the bed or outside my windows. In that regard, here are the top 13 non-scary movies to watch this Halloween in no particular order.
Hocus Pocus (1993)
Hocus Pocus is the Halloween Disney classic that is a must-watch on just about everyone’s list. The movie follows Max, who has recently moved to Salem, his sister, and his crush after he accidentally frees the Sanderson Sisters, played by Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy. Now the trio, with the help of the magical cat Binx, must stop the coven of witches by stealing their book of spells. The movie is full of witches, spells, and a few undead spirits but lacks any serious jump scares or spooks.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
The Nightmare Before Christmas is both a Halloween and Christmas movie. The Tim Burton classic follows Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King, as he begins to get bored with Halloween Town and the same Halloween celebrations. After discovering doors to other holiday worlds Jack decides to take over Christmas by kidnapping Santa Claus and taking over the role. However, he obviously hits a few bumps in the road. The Nightmare Before Christmas is far more silly than scary.
Goosebumps is the live-action film starring Jack Black as R.L. Stein himself and to be honest, this movie has no right to be as good as it is. The movie follows Zach Cooper who moves in next to the famous but elusive author R.L. Stein, though now known as Mr. Shivers. After breaking into Mr. Shivers’ house after being under the impression his daughter Hannah is in danger, Zach accidentally opens Stein’s Goosebumps manuscripts only to find out all of the monsters are real. With the monsters now released from their prisons, the teens with the help of the prolific author must get the monster back into their stories before they destroy the town. While the original novels might have felt frightening as a child, Goosebumps remains non-scary.
Beetlejuice is another Tim Burton classic that follows the mischevious spirit Beetlejuice. When Barbara and Adam Maitland die, they end up haunting their home but the new family that moves in, including their teenage daughter Lydia (Winona Ryder), drive them insane. When the Maitlands cannot scare them away, they hire Beetlejuice (Michael Keaton) to do the job.
Halloweentown is the Disney Channel Original movie that despite debuting on television has stayed in the public consious. It follows Marnie Piper who after sneaking out of her home and following her grandmother, Aggie (Debbie Reynolds) discovers that she is a witch and her grandmother is from a magical place called Halloweentown. However, not everything is quite as it seems as many of the Halloweentown citizens begin to be frozen in time. It is now up to the Piper family to come together and fight the evil threatening to take over Halloweentown and the world.
Clue, based on the Hasbro board game of the same name, is a comedy murder-mystery. The guests, who all have an alias, all arrive at a dinner party hosted by Mr. Boddy (Lee Ving), where he admits to blackmailing his visitors. but someone ends up dead. But when Boddy turns up murdered everyone is a suspect and together they must figure out who is the killer. With multiple ending and over-the-top performances, Clue is an excellent, non-scary dark comedy featuring a stellar cast including Tim Curry.
Ghostbusters is a classic comedy that still resonates with audiences today. The movie follows the Ghostbusters are a team of defunk scientists that wage a high-tech battle with the supernatural for money. However, after they discover a gateway to another dimension the supernatural activity in New York is kicked up a notch. Now the Ghostbusters are in high demand and the only chance the city has from being completely destroyed.
Frankenweenie is another Tim Burton creation this time following a young Victor Frankenstein. After losing his beloved pet, Sparky, Victor is heartbroken. Being the science genius he is, Victor deduces a way to bring Sparky back. The experiment is successful and with Sparky back Victor thinks all is well. However, Victor’s fellow students steal his secret and use it to resurrect other dead animals which does not go over nearly as well as Sparky’s own resurrection.
What We Do In the Shadows (2014)
What We Do In the Shadows is a comedy mockumentary from directors Taika Waititi (JoJo Rabbit) and Jemaine Clement. The movie, also starring Waititi, follows a group of vampire housemates as they traverse through being immortal in our complex, modern world. From falling in love to find people’s blood to drink, these housemates also seem to find an adventure. This non-scary satirical comedy is a nice change of pace from the more traditional Halloween movie.
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is based on the comic strip Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz and originally premiered on CBS. The classic cartoon primarily follows Linus in his attempt to convince the rest of the Peanuts gang that the Great Pumpkin is real. After writing the Great Pumpkin a letter, Linus is convinced that the Great Pumpkin will come to his sincere pumpkin patch. He waits in anticipation for the allusive figure to emerge.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
The Rocky Horror Picture Show marks another entry on the list starring Tim Curry. This cult musical classic was a progressive marvel for its time and follows a sweet, innocent couple who after getting a flat tire in the rain are forced to flee to the strange mansion of Dr. Frank-N-Furter. Throughout the night the couple begins to lose their inhibitions as they meet the bizarre and wild characters of the house including a rocking biker and a creepy butler. The Rocky Horror Picture Show remains one of the most important pieces of media in queer culture. It also has enough spooky, but non-scary, elements to be perfect for Halloween.
The Addams Family (1991)
The Addams Family is the movie adaptation of the TV series that ran from 1964-1966. The movie features a strange family who appears to find their long-lost uncle when a man claiming to be Fester, the missing brother of Gomez Addams comes at the Addams’ residence. However, Morticia is uncertain he is truly Gomez’s long-lost brother so she enlists the help of lawyer Tully Alford. Meanwhile, Fester manages to get the Addams evicted. Gomez then realizes these men are attempting to get the Addams fortune. The Addams Family features pitch-perfecting casting including Christopher Lloyd as Fester and Christina Ricci as Wednesday Addams.
Another movie featuring Christina Ricci, Casper, based on the Harvey Comics cartoon character, follows the friendly, and clearly non-scary ghost, who haunts a mansion in Maine. Specialist James Harvey arrives at Casper’s mansion to communicate with him and his fellow spirits. James also brings along his teenage daughter, Kat (Christina Ricci). Casper grows quite fond of Kat and ends up falling in love with her. However, their relationship is a complicated not only by the fact he is a ghost but by his troublemaking apparition uncles and their mischievous antics seem to always get in the way.
What are your favorite non-scary Halloween movies? Are there any I missed? Let me know in the comments below.