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46 Best Kids Halloween Movies

Looking for a scary movie to watch with the kids and family? Or a horror movie that won’t necessarily send you scrambling beneath the covers, with a 6,000 watt night light plugged in? Then you’ve come to the right ghoulish place with our guide to some of the best children’s movies for Halloween!

There’s something for everyone, from the very young (It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, Coco) to the…well, still young, but we bet they think they’re so grown-up (The Addams Family). We’ve got animated funhouses (The Nightmare Before Christmas, Coraline, Monster House), ’80s fantasies and creepfests (The Dark Crystal, Return to Oz), and ’90s classics present and accounted for (The Witches, Hocus Pocus, Casper).

But what’s a little mayhem for the young mind without some Steven Spielberg productions like Poltergeist and Gremlins? Or the maestro of palatable twisted dreams: Tim Burton, who’s represented by Beetlejuice.

Meanwhile, modern-day fare like Goosebumps, The Addams Family, and the long-awaited Hocus Pocus sequel will keep the torch burning well into the years. In the end, we kept the list to PG and below, before we sorted the list by Tomatometer, with Certified Fresh films first. Whatever scary family movies you’re looking for, the ones you need are in our guide to the essential kids Halloween movies! Alex Vo

#1

Coco (2017)
97%94%

#1
Adjusted Score: 121763%
Critics Consensus: Coco's rich visual pleasures are matched by a thoughtful narrative that takes a family-friendly -- and deeply affecting -- approach to questions of culture, family, life, and death.
Synopsis: Despite his family's generations-old ban on music, young Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol Ernesto de... [More]
Directed By: Lee Unkrich

#2

Spirited Away (2001)
97%96%

#2
Adjusted Score: 103004%
Critics Consensus: Spirited Away is a dazzling, enchanting, and gorgeously drawn fairy tale that will leave viewers a little more curious and fascinated by the world around them.
Synopsis: 10-year-old Chihiro (Daveigh Chase) moves with her parents to a new home in the Japanese countryside. After taking a wrong... [More]
Directed By: Hayao Miyazaki

#3

Ghostbusters (1984)
95%88%

#3
Adjusted Score: 99535%
Critics Consensus: An infectiously fun blend of special effects and comedy, with Bill Murray's hilarious deadpan performance leading a cast of great comic turns.
Synopsis: After the members of a team of scientists (Harold Ramis, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray) lose their cushy positions at a... [More]
Directed By: Ivan Reitman

#4

Monsters, Inc. (2001)
96%90%

#4
Adjusted Score: 103313%
Critics Consensus: Clever, funny, and delightful to look at, Monsters, Inc. delivers another resounding example of how Pixar elevated the bar for modern all-ages animation.
Synopsis: Monsters Incorporated is the largest scare factory in the monster world, and James P. Sullivan (John Goodman) is one of... [More]
Directed By: Pete Docter

#5
Adjusted Score: 101950%
Critics Consensus: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit is a subtly touching and wonderfully eccentric adventure featuring Wallace and Gromit.
Synopsis: ... [More]
Directed By: Steve Box

#6
Adjusted Score: 101305%
Critics Consensus: The Nightmare Before Christmas is a stunningly original and visually delightful work of stop-motion animation.
Synopsis: The film follows the misadventures of Jack Skellington, Halloweentown's beloved pumpkin king, who has become bored with the same annual... [More]
Directed By: Henry Selick

#7

The Secret of NIMH (1982)
93%85%

#7
Adjusted Score: 97202%
Critics Consensus: The Secret of NIMH seeks to resurrect the classical style of American animation and succeeds, telling a mature story with rapturous presentation.
Synopsis: Mrs. Brisby (Elizabeth Hartman), a widowed mouse, must move her children out of their home in a field before the... [More]
Directed By: Don Bluth

#8

The Witches (1990)
93%70%

#8
Adjusted Score: 95071%
Critics Consensus: With a deliciously wicked performance from Angelica Huston and imaginative puppetry by Jim Henson's creature shop, Nicolas Roeg's dark and witty movie captures the spirit of Roald Dahl's writing like few other adaptations.
Synopsis: While staying at a hotel in England with his grandmother, Helga (Mai Zetterling), young Luke (Jasen Fisher) inadvertently spies on... [More]
Directed By: Nicolas Roeg

#9

Coraline (2009)
90%73%

#9
Adjusted Score: 100758%
Critics Consensus: With its vivid stop-motion animation combined with Neil Gaiman's imaginative story, Coraline is a film that's both visually stunning and wondrously entertaining.
Synopsis: While exploring her new home, a girl named Coraline (Dakota Fanning) discovers a secret door, behind which lies an alternate... [More]
Directed By: Henry Selick

#10

ParaNorman (2012)
89%72%

#10
Adjusted Score: 95992%
Critics Consensus: Beautifully animated and solidly scripted, ParaNorman will entertain (and frighten) older children while providing surprisingly thoughtful fare for their parents.
Synopsis: Young Norman Babcock (Kodi Smit-McPhee) has the ability to speak with the dead -- and he often prefers their company... [More]
Directed By: Chris Butler, Sam Fell

#11

Frankenweenie (2012)
87%70%

#11
Adjusted Score: 95377%
Critics Consensus: Frankenweenie is an energetic stop-motion horror movie spoof with lovingly crafted visuals and a heartfelt, oddball story.
Synopsis: Young Victor Frankenstein (Charlie Tahan) is a science nerd and outsider at school, but he does have one good friend:... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#12

Poltergeist (1982)
88%79%

#12
Adjusted Score: 92601%
Critics Consensus: Smartly filmed, tightly scripted, and -- most importantly -- consistently frightening, Poltergeist is a modern horror classic.
Synopsis: Strange and creepy happenings beset an average California family, the Freelings -- Steve (Craig T. Nelson), Diane (JoBeth Williams), teenaged... [More]
Directed By: Tobe Hooper

#13

Gremlins (1984)
86%78%

#13
Adjusted Score: 90398%
Critics Consensus: Whether you choose to see it as a statement on consumer culture or simply a special effects-heavy popcorn flick, Gremlins is a minor classic.
Synopsis: A gadget salesman is looking for a special gift for his son and finds one at a store in Chinatown.... [More]
Directed By: Joe Dante

#14

Beetlejuice (1988)
85%82%

#14
Adjusted Score: 88400%
Critics Consensus: Brilliantly bizarre and overflowing with ideas, Beetlejuice offers some of Michael Keaton's most deliciously manic work - and creepy, funny fun for the whole family.
Synopsis: After Barbara (Geena Davis) and Adam Maitland (Alec Baldwin) die in a car accident, they find themselves stuck haunting their... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#15
#15
Adjusted Score: 91606%
Critics Consensus: As can be expected from a Tim Burton movie, Corpse Bride is whimsically macabre, visually imaginative, and emotionally bittersweet.
Synopsis: Victor (Johnny Depp) and Victoria's (Emily Watson) families have arranged their marriage. Though they like each other, Victor is nervous... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton, Mike Johnson

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 86320%
Critics Consensus: The Spiderwick Chronicles is an entertaining children's adventure, with heart and imagination to spare.
Synopsis: Of the three Grace children, Jared (Freddie Highmore) has always been thought of as the troublemaker. So when strange things... [More]
Directed By: Mark Waters

#17

The Boxtrolls (2014)
78%63%

#17
Adjusted Score: 84199%
Critics Consensus: While it's far from Laika's best offering, The Boxtrolls is still packed with enough offbeat wit and visual splendor to offer a healthy dose of all-ages entertainment.
Synopsis: Eggs (Isaac Hempstead-Wright), an orphan, lives with the Boxtrolls -- a community of quirky, mischievous creatures who inhabit a cavern... [More]

#18

Goosebumps (2015)
78%62%

#18
Adjusted Score: 83380%
Critics Consensus: Goosebumps boasts more than enough of its spooky source material's kid-friendly charm to make up for some slightly scattershot humor and a hurried pace.
Synopsis: Upset about moving from the big city to a small town, young Zach Cooper (Dylan Minnette) finds a silver lining... [More]
Directed By: Rob Letterman

#19

The Dark Crystal (1982)
77%81%

#19
Adjusted Score: 79683%
Critics Consensus: The Dark Crystal's narrative never quite lives up to the movie's visual splendor, but it remains an admirably inventive and uniquely intense entry in the Jim Henson canon.
Synopsis: Jen (Stephen Garlick), raised by the noble race called the Mystics, has been told that he is the last survivor... [More]
Directed By: Jim Henson, Frank Oz

#20

Monster House (2006)
75%64%

#20
Adjusted Score: 81104%
Critics Consensus: Monster House welcoms kids and adults alike into a household full of smart, monstrous fun.
Synopsis: No adults believe three youths' (Mitchel Musso, Spencer Locke, Sam Lerner) assertion that a neighboring residence is a living creature... [More]
Directed By: Gil Kenan

#21
Adjusted Score: 77166%
Critics Consensus: Performed and animated with the comics' signature melancholy warmth, It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! celebrates the spooky season in true Peanuts style.
Synopsis: Linus waits in the pumpkin patch for the elusive Halloween symbol to appear. ... [More]
Directed By: Bill Melendez

#22
Adjusted Score: 95638%
Critics Consensus: This Disney two-fer may not be the most reverent literary adaptation, but it's remarkably crafted and emotionally resonant.
Synopsis: Two animated adaptations of classic literature make up this Disney film. In "The Wind in the Willows," wealthy Mr. Toad... [More]

#23

Toy Story of Terror! (2013)
94%84%

#23
Adjusted Score: 76306%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: ... [More]
Directed By: Angus MacLane

#24
#24
Adjusted Score: 31831%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Scooby (Scott Innes) and the rest of the Mystery, Inc., crew encounter creepy characters at a haunted house on a... [More]
Directed By: Jim Stenstrum

#25

Nightbooks (2021)
87%60%

#25
Adjusted Score: 87372%
Critics Consensus: Its contents may be a bit busy and overly familiar, but Nightbooks offers a fun -- and actually fairly scary -- gateway to horror for younger viewers.
Synopsis: Alex (Winslow Fegley) is a creative boy with a strong passion for writing scary stories. But when he's labeled weird... [More]
Directed By: David Yarovesky

#26

Halloweentown (1998)
80%71%

#26
Adjusted Score: 17473%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After learning she is a witch, a girl (Kimberly J. Brown) helps save a town full of other supernatural creatures.... [More]
Directed By: Duwayne Dunham

#27

Labyrinth (1986)
75%86%

#27
Adjusted Score: 78444%
Critics Consensus: While it's arguably more interesting on a visual level, Labyrinth provides further proof of director Jim Henson's boundless imagination.
Synopsis: Teenage Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) journeys through a maze to recover her baby brother (Toby Froud) from a goblin king (David... [More]
Directed By: Jim Henson

#28
Adjusted Score: 77865%
Critics Consensus: Although it softens the nasty edges of its source material, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events is a gothic visual treat, and it features a hilariously manic turn from Jim Carrey as the evil Count Olaf.
Synopsis: After the three young Baudelaire siblings are left orphaned by a fire in their mansion, they are carted off to... [More]
Directed By: Brad Silberling

#29
#29
Adjusted Score: 71280%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The Great Gonzo – world famous daredevil artiste, has done it all, seen it all, and survived it all. But... [More]
Directed By: Kirk R. Thatcher

#30

The Addams Family (1991)
67%66%

#30
Adjusted Score: 69575%
Critics Consensus: The movie is peppered with amusing sight gags and one-liners, but the disjointed script doesn't cohere into a successful whole.
Synopsis: When a man (Christopher Lloyd) claiming to be Fester, the missing brother of Gomez Addams (Raul Julia), arrives at the... [More]
Directed By: Barry Sonnenfeld

#31
Adjusted Score: 75164%
Critics Consensus: An entertaining PG detour for gore maestro Eli Roth, The House with a Clock in Its Walls is a family-friendly blend of humor and horror with an infectious sense of fun.
Synopsis: Ten-year-old Lewis goes to live with his oddball uncle in a creaky old house that contains a mysterious ticktock noise.... [More]
Directed By: Eli Roth

#32

Hocus Pocus 2 (2022)
64%51%

#32
Adjusted Score: 69129%
Critics Consensus: Hocus Pocus 2 is basically a boiling cauldron of nostalgia, but that's just enough for this belated sequel to cast a reasonably effective spell.
Synopsis: It's been 29 years since someone lit the Black Flame Candle and resurrected the 17th-century sisters, and they are looking... [More]
Directed By: Anne Fletcher

#33
Adjusted Score: 67038%
Critics Consensus: Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation delivers exactly what fans will expect - which means another 97 agreeably lightweight minutes of fast-paced gags and colorful animation.
Synopsis: Your favorite monster family boards a luxury cruise ship so Dracula can take a summer vacation from the hotel. It's... [More]
Directed By: Genndy Tartakovsky

#34
Adjusted Score: 59365%
Critics Consensus: True terror and typical Disney wholesomeness clash uncomfortably in Something Wicked This Way Comes.
Synopsis: Mr. Dark (Jonathan Pryce) brings his traveling carnival to a small Midwestern town and grants wishes, for a price.... [More]
Directed By: Jack Clayton

#35

Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015)
55%63%

#35
Adjusted Score: 58228%
Critics Consensus: Hotel Transylvania 2 is marginally better than the original, which may or may not be enough of a recommendation to watch 89 minutes of corny, colorfully animated gags from Adam Sandler and company.
Synopsis: Now that Dracula (Adam Sandler) has opened the Hotel Transylvania's doors to humans, things are changing for the better; however,... [More]
Directed By: Genndy Tartakovsky

#36

Return to Oz (1985)
56%71%

#36
Adjusted Score: 57891%
Critics Consensus: Return to Oz taps into the darker side of L. Frank Baum's book series with an intermittently dazzling adventure that never quite recaptures the magic of its classic predecessor.
Synopsis: Dorothy discovers she is back in the land of Oz, and finds the yellow brick road is now a pile... [More]
Directed By: Walter Murch

#37

Casper (1995)
51%49%

#37
Adjusted Score: 52582%
Critics Consensus: A meandering, mindless family movie that frequently resorts to special effects and transparent sappiness.
Synopsis: Casper (voiced by Malachi Pearson) is a kind young ghost who peacefully haunts a mansion in Maine. When specialist James... [More]
Directed By: Brad Silberling

#38
#38
Adjusted Score: 50023%
Critics Consensus: The Watcher in the Woods boasts plenty of spooky atmosphere and a typically strong performance from Bette Davis, but it builds to a conclusion so dissatisfying that it undermines all that came before.
Synopsis: A teenager (Lynn-Holly Johnson) and her younger sister learn their eerie landlady's (Bette Davis) secret at an English country manor.... [More]
Directed By: John Hough

#39
Adjusted Score: 13564%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Scooby and friends investigate creepy goings-on and a mystery involving a famous horror writer in a small Massachusetts town.... [More]
Directed By: Jim Stenstrum

#40
Adjusted Score: 51147%
Critics Consensus: Much like the trio of films it follows, Hotel Transylvania: Transformania is middling family viewing -- relatively painless, but overall rather uninspired.
Synopsis: Drac and the pack are back, like you've never seen them before in Hotel Transylvania: Transformania. Reunite with your favorite... [More]

#41

The Addams Family (2019)
45%69%

#41
Adjusted Score: 52910%
Critics Consensus: The Addams Family's starry voice cast and eye-catching animation aren't enough to outweigh its saccharine handling of the delightfully dark source material.
Synopsis: Members of the mysterious and spooky Addams family -- Gomez, Morticia, Pugsley, Wednesday, Uncle Fester and Grandma -- are readily... [More]

#42

Hotel Transylvania (2012)
44%72%

#42
Adjusted Score: 49056%
Critics Consensus: Hotel Transylvania's buoyant, giddy tone may please children, but it might be a little too loud and thinly-scripted for older audiences.
Synopsis: When monsters want to get away from it all, they go to Count Dracula's (Adam Sandler) Hotel Transylvania, a lavish... [More]
Directed By: Genndy Tartakovsky

#43

Hocus Pocus (1993)
38%72%

#43
Adjusted Score: 39318%
Critics Consensus: Harmlessly hokey yet never much more than mediocre, Hocus Pocus is a muddled family-friendly effort that fails to live up to the talents of its impressive cast.
Synopsis: After moving to Salem, Mass., teenager Max Dennison (Omri Katz) explores an abandoned house with his sister Dani (Thora Birch)... [More]
Directed By: Kenny Ortega

#44

The Addams Family 2 (2021)
28%69%

#44
Adjusted Score: 32123%
Critics Consensus: Altogether ooky, and not in a good way.
Synopsis: Everyone's favorite spooky family is back in the animated comedy sequel, The Addams Family 2. In this all new movie... [More]

#45

The Haunted Mansion (2003)
14%31%

#45
Adjusted Score: 18407%
Critics Consensus: Neither scary nor funny, The Haunted Mansion is as lifeless as the ghosts in the movie.
Synopsis: Workaholic real estate agent Jim Evers (Eddie Murphy) is accused by his wife, Sara (Marsha Thomason), of neglecting his son... [More]
Directed By: Rob Minkoff

#46

The Little Vampire (2017)
14%58%

#46
Adjusted Score: 9946%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Rudolph, a 13-year-old vampire, meets Tony, a mortal boy his age who loves old castles, graveyards and vampires. Tony helps... [More]