Updated: Oct 19, 2020
2020 has brought many terrifying things with it. While Halloween is usually a time to make everything scary, it does not have to be. Having a laid back and chill Halloween with no scary monsters is always an option. There are still Halloween themed movies that are not scary. Some of these movies are family friendly, some of them are not. Here is a small list of some of my favorite not so scary movies.
1. Young Frankenstein (1974, Mel Brooks: PG): A great movie spoofing the classic Frankenstein story. Gene Wilder plays the name character as Fredrick Frankenstein who inherits his grandfather’s estate in Transylvania. I had a hard time finding this movie on any of the streaming platforms and eventually had to break down and buy a physical copy. If you have a subscription to STARZ, you’ll be able to stream it. But for those of us that don’t have that streaming service, there is always DVD, Blu-Ray and VHS copies for sale on Amazon. In 2007, a Broadway musical came out and rain for 30 reviews and 484 productions before closing on January 4th 2009. During the Halloween season, I often put this musical on as it has fun songs like “Please don’t touch me” and “Join the Family Business”. A quick note about movie rates: while Young Frankenstein is rated PG, I feel like if this movie had come out after 1984 when the rating of PG13 was established then this movie would be rated as such, but as it came out a decade before it is considered PG.
2. Dracula Dead and Loving it (1995, Mel Brooks: PG13): This was the last movie that Mel Brooks directed according to IMDB. Much like the other parody movies, Brooks wrote, directs and acts in this movie. He plays the one and only Dr. Van Helsing, while the very funny Leslie Nielsen plays the lead Dracula. Much like other movies, this one plays through the story of Dracula as many others do. While I couldn’t find this for free on a streaming site, it is for rent or to buy on Amazon Prime.
3. Dark Shadows (2012, Tim Burton: PG13): A remake of a 1966 television show of the same name, Dark Shadows is about a Victorian vampire, Barnabas Collins, waking up in the 1972 after being locked away by a jealous ex and witch for almost two centuries. While this movie isn’t like the television show, it is still a great Tim Burton movie starring Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer and many other great actors. This is another one that can’t be found for free on a streaming service, but it is once again on Amazon Prime for rent or to buy.
4. Halloweentown (1998, Duwayne Dunham: TV-G): Disney was a master at 90’s not scary Halloween movies and at the top of them for me is Halloweentown. Three siblings find out that their mother is a witch that has been hiding her powers and her children’s powers from them. She comes from a magical place called Halloweentown where all monsters try to live in peace. The three children follow their grandma to this place to find out that Halloweentown is under some trouble that they need to fix together. This movie is lighthearted. While there are sequels to this movie, I have always claimed that the first one is the best. All four Halloweentown movies are on Disney+. If you are looking for a kid friendly movie that adults will enjoy as well, I highly suggest this one.
5. Beetlejuice (1988, Tim Burton: PG): An iconic Halloween movie about ghosts trying to haunt their own house and get the certain owners out of the house. They turn to: a demon? a ghost? a creepy old dude? Whatever Beetlejuice is, he claims to be a bioexorcist that can help remove anyone from a house. This is classic Tim Burton with the fun and creepy sets and the claymation of the sandworms. In 2018, this movie also got a Broadway musical. It took me a little while to warm up to this musical but after listening to it all the way through, I love it. It doesn’t follow the movie as closely as other musicals, but the opening song makes fun of it right off the bat. Because of COVID-19, this musical only played until March 10th 2020. Freeform will be playing Beetlejuice during the 31 days of Halloween but if you are like me don’t have cable, you can buy or rent the movie from Amazon Prime.
6. Warm Bodies (2013, Jonathan Levine: PG13) Much like werewolves and vampires, Warm Bodies has romanticized zombies. Although this movie has love between a human and a zombie, I still found it very enjoyable. It is hard not to see the parallels to Romeo and Juliet. With the zombie’s name being R and the lead role being named Julie. This movie did come out at the peak of zombie’s in media and while it was an odd choice for a love story, I remember liking the movie very much. You can find this movie on Hulu or Amazon Prime to rent or buy.
7. Little Shop of Horrors (1986, Frank Oz: PG13) While this is the only musical movie on the list, it just isn’t Halloween without Little Shop of Horrors. A young man down on his luck, Seymour Krelborn discovers a new breed of plant that he names after the girl he has a crush on, Audrey II. People start coming to the failing flower shop that Seymour works at to look at the new plant which also brings in more money. One problem, the plant is demanding something, it won’t grow without a little bit of blood which then turns out to be a lot of blood. Honestly, if you haven’t seen this movie, I suggest watching it this Halloween season. This is on HBO but you can also rent or buy it on Amazon Prime.
8. What We Do in The Shadows (2014, Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi: R) A mockumentary about three vampires living in New Zealand showing how vampires have to survive modern day. Between run ins with vampire hunters, werewolves and other vampires, the three still have to survive things like rent. This movie makes fun of the different types of vampires from classic movies to Twilight. If you enjoy this movie, you should also check out the television show that currently has two seasons. While the movie is only on Amazon Prime for rent or to buy, you can watch the full two seasons of the show on Hulu.
9. The Addams Family (1991, Barry Sonnenfeld: PG13): If this isn’t the movie that turned me into the goth that I am today, I honestly don’t know what is. I remember this being my favorite movie growing up. Raul Julia is the best Gomez Addams and Anjelica Huston is the best Morticia Addams and their chemistry on screen is so good. The movie follows the creepy, kooky, mysterious and spooky Addams Family. Gomez’s older brother went missing years ago and is back with a ‘doctor’ that seems to have helped him. Though it turns out that his doctor might be out for more than just helping. Currently this movie is free for Prime members and currently on Netflix.
10. Mom’s got a Date with a Vampire (2000, Steven Boyum TV-PG): Though I may never be able to see Charles Shaughnessy as any other character than Mr. Maxwell Sheffield from The Nanny, this is a great movie of children setting their mother up for a date and then having to save her from said date. While it isn’t as popular as other Disney movies, I still think it is a great one to watch during this Halloween season. You can find this one on Disney+
11. Hocus Pocus (1993, Kenny Ortega: PG): No list for Halloween movies is complete without Hocus Pocus. So much can be said about this movie, the costuming is great, the acting is great, and the story is on point. I have been watching this movie every year since I was little. An enjoyable movie for both children and adults. This movie can be watched on Disney+ and on Amazon to be rented or bought.
There are many other non-scary Halloween movies that could be added to this list, but these are my pick for this year. Do you have other movies that you would throw into the not scary list? What non-horror movies are you going to be watching this season? Let us know in the comments below!