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A beginner's guide to fun, campy Halloween movies

Warner Brothers, Sony Pictures, Disney, 20th Century Fox, FX, Paramount, Universal.

It’s Spooky season. That means goblins, ghouls, so many witches, and pumpkin and apple-flavored everything.

While October has a reputation for all things horror, Halloween is about more than just being scared.

It’s about Halloweentown, curses, teenagers going through the worst thing imaginable — high school. There are leaves, loves, and lots of parties. Thrillers, mysteries with spooky elements, and adventures almost always taking place at night.

This is the beginner’s guide to campy Halloween movies. The fun ones. The mostly-kid friendly ones. Here are some of the best ones, coming from a certified Halloween watcher who's been watching these movies for over a decade.

Camp is about the eccentric, the over-the-top- and the theatrical. Think the scene where Beetlejuice makes an entire dinner party dance to Harry Belafonte’s song ‘Banana Boat (Day-O)’ or the Thanksgiving play scene in Addams Family Values.

Here is a fraction of the campy, fun and mostly kid-friendly Halloween movies you can watch this year. If I know where they’re streaming, I’ll include that too!

Halloweentown 1, 2, 3, forget 4

Streaming on Disney+

This is a must-watch for everyone and probably one of the easiest movies to build a Halloween tradition around. It’s always streaming somewhere.

Bonus: Kimberly J. Brown, who plays Marnie, is engaged to her former ‘Halloweentown’ costar Daniel Kountz, who plays Kal in Halloweentown II: Kalabar's Revenge.

The fourth Halloweentown recasts Marnie, and in my humble opinion, is not worth the watch.

Hocus Pocus

Streaming on Disney+

Another classic with the Sanderson sisters! A Halloween tale as old as time, as enjoyable for kids as it is for parents.


Steaming on Max

One of the best campy Halloween movies! One of the top 10 Halloween movies that I watch every year.

Starring Alec Baldwin, Winona Ryder, Michael Keaton, and Geena Davis, this is a fun take on death and hauntings.

The Haunted Mansion

Streaming on Disney+

This movie was inspired Walt Disney World’s haunted mansion amusement park ride. Eddie Murphy steals the show and helps create a lively, fun adventure tale about his quest to sell a haunted mansion, alongside his family.

Disney has also created a new Haunted Mansion movie and short series which is worth watching.

Twitches 1+2

Streaming on Disney+

Go Twitches! Go Twitches!

A really well-written and fun story about twin witches who were separated at birth and reunited 21 years later, tasked with saving their world.

The Craft

Streaming on Hulu

Is there anything worse than high school? This movie makes you wonder. An absolutely wonderful, witchy tale about a new girl who joins a coven and witches and how far those girls will take their magic.

Really incredible until a very dramatic ending!

Practical Magic

Streaming on Hulu

This one is for the folks who love Gilmore Girls.

The best piece of advice from the movie: “There are some things I know for certain: always throw spilt salt over your left shoulder, keep rosemary by your garden gate, plant lavender for luck, and fall in love whenever you can.”

Addams Family and Addams Family Values

Streaming on Paramount Plus

These two are my favorite Halloween movies, the ones I save for as close to Halloween as possible. There are a lot of remakes of this iconic story but my favorites are the ‘90s movies starring Anjelica Huston, Raul Julia, and Christopher Lloyd.

Rocky Horror Picture Show

Streaming on Hulu

Maybe the only movie on this list that is not kid-friendly. A horror movie musical about a young engaged couple whose car breaks down in the rain near a castle, where they seek a telephone to call for help, and encounter a whole slew of characters.

If you can, try to see this movie with a live performance!

Nightmare Before Christmas

Streaming on Disney+

This incredible stop-motion movie took over three years to make. I consider it a Christmas movie, mostly because there are so many Halloween movies to watch. This one is also a great one to put on a TV on mute during a party.

It has everything you could want in a campy Halloween movie.

Monster House

Streaming on Hulu

This one is really slept on, but a fun, incredible story about a haunted house that is pretty original. Great for kids!

Edward Scissorhands

Streaming on Hulu

Anything by Tim Burton gets to count as a Halloween movie. This is no exception. A fun and moving gothic horror starring Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder.

Corpse Bride

Streaming on Max

Another Tim Burton stop-motion. Fun, spooky, kid-friendly and with an incredible dance number.


Streaming on Max

Some people consider this one downright spooky. Coraline finds another world that looks exactly like hers — only her Other Mother and Father have buttons for eyes.

I would highly recommend this to everyone.

The Witches

Streaming on Prime

There’s a newer one as well but I recommend the 1990 movie. It’s a dark comedy horror about a witch who turns children into mice.

What We Do in the Shadows

Not streaming for free but worth a watch

An absolutely hilarious mockumentary-style movie about a group of vampires. There’s also a show that’s worth watching!


Streaming on Netflix

Fun, wholesome, and a great way to talk about ghosts and death with kids. This movie does a great job of demystifying hauntings and the afterlife.

Hotel Transylvania

Streaming on Netflix

A movie I would never have watched without encouragement from my nieces but it is an absolute delight! Highly recommended for children.

Briana Rice is a reporter/producer operating out of Detroit.
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