Not everyone is a fan of horror. And around this time of year, as Halloween approaches, and spooky season settles in, horror movies really get their time to shine. But what do you watch to get you in the mood for the season when horror movies just aren’t your thing? Luckily there are plenty of films out there that are just spooky enough to be great mood setters, that won’t require you to step even a pinkie toe into the vast ocean of horror. Here are my Five favourite non-scary movies to watch during Spooky season.
1. Scooby Doo and the Witches Ghost (1999)
As a long, long time fan of Scooby Doo, I had to sneak one of the films on here. Technically any of Mystery Inc’s adventures could fit in this slot, with most of them having something to do with a haunting or a monster of some kind. But this one is my personal favourite, and it just so happens to take place on Hallowe’en so it seemed like the most appropriate choice.
Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Gang visit Oakhaven, Massachusetts to seek strange goings on involving a famous horror novelist and his ancestor who is rumored be a witch. – From IMDB
Witch trials, ghosts and other spooky goings on abound in this excellent nineties offering to the classic TV show. Check this one out if you haven’t already, a great addition to your Hallowe’en viewing, especially if you have kids.
2. Ghostbusters (1984)
Three former parapsychology professors set up shop as a unique ghost removal service. – From IMDB
This rather meager synopsis from IMDB really doesn’t do credit to this absolute classic from the eighties. I doubt there is a human over the age of about 25 who hasn’t already seen this film. It’s a classic for a reason, but if you by chance haven’t seen this film, or your older kids haven’t seen it, then Hallowe’en seems like the best time to do so.
The clue is in the title. Ghosts, lots of ghosts. Some friendly, some not so. There is some great, lightly crude or slapstick humour in here that kids will love, and enough innuendo that the adults will have something to laugh at as well. It may not have all the flashy effects that modern day films have, but it stands the test of time and should continue to be enjoyed for many more years.
3. Hocus Pocus (1993)
300 years have passed since the Sanderson sisters were executed for practicing dark witchcraft. Returning to life thanks to a combination of a spell spoken before their demise and the accidental actions of Max, the new-kid-in-town, the sisters have but one night to secure their continuing existence. – From IMDB
Probably the most classic of the nineties Hallowe’en films, this one is a total no-brainer. And it is getting a cinema release this year in some Cineworld cinemas in the UK. It’s hard to pin point exactly what it is about this film that makes it so beloved by so many people. I am willing to bet some of it is to do with the outstanding and slightly terrifying performance by Bette Midler. And this film even features two pretty great musical numbers, which I had completely forgotten about until I re-watched the film recently. And in some great nineties fashion, and a talking cat, and you have a family film that will continue to delight year after year.
4. Coraline (2009)
When Coraline moves to an old house, she feels bored and neglected by her parents. She finds a hidden door with a bricked up passage. During the night, she crosses the passage and finds a parallel world where everybody has buttons instead of eyes, with caring parents and all her dreams coming true. When the Other Mother invites Coraline to stay in her world forever, the girl refuses and finds that the alternate reality where she is trapped is only a trick to lure her. – From IMDB
Easily one of the creepiest kids films I have ever seen, and with some of the most disturbing visuals I have ever seen in kids film, this stop motion animation is a must for this spooky season. The sinister atmosphere is slowly built throughout, and then by the time the real sinister stuff is revealed you are still blown away by how dark they went with this film, that I want to remind you is mean for kids!
The button eyes are pure nightmare fuel, and there is something almost Stepford-like about the perfectness of the ‘Otherworld’ until everything turn out to be terrifying. Almost Tim-Burton-esque in story and visuals, this is a great option for lovers of films like A Nightmare Before Christmas.
5. It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown (1966)
The Peanuts gang celebrates Halloween, with Linus hoping that, finally, he will be visited by The Great Pumpkin; while Charlie Brown is invited to a Halloween party. – From IMDB
OK, this is it. This is my all time favourite movie to watch on Hallowe’en. I do it every year, it never gets old. There is a reason these Peanuts specials are still so popular and beloved 60 years after their creation. The humour is so wholesome and childlike thanks to it’s young cast of characters, but is relatable to everyone even all this time later.
This one has no real spooky or scary element at all, it’s just full of Halloweeny goodness and innocent, harmless fun. Perfect for younger kids, or adults who want that hit of nostalgia.
The animation is basic, but in that classic peanuts style. I cannot express how unhappy I was with the 3D animation they used for the new Peanuts movie that released a few years ago. This whole film is just a great big warm, autumnal hug and I love it with my entire soul.
What are some of your favourite Non-Scary films to watch during Spooky Season?