‘Tis the season to be spooky! And what better way to celebrate Halloween than by gathering the family together for a ghostly good movie. To help you decide which titles are suitable for youngsters, here are some bewitching recommendations, listed in order from the most gentle to the splendidly scary. So light your jack-o’-lanterns, pass the candy corn and get ready for an eerie-sistible Halloween film festival!
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
Originally broadcast as a CBS television special on October 27, 1966, this timeless animated classic captures the fun of Halloween as well as any film ever made. Written by comic strip creator Charles Schulz, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown follows the lovable Peanuts gang as they trick-or-treat their way towards a meeting with the legendary spirit of the pumpkin patch. Unfortunately for Charlie Brown, he doesn’t find any goodies in his bag at the end of the night. In a show of sympathy, children from around the country mailed their candy to Shultz’s studio with the message “Just for Charlie Brown” after the program first aired.
They’ve explored Alaska, landed on the moon, and helped Santa save Christmas, so now those adorable Buddies are ready to go trick-or-treating! The fifth installment in Disney’s delightful doggy series is the perfect Howl-oween adventure for children age 6 and up. Telling the tale of five Golden Retriever puppies who team up with a magical ghost dog to defeat a grumpy warlock, this G-rated romp plays like a live-action Scooby Doo episode for the post-kindergarten crowd.
Ernest Scared Stupid
In the noble tradition of Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein and The Three Stooges Meet the Wolf Man comes this frightfully funny comedy about a rubber-faced janitor who accidentally frees a bunch of evil trolls on Halloween. If the sight of goofy Ernest P. Worrell being blown across a school gymnasium by a monster burp sounds like something your kids might enjoy, then this PG-rated movie is for you! Mixing slapstick scares, gross-out gags and a surprising amount of heart,Ernest Scared Stupid will make every 10-year old scream… with laughter.
The Monster Squad
Fans of The Goonies will go batty over this ‘80s cult classic, a loving tribute to the iconic Universal Monster movies of yesteryear. When Count Dracula, the Wolf Man, the Mummy and the Creature from the Black Lagoon are unleashed on a small town, it’s up to five pre-teen misfits to stop them from destroying the world. Filled with humor, excitement and a few genuine scares, this PG-13 adventure combines the special-effects of Ghostbusters with the charm of The Little Rascals.
The Gate – Trailer by LionsgateVOD
If they’re brave enough, older kids will find this PG-13 horror movie the perfect treat for Halloween night. Set in the quiet suburbs, it tells the creepy tale of two young boys who discover a strange hole in their backyard. Inside, an army of pint-size demons wait to be set loose on the unsuspecting world. Starring Stephen Dorff in his first film role, The Gate is scary without being bloody, though the nightmarish special-effects are guaranteed to send a few chills down your spine.