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28 Not-So-Scary Halloween Movies for Kids and Teens

A little boy and girl sitting on a couch with a bowl of popcorn and drinks.

A lot of kids, teens, and even adults are terrified by the violence and gore in horror movies. However, we’ve found some great titles even the faintest-of-heart can enjoy this Halloween season.

These age guidelines are our approximate recommendations, based on our opinions, online reviews, and ratings from common sense media. Keep in mind that every child (and adult) is different. Some little kids will gladly watch Ghostbusters, whereas some adults can’t handle anything that’s even slightly spooky. It’s okay to be sensitive to scary movies—they aren’t for everyone.

Hopefully, you can find something for everyone in your family on our not-so-scary movie list. Whip up some fun Halloween treats, dim the lights (or keep them on), sit back, and enjoy!

For Kids Under 5

Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, a Heffalump, Roo, and Tigger dressed as pirates.
A trip to the “Hundred Acre Wood” offers a low-scare Halloween adventure. Buena Vista/Disney

Young kids have very active imaginations, which can make it hard for them to separate fantasy from reality. Because of this, you don’t want to throw too much spookiness at them, or they’ll have nightmares for weeks.

Be prepared for all the questions that will come your way: Was that monster real? Why doesn’t the skeleton wear clothes? Why are pumpkins everywhere?

Stick to this list for some not-so-scary movie ideas to get them excited about Halloween:

For Ages 5+

The main characters from Monsters, Inc. waving at their coworkers.
The Monsters, Inc. crew are monsters, but they’re more adorable than scary. Pixar/Disney

As your child gets older, she can most likely handle a sprinkling of more scary elements. Again, this depends on your child and her comfort level.

You don’t want to pressure your child to watch Halloween or scary movies if it’s simply not her thing. Not every kid loves the scary part of Halloween, especially when they’re younger.

Here are some flicks you can add to your movie night:

Also, consider finding the Halloween-themed episodes of your kid’s favorite shows.

Make sure you talk about the movie or show afterward. Ask your child which elements he found scary. This way, you can get an idea of what he’s comfortable with and use it to guide your next choice.

For Ages 8+

Jack the Pumpkin King standing on his balcony.
Is there a more classic Halloween icon than Jack Skellington? We think not. Touchstone Pictures

By now, your child has experienced enough Halloweens to know what it’s all about. Find out what he likes most about the holiday, and then search for movies that fit the bill. Remember, not every kid likes ghosts and goblins, or being scared out of their wits. It’s okay to watch gentle Halloween movies at any age.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

For Ages 10+

The Corpse Bride with a claymation worm popping out of her eye.
You’re never lonely when your best friend lives in your eye. Warner Bros. Pictures

Your preteen might be up for a bit more spookiness on movie night. This list of films introduces more mature Halloween themes, without being too bloody or disturbing.

Keep in mind it might be hard to keep younger siblings away from these more mature movies. We suggest you watch them on a night when your younger children are away or engaged in other activities.

Also, don’t assume that just because your child wants to watch scarier movies that he can actually handle them. Always talk about the movie afterward to get a sense of what (if anything) scared him.

Here are some Halloween picks for your older kids:

  • Hocus Pocus: Three wild witches plan to cast a spell on a town to reclaim their lost youth, but three kids foil their plan.
  • Goosebumps: Monsters escape from books, and a group of kids has to return them.
  • The Addams Family: The classic spooky family at its best.
  • Corpse Bride: Another great Tim Burton film, with plenty of dark, creative, and musical elements. In this one, a corpse drags a man away from his wedding.
  • Beetlejuice: A young couple become ghosts and are plagued by the poltergeist, Beetlejuice.
  • Paranorman: To save his town, a young boy uses his special abilities to speak to the dead.

For Ages 13+

one of the ghouls from Ghostbusters flying around a library
One of the many ghosts from the 1984 classic Ghostbusters. Columbia Pictures

By the time they’re teenagers, most kids are ready for PG-13 movies. There are tons of choices at this level, but we’ve included a few of the gentler ones for more sensitive teens:

Not everything with a Halloween theme is bloody, ghoulish, or disturbing. Our not-so-scary movie list offers fun for the entire family—nightmares not included.

Jill A. Chafin Jill A. Chafin
Jill A. Chafin is a freelance writer, aerialist, dancer, food enthusiast, outdoor adventurer, and mama, based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Read Full Bio »
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