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The 26 Best Not Scary Halloween Movies for a Much-needed Horror Break

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Madman Entertainment

Sure, scary movies are a staple for the season, but sometimes I just don't feel like sleeping with the lights on in my apartment because I can't stop picturing the Xenomorph from Alien hiding in my closet. And under my bed. And doing the dishes. Actually, if the Xenomorph would do my dishes, he could stay as long as he wanted.

Basically, we all need a break from the onslaught of horror movies being promoted this season at some point. In that same light, we've gathered up the 26 best not-scary Halloween movies for when you need a more lighthearted October night.

1. 'Hocus Pocus' (1993)

Who's in It: Sarah Jessica Parker, Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, Omri Katz, Thora Birch, Vinessa Shaw

Rating: 39% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 35m

Hocus Pocus is practically synonymous with Halloween at this point, and though it's overly campy and corny, there's still something about this film that has me coming back to it each October. Basically, the entire film just tracks the infamous Sanderson sisters as they wreak havoc on the city of Salem after being brought back to life.

Watch now on Disney+

2. 'It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown' (1966)

Who's in It: Peter Robbins, Sally Dryer, Bill Melendez, Christopher Shea, Kathy Steinberg, Gabrielle DeFaria Ritter

Rating: 95% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 25m

Nothing marks the start of the spooky season quite like It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. It's got everything one could ever need from a Halloween movie: trick-or-treating, classic costumes, and a good old-fashioned apple-bobbing. And if this isn't one of the best not scary Halloween movies of the season, then I don't know what is.

Watch now on AppleTV+

3. 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show' (1975)

Who's in It: Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, Richard O'Brien, Meat Loaf, Patricia Quinn, Nell Campbell, Peter Hinwood

Rating: 78% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 38m

If you thought that the simple act of dressing up for Halloween was campy, then you haven't seen the out-there extravagance that is The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The entire film is making fun of low-production horror movies from the early-mid 1900s, as this story specifically centers around a couple who stumbles upon a casual, local castle after their car breaks down. The castle is actually home to a mad scientist and other people who are much different than anything that this couple has ever encountered.

Watch now on Prime Video

4. 'What We Do in the Shadows' (2014)

Who's in It: Taika Waititi, Jermaine Clement, Jonathan Brugh, Ben Fransham

Rating: 96% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 26m

Not only is What We Do in the Shadows an absolutely stellar, hilarious film in its own right, but it's also responsible for the equally successful spinoff series of the same name. This horror-comedy is shot mockumentary-style, focusing in on a bunch of vampire roommates who live together in New Zealand. What We Do in the Shadows has definitely developed a cult following in its wake, making it one of the funniest, not scary Halloween movies for October.

Watch now on Prime Video

5. 'ParaNorman' (2012)

Who's in It: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Anna Kendrick, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Casey Affleck, John Goodman, Leslie Mann, Jeff Garlin

Rating: 89% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 33m

In one of Kodi Smit-McPhee's earliest films, ParaNorman, he plays the titular voice role of Norman Babcock, a kid who's capable of communicating with the dead. In essence, he's the only hope that his town has after the zombies from below begin to unearth themselves and come after the community.

Watch now on Apple TV

6. 'The Addams Family' (1991)

Who's in It: Anjelica Huston, Christopher Lloyd, Christina Ricci, Raul Julia, Jimmy Workman, Carel Struycken

Rating: 66% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 41m

Every member of the Addams family is a walking Halloween advertisement, which makes it an absolute must-watch for the season. The film centers around the iconic family and their daily goings-on, especially as they reunite with their distant relative, Uncle Fester (Christopher Lloyd).

Watch now on Prime Video

7. 'Coco' (2017)

Who's in It: Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Gabriel Iglesias, Jaime Camil, Alanna Ubach

Rating: 97% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 45m

In Coco, we're thrown into a major adventure through the infamous Land of the Dead as Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) is attempting to become a successful musician. While this is a more recent flick, it's definitely one of the best not scary Halloween movies for both kids and adults.

Watch now on Disney+

8. 'Monster House' (2006)

Who's in It: Mitchell Musso, Sam Lerner, Spencer Locke, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Steve Buscemi

Rating: 75% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 30m

Is Monster House the most underrated film of all time? Yes.

Not only is this house haunted, but the entire thing is literally alive, which makes it pretty tough for D.J. Walters (Mitchel Musso) and his friends to explore it and figure out what's really going on inside.

Watch now on Prime Video

9. 'Ghostbusters' (1984)

Who's in It: Harold Ramis, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Ernie Hudson, Rick Moranis

Rating: 97% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 45m

Even if you've never seen Ghostbusters, you probably already know that it goes hand in hand with Halloween because it's about a group of guys who try to vacuum up some loose ghosts. Given its iconic status, Ghostbusters is by far one of the best not scary Halloween movies around.

Watch now on Prime Video

10. 'The Nightmare Before Christmas' (1993)

Who's in It: Chris Sarandon, Danny Elfman, Catherine O'Hara, William Hickey, Glenn Shadix, Ken Page, Paul Reubens, Ed Ivory, Frank Welker

Rating: 95% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 16m

I realize that this film could technically also be considered a Christmas movie hence the title, but since it also revolves around Halloween, The Nightmare Before Christmas is basically a double feature. The film revolves around Jack Skellington (Chris Sarandon, Danny Elfman), the King of Halloween Town, who decides to take over Christmas after finding Christmas Town (both aptly named).

Watch now on Prime Video

11. 'E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial' (1982)

Who's in It: Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore, Robert McNaughton, Dee Wallace, Peter Coyote

Rating: 99% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 54m

Centering around a couple of kids who find an alien from a distant planet just chilling outside of their house, there's no denying that E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is the perfect installment to your Halloween movie list.

Watch now on Prime Video

12. 'Knives Out' (2019)

Who's in It: Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Daniel Craig, Toni Collette, Michael Shannon, Riki Lindhome, Katherine Langford, Christopher Plummer

Rating: 97% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 2h 10m

While there might not be an influx of jack-o'-lanterns, it's the vibes that cement Knives Out as being the perfect film to kick back to for the season. The murder mystery of all murder mysteries, Knives Out tracks Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig), a detective who's investigating the mysterious murder of a wealthy man named Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer).

Watch now on Prime Video

13. 'Casper' (1995)

Who's in It: Malachi Pearson, Christina Ricci, Cathy Moriarty, Bill Pullman, Joe Alaskey, Joe Nipote, Brad Garrett

Rating: 51% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 36m

No, not the mattress.

While everyone might know who Casper is, not everyone has actually sat through the eponymous film about that very ghost. Based on the cartoon character, Casper the Friendly Ghost, Casper finds the ghost haunting a house in Maine. After meeting Kat Harvey (Christina Ricci) in the mansion, Casper quickly falls for her, though things become even more complicated when his ghost-uncles get involved.

Watch now on Prime Video

14. 'Coraline' (2009)

Who's in It: Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, Jennifer Saunders, Ian McShane, Keith David

Rating: 90% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 41m

Our button-eyed buddy, Coraline Jones (Dakota Fanning), discovers an entirely new universe one day after peeking through a door in her family's new house. While it might seem like an exciting discovery from the outside looking in, the universe that Coraline has just entered actually has some pretty dark secrets of its own.

Although I might personally be creeped out by Coraline, this film is by far one of the best not scary Halloween movies of the season.

Watch now on Prime Video

16. 'The Haunted Mansion' (2003)

Who's in It: Eddie Murphy, Marsha Thomason, Terence Stamp, Nathaniel Parker, Jennifer Tilly, Wallace Shawn, Dina Spybey

Rating: 14% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 39m

Based on the Disney Parks attraction of the same name, The Haunted Mansion follows around a family, helmed by Eddie Murphy, who finds themselves completely trapped inside of a haunted mansion.

Watch now on Disney+

15. 'Halloweentown' (1998)

Who's in It: Debbie Reynolds, Kimberly J. Brown, Judith Hoag, Joey Zimmerman, Emily Roeske, Phillip Van Dyke, Robin Thomas

Rating: 80% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 24m

With Debbie Reynolds serving as Aggie Cromwell, the main witch in charge of Halloweentown, she welcomes her three grandchildren to the infamous town against the wishes of her daughter, Agatha, who aims for both herself and her children to have no part of the "witch" side of her family. But given that her own daughter, Marnie, is now 13, it's officially time for her to become a witch.

Watch now on Disney+

17. 'Corpse Bride' (2005)

Who's in It: Helena Bonham Carter, Johnny Depp, Emily Watson, Tracey Ullman, Paul Whitehouse, Richard E. Grant, Joanna Lumley, Albert Finney, Christopher Lee

Rating: 84% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 14m

A classic film from the mind of Tim Burton, Corpse Bride centers around Victor Van Dort (Johnny Depp) and Victoria Everglot (Helena Bonham Carter), who have been arranged to marry each other. Though when Victor's ring ends up in the wrong hands, he's brought to the Land of the Dead and is forced to marry someone else.

Watch now on Prime Video

18. 'Beetlejuice' (1988)

Who's in It: Geena Davis, Michael Keaton, Annie McEnroe, Winona Ryder, Catherine O'Hara, Alec Baldwin, Jeffrey Jones

Rating: 85% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 32m

With an absolute stacked cast, Beetlejuice is a campy tale about a ghost couple who take it upon themselves to haunt their former home and take it back from the current owners. Because they're unable to do it themselves, they call on the help of Betelgeuse (AKA Beetlejuice, AKA Michael Keaton) to scare off the owners.

Watch now on Prime Video

19. 'Little Shop of Horrors' (1986)

Who's in It: Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene, Vincent Gardenia, Steve Martin

Rating: 90% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 34m

In the same sort of campy vein as Beetlejuice and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Little Shop of Horrors is all about a flower shop that becomes home to a freaky plant that one of the workers, Seymour (Rick Moranis), brought in as a way to attract more customers to the shop. However, when it turns out that the plant can only grow by being fed human blood, things take a turn for the worst.

An absolute classic, Little Shop of Horrors is definitely well-deserving of being one of the greatest not scary Halloween movies that we've ever seen.

Watch now on Prime Video

20. 'Frankenweenie' (2012)

Who's in It: Charlie Tahan, Catherine O'Hara, Martin Short, Atticus Shaffer, Martin Landau, Winona Ryder

Rating: 87% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 27m

Another classic Tim Burton film, Frankenweenie tracks the young Victor Frankenstein (Charlie Tahan), who decides that it'd be a good idea to completely resurrect his deceased dog, Sparky. But when his friends get the same idea and start bringing their pets back to life, things quickly get out of control.

Watch now on Disney+

21. 'The Witches' (1990)

Who's in It: Anjelica Huston, Mai Zetterling, Jasen Fisher, Rowan Atkinson

Rating: 93% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 31m

While there was a 2020 remake of this film starring Anne Hathway in the main role of the Grand High Witch, nothing quite compares to the original 1990 version, which is based on Roald Dahl's book of the same name.

In this iteration, Anjelica Huston plays the Grand High Witch, one of a few witches who decide to disguise themselves as "normal" women in England in order to torment the local children. However, a young boy named Luke (Jasen Fisher) isn't as easy to fool as the others.

Watch now on Prime Video

22. 'Muppets Haunted Mansion' (2021)

Who's in It: Will Arnett, Yvette Nicole Brown, Darren Criss, Taraji P. Henson, John Stamos, Chrissy Metz, Danny Trejo, Ed Asner

Rating: 71% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 49m

Somehow this film is the first Halloween special for the Muppets, who—as part of a challenge—decide to spend the night in a haunted mansion based on the Disney attraction of the same name. We track Gonzo and Pepe as they make their way through the house and try to stick it out for the night while encountering tons of different creatures along the way.

Watch now on Disney+

23. 'Hotel Transylvania' (2012)

Who's in It: Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Andy Samberg, Kevin James, Steve Buscemi, Fran Drescher, CeeLo Green, Molly Shannon, Jon Lovitz, David Spade

Rating: 44% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 31m

We receive a much different tale of Count Dracula (Adam Sandler) than what we're normally used to in Hotel Transylvania, as this one happens to be the owner of the eponymous hotel, host to the hordes of different monsters who stop in for a break from reality.

Watch now on Prime Video

24. 'Crimson Peak' (2015)

Who's in It: Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, Charlie Hunnam

Rating: 73% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 59m

While this is more so a romantic, gothic drama than a lighthearted Halloween tale, it's certainly more so on the mysterious side of the season—not the scary side.

The story follows Edith (Mia Wasikowska) and Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston), a newly-married couple who settle into their new mansion only to figure out that some major ghost vibes are going on in there. When Thomas' sister, Lucille (Jessica Chastain), gets thrown into the mix, things turn a bit more sinister than they originally thought.

Watch now on Prime Video

25. 'Jennifer's Body' (2009)

Who's in It: Megan Fox, Amanda Seyfried, Adam Brody, J.K. Simmons, Johnny Simmons, Amy Sedaris

Rating: 45% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 42m

This classic late-2000s horror comedy stars Megan Fox as Jennifer Check, a high schooler who becomes possessed and murders all of the male students in her class. Amanda Seyfried plays the role of Anita "Needy" Lesnicki, who attempts to stop Jennifer, her best friend, from committing all of these murders.

Watch now on Prime Video

26. 'Hocus Pocus 2' (2022)

Who's in It: Sarah Jessica Parker, Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, Whitney Peak, Belissa Escobedo, Lilia Buckingham, Sam Richardson, Tony Hale

Rating: 62% (Rotten Tomatoes)

Runtime: 1h 47m

The long-awaited remake of the original Hocus Pocus from 1993 is a welcome sequel, as the Sanderson sisters are brought back to life (once again) after Becca (Whitney Peak), a local Salem high schooler, lights a candle and accidentally resurrects them.

As it smashed records when it premiered on Disney+, Hocus Pocus 2 is certainly a new icon among the best not scary Halloween movies.

Watch now on Disney+
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