10 Great Halloween Movies That Are Not Horror

Updated on October 31, 2017
Ross Tanenbaum profile image

Ross is a student at the University of Maryland. He is planning on majoring in Film Studies and English.

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Halloween is a time of thrills and fright. The smell of candy and people in costumes create the atmosphere for this holiday. In October, people prepare all month for this spooky day. Some people like to go to haunted houses or watch horror movies in order to be scared silly. Some, however, want a more tame Halloween experience where they can still enjoy the festivities but not be scared senseless. Here is a list of films that can provide this experience.

Goosebumps (2015)

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Goosebumps is not just an entertaining film for Halloween fans, but also for anyone who read the books by R.L. Stine or watched the show Goosebumps. The movie is about a kid who accidentally frees the characters within R.L. Stine's books. Mayhem ensues as the kids along with Stine attempt to get all of the characters back into their books. It is a great Halloween film because it is a lot of fun and deals with creatures like werewolves, zombies, and an Abominable Snowman. The highlight is probably an evil dummy voiced by Jack Black, who also plays Stine. It is a very cheesy movie, but a lot of fun can be found in this movie.

The Haunted Mansion (2003)

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Grim grinning ghosts come out to socialize in this goofy film based off of the classic Disneyland ride, The Haunted Mansion. There are many elements in this movie that are from the ride so Disney fanatics can find plenty to enjoy about this movie. Halloween fanatics can also have a good time with zombies and ghosts that make up the atmosphere for this film. A funny performance from Eddie Murphy and wonderfully over the top performance from Terrence Stamp help make this a hauntingly good time.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001)

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While not necessarily meant for Halloween, there are plenty of things in the Harry Potter franchise that qualify it for the holiday. Wizards, witches, werewolves, dementors, giant spiders, and goblins make Harry Potter a great choice for Halloween. The first film is definitely the one that makes these elements seem so cool. This is also a good film for anyone trying to find inspiration for a magical Halloween costume.

Beetlejuice (1988)

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One of the most classic Halloween comedies of all time, Beetlejuice is immensely entertaining. When a couple, played by Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin, unexpectedly die, they become ghosts. A new family moves into their home and the couple tries to scare them out of their house. When their attempts fail, they bring in the help of Beetlejuice and mayhem ensues. The film features a lot of creepy images and one of the funniest dinner scenes ever put to film. Tim Burton did a great job at creating a creepy setting that still is very goody. However, the highlight of the film is Keaton's performance as Beetlejuice. He may seem like a harmless spirit, but don't say his name three times.

Halloweentown (1998)

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Just because this movie is only a Disney Channel original movie, doesn't mean it is not a Halloween classic. The film follows a family of witches who travel to Halloweentown, a town filled with fictional Halloween creatures. When a dangerous villain threatens to destroy Halloweentown, the family uses their powers to try and save the town. It is about as corny as a film can get , but it is such a enjoyable movie. This will put a smile on your face and put you in the Halloween spirit.

Shaun of the Dead (2004)

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Shaun of the Dead is one of the greatest horror comedies of all time. It is not only a good zombie film but it is absolutely hysterical. Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and the rest of the cast members are all fantastic in this movie. It also features great directing from Edgar Wright. However, this is definitely not a film that is meant for the family. It does feature a lot of gore and a heavy amount of cursing, but this movie is a comedic delight from start to finish.

Ghostbusters (1984)

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This movie is the source of one of the catchiest songs ever put in a movie. I can't even say the phrase "who you gonna call" without thinking about Ghostbusters. It is not just a classic Halloween movie, but a classic in general. It features great performances from the four main leads and a cool collection of ghosts. The villain in this movie is pretty creepy and it also features an awesome final encounter with the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. When you need a lighthearted ghost movie, then you should definitely call Ghostbusters.

Young Frankenstein (1974)

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Mel Brooks definitely hit out of the park with this movie. It is a very funny spoof movie and it definitely holds up today. The jokes are really clever and they never seem to stop throughout the film. Gene Wilder definitely gives one of his best performance as Dr. Frankenstein himself. Peter Boyle is also really funny as the monster brought to life. It is a much older film, but it can still be enjoyed today.

Hocus Pocus (1993)

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This is the definiton of a cheesy, 90's Halloween movie. When a virgin lights a cursed candle, three witches come back from the dead to suck the life out of the children in the town before sunrise in order to remain young forever. The acting is corny, the dialogue is cheesy, but it is insanely entertaining. That is mainly due to the three witch sisters. Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy are perfect in this movie. They put so much energy in their roles and they are clearly having a lot of fun with these characters. This is definitely the ultimate Halloween guilty pleasure.

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

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There have been arguments that consider this movie to be a Christmas movie, but I think that this is definitely a Halloween movie. It features iconic characters such as Jack Skellington and Oogie Boogie who are seen on so much Halloween merchandise today. The plot of this movie is very creative and seeing Christmas blended with Halloween is awesome. It is a perfect blend of the two holidays but still has more elements of Halloween. The best part of this movie, however, is the soundtrack. Danny Elfman crafted a score and songs that make this a great musical. The music also has a very unique sound that make them fit perfectly with the environment in which they are being sung. Whether it is a Christmas or Halloween movie, it is still a fantastic movie overall.

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