Halloween can be a fun time of year and it often sees a large crop of scary and horror movies rolling out to “celebrate” the holiday. The down side to this is that many of these movies are not appropriate for younger children; however, there are still many great Halloween-themed movies available at Blockbuster that you can watch knowing that they are safe for young minds. I’ve listed four of my favorites below, but please feel free to share some more of your favorites in the comment section below.
Based on a tale by R. L. Stine, When Good Ghouls Go Bad is great Halloween fun for all ages. This funny, campy movie starring Christopher Lloyd originally aired on FOX Family channel in the early 2000s, but still holds a lot of spooky fun for kids with just enough Halloween scares and magic. Danny Walker (Joe Pichler) has just moved to a small Minnesota town with his family and when his freshly hung Halloween decorations begin to mysteriously disappear, Danny and his Uncle Fred join forces to rid the community of the bizarre curse which prevents the citizens from celebrating or even mentioning the spooky October holiday. The answer, involving a long-dead artist named Curtis Danko, is found in the town’s deserted chocolate factory.
A “scary” movie from Walt Disney Pictures in the 80s, it’s a PG rated film so it would be ok for younger children to watch. Something Wicked This Way Comes is adapted from Ray Bradbury’s story of the same name and it tells the story of the citizens of Green Town after a peculiar carnival comes to town. Many of the good citizens are compelled to follow their deepest desires, caught under the spell of the malevolent Dr. Dark who can grant those desires on one condition: that the grantees will forever join his freak show. Dr. Dark is after two young boys from the town in particular, and as he works his own brand of voodoo, the citizens and the two boys — as well as the whole carnival itself — approach a final reckoning.
Remember when the Olsen twins were America’s little darlings? Well, this 90s classic starring the girls should bring back great memories of Halloween mischief. Laughter and chills are served up in equal measure in this made-for-TV movie for the whole family. Kelly and Lynn Farmer (Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen) are twin sisters, who, one Halloween, make a surprising discovery about their Aunt Agatha (Cloris Leachman) — she’s a witch! It seems Agatha isn’t an especially nice witch, either — she has a grudge against Kelly and Lynn’s father and wants to ruin him financially, and the twins have to step in to stop her. However, along the way they also have to help Agatha’s twin sister Sophia (also played by Leachman), who has been trapped by one of Agatha’s spells.
1. Hocus Pocus
Apparently the 1990s were big on family-friendly Halloween movies and Hocus Pocus continues the trend. Just before they are executed as witches in 1693, three witches — Winifred (Bette Midler), Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker), and Mary (Kathy Najimy) – vow to return to Salem 300 years hence on Halloween to exact their revenge. Three hundred years later, a young boy, Max (Omri Katz), explores the ruins of the legendary witches’ house and dares the witches to manifest themselves. Disregarding the warnings of his sister Dani (Thora Birch) and girlfriend Allison (Vinessa Shaw), Max lights the Candle of Black Flame. With that, the witches reappear to wreak havoc on the town. The kids take off with the witches’ spellbook and a musty tome of hexes and recipes. The sorceresses, who will die by the morning light if they don’t recite the incantation for immortality, have to get the books by whatever means they can. So, Winifred, Sarah, and Mary hop on their broomsticks for a chase through Halloween night.