Where to stream your favorite family-friendly Halloween movies and shows
Oct 29, 2021, 12:54 PM | Updated: 2:02 pm
SALT LAKE CITY — Parents and families may be looking for something seasonal to watch this Halloween weekend and get in the spooky mood. But with so many streaming options, it’s tough to figure out where all of your favorite movies or TV specials are available.
So, I’m here to help you out! I’ve put together a list of some favorite Halloween shows that families can enjoy together. Or, at the very least, some that parents can let their kids watch without worrying about objectionable content.
Even though there’s no single place to watch all your favorite Halloween shows, a couple of streaming services have pretty robust selections.
Disney’s content-packed streamer has probably the biggest selection of family-friendly Halloween content, including:
HOCUS POCUS (1993)
This fan-favorite (though I’ve never understood why it’s so beloved by people…) tells the tale of the Sanderson sisters (Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and an almost-unrecognizable Sarah Jessica Parker) who were executed for witchcraft in Salem in the 1600’s. A local kid in 1990’s Salem accidentally brings them back to life and then must try to save all the kids in the town from the witches and make them go away again, hopefully forever. (But not really forever, because Disney has a sequel coming in 2022)
From the unique mind of Tim Burton, is the stop-motion animated film about Jack Skellington, the pumpkin king of Halloweentown. He grows bored with doing the same thing every year and so when he accidentally discovers Christmas Town, he decides to spread his newfound Christmas cheer to the residents of Halloween Town. It doesn’t go well.
TOY STORY OF TERROR (2013)
The best of the Toy Story animated shorts features the gang stolen and held hostage by a creepy motel owner and his pet creature who wants to sell them.
When a boy’s beloved dog passes away suddenly, he attempts to bring the animal back to life through a powerful science experiment. Stop-motion 3D animation.
THE HAUNTED MANSION (2003)
A realtor (Eddie Murphy) and his wife and children are summoned to a mansion, which they soon discover is haunted and they must escape.
MUPPETS HAUNTED MANSION (2021)
This brand-new release is based on the Disney rides and features Gonzo spending Halloween night in the most grim, grinning place on Earth… The Haunted Mansion. Many Disney ride easter eggs and celebrity cameos ensue.
JUST BEYOND (2021)
New anthology series based on graphic novels by R.L. Stine (the author of the “Goosebumps” books). Tells astonishing and thought-provoking stories of a reality just beyond the one we know. It’s kind of like The Twilight Zone, but for kids.
The streaming giant has a decent stack of Halloween-themed offerings in its own right, including:
HUBIE HALLOWEEN (2020)
A Netflix original that came out last fall, it’s kind of like Adam Sandler’s Greatest Movie Hits, all rolled into one. Sandler is Hubie Dubois, a loveable man child who is the self-appointed Official Volunteer Halloween Helper and safety monitor for the town of Salem’s Halloween festivities, but also pretty much every person in town makes fun of him. When people start disappearing and a wolf man and asylum patient get loose on Halloween, it’s up to Hubie to save the day. I inexplicably liked this movie a lot. Just about anyone who’s been in a Sandler comedy over the years shows up in the movie, but my favorite was Modern Family’s Julie Bowen. Just goofy fun.
MONSTER HOUSE (2006)
An animated movie from 2006 is about three teenagers who discover that the house across the street from them not only LOOKS scary and monstrous, it actually IS a living monster that plans to eat all the kid trick-or-treaters that come by on Halloween night. So the kids and their babysitter must figure out how to stop it, while also convincing the local adults that they’re not just making it all up.
A TALE DARK AND GRIMM (2021)
A brand new Netflix original animated series that follows Hansel and Gretel as they walk out of their own story and into a winding and wickedly witty tale full of strange and scary surprises. It’s rated TV-Y7 so you don’t have to worry if it’s too dark or gritty.
A misunderstood boy who can talk to the dead (though nobody believes he can) takes on ghosts, zombies and grown-ups to save his town from a centuries-old curse.
Netflix original and child-friendly adaptation of a book series. After losing the young boy she was babysitting on Halloween, a young teenager joins forces with the Order of the Babysitters to take on a boogeyman (Tom Felton) and his menagerie of monsters who harvest children’s nightmares.
If you missed it airing on PBS this month, you CAN stream it, but you’ll have to watch this classic cartoon on Apple TV Plus. Just a heads up, with Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up, ALL the Peanuts holiday specials are on Apple TV Plus.
THE WITCHES (2020)
Over on HBO Max, you can catch Roald Dahl’s “THE WITCHES”, starring Anne Hathaway and Octavia Spencer, which dropped on that streamer last year during the pandemic. It’s based on the classic children’s book but does have a few scenes that are pretty scary-looking, despite the humor and general tone of the movie.
THE WITCHES (1990)
On the other hand, if you prefer the Angelica Huston version, you can always watch it instead. It’s also available on HBO Max.
THE ADDAMS FAMILY (2019)
An animated movie version of the classic TV family featuring the voices of Charlize Theron, Oscar Isaac, Nick Kroll, Chloe Grace Moretz, Bette Midler and Snoop Dogg.
Warm up for next month’s highly-anticipated sequel by watching the classic 80’s comedy once again. Free if you have cable/satellite subscription through FreeForm, otherwise it’s only available through VOD.
Classic comedy about a couple of ghosts (Geena Davis & Alec Baldwin) being harassed by an unbearable family that has moved into their home, so they hire a malicious spirit (Michael Keaton) to drive them out. Only available to stream as a rental.
YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN (1974)
Mel Brooks’ classic black-and-white homage to and spoof of early horror films. The American grandson (Gene Wilder) of the infamous scientist Dr. Frankenstein wants to reanimate a dead body (Peter Boyle) to prove his grandfather was not as insane as people believe. Free to stream with Amazon Prime subscription.
Universal Studios classic monsters are featured as two delivery guys (Bud Abbott & Lou Costello) think they’re delivering wax dummies of Dracula (Bela Lugosi) and Frankenstein, except it turns out they’re real and they need Costello’s brain for the monster. Also features Lon Chaney as the Wolf Man. Only available to rent/buy through Video On Demand.
It’s my personal favorite Halloween movie of all time. I mean, they don’t make them much better than this:
Hopefully you & your family found this list helpful! Andy Farnsworth is the movie and pop culture guy for the KSL 5 Today morning news show and also hosts the Fan Effect podcast for KSL NewsRadio. Check out some of his other in-depth reviews of movies and streaming TV series on KSLTV.com.