As we close in on October 31, AiPT! will be reviewing and recommending various pieces of underappreciated scary media-books, comics, movies, and television-to help keep you terrified and entertained all the way up to Halloween.
There is a lot of focus on horror movies during October but at its core, Halloween is a time for family. Thankfully, there are plenty of Halloween movies that can be enjoyed by all ages. Joining the AiPT! staff this week is Regina Chavez. Regina is a huge Halloween fan and had some thoughts on the subject.
What is your favorite family friendly Halloween movie?Megan Wallen: I love this topic! My favorite Halloween flicks are the ones I grew up watching on Disney at eight o’clock every night in October. Growing up, Phantom Of The Megaplex was my absolute favorite, but recently, I’ve been leaning towards Mom’s Got A Date With A Vampire. I also love Disney’s Don’t Look Under The Bed, Halloweentown, Twitches, The Scream Team, and Under Wraps. The Little Vampire and Hocus Pocus are instant classics as well. Basically, I could talk forever about this particular topic, and I still watch all of these movies at least once a year.
Davis Pittman: Without a doubt, Hocus Pocus is my favorite family oriented Halloween film. I watch it every year, nothing’s better than seeing Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker at Halloween time.
David Brooke: I’m going to have to say Nightmare Before Christmas due to the great songs and animation that is timeless. ParaNorman is a close second.
Regina Chavez: While I love Monster House and ParaNorman, my all-time favorite family friendly Halloween film is Hocus Pocus. It has wicked witches, characters who truly love witches, truly creepy moments, and the humor holds up after all these years.
Do you prefer animated or live action family friendly Halloween movies? Megan: I prefer live-action just because the colors of all the candy and decorations and costumes feel more vibrant and draws me in much better. Growing up, my Grandma would try to get me to watch all of the Charlie Brown movies during their appropriate holidays, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen any of them all the way through. I remember having Lumpkin Pumpkin on VHS, and I liked that one okay. I also liked Casper: A Spirited Beginning and Casper Meets Wendy, and this may be an unpopular opinion, but I could never get into the original 1995 Casper film.
David: I’d say animated mostly because live-action family friendly films can be so hokey.
Davis: I prefer live action, can’t say that there’s many animated ones that I like.
Regina: I can go either way.
What is the scariest family friendly Halloween movie?Megan: I can’t remember a time when any of these movies actually frightened me. Perhaps the scariest moment was during the theater scene in Halloweentown when this floating monster came out of the screen and paralyzed Marnie’s mom and grandma, but I was more of a sad-scared than a scared-scared because my mom and grandma are my favorite people, so I felt bad for her. Also, I do recall having a nightmare once about my bed floating and purple smoke coming out from under it like in Don’t Look Under The Bed.
Dave: Coraline has some intense and very scary moments. When her father becomes a zombie of sorts it’s twisted.
Davis: Gotta say that I agree with Dave here, Coraline is pretty damn scary for a younger crowd.
Regina: I think Coraline and Monster House have some really scary moments that creeped me out in my 20’s!
What is the most underrated family friendly Halloween movie?Megan: One movie I really enjoy watching during the autumn season is Barney’s Halloween Party. I’m a childless adult, but I still watch this every year, and I have a Halloween playlist on YouTube with songs from this movie on it that I listen to on my way to the Halloween store. I think Halloween’s a time for nostalgia for me because it’s not at all what it used to be when I was a kid. Another movie worthy of a mention here is R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour: Don’t Think About It. I won’t even lie. I feel like it’s kind of a bad movie, but I have a thing for it. I don’t know why.
Dave: I don’t think people give The Addams Family enough credit. Sure it’s mostly slapstick, but there’s some moments that are truly twisted and the special effects were excellent especially for the time.
Davis: Well I don’t think that Addams Family Values is given enough credit, to me that should get a lot more credit than the lackluster 1995 Casper
Regina: The 1993 animated film adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s The Halloween Tree. Like the story from which its based, it’s educational, scary, and is not afraid of exploring the grim darkness of Pip’s unfortunate circumstances. Plus, it features the voice of Leonard Nimoy and is narrated by Ray Bradbury.