If you’re like me, you love Halloween — the season, the costumes, the treats! — but not horror as a genre. Maybe creepy intrigues you, but jump-out-and-scare-you movies aren’t your speed. If you’re a terrified trick-or-treater, you aren’t alone! But don’t be too scared to watch some seasonal movies — just make sure you know which are safe! Here are my recommendations for a not-so-scary Halloween viewing party.
(P.S. – Those marked with an asterisk are currently available on Netflix!)
If you love… Disney-style storytelling!
- Hocus Pocus: The Halloween classic! Can you believe this movie didn’t get good reviews? It’s a classic, which many consider the best part of Halloween, and probably one I watch every year. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s a must-watch!
- Halloweentown: This is a Disney channel original movie that spawned several sequels. I don’t love it as much as Hocus Pocus, but it’s a great watch.
- * Nightmare Before Christmas: Really, most Tim Burton movies could fit this list, but this one is specifically Halloweeny, so I included it. I like to watch this one for Christmas, too.
- * ParaNorman: This movie is downright cute! It got rave reviews when it came out last year and I anticipate it will soon be a Halloween classic. Fun fact: they used 3-D printers to stop-motion animate the film!
If you love… zombie comedies!
- Shaun of the Dead: If you liked Scott Pilgrim or any of the other Blood and Ice Cream movies, you’ll love this. Zombie comedy at its finest.
- Zombieland: One of my all-time favorite zombie movies. Hilarious script, great cast, and never frightening. Plus, a cameo from Bill Murray. THE BEST.
- * Ghostbusters: Speaking of Bill Murray, Ghostbusters is a year-round favorite, but is especially relevant during the Halloween season.
If you love… cult classics!
- * The Devil’s Carnival: If you loved Repo! The Genetic Opera (see below), this is from the same creative team. It’s not a full-length movie, but I still love it. It’s about a group of sinners going to Hell, which is a retro carnival. A treat for the eyes and ears — yep, it’s a musical. (And, of course, I have made Tamara’s dress before!)
- Repo! The Genetic Opera: I love Repo! but I am definitely biased. It’s in the horror-musical genre as well and takes place in a not-so-distant future where organs can be financed and gruesomely repossessed. It’s a little bloody, but the music mellows it out.
- The Rocky Horror Picture Show: The only way to see Rocky Horror is at midnight with a shadow cast. Seriously! Look one up near you (in Dallas, I recommend seeing Amber Does Dallas, my former cast. They are a total blast!) and drag a group of your friends to truly experience this classic.