Halloween may just be the greatest holiday for kids. From dressing up in costumes and going trick-or-treating, to lighting jack-o’-lanterns and gorging on candy, most traditional Halloween activities are highly appealing to children. On the other hand, certain aspects of Halloween may be a little too intense for some younger children, such as the graphic depictions of gore and violence that is often seen in Halloween-themed costumes, haunted houses, or movies. Picking a Halloween-themed movie or television show that the whole family can enjoy together can be especially tricky (no pun intended) since a film that may seem innocuous to an adult can be the stuff of nightmares for a child.
Since Halloween is a holiday that traditionally focuses on death and the supernatural, it’s no surprise that many of the films about Halloween fall under the horror genre. While a few of these horror flicks may be appropriate for kids, most of them are probably not. Fortunately, there are also many non-horror movies and television specials about Halloween that won’t risk turning your living room into a psychological trauma ward for your kids.
So if you’re planning on spending the evening of October 31 curled up in front of the TV with your family, here are 10 great Halloween-themed movies and television specials that you can watch together. While the films and shows featured on this list were selected on the basis of personal taste, all of the selections are ordered according to their critical ranking on Rotten Tomatoes, from lowest to highest.