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5 horror-friendly Halloween movies for non-horror fans


Anticipation is steadily building for Halloween and away from all the cosplay and pumpkin carving, it's also compulsory to schedule an evening of your favourite horror classics.

We understand that horror isn't for everyone – that's why we've grouped together this little list of enjoyably spooky hits that will allow non-horror fans to enjoy the big night as well.

1. Gremlins (1984)

Director Joe Dante made a name for himself with a series of critically acclaimed horror-comedies that walked the finest of lines between sweet and scary. This 80s creature feature remains his biggest hit and most famous movie as adorably cute Mogwai Gizmo spawns a host of mischief-making monsters who lay waste to a small American town. It's very silly, very funny and occasionally very nasty – but all underscored with a homely sense of affection towards suburban American life.

2. The Others (2001)

Ghost stories are a permanent fixture of Halloween celebrations and make for the ideal antidote for non-horror fans, rarely proving gory but instead sending a delicious tingle down the spine. In this 2001 chiller Nicole Kidman delivers a career-best performance as a woman stranded in her Jersey mansion with her two light-sensitive children... only to discover there might be something locked in there with them.

Anchored by Kidman's beautifully mounted hysteria and adorned in rich tapestries of light and shadow courtesy of director Alejandro Amenabar, The Others is accessible horror at its finest.

3. Drag Me to Hell (2009)

Director Sam Raimi redefined splatter horror with his infamously gruesome eighties debut Evil Dead. That movie's rampant dismemberment may be too much for horror novices to handle so we recommend his wonderfully schlocky and deliberately over-the-top campfire tale Drag Me To Hell, one that restored the director's characteristic mixture of goofy humour and terror following the disappointment of Spider-Man 3.

The tale of a hapless young banker haunted by a menacing demon, the movie isn't afraid of being gross or jumpy on occasions but never falters in its intentions to give the viewer a good time. Smiles of terrified delight, rather than sadism, are the order of the day here.

4. What We Do In The Shadows (2014)

Not all horror movies are designed to merely terrorise. Some fuse with comedy to create something altogether more audience-friendly, and they don't come funnier than Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi's wonderful mockumentary about four vampires living together in a flat in New Zealand.

If you're looking for a horror that will leave you holding your sides rather than fleeing the room in terror, then this is the one for you. Featuring delightful performances and a wonderfully sly central premise this is a film guaranteed to leave you smiling even amidst the occasional artery-gushing and bloodstained piles of dishes.

5. Krampus (2015)

The nostalgic spirit of Gremlins is re-awakened in writer-director Michael Dougherty's blend of skin-crawling horror and sweet seasonal atmosphere. A warring family's Christmas goes horribly awry when a young boy tears up his note to Santa – in the process invoking the spirit of the dreaded Krampus aka the dark side of Saint Nicolas.

Just as it derives massive laughs from its fractious ensemble cast (Toni Collette and Anchorman's David Koechner give standout performances), it's also not afraid to get properly scary, especially during the attack of the mutated toys in the attic.

Still, with its central message that family bonds strengthen during during supernatural thick and thin, it's also got a gentle coating of whimsy that should help sell it to horror newbies.

What family-friendly horror movies are on release now?

You're in luck! Click here to book your tickets for Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween, out now in Cineworld.