September is over and October is here, which means Halloween is just around the corner, and with it comes the new movie of The Addams Family.
The perfect season for horror fans, All Hallows’ eve is when we lock ourselves indoors to re-watch our favourites and catch-up on new releases. And while the likes of IT: Chapter Two and The Lighthouse (released in January next year) are a must-see for horror lovers, they’re not exactly what we’d call suitable for the whole family.
But that doesn’t mean the younger ones need to miss out on all the fun this Halloween. Starring Finn Wolfhard, Chloë Grace Moretz, Oscar Isaac and Charlize Theron as the titular and altogether ooky family, this new animated outing will see the Addamses move to the suburbs where they’ll be introduced to the 21st century.
Set to be a ghoulishly good time (without the terror), The Addams Family is the ideal Halloween film for the whole family to enjoy. And if you need more suggestions to keep your little monsters satisfied this October, here are five more spooky family films to get you in the Halloween spirit.
1. Scooby-Doo and the Witch’s Ghost (1999)
Ever since his first appearance in classic cartoon series Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! all the way back in 1969, the titular Great Dane and his gang of mystery-solving friends have been a staple of spooky fun for children of all ages.
Any of Scoobert’s cinematic outings are excellent choices, but for this list, our pick is Scooby-Doo and the Witch’s Ghost. The gang’s second animated film following Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island (which has just got a sequel), The Witch’s Ghost sees our heroes travel to the New England town of Oakhaven after being invited by a famous horror author Ben Ravencroft (voiced by Tim Curry).
However, they soon discover the town is haunted by the ghost of Sarah Ravencroft, a woman persecuted as a witch during the Salem Witch trials. But unlike Scoob’s usual mysteries, this witch isn’t someone in a mask…
2. Hotel Transylvania (2012)
We all know the fearsome likes of classic movie monsters Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, and The Mummy, so bringing them together in the same film can only mean good things. And the whole family can witness what’s made these monsters so memorable in Hotel Transylvania.
The film is set in a grand and gothic hotel for monsters built by Dracula (Adam Sandler) as a respite from the human world. However, a human (Andy Samberg) accidentally stumbles upon the hotel where he meets and sparks a relationship with Dracula’s daughter Mavis (Salena Gomez), while under the guise of a monster himself.
The film may follow the standard conventions of the star-crossed lovers and liar-revealed plots we’ve seen countless times before. But checking into this hotel is more than worth the time thanks to the levels of creativity and humour. And if this is the film for you, then why not watch the sequels, too?
- Meet the spooktacular voice cast behind The Addams Family
- 5 horror-friendly Halloween movies for non-horror fans
- 12 nightmare-inducing movie clowns who kept us up at night
3. ParaNorman (2012)
From Laika, the studio that gave us Coraline, Oscar-nominated stop-motion animation ParaNorman contains all the spooky fun that made the former a sensational hit.
Rather than taking us to a dimension of button-eyed doppelgangers, this movie introduces us to horror-obsessed oddball Norman (Kodi Smit-McPhee), who can converse with the dead. One day Norman’s confronted by his “crazy” uncle who tells him he needs to compete a ritual to stop the ghost of a witch from wreaking havoc. With a zombie horde on their tail, Norman and friends need to find a way to put these horrors to rest.
Although the macabre imagery might be a bit much for very young kids, ParaNorman is nevertheless full of heart and contains a poignant message that makes for a phenomenal treat.
4. Frankenweenie (2012)
Emerging from the mind of Tim Burton, stop-motion animation Frankenweenie (adapted from Burton’s 1984 short film of the same name) merges Mary Shelly’s gothic tale Frankenstein with a touching story of a boy, Victor Frankenstein (Charlie Tahan), and his dog Sparky.
When Sparky is killed in an accident, a heartbroken Victor is inspired by his science teacher to use electricity to bring his beloved pet back to life. But when his classmates discover his secret, they conduct their own experiments, unleashing undead monsters on their town.
Presented in striking black and white and rife with Burton’s signature eccentric flourishes, Frankenweenie is a beautiful story of friendship and a loving homage to the gothic genre, with just the right amount of dark humour sprinkled throughout.
5. Goosebumps (2015)
When you have a film based on the popular children’s horror series of the same name by R.L. Stine, you’d better beware, because you’re in for a scare.
Starring Jack Black as Stine (who goes by the alias Mr Shivers), the film centres on teenager Zach (Dylan Minnette) who moves next door to the writer. Zach then befriends Stine's daughter Hannah (Odeya Rush). However, one night, believing Shivers is up to something sinister, Zach sneaks into his house to discover the collection of Goosebumps manuscripts sealed shut.
Curious, he opens one, inadvertently freeing creepy dummy Slappy (voiced by Black), who unleashes Stine’s creations loose on the town. It’s up to our heroes to return the monsters to the pages of the book before it’s too late.
Incorporating Goosebumps stories Revenge of the Lawn Gnomes, Please Don’t Feed the Vampire!, Invasion of the Body Squeezers, and so much more, this film exemplifies what made Stine’s imagination a fixture of the 1990s. It’s perfect for kids looking for some Halloween fun and older audiences who grew up reading Stine’s books.
Andy Murray is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.