Since trick-or-treating doesn’t really happen here in Belgium, my family has another Halloween tradition. Every year we have a scary movie night. When the kids were younger we watched some family friendly scary movies, and when they were in bed, we would up the gore factor.
These days the kids are a little older so while we still start with family favorites that aren’t too scary, they do end up watching at least one that is a little bit scarier before they go to bed. Below I share 5 movies that have made our list at least a few times over the years.
While I’m sure not everyone counts Harry Potter as a scary movie, it definitely is a favorite in our house. After all, wizards and witches, Dark Lords and Death Eaters, what more do you need? However, since they are more magic-based than fear-based, they make a safer choice for families.
My sons started watching these movies with us when they were around 6-7 years old, but it all depends on what you think your kids can handle. Most people don’t mind their younger kids watching the first few movies, but keep the later ones for when they are older.
With eight movies to choose from, you can make it an all-night film festival or watch one each night for eight days with the last one on Halloween (which is our prefered way of watching it as a Halloween movie).
Texas Chainsaw Massacre
When you watch scary movies, you should definitly include the classics. The next movie in my list is one of those classics, you really have to have seen: Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
The movie was released in 1974 and allegedly inspired by the real-life crimes of murderer Ed Gein. But sources are quick to point out that it’s entirely fictional in plot and events depicted. Tobe Hooper directed and produced the 1974 version of “Massacre.”
After the first movie there were a few follow-ups, but none of them have the same quality of the original movie. Put it on your list to watch together with your partner or some friends when the kids are in bed and enjoy an evening of scary adventures.
Rocky Horror Picture Show
The next movie, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, is another classis from the mid-70s, but this one is more funny than it is scary. It revolves around off-beat sexual themes and innuendos.
The movie is based on a British musical stage play by a similar name (“The Rocky Horror Show”), and was intended to be a spoof on a prior era of sci-fi and horror movies.
When you watch this movie it’s important to remember to bring your dancing shoes, so you can time warp with rest (best?) of them!
This movie is again not really suitable for younger kids, but my husband and I are discussing if our sons are old enough this year.
Trick ‘r Treat
After the classics, let’s return to a time closer to our current year. This movie was released in 2009. In a genre that tends to produce movies with similar story lines and effects, critics considered this movie original and fresh. Definitely a plus when you’re looking for a movie that will surprise you.
Critics have positive things to say about this movie, and it has a strong cult following (not unlike “Rocky Horror”).
In “Trick ‘r Treat,” various characters appear in all sorts of different scenarios, tied together with the theme of keeping Halloween tradition. Those who fail to keep proper traditions meet a deadly fate. While it’s considered a well-done film, it would probably be best if viewed only by older teens and adults.
Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit
Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit is both a family-friendly and funny Halloween movie. The movie has some amusing moments for adults like tributes to classic movies, while kids can enjoy the gentle humor and fun action.
Wallace and Gromit are a classic pair of clay-animated characters – Wallace is a private investigator/inventor and Gromit is his dog. They are hired to capture whatever critter is raiding the town’s vegetable gardens (which are apparently sacred).
Those are my five choices for a Halloween scary movie night. I’d love to hear about the movies you would watch. Let me know below!