10 Spooky But Not Scary Films To Watch This Halloween

There are a wealth of iconic horror films to watch each Halloween but what if you are not into jumping out of your skin while sat on your sofa? We have put together a list of 10 spooky but not scary films to put on and get you into the Halloween spirit this year. Everything from Steven Spielberg’s E.T. to the ever reliable Hocus Pocus, our list will get you ready for spooky season but keeping the childhood joy!

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There are a wealth of iconic horror films to watch each Halloween but what if you are not into jumping out of your skin while sat on your sofa? We have put together a list of 10 spooky but not scary films to put on and get you into the Halloween spirit this year. Everything from Steven Spielberg’s E.T. to the ever reliable Hocus Pocus, our list will get you ready for spooky season but keeping the childhood joy!

1. Scooby-Doo: The Movie

Scooby-Doo: The Movie is the 2002 live action/CGI comedy following Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and dog Scooby as they investigate mysteries. Written by James Gunn, Scooby Doo: The Movie stars Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar, Matthew Lillard, Linda Cardellini, Isla Fisher and Rowan Atkinson.

The story centres on Mystery Incorporated, a team of four young adults and a talking dog who solve mysteries. They reassemble after a two-year break to look into a mystery at a well-known tropical island resort with a horror theme.

The operator of Spooky Island, Emile Mondavarious, invites them to help him solve a mystery because he thinks the tourists are being brainwashed.   While Velma, Fred, and Daphne are all determined to solve the mystery alone, Shaggy and Scooby are hoping that this will reunite the gang.

Scooby-Doo was released on June 14, 2002, and it made $275 million worldwide. Scooby-Doo was shot in and around Queensland, Australia, on a budget of $84 million.

2. The Witches

Angelica Huston stars as the creepy-looking Grand High Witch in the 1990 adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The Witches. This comedy/children’s horror film is produced by Jim Henson and is directed by Nicholas Roeg. 

Seven-year-old American boy Luke is warned about witches who loathe children and use various techniques to destroy or change them while on vacation with his grandmother Helga in Norway.   Luke's legal guardian is Helga after his parents are killed in a car accident, and they relocate to England.

Helga develops diabetes and her physician suggests that they spend the summer near the sea so they travel to Bournemouth. Luke meets a new friend named Bruno Jenkins at the hotel. 

A convention of witches is taking place at the hotel under the guise of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Trying to infiltrate their gatherings, Luke and Bruno both end up being turned into mice!

3. Ghostbusters

This 1984 supernatural comedy starring Bill Murray, Aykroyd, and Ramis as Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz, and Egon Spengler has become a cult classic. Ghostbusters focuses on these three eccentric parapsychologists who start a ghost-catching business in New York City. 

Aykroyd envisioned Ghostbusters as a film starring himself and John Belushi in which they would travel across time and space fending off paranormal threats. The Ghostbusters movie's success led to the creation of a multibillion dollar multimedia franchise. 

Three parapsychology professors at Columbia University, had their first contact with a ghost at the New York Public Library. The university dean rejected the validity of their research and dismisses them. In response, the trio create "Ghostbusters," a paranormal investigation and removal business based out of a disused firehouse. They create sophisticated, nuclear-powered technology to catch and contain spirits.

4. Casper

Casper, released in 1995 is Brad Silberling’s feature film directorial debut and it stars Christina Ricci, Bill Pullman, Cathy Moriarty and Eric Idle. 

Following the death of her Father, a spoilt heiress Carrigan Crittenden learns that she has only been left a spooky, dilapidated manor house called Whipstaff. Carrigan and her lawyer wish to demolish the manor but find that it is haunted by a ghost named Casper and his three poltergeist uncles.

When Casper sees a television segment about the paranormal therapist James Harvey, he falls in love with his adolescent daughter Kat. Casper manages to get Carrigan to invite James to Whipstaff Manor.   Kat doesn't like how her father is known for trying to communicate with the ghost of his deceased wife, Amelia. The Harvey family ends up getting settled in Whipstaff, but Casper's attempts to become friends with them fall flat as his uncles torture and eventually drive them away.

5. Teen Wolf

In 1985, the Back To The Future favourite Michael J. Fox stars as Scott Howard in Teen Wolf. Directed by Rod Daniel, Teen Wolf documents the life of a 17 year old who is bored of his average life but soon finds out that he is a werewolf! Scott has a crush on Pamela Wells who is dating rival school basketball player Mick. Scott’s father Harold reveals he is a werewolf too, and that he had hoped Scott would not inherit the curse because 'sometimes it skips a generation'.

Scott tells his friend Stiles his secret, and he promises to also keep it a secret. However, when Scott is under pressure on the basketball court, he transforms into the wolf and assists in the team's first victory in three years.  This has an unexpected outcome of fame and popularity when "Wolf Fever" has taken over the high school.

6. Halloweentown

The 1998 Disney Channel original movie directed by Duwayne Dunham has since achieved cult status. The cast includes Debbie Reynolds, Kimberly J. Brown, Joey Zimmerman, and Judith Hoag. It is the first film in the Halloweentown series and is t he fourth Disney Channel Original Film. 

Marnie, the main character, finds out she's a witch on her 13th birthday, uncovers a hidden portal, and travels to Halloweentown, a wonderful location where witches, werewolves, and ghosts live apart from humans. However, she quickly finds herself battling evil warlocks, curses, and infinite surprises. 

Halloweentown residents refer to the real world as "The Mortal World," and they can only travel outside with the use of magic at set hours (on Halloween), up until the portal closes at midnight.

7. Hocus Pocus

The iconic Halloween comedy Hocus Pocus starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy came out in 1993. It focuses on three infamous witches who are accidentally resurrected by Max Dennison (Omri Katz) on Halloween night in Salem, Massachusetts. 

The Sanderson Sisters steal away Emily Binx in 1693 and are pursued by her brother Thackery who ends up being transformed into a black cat cursed to live forever. Emily is killed by Winifred, Sarah and Mary and the sisters are made young again. They are later captured and sentenced to hanging by the townspeople. Winifred casts a spell which says that the sisters will be resurrected during a full moon on All Hallows’ Eve if an innocent teen lights a candle with a black flame in their cottage. Thackery Binx guards the cottage in cat form to make sure that this never happens.

In 1993, Max Dennison and his sister head out trick-or-treating (much to his dismay) with Max’s crush Allison. The trio visit the Sanderson Sisters’ cottage which is now an abandoned museum. It is here that Max accidentally resurrects the sisters, meets Thackery and steals their coveted spell-book.

8. E.T.

Steven Spielberg produced and directed E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, the famed science fiction film in 1982. After his parents' divorce, Spielberg made an imaginary companion who served as the inspiration for the movie's plot. 

Botanists from another planet sneak onto Earth at night to collect samples in a forest in California. As one of them wanders off in search of the distant city lights, U.S. government vehicles show up and pursue the startled creature. He is left on Earth by the other aliens as they depart. Ten-year-old Elliott Taylor's suspicions are aroused when he throws a baseball into a shed and the ball is thrown back to him. Elliott returns later that evening with a flashlight and finds the alien hiding.

9. Matilda

Matilda is one of the most nostalgic films for children born in the 1990s. It is a Hollywood adaptation of the Roald Dahl 1988 novel starring Mara Wilson as Matilda herself, Rhea Perlman as Mrs Zinnia Wormwood, Embeth Davidtz as Miss Honey, and Pam Ferris as Agatha Trunchbull. Actor Danny DeVito played Matilda’s Father Harry Wormwood but he also served as the narrator and directed the entire film. Matilda was released in US cinemas on the 2nd of August 1996 and released on VHS on December 17th. 

Matilda Wormwood, a young genius, is mistreated and ignored by her parents Harry and Zinnia, as well as by her elder brother, Michael. She is intelligent and independent and takes comfort in the made-up worlds found in books at the library. When Matilda's parents won't let her attend school, she dyes her father's hair with bleach and sticks his hat on his head. Matilda is caught reading Moby-Dick by Harry, who tears it up and makes her watch game shows on television. Matilda gets increasingly irritated until the TV explodes apart.

Harry exchanges a car for Matilda's enrollment in Crunchem Hall Elementary School. Matilda meets Miss Honey, a kind and compassionate teacher, who is able to recognise all of her potential, including her magical abilities.

10. The Goonies

A Steven Spielberg story served as the basis for the 1985 American adventure comedy The Goonies. In the film, young residents of Astoria, Oregon's "Goon Docks" area try to save their homes from going into foreclosure. As they do so, they come across an old treasure map that leads them on a quest to find the lost riches of the 17th-century pirate One-Eyed Willy. They are pursued by a family of criminals who want the treasure for themselves throughout their adventure.

While avoiding numerous deadly booby traps along underground tunnels, The Goonies manage to avoid the criminal Fratellis. They eventually arrive at the cavern where the Inferno, Willy's pirate ship, is moored.   On June 7, 1985, Warner Bros. in the United States premiered the movie in theatres. It was produced by Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment. On a $19 million budget, the movie made $125 million worldwide and has subsequently gained cult status.

Spooky Films For Halloween - 10 Spooky But Not Scary Films To Watch This Halloween

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