Best Family-Friendly Frights: Halloween Movies on Netflix

While Halloween-themed movies on Netflix might be in short supply, there’s no shortage of films that range from slightly spooky to all-out terrifying. So let’s jump right into the movies that will make your Halloween season complete, whether you’re in the mood for some light-hearted fun or something a little more spine-chilling.

The Fear Street Trilogy (2021): A Time-Traveling Horror Feast

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Director: Leigh Janiak | Run Time: 5 hr 30 min

Cast: Kiana Madeira, Olivia Scott Welch, Benjamin Flores Jr., Sadie Sink, and more

Touted as the ultimate Halloween movie marathon, the Fear Street trilogy sweeps you through an epic journey that transcends time. Beginning with Fear Street: 1994, a modern-day slasher romp, the narrative then jumps back to a haunted summer camp in Fear Street: 1978, before culminating in a colonial horror tale with Fear Street: 1666. The trilogy skillfully integrates suspense, gore, and storytelling, offering a comprehensive horror experience that keeps you glued to the screen.

Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016): A Prequel That Shines Bright

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Director: Mike Flanagan | Run Time: 1 hr 39 min

Cast: Elizabeth Reaser, Annalise Basso, Lulu Wilson, Henry Thomas

While its predecessor suffered from formulaic storytelling, Ouija: Origin of Evil surprisingly takes the Ouija board concept to a new level. Thanks to director Mike Flanagan’s expertise in psychological horror, this film relies more on the emotional resonance of its characters than on fleeting jump scares. Elizabeth Reaser shines as Alice Zander, a faux spiritual medium who finds herself facing a very real demonic presence. Exploring the role of trauma in catalyzing horror, the film is a psychological deep-dive that makes it a must-watch, especially for fans of Flanagan’s Haunting series.

Nightbooks (2021): A New Kind of “Gateway Horror”

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Director: David Yarovesky | Run Time: 1 hr 43 min

Cast: Winslow Fegley, Krysten Ritter, Lidya Jewett

If you’re looking for a film that offers a balanced blend of spookiness and scares, Nightbooks is a standout pick. Produced by Sam Raimi, this YA adventure casts Krysten Ritter as a glamorous yet menacing witch. The movie focuses on two kids, played by Winslow Fegley and Lidya Jewett, as they navigate a world filled with magical elements and monstrous creatures. The film artfully dodges explicit gore, but still serves up its fair share of unsettling moments, making it a top choice for those new to the horror genre or anyone looking to switch up their Halloween movie lineup.

The Ritual (2017): A Mature, Understated Horror Film

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Director: David Bruckner | Run Time: 1 hr 34 min

Cast: Rafe Spall, Arsher Ali, Robert James-Collier, Sam Troughton

David Bruckner’s feature debut, The Ritual, dives into adult fears grounded in shame and regret. Set against a haunting forest backdrop, the film is a slow-burn terror trip that introduces viewers to a barely seen but deeply unsettling monster. With its deliberate pacing and nuanced characterization, The Ritual is a finely crafted psychological horror that leaves a lingering impact.

Casper (1995): The Friendly Ghost Returns

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Run Time: 1 hr 40 min | Genre: Comedy | Director: Brad Silberling

Cast: Bill Pullman, Christina Ricci, Cathy Moriarty, Eric Idle

No Halloween season is complete without a viewing of this iconic family-friendly film. Casper offers a fresh take on the famous ghost from Harvey Comics. Bill Pullman and Christina Ricci star as a father-daughter duo who encounter the amiable spirit. What sets this film apart is its groundbreaking use of CGI technology to create its titular character, a feat that was revolutionary at the time. Helmed by Brad Silberling, the movie provides a delightful balance of light scares and hearty laughs, all set against the backdrop of the intricately designed Whipstaff Manor. Casper is the kind of movie that invites everyone into the Halloween spirit, making it a perfect choice for a cozy Sunday watch.

We Have a Ghost (2023): Family Fun with a Paranormal Twist

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Run Time: 2 hr 6 min | Genre: Comedy | Director: Christopher Landon

Cast: Jahi Di’Allo Winston, David Harbour, Anthony Mackie, Jennifer Coolidge

Written and directed by Christopher Landon, We Have a Ghost takes the family-friendly ghost story trope and gives it a contemporary update. The film centers on Kevin, played by Jahi Di’Allo Winston, and his family, who gain internet fame after discovering a ghost named Ernest, portrayed by David Harbour, in their new home. The charm of the movie lies in its blending of classic genre elements with fresh humor and an engaging plot. The supporting cast, including Jennifer Coolidge and Anthony Mackie, further elevates the film. It’s a heartwarming tale with hints of supernatural elements, making it a must-add to your Halloween playlist.

Hubie Halloween (2020): A Comedy Drenched in Halloween Spirit

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Director: Steven Brill | Run Time: 1 hr 42 min

Cast: Adam Sandler, Julie Bowen, Kevin James, Ray Liotta, Shaquille O’Neal

Let’s be honest: Hubie Halloween isn’t a film that aspires to Oscar glory. But if you’re in the mood for a low-stakes comedy infused with Halloween vibes, Adam Sandler’s goofy escapade might be just the ticket. Following the misadventures of a self-proclaimed “Halloween Monitor,” this movie is an amusing romp through the iconic Halloween setting of Salem, Massachusetts. Although it doesn’t score high in cinematic excellence, it makes for a fun watch when you’re in the mood for something lighthearted and distinctly Halloween-themed.

Crimson Peak (2015): A Love Letter to Gothic Horror

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Director: Guillermo del Toro | Run Time: 1 hr 59 min

Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, and Charlie Hunnam

Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak is a visual and emotional feast for fans of gothic romance with a horrific twist. Set in the early 1900s, this film offers an intriguing blend of love, mystery, and the supernatural. The aging estate, complete with its haunting presence, becomes a character of its own as the film unfolds. Unlike traditional horror films, Crimson Peak leans more towards a gothic drama with elements of fright that are beautifully rendered. Ideal for those who appreciate the grandeur and complexity of gothic narratives, this film offers an elegant blend of romance and terror.

I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House (2016): Atmospheric Chills

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Director: Osgood Perkins | Run Time: 1 hr 27 min

Cast: Ruth Wilson, Bob Balaban, Lucy Boynton

I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives in the House stands out for its minimalist approach, relying heavily on atmosphere over action. This is a film for the patient viewer, one who appreciates a slow-burn horror story that’s big on mood and dread rather than overt scares. Osgood Perkins succeeds in creating a dreamlike, almost meditative horror experience that keeps you pondering long after the credits roll.

The Babysitter (2017): An Absurdly Fun Horror-Comedy

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Director: McG | Run Time: 1 hr 25 min

Cast: Samara Weaving, Bella Thorne, Judah Lewis, Robbie Amell

If you’re in the mood for a horror flick that tickles as much as it terrifies, The Babysitter is the movie for you. Samara Weaving steals the show as the titular babysitter hiding dark secrets. What follows is a blood-soaked, comedic romp filled with dark humor and unexpected twists. With its lively pacing and engaging performances, The Babysitter serves as a perfect palate cleanser, especially if you’ve been binging on more intense horror fare.

The Curse of Bridge Hollow (2022): A Family-Friendly Halloween Romp

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Run Time: 1 hr 29 min | Director: Jeff Wadlow

Cast: Marlon Wayans, Priah Ferguson, Kelly Rowland, John Michael Higgins

If you’re looking for a Halloween movie that captures the charm of classics like Hocus Pocus but with a modern twist, The Curse of Bridge Hollow is your go-to. The film combines the comedic essence of Marlon Wayans with the youthful energy of Priah Ferguson, who stars as Sydney, a teen who teams up with her skeptic father to put an end to a mischievous spirit’s antics. The movie serves as a wonderful platform for up-and-coming talent like Ferguson, while comedy veterans such as Wayans and John Michael Higgins keep the laughs coming. Tailored for a younger audience yet enjoyable for all, this film has all the makings of a new Halloween staple.

Day Shift (2022): Vampires, Action, and Jamie Foxx

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Run Time: 1 hr 53 min | Director: J.J. Perry

Cast: Jamie Foxx, Dave Franco, Snoop Dogg, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Meagan Good

In Day Shift, director J.J. Perry makes full use of his stunt work background to deliver meticulously choreographed action sequences in a vampire hunter narrative. Jamie Foxx takes the lead as a formidable vampire hunter, lending gravitas and undeniable charisma to this fast-paced, R-rated thrill ride. With snappy dialogue penned by Tyler Tice and Shay Hatten, the movie doesn’t miss a beat, unapologetically leaning into its mature themes. The unique ensemble cast—including Dave Franco and Snoop Dogg—adds a dynamic edge to the film, making it an exhilarating experience from start to finish.

The Munsters (2022): A Quirky Prequel to a TV Classic

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Run Time: 1 hr 49 min | Director: Rob Zombie

Cast: Sheri Moon Zombie, Jeff Daniel Phillips, Daniel Roebuck, Richard Brake

The Munsters, helmed by director Rob Zombie, offers an unexpected turn by focusing on the comedic and campy aspects of the titular monster family. Breaking away from his usual horror fare, Zombie provides a fresh take on how the 150-year-old vampire Lily met Herman, her Frankenstein-like husband, played by Sheri Moon Zombie and Jeff Daniel Phillips respectively. The film serves as both a loving homage and a creative expansion of the original 1960s TV show, capturing the hearts of both old fans and new audiences alike. In a departure from Zombie’s traditionally darker work, The Munsters comes across as an endearing and offbeat addition to the monster genre.

Whether you’re a horror buff or just a casual fan, Netflix has got your Halloween covered. Enjoy these cinematic treats and let them guide you into the Halloween spirit. And don’t forget, for more curated movie and TV show collections, make sure to browse HitPlay. Happy Halloween!

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