Updated: Sep 23, 2020
Maybe you're like me, and will watch "Halloween" movies year round. But even for me, there are a few movies that I *have* to watch in the Fall. It's just tradition!
These are a few classics and some of our family favorites that you can stream online. Although none of them are truly "free" since they require a subscription service to watch, if you already use the service then there's no additional fee.
Of course I have to start the list with Hocus Pocus. This Disney film was a box office flop, but is now a cult classic with fans petitioning to get a follow-up film continuing the tale of the Sanderson sisters. And Disney has announced that Hocus Pocus 2 is finally in the works! There are a few spooky parts that might frighten younger viewers, but those are balanced out nicely by the wacky antics of the witches, a talking cat named Binx, and a precocious little girl.
Another Disney film, this one was a Disney Channel Original Movie with another precocious little girl and her big brother and sister. There's only a couple of scary moments near the end, but like almost all Disney movies, good conquers evil and everyone gets a happy ending. There are a few sequels to this as well - Halloweentown II: Kalabar's Revenge, Halloweentown High, and Return to Halloweentown - which, though not quite as good as the first, are still fun to watch.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
This Tim Burton classic qualifies as both a Halloween AND a Christmas film. Being a Tim Burton flick, it's overall a little darker and more macabre than some of the others on this list, and might be better for older children than young tots. But there are some fun songs and it's a nice take on cultural appropriation.
Another Tim Burton flick, this one is less frightening than Nightmare Before Christmas, and is a cute retelling of Frankenstein and a remake of a 1984 Tim Burton live-action short (also available on Disney+).
I'm sure you've all seen this one by now, and if you haven't, do it NOW! Great anytime of year and not just Halloween, this heartwarming tale is also a good film to pair with lessons on Dia de los Muertos and other cultures and religions. All ages will love this one... just be sure to have some tissues handy.
This underrated monster film is very cute, and another good pick for all ages. There's a couple sequels now as well, and there are a lot of recognizable voices too! This film also has some great lessons within on respecting and loving those different from us and adapting to change.
The Addams Family
Another cult classic with a stellar cast, with some creepy bits and macabre humor that will please older viewers, but still plenty for younger kids to enjoy as well. Morticia and Gomez are #relationshipgoals and there's a lot to learned from the Addams about being true to yourself and sticking up for your family.
This is the third Tim Burton film on the list, and filled with a lot of recognizable faces like Johnny Depp, Christopher Walken, and Christina Ricci. Another underrated and oft-forgot film, Sleepy Hollow would be better for teens and kids that can handle the scarier scenes.
Another one I would watch year-round, this star-studded critical flop/cult classic is based on a book by Alice Hoffman. There's even a prequel series on HBO in the works all about the aunts, called Rules of Magic (also based on a book). (AND there's a third prequel book that recently came out as well called Magic Lessons). This film is another one better for older audiences due to some heavy themes (abuse, drugs, sex, and violence), but it's overarching message is one of sisterly love and the courage to defy normalcy.
What are some of your Halloween movie favorites that I didn't put on this list?