The Horror Hater’s Guide to Halloween Movies

What to Watch for a Nightmare-Free Evening


Morgan Kasel

Halloween is often considered one of the most frightening times of the year, especially with the never-ending list of horror movies available. However, for those who try to avoid jumpscares and screams, there are plenty options for nightmare-free movies.

Morgan Kasel, Assistant Editor

As a lover of comfy sweaters, chilly weather and all things pumpkin, fall is one of my favorite times of the year. Did I mention that I absolutely love Halloween as well? Not because of the candy, though I do love candy corn, and while I enjoy seeing all of the different costumes on Halloween night, the movies are what I love the most about the spooky-season. Despite the name, I do not mean horror movies. I tend to avoid those at all costs during Halloween. Here is a list of five films perfect for a chilly October night, guaranteed to be horror free. 


This is probably my all-time favorite Halloween movie. During the months of October and December, my family sits down most Friday nights to watch a movie together, and this is almost always my choice. “ParaNorman,” directed by Chris Butler and Sam Fell, follows the story of a boy named Norman who can see and speak to ghosts. However, everyone, including his family, believes Norman is crazy. That is until the witch that cursed the town hundreds of years ago wakes from the grave, and only Norman has the ability to stop her. While this movie does contain zombies, ghosts and witches, it is still family-friendly and has an easy, but interesting, plot. You can rent or buy “ParaNorman” on Amazon Prime, Vudu or in stores. This movie is rated PG. 

“Corpse Bride”

While this is definitely a family movie, Tim Burton’s art style adds an eerie twist to this unique love story. Victor and Victoria are in an arranged marriage, and while they both like each other, Victor is extremely nervous about the ceremony. After messing up during the practice ceremony, Victor runs into the forest and decides to practice the vows so he can finally marry Victoria. However, as he says the last words, he slips Victoria’s ring onto a tree branch, which then proceeds to turn into the skeleton hand of a corpse. Meet Victor’s new, dead bride, Emily. “Corpse Bride” follows Victor as he attempts to break his vows with Emily so that he can finally be reunited with the woman he loves, Victoria. You can buy or rent “Corpse Bride” on Amazon Prime, Vudu or in stores. This movie is rated PG.


When Coraline and her family move to a new house, she does not expect to find anything interesting, much less a secret door to an alternate universe where everything appears to be way better than her boring life at home. Directed by Henry Selick, “Coraline” proves that things are not always what they seem. This movie is definitely a little creepier than most animated films, but still very entertaining. You can watch “Coraline” on Hulu or rent or buy it on Amazon Prime or in stores. This movie is rated PG. 

“The Nightmare Before Christmas” 

Another Tim Burton film, “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is a tradition for family movie night, though my family oftentimes argues whether this movie is best for Christmas or Halloween. Either way, the fun animation style, along with the catchy songs and the unusual story makes “The Nightmare Before Christmas” the perfect movie to watch on a chilly fall or winter night. Bored with the same goals year-round, the Pumpkin King and leader of Halloween Town, Jack Skellington accidentally stumbles into Christmas Town and decides to kidnap Santa Clause so that he can be in charge of Christmas that year. Rated PG, you can rent or buy “The Nightmare Before Christmas” on Amazon Prime or in stores. 

“Monster House”

Directed by Gil Kenan, “Monster House” follows the adventure of two friends as they attempt to warn people about the evil house across the street that eats anyone that comes near it. Full of both tense and funny moments, “Monster House” takes a comedic approach to an otherwise dark topic. While this movie is not one of my favorites, it is still pretty entertaining, especially when watching for the first time. This movie is rated PG and you can rent or buy it on Amazon Prime or in stores.  

Halloween can be one of the most frightening holidays, especially with the infinite list of horror movies available. However, for people who hate jumpscares and screaming, there are plenty of Halloween movies that can be just as entertaining, but will not keep you up all night.