Family Scares – A Kid Friendly Halloween

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Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein (194
Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

Directors: Charles Barton

Writers: Robert Lees, Frederic I. Rinaldo

Stars: Bud Abbott,  Lou Costello,  Lon Chaney Jr., Bela Lugosi

Story: Two hapless freight handlers find themselves encountering Dracula, the Frankenstein Monster and the Wolf Man.

Other Films In Series: Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man (1951), Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (1955)

 
It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)

Directors: Bill Melendez

Writers: Charles M. Schulz

Stars: Peter Robbins,  Christopher Shea,  Sally Dryer

Story: The Peanuts gang celebrates Halloween while Linus waits for the Great Pumpkin.

Other Films In Series: None.

Note: Though technically a short-film, this Halloween Special counts toward your film tally. It is too much of a classic to pass up.

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The Watcher in the Woods (1980)

Directors: John Hough, Vincent McEveety

Writers: Brian Clemens (screenplay), Florence Engel Randall (novel)

Stars: Bette Davis, Lynn-Holly Johnson, Kyle Richards

Story: When a family moves to a country home, the young girls experience strange happenings that have a link to an occult event years past.

Other Films In Series: The Watcher in the Woods (2017)

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E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

Directors: Steven Spielberg

Writers: Melissa Mathison

Stars: Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore, Peter Coyote

Story: A troubled child summons the courage to help a friendly alien escape Earth and return to his home world.

Other Films In Series: None.

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Ghostbusters (1984)

Directors: Ivan Reitman

Writers: Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis

Stars: Bill Murray,  Dan Aykroyd,  Sigourney Weaver

Story: Three former parapsychology professors set up shop as a unique ghost removal service.

Other Films In Series: Ghostbusters II (1989), Ghostbusters: Answer the Call (2016)

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Gremlins (1984)

Directors: Joe Dante

Writers: Chris Columbus

Stars: Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, Hoyt Axton

Story:  A boy inadvertently breaks three important rules concerning his new pet and unleashes a horde of malevolently mischievous monsters on a small town.

Other Films In Series: Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990)

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Teen Wolf (1985)

Directors: Rod Daniel

Writers: Jeph Loeb, Matthew Weisman

Stars: Michael J. Fox,  James Hampton,  Susan Ursitti

Story: A struggling high school student discovers that his family has an unusual pedigree when he finds himself turning into a werewolf.

Other Films In Series: Teen Wolf Too (1988)

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Mr. Boogedy (1986)

Directors: Oz Scott

Writers: Michael Janover

Stars: Richard Masur, Mimi Kennedy, Benji Gregory

Story: A novelty-salesman moves his family into a new house. Initially dismissing incidents as more of their father's practical jokes, the family soon learns that the house is haunted by people who lived in the house 300 years previously.

Other Films In Series: Bride of Boogedy (1987)

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Labyrinth (1986)

Directors: Jim Henson

Writers: Dennis Lee, Jim Henson

Stars: David Bowie,  Jennifer Connelly,  Toby Froud

Story: A 16-year old girl is given 13 hours to solve a labyrinth and rescue her baby brother when her wish for him to be taken away is granted by the Goblin King.

Other Films In Series: None.

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The Monster Squad (1987)

Directors: Fred Dekker

Writers: Shane Black, Fred Dekker

Stars: Andre Gower,  Robby Kiger,  Stephen Macht

Story: A young group of monster fanatics attempt to save their hometown from Count Dracula and his monsters.

Other Films In Series: None.

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Little Monsters (1989)

Directors: Richard Greenberg

Writers: Terry Rossio, Ted Elliott

Stars: Fred Savage, Howie Mandel, Daniel Stern

Story: A boy discovers an incredible and gruesome world of monsters under his bed.

Other Films In Series: None.

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The Witches (1990)

Directors: Nicolas Roeg

Writers: Roald Dahl (book), Allan Scott (screenplay)

Stars: Anjelica Huston,  Mai Zetterling,  Jasen Fisher

Story: A young boy stumbles onto a witch convention and must stop them, even after he has been turned into a mouse.

Other Films In Series: None.

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Ernest Scared Stupid (1991)

Directors: John R. Cherry III

Writers: John R. Cherry III, Coke Sams

Stars: Jim Varney,  Eartha Kitt,  Austin Nagler

Story: Ernest unleashes an ugly troll that plots to transform children into wooden dolls in the town of Briarville, Missouri.

Other Films In Series: None that are horror/Halloween related.

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The Addams Family (1991)

Directors: Barry Sonnenfeld

Writers: Charles Addams (creator) Caroline Thompson & Larry Wilson (screenplay)

Stars: Anjelica Huston,  Raul Julia,  Christopher Lloyd

Story: Con artists plan to fleece the eccentric family using an accomplice who claims to be their long lost Uncle Fester.

Other Films In Series: Addams Family Values (1993), Addams Family Reunion (1998), The Addams Family (2019)

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Hocus Pocus (1993)

Directors: Kenny Ortega

Writers: David Kirschner, Mick Garris

Stars: Bette Midler,  Sarah Jessica Parker,  Kathy Najimy

Story: After three centuries, three witch sisters are resurrected in Salem, Massachusetts on Halloween night, and it is up to two teenagers, a young girl and an immortal cat to put an end to the witches' reign of terror once and for all.

Other Films In Series: None.

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The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Directors: Henry Selick

Writers: Tim Burton (story and characters), Michael McDowell (adaptation)

Stars: Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O'Hara

Story: Jack Skellington, king of Halloween Town, discovers Christmas Town, but his attempts to bring Christmas to his home cause confusion.

Other Films In Series: None.

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Casper (1995)

Directors: Brad Silberling

Writers: Joseph Oriolo (characters), Sherri Stoner (screenplay)

Stars: Bill Pullman, Christina Ricci, Cathy Moriarty

Story: A paranormal expert and his daughter bunk in an abandoned house populated by three mischievous ghosts and one friendly one. 

Other Films In Series: Casper: A Spirited Beginning (1997), Casper Meets Wendy (1998)

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Halloweentown (1998)

Directors: Duwayne Dunham

Writers: Paul Bernbaum (story), Paul Bernbaum (teleplay)

Stars: Debbie Reynolds, Kimberly J. Brown, Judith Hoag

Story: After learning she is a witch, a girl helps save a town full of other supernatural creatures.

Other Films In Series: Halloweentown II: Kalabar's Revenge (2001), Halloweentown High (2004). Return to Halloweentown (2006)

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The Little Vampire (2000)

Directors: Uli Edel

Writers: Angela Sommer-Bodenburg (novel), Karey Kirkpatrick (screenplay)

Stars: Jonathan Lipnicki, Rollo Weeks, Richard E. Grant

Story: A lonely boy becomes best friends with a vampire.

Other Films In Series: None.

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Monsters, Inc. (2001)

Directors: Pete Docter, David Silverman

Writers: Pete Docter, Jill Culton

Stars: Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Mary Gibbs

Story: In order to power the city, monsters have to scare children so that they scream. However, the children are toxic to the monsters, and after a child gets through, 2 monsters realize things may not be what they think.

Other Films In Series: Monsters University (2013)

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Scooby-Doo (2002)

Directors: Raja Gosnell

Writers: James Gunn, Craig Titley

Stars: Matthew Lillard,  Freddie Prinze Jr.,  Sarah Michelle Gellar

Story: After an acrimonious break up, the Mystery Inc. gang are individually brought to an island resort to investigate strange goings on.

Other Films In Series: Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004), Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins (2009), Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster (2010), Daphne & Velma (2018)

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The Haunted Mansion (2003)

Directors: Rob Minkoff

Writers: David Berenbaum

Stars: Eddie Murphy, Marsha Thomason, Jennifer Tilly

Story: A realtor and his wife and children are summoned to a mansion, which they soon discover is haunted.

Other Films In Series: None.

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Corpse Bride (2005)

Directors: Tim Burton,  Mike Johnson

Writers: Tim Burton, Carlos Grangel

Stars: Johnny Depp,  Helena Bonham Carter,  Emily Watson

Story: When a shy groom practices his wedding vows in the inadvertent presence of a deceased young woman, she rises from the grave assuming he has married her.

Other Films In Series: None.

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Monster House (2006)

Directors: Gil Kenan

Writers: Dan Harmon, Rob Schrab

Stars: Mitchel Musso,  Sam Lerner,  Spencer Locke

Story: Three teens discover that their neighbor's house is really a living, breathing, scary monster.

Other Films In Series: None.

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Coraline (2009)

Directors: Henry Selick

Writers: Neil Gaiman (book), Henry Selick (screenplay)

Stars: Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, John Hodgman

Story: An adventurous girl finds another world that is a strangely idealized version of her frustrating home, but it has sinister secrets.

Other Films In Series: None.

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Monsters vs. Aliens (2009)

Directors: Rob Letterman,  Conrad Vernon

Writers: Maya Forbes, Wallace Wolodarsky

Stars: Reese Witherspoon,  Rainn Wilson,  Stephen Colbert

Story: A woman transformed into a giant after she is struck by a meteorite on her wedding day becomes part of a team of monsters sent in by the U.S. government to defeat an alien mastermind trying to take over Earth.

Other Films In Series: Monsters vs. Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins from Outer Space (2009)

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Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant (2009)

Directors: Paul Weitz

Writers: Paul Weitz, Brian Helgeland

Stars: Chris Massoglia, John C. Reilly, Salma Hayek

Story: Teenager Darren Shan meets a mysterious man at a freak show who turns out to be a vampire. After a series of events Darren must leave his normal life and go on the road with the Cirque du Freak and become a vampire.

Other Films In Series: None.

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Frankenweenie (2012)

Directors: Tim Burton

Writers: Leonard Ripps, Tim Burton

Stars: Winona Ryder,  Catherine O'Hara,  Martin Short

Story: Young Victor conducts a science experiment to bring his beloved dog Sparky back to life, only to face unintended, sometimes monstrous, consequences.

Other Films In Series: None.

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Hotel Transylvania (2012)

Directors: Genndy Tartakovsky

Writers: Peter Baynham, Robert Smigel

Stars: Adam Sandler,  Kevin James,  Andy Samberg

Story: Dracula, who operates a high-end resort away from the human world, goes into overprotective mode when a boy discovers the resort and falls for the count's teen-aged daughter.

Other Films In Series: Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015), Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (2018)

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ParaNorman (2012)

Directors: Chris Butler,  Sam Fell

Writers: Chris Butler

Stars: Kodi Smit-McPhee,  Anna Kendrick,  Christopher Mintz-Plasse

Story: A misunderstood boy takes on ghosts, zombies and grown-ups to save his town from a centuries-old curse.

Other Films In Series: None.

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Goosebumps (2015)

Directors: Rob Letterman

Writers: Darren Lemke, Scott Alexander

Stars: Jack Black, Dylan Minnette, Odeya Rush

Story:A teenager teams up with the daughter of young adult horror author R. L. Stine after the writer's imaginary demons are set free on the town of Madison, Delaware.

Other Films In Series: Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (2018)

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