With Halloween right around the corner, and no trick-or-treating in 2020, you’re probably looking for something fun and festive to do with your kiddoes. What child doesn’t love a scary story, especially when they’re not too scary—we don’t want nightmares, just a few goosebumps!
There are quite a few great picks streaming online right now, and we’ve rounded up some of our very favorites.
The Addams Family Movie (2019)
Members of the mysterious and spooky Addams family—Gomez, Morticia, Pugsley, Wednesday, Uncle Fester, Grandma, and of course Thing and Cousin Itt—are preparing for a visit from their even creepier relatives. They’re dirtied up the place to perfection, and made sure the lion is hungry. But before they can celebrate, their hilltop mansion is put into jeopardy by a greedy TV network that does home makeovers.
The plot is paper-thin, but perfect for youngsters new to the “first family” of Halloween, because there’s so much to see onscreen in this delightful stop-motion animation. Previous knowledge of The Addams Family is a plus, but not a requirement. Fans of Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things) will be pleased to hear his voice as Pugsley.
Goosbumps: Return of the Mummy (1990s series)
Gabe visits his archaeologist uncle in Egypt just in time to watch him unearth the tomb of a great prince–which might be exciting if disturbed mummies didn’t seek revenge on whoever wakes them from the dead.
The action gets started right away as Gabe and his Uncle Ben uncover a secret scarab relic in an ancient tomb. Using the petrified insect to magically open the door to what they believe will be untold treasures, they find only unspeakable evil. Of course, all’s well that ends well… but as the characters move toward the inevitable happy conclusion, we get to see a resurrected Egyptian siren, a menacing mummy, and lots of quaint, clunky replica artifacts. It’s a cute story, especially for armchair Egyptologists.
Goosebumps: Don’t Go to Sleep (1990s series)
Matt wishes his family were different–until he wakes up from a nap in the attic to find that things are suddenly very different.
This is a cautionary “Be careful what you wish for” kind of story which begins as Matt mopes around his house, jealous of how his parents treat his older siblings with what he thinks is much more respect. So he decides to make them worry. As he hides out in the attic, he falls asleep; only to wake up in another dimension where he sees just how difficult it is to be treated like an adult. But in this dimension, he’s got added problems: a strange team of men in shadowy black suits who follow his every move. Plenty of shivers here for the tiny tots.
The House with a Clock in its Walls (2018)
In the tradition of Amblin classics–like Gremlins and The Goonies–where fantastical events occur in the most unexpected places, Uncle Jonathan and necromancing neighbor Mrs. Zimmerman show 10-year-old orphan Lewis what it’s like to live in a home that ticks in The House with a Clock in Its Walls.
The extravagant visuals–both real and CGI–are bound to delight kids of all ages. Teeming with secrets and bubbling over with mystery, the main drama hinges on a baffling backstory about the mansion’s previous residents, a wicked wizard named Isaac Izard and his impish wife Selena, who both disappeared ages earlier while creating a mechanism that could affect the forces of time. The House with a Clock in Its Walls is a not-too-scary scary movie for the season that’s suitable for kids of all ages.
Monsters, Inc. (2001)
Monsters Inc., is the largest scare factory in the monster world, and James P. Sullivan is one of its top scarers. Sullivan is a huge, intimidating monster with blue fur, large purple spots and horns. His scare assistant, best friend and roommate is Mike Wazowski, a green, feisty little one-eyed monster. Visiting from the human world is Boo, a tiny girl who goes where no human has ever gone before.
This is a timeless tale filled with wonder and safe scares for even the youngest viewers.
On Disney +