10 favorite Halloween movies (some for the family and some not)

“Halloween” is perfect for a spooky night in with friends.
“Halloween” is perfect for a spooky night in with friends. TNS

Halloween is the time for trick-or-treating, dressing up, eating as much candy as possible and gathering with friends in the basement to watch Halloween movies. Here are 10 of our favorites that will no doubt put you in the Halloween spirit.

1. ‘Halloweentown’

You wouldn’t think too much of Grandma coming for a visit, but that’s not the case for Marnie Piper, who accidentally overhears a family secret that she’s a witch. Going against her mother’s wishes, Marnie sneaks onto her grandmother’s magical bus and is transported into another world filled with monsters, ghouls and everything Halloween!

2. ‘Scary Godmother: Halloween Spooktacular’

This movie centers around 6-year-old Hannah and her first Halloween trick-or-treating. Her older cousin Jimmy convinces her to enter an old, spooky house, but once she enters, Jimmy and his friends lock the doors, trapping Hannah inside. A “scary godmother” soon comes to her aid and invites Hannah to her annual Halloween party, where she meets different monsters who help her get back at Jimmy and his friends. It’s a really cute Halloween movie that anyone will find enjoyable.

3. ‘The Haunting Hour: Don’t Think About It’

Stuck inside with her younger brother on Halloween night, Cassie decides to read him a book that she got from a Halloween shop. Thinking nothing of it, she reads the story out loud to him, despite the book’s warning. The “evil thing” that the book cautioned comes to life and takes her brother. Now Cassie must find him with the help of some classmates before her parents come home from a Halloween party. This movie is just the right amount of creepy for even the “scardiest” of scaredy-cats!

4. ‘It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!’

With Halloween just around the corner, the Peanuts kids are eagerly preparing for the big night. Linus follows his tradition of sending a letter to the Great Pumpkin, although his friends disapprove of this and think it’s fake. On Halloween night, while the other kids go trick-or-treating, Linus waits intently for the Great Pumpkin’s appearance – but will it show up? This is a timeless film, perfect to watch with younger kids and just as fun as a scary movie.

5. ‘Halloween’

Institutionalized for 15 years for the murder of his sister, Michael Myers comes back to his hometown after escaping from prison the night before Halloween. By the time the town hears about his escape, it’s already too late. This one is a classic, perfect for a spooky night in with friends. Just don’t get too scared!

6. ‘Hocus Pocus’

Shortly after moving to Salem, Mass., Max makes a new friend who educates him on the superstitions of the town. He immediately sets out to prove her wrong, but when he arrives at the haunted house, Max accidentally sets three witches free. This movie is great because it’s spooky, funny and it really incorporates the Halloween theme.

7. ‘Return to Halloweentown’

After learning about her witch powers and taking a previous visit, Marnie comes back to Halloweentown. But once again, someone is trying to destroy the place. Marnie takes it upon herself and some of her mysterious friends to save Halloweentown for a second time. It perfectly correlates with the original “Halloweentown,” has lots of drama and keeps you interested.

8. ‘Twitches’

A pair of twins were separated at birth and adopted by two different families. But on their 21st birthday, they meet and discover they have magical powers that they must use to save their biological mother and their kingdom from darkness and evil. This Disney film is a family favorite filled with suspense.

9. ‘Trick ‘r Treat’

In this horrifying film, the citizens of a small town face real goblins, ghosts and other monsters. The worst of them all is a trick-or-treater with a burlap sack over its head. The citizens learn the horrific results of blowing out a jack-o’-lantern before midnight on Halloween. This movie is throbbing with mystery and thrill, and it’s definitely not for little kids.

10. ‘Scooby Doo! and the Witch’s Ghost’

Scooby, Shaggy and the gang are on their usual mystery hunt when they stumble across a “haunted” town in Massachusetts which is the home of a notorious horror writer. The gang goes to investigate some unusual events and tries to catch the “creature” terrorizing the town. It’s a typical Scooby Doo film: funny and spooky.

Lizet Nava and David St. Preux are teen correspondents for The Mash, the Chicago Tribune’s newspaper and website written for teens, by teens.