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Spooky season is upon us! As a fellow scaredy-cat, I know that it can be difficult to find a Halloween film that won’t send you running from your television. Fear not, there is hope for all of us. Through years of practice, I’ve curated the perfect list of scaredy-cat-approved Halloween movies. These flicks are a guaranteed good time with just the right amount of scary energy. Whether you’re having a solo movie night or kicking it with your ghoul gang, these are the best festive flicks to get into the spirit without being scared silly.

Scooby-Doo (2002)

Hop in the Mystery Machine and follow along on this live-action journey with our favorite sleuths! In the true spirit of Halloween, Scooby-Doo brings both haunts and hilarity. In this 2000s classic, the Mystery Gang takes a trip to the infamous Spooky Island and realizes that something is amiss. As usual, they’re the perfect squad for the job. Follow Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and Scooby as they work to unmask the monster behind it all. Is Spooky Island just another amusement park or are there monsters lurking beneath the curtains? Leave it to the gang to find out and have fun doing it!

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
nightmare before christmas movie poster
Walt Disney Pictures

This might be a hot take, but I’m going to put it out there: The Nightmare Before Christmas is and has always been a Halloween movie! Despite the title, at its core, this is a Halloween movie that never gets old. The music, iconic characters and Halloween energy make this a staple movie to watch during this season. In one of Disney’s most popular films, Jack Skellington decides to set his sights on something bigger than his usual title as the “Pumpkin King” of Halloween Town. He wants to carve out Saint Nick’s position and take it for himself! Naturally, his affinity for all things sinister complicates the matter. All in all, it makes for a great (and low stress) watch.

The Haunted Mansion (2003)

Without fail, Disney understands the assignment when it comes to making the perfect Halloween movie. In this holiday classic, devoted real estate agent Jim Evers, played by Eddie Murphy, can’t take a single day off from work. Unfortunately, his family vacation quickly melds with his work life when it’s time to sell a property. There’s only one problem: the ghosts are not so keen on letting him do his work and walk away unscathed. In this family comedy, the Evers family will have to find their way out of this unsettling mansion. Lucky for them, there are plenty of laughs along the way and a guaranteed happy ending.

Warm Bodies (2013)

If someone were to tell me that a zombie movie could be both romantic and funny, I’d laugh in their face. That being said, I need you to take my word on this one. Warm Bodies is the perfect Halloween rom-com, which is a niche genre that needs to be recognized more. Set in a world where zombies are running rampant, the dwindling human population lives in fear every day. In the most bizarre meet-cute ever, tender-hearted zombie R rescues a human girl named Julie. Over the course of the film, this duo realizes that they are not so different. Each moment that R spends with Julie literally brings him back to life. This supernatural-human couple definitely gives Bella and Edward a run for their money.

Scream (1996)

If you’ve gotten this far, then I think it’s time to step slightly outside of your comfort zone! As a challenge to any scaredy-cats, I have the perfect film to ease you into the true spookiness of Halloween. The beauty of Scream lies in its ability to make fun of the horror genre, while also allowing room for the scary tropes that we all know and love. The plot follows Sidney Prescott and her fellow high school friends as an unknown killer wreaks havoc on their town. While trying to guess who the killer is, you’ll be able to laugh at the absurdity of their antics. All in all, the comedy aspect of this film definitely outweighs the creepy.

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A senior at Florida State University pursuing a degree in Media Communication Studies with a minor in English.
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