28 Scary Movies for Tweens and Teens This Halloween
Looking for some non-slasher Halloween movies for tweens and teens to watch with their friends? We picked our favorites, and gave you the cheat sheet for each of them!
Your teen probably isn't dressing up to go trick-or-treating anymore, which means they might prefer to settle in with a good spooky Halloween movie. This year, consider joining your teenagers for a spooktacular family movie night with a few age-appropriate and spine-tingling movies that are sure to creep them out.
Or if they prefer a sleepover with friends, these scary movies are perfect for tweens and teens! They’ll deliver the right level of fear without inducing trauma. We do want them to eventually fall asleep, right?
Scroll down for 28 of our favorite tween and teen Halloween picks!
Related: What Would You Do in a Scary Movie?
Hocus Pocus 2
Product Price: Free with Disney+ Subscription
Topping our list is the highly anticipated Hocus Pocus 2, which is expected to continue the saga of the evil Sanderson sisters. Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy reprise their roles as the witchy trio hellbent on achieving immortality and wreaking havoc on Salem, Massachusetts.
Watch the trailer here! It will air on Disney+ September 30!
Who can forget that terrifying cackle: “It’s just a bunch of Hocus Pocus!” This Disney classic brought us the Sanderson sisters, three women executed for witchcraft during the infamous Salem witch hunts.
They possess an insatiable taste for children and a sentient spellbook but don’t worry. They’ll stay safely dead forever — as long as nobody is silly enough to light the black-flamed candle on Halloween night.
Get your music and dance fixes in with “I Put A Spell on You” and “Come, Little Children.”
The kid-friendly rating makes this quirky Disney Channel story safe for the whole family. A group of tween friends accidentally discovers a mummy next door and must rush to return him to his proper burial place before Halloween is over.
The original is going for high prices online now, but the 2021 version can be streamed on DisneyNow.
A family of witches seems to be under a curse. Every time one of the sisters falls in love, their new partner dies. Now a handsome detective is investigating one of the mysterious deaths and they need to stay a step ahead of him.
With mature themes like dating and murder, this one is a better pick for teens, as its rating suggests. Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman star in this classic Halloween movie night contender.
Where to stream: HBO Max (with subscription): HBO Max (hbomax.com)
Netflix’s highly anticipated Wednesday is one of the most talked-about fall series drops, and, since it’s being billed as a teen coming-of-age show and helmed by Tim Burton, might well prove to be a good spooky watch in its own right.
Get cozy while you’re waiting and introduce your tweens to the infamously creepy, kooky, mysterious, and spooky Addams Family, inspired by the drawings of late New Yorker cartoonist Charles Addams. If you prefer animated works or have younger kids at home, try the newest films, which dropped in 2019 and 2021, respectively. For older kids and teens, the 1991 live-action film starring Anjelica Huston and Raul Julia as Morticia and Gomez remains the best.
It’s a twins-separated-at-birth story in this nostalgic teen pick starring sisters Tia and Tamera Mowry! In this tale of two witches, the girls are adopted out to different families and discover their shared destiny when they turn 21. Streams on DisneyNow.
This one is noteworthy now partly because it’s up for an overhaul. The original Eddie Murphy film features a real estate agent who finds himself and his family trapped in a sprawling estate. Arachnophobes, beware, there is an infamous spider scene.
Parents of tweens and younger kids may also not approve of the estate owner’s bizarre — and deadly — obsession with the main character’s wife, which drives part of the plot.
It’s also worth mentioning that the original script incorporates a positive perspective of marriage and parenthood, with the main character enjoying a successful career, a loving spouse, and adorable kids.
Disney has announced a similar title, Haunted Mansion, set to star Rosario Dawson, for release in 2023. From the plot description, it sounds like there will be some distinctive changes; nonetheless, it’s considered a remake of the Eddie Murphy film and will be one for parents to keep an eye on.
The first film in the Disney franchise of the same name, Halloweentown revolves around a young girl destined to receive supernatural powers by her 13th birthday — if her grandmother can get the process started in time. Like any coming-of-age story, there are generational gaps and conflicts. But something is wrong in Halloweentown, and the whole family must work together to defeat the evil forces threatening to take over their community.
The original Ghostbusters came out in 1984 and was rated PG; the 2016 remake is rated PG-13. If you’re looking to share a classic with your teen, pick the 1984 version! Follow the story of three scientists (later joined by a fourth) who work to rid New York City of ghosts.
Teens and tweens will enjoy the underlying spook, which is diffused with humor throughout the movie. Headline actors include Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Sigourney Weaver.
If you want the best of both, consider purchasing a box set with the original Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters II, and the 2016 version.
A new generation of Ghostbusters confronts their biggest challenge yet in this action comedy. Three decades after the events of the original film franchise, the daughter and grandchildren of one of the first Ghostbusters inherit his rural house.
Afterlife is also up for a sequel, with Christmas 2023 as its pending release date.
Watch Trailer: Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021) - IMDb
Rated PG-13, but parents beware, this is truly a thriller. The Ring is a remake of a 1998 Japanese horror film, Ring, and later had two sequels The Ring Two and The Rings, so if your teen enjoys The Ring, they have additional movies to add next.
When a disturbing video starts making the rounds in a small town, strange and mysterious things start to happen. Anyone who watches the haunting images gets a phone call predicting certain death in seven days. A group of teens vacationing in a cabin in the woods scoff at this — until they all die seven days later.
Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts), the aunt of one of the ill-fated teens, decides to try to solve the puzzle before more people die. Can she figure out who's behind this sick game, before she meets her own fate?
A classic haunted house movie with some thrill, some comedy, and some pretty cool special effects. You can often find Poltergeist in theaters each year around Halloween if your teen wants to experience it on the big screen!
When the Freeling family discovers their home was built over a cemetery, they embark on a terrifying journey to keep the disgruntled spirits at bay. Although the family initially experiences small poltergeists, the hauntings quickly become malevolent, forcing them to seek the help of parapsychologists.
Moderately frightening, more so because of gory zombies, ParaNorman is a stop-motion animated movie with a good mix of comedy and horror. Norman is an 11-year-old boy who can talk to ghosts, but of course, no one believes him.
Teens will be able to relate to the undertones of bullying, teasing, and feeling like an outcast, although this spooky movie does end with Norman being considered a town hero.
Prepare your tweens for ghosts, witches, zombies, and more; however, the beautiful animation makes everything feel a little less scary.
Watch Trailer: ParaNorman (2012) - IMDb
A sci-fi thriller, Signs is an introduction to crop circles and alien invasions. Crop circles begin appearing in the farming fields owned by Reverend Graham Hess (Mel Gibson). As he and his family try to understand the meaning of these circles, they believe it is somehow related to their faith.
However, they soon get the feeling that they aren't the only ones in the fields — some mysterious creature is there too, watching their every move. There are moments where your teen will be on the edge of their seat, but they do have a happy ending to look forward to.
A Tim Burton stop-motion 3D movie, Frankenweenie is definitely on the list of kid-friendly horror movies. In this funny take on Frankenstein, a young boy Victor attempts to bring his dog back to life with a little help from a science experiment.
As you can imagine, things go awry. Now all of his classmates are bringing pets back to life who are turning into monsters!
Your teens are more likely to laugh than scream, but this animated comedy is still a fun Halloween choice. It might even spark a little bit of interest in science as well!
In this M. Night Shyamalan mystery, there are a couple of frightening scenes but nothing too terrifying. The village of Covington is a small town in rural Pennsylvania that is home to just 60 people. They lead a relatively quiet and peaceful life, but with one unusual caveat— terrible creatures lurk just outside the borders of the village.
The people of Covington have reached an agreement of sorts with the beasts, in which they are allowed to go about their business as long as they never cross the village's boundaries. But this balance is destroyed when headstrong Lucius Hunt (Joaquin Phoenix), decides to find out what lies outside Covington. Will the beasts' wrath be the end of this tiny town?
If your teen is into magic, spells, and witches, then this is a perfect movie choice. Good witches, bad witches, and a boy turned into a mouse while trying to save all the children of England? Jim Henson’s puppets add a delightful element to this movie, which has some thrills but is not too scary.
If your teens enjoy reading they might want to check out the book by Roald Dahl before settling down for their movie night. The original flick starring Anjelica Huston holds its own in creep factor but departs drastically from the book’s ending; for a more modern take that’s been hailed as closer to the original story, check out Robert Zemeckis’ 2020 version with Anne Hathaway taking the iconic Grand High Witch role.
Based on a centuries-old Russian folktale, Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride tells the story of a groom-to-be who accidentally marries a corpse on the way to see his fiancee. Only through helping the corpse bride find peace can he finally be free to marry his true love.
This stop-motion movie is whimsical and beautifully animated. It has a little bit of violence and a little bit of gore, but overall not too scary.
Are the ghosts haunting the house, or are the homeowners? This campy Michael Keaton film made Winona Ryder a misfit teen icon and features a young Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis as the lead married couple trapped in an eternal nightmare.
It’s normal to sell a house after the homeowners die. At least, most humans think so. So there shouldn’t be a problem with moving in and remodeling, right? Only if the original owners never left.
Enter Beetlejuice, a thoroughly repulsive “bio-exorcist” who just might be the homeowners’ only chance at a peaceful afterlife. Just don’t ever say his name three times in a row.
This thriller is pretty intense with a surprise and scary ending.
Voodoo only works if you believe in it...When a young New Orleans nurse (Kate Hudson) takes a job as a full-time caretaker for a man who had a stroke, she gets more than she bargained for. She soon learns the true nature of her patient's illness and the role his wife had in it.
When she finds the couple's secret stash of voodoo artifacts, things go downhill very quickly. Dive into the world of the supernatural, it is a good choice if your teen is really ready for a scarier movie.
Dracula and other well-known monsters try to take over in this spooky comedy. Tweens will find themselves able to relate to the group of pre-teens in this movie who decide to fight back. This action-filled flick will keep the attention of those who seek a little thrill and aren’t scared by monsters and a couple of unexpected twists.
Based on R.L Stine’s book series, this movie dives into the imaginary monsters Stine has created as they are released from the books and into the real world. Follow the adventure as they try and get those monsters back into the books where they belong.
If your tweens are into the Goosebumps series of books, they will enjoy seeing some of their favorite characters come to life in this kid-friendly thriller.
A perfect choice for a family movie night, definitely not too scary for teens, but a great way to get in the Halloween mood. Jack Skellington, the “Pumpkin King”, is tired of Halloween and looking for something to change up the scene of Halloween Town.
When he discovers Christmas Town, he is instantly enamored. Watch as Halloween and Christmas collide in this animated Tim Burton film.
Enter the world of magic and sorcery in this fairly new movie. Jack Black stars as Uncle Jonathan, a warlock, who takes guardianship of his nephew Lewis. Jonathan introduces his nephew to the world of magic, where he quickly learns about black magic and evil sorcery.
The characters must find a clock that has been hidden in Jonathan’s house before time runs out and the world comes to an end. Will they find it in time? It’s a race that’s down to the wire.
A wildly popular scary movie, The Sixth Sense is about a boy who “sees dead people.” A child psychologist (Bruce Willis) working with a stressed-out little boy (Haley Joel Osment) seeing ghosts gets a little more than he bargained for when the truth about the boy's abilities is uncovered.
This classic scary movie includes lots of ghosts and some gore. It’s definitely a frightening option for those who love thrillers.
This is a stop-motion animated movie that is a perfect family-friendly Halloween choice. Follow along with Coraline as she discovers a parallel world behind a secret door in her new house.
Coraline has a creepy plot line, but overall, it is not too scary and is an overwhelming story of suspense and bravery. Your tweens will enjoy a spooky movie pick without being overly scared. This is a must-have on your list of scary movies for kids.
A true thriller, The Others is a movie that will definitely scare some tweens. If you're looking for a good fright, this might be the right option, both from a jump-out-of-your-seat scare as well as a creepy vibe.
Grace (Nicole Kidman) is a devoutly religious wife with two ailing kids. She moves with her family to a mansion on the coast of England while she awaits her husband's return from World War II, even though he has been declared missing. When her daughter begins to see ghosts, Grace just thinks it's her new, eccentric, servants. But as her daughter's visions grow more chilling, Grace is forced to believe something supernatural is happening in her own home.
The film Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is great for teens who have read the book series, but you don’t need to read the books to enjoy the movie. If your teens like sitting around a campfire telling ghost stories, this movie will be right up their alley.
This is not a good beginner movie, but if your tween has watched a few thrillers and done well, this would be a good choice. Mostly jump scares and a few intense scenes, this is a great PG-13 horror movie.
Do your kids need something a little less scary? Try these 13 Not-So-Scary Halloween Movies for Kids.