Return of the Not-Too-Scary Halloween Movies

First of the Not-Too-Scary Halloween Movies lists.

Second of the Not-Too-Scary Halloween Movies lists.


Max and Ruby’s Perfect Pumpkin (2008)  The title episode has Ruby fuss-budgeting over finding the perfect pumpkin.  But my favorite episode is the one in which Ruby insists that Max dress like prince and he keeps slipping on his fangs to be a vampire.
Note: From Rosemary Well’s picture book series.


Kiki’s Delivery Service (2001) Follows a sweet witch in her coming of age story.
Note: Animated feature from Ghibli studios.


Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949) Ichabod Crane, a superstitious schoolteacher, encounters the headless horseman.
Note:  From Washington Irving’s Legend of Sleepy Hollow.


Hold That Ghost (1941) Two hapless men inherit a house that is filled with treasure-hunting gangsters and what they believe are ghosts.  Quick-paced, frothy fun.
Note:  Abbot & Costello comedy.


Charade (1963)  A young widow finds out that her husband had stolen treasure during World War II, and dangerous men think she has it.
Note:  Often compared to Hitchcock’s films.


What Dreams May Come (1998)  A dead man tries to help his widow cope with the loss of her entire family.  Not a traditional horror movie but the exploration of the afterlife fits the bill.
Note: From Richard Matheson’s novel.


Village of the Damned (1960)  Women in a small village give birth to affectless children with psychic powers.  While little to nothing is shown of the violence, the implications are disturbing.  The first real horror movie on this list.
Note: From John Wyndham’s Midwich Cuckoos.


Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983) Two boys disregard an aging father’s warning about a mysterious traveling circus. The father is a kind of Atticus Finch for horror films.
Note: From Ray Bradbury’s novel.


Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Apprentice (2009)   A teen boy goes to see a “freak show” despite all the adults warning him against it.  There he becomes obsessed with a clever spider and not much good comes of it.  It’s a fun, if underrated movie.  I think the performance of John C. Reilly as Crepsley is outstanding.
Note: Based on Dareen Shan’s young adult book series.


Practical Magic (1998)  Two witch sisters deal with a supernatural menace from their recent past.  I love the house and all the female relationships!  But I warn you that there are jump scares and really scary parts.
Note: From Alice Hoffman’s novel. Both it and Sarah Addison Allen’s Garden Spells are more charming than the movie.


Phone  (2002) A journalist discovers that everyone who has owned her cell phone has died in mysterious ways.   This is downright scary.  But, in essence, it’ is a supernatural mystery rather than an horror film.
Note: Korean language.

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