Presenting our selection of 5 Family-Friendly Scary Movies released from 1988 to 2012:

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Hocus Pocus (1993)


I put a spell on you and now you’re mine. You can’t stop the things I do. I ain’t lyyyyyin” sings the witch Winifred in this classic family movie.

Hocus Pocus stars Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy as the Sanderson Sisters, a trio of witches who are accidentally resurrected by a cynical adolescent, his younger sister, and his crush. Hocus Pocus is a must-see for the entire family, with a funny and musical element.


On Halloween night in Salem, Massachusetts, three witch sisters are resurrected after three centuries, and it’s up to two teenagers, a small girl, and an immortal cat to put an end to the witches’ reign of terror once and for all.


Beetlejuice (1988)


Beetlejuice!” Beetlejuice!” Beetlj..!”  – with those words, Tim Burton’s un-dead character was immortalised. This is not a movie I would leave my children to see on their own because it may be frightening to them (although who knows given the things our children are exposed to in today’s world!). Regardless, this remains one of my favourite films.


This is the tale of Adam and Barbara, who reside in a lovely New England home. They get involved in a catastrophic car accident one day while traveling home. They make it home on foot, only to learn that they have died and are now haunting their home. They feel threatened by the over-the-top artists wife and real-estate idea-man husband when their house is purchased by an out-of-state family.

The family’s Gothic daughter is their only source of solace. Their attempts to frighten the family out of the residence are either ignored or ridiculed. Finally, they succumb to the lure of using Beetlejuice, a people-exorcizer. They try to contain him and save the family when they discover his techniques too risky.


 Frankenweenie (2012)


As both a Tim Burton fan and a fan of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Frankenweenie is a must see.

In 1984 Tim Burton directed a short film (about 30 minutes) produced with Buena Vista Distribution called Frankenweenie. This movie is both a parody and tribute to the 1931 film, Frankenstein, based on Mary Shelley’s novel. In 2012, Burton released a full-movie with the same name.


After losing his beloved dog Sparky abruptly, young Victor uses science to bring his best friend back to life—with just a few minor tweaks. Victor’s fellow classmates, professors, and the entire town find that getting a new “leash on life” may be monsterous when he tries to hide his home-sewn creature.


The Addams Family (1991)


The eccentric Addams Family has been with us for a long time (since 1938!). In 1991, the first full-length movie based on the Addam’ses were released. We were all fascinated by this strange family – Morticia, Gomez, Wednesday, Pugsley and off course Uncle Fester.

Raúl Juliá, Christopher Lloyd and Angelica Huston immortalised the characters and to this day, it is still one of my favourite movies.


In this 1991 live-action version, the Addams Family emerges from Charles Addams’ cartoons. They are incredibly affluent and live in a macabre fashion. A shady accountant is thrown into the mix, as is a scheme to bring in an imposter acting as their long-lost Uncle Fester. Can the imposter Fester get into the vault before being discovered?


Ernest Scared Stupid (1991)


When we were growing up, the Ernest P. Worrell movies were quite popular. One of my favourites though is Ernest Scared Stupid. Ernest is incredibly funny – “You’d better stay away. I know jujitsu, kung fu, karate, tai chi, and I saw “Hulkamania” three times.

Once in slow-mo!” and the ever-popular “A women’s job is never done…”. This is good, clean fun – and definitely family entertainment.


Trantor the troll has been on the loose in 19th century Briarville, Missouri, converting children into wooden dolls so he can feed off their energy. The locals entice the troll into a trap, tie him up in burlap, and hurl him into a pit using a little girl as bait. The troll is sealed behind an oak tree by the town elder, Phineas Worrell, so it would never terrify the children of Briarville again.

In the 1990s, Ernest, a descendent of Phineas Worrell, works as a garbage collector and is friends with the neighborhood kids Kenny, Elizabeth, and Joey. The youngsters are hard at work making a scary house until it is damaged by two bullies. Ernest comes in to assist them with the construction of a tree house. And of course, which tree does he decide would be the best choice?