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The best Halloween movies for kids and families on iQiyi

13 family-friendly Halloween films to get everyone in the holiday spirit

Accessing Netflix in China might be a pain, but that doesn't mean the kids can't enjoy some of the greatest Halloween movies ever made. These 13 movies will prep the kids for a festive season full of pumpkin fun and epic ghouls while parents can also enjoy revisiting some old favourites.

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)


What to do when you’re the Pumpkin King but totally over Halloween? While most folks don’t have this problem, Jack Skellington definitely finds the grass greener on the other side. After stumbling into Christmas Town, he’s inspired to show the world its best Christmas ever – even if it means kidnapping Santa himself. While his (mostly?) well-intentioned plan is backed with utmost passion, it turns out that the residents of Halloween Town can’t exactly master the art of making toys the average kid would like (cue evil wooden ducks and carnivorous wreaths). While the film is undoubtedly a little dark for younger kids, it’s chock full of over-the-top Halloween-themed songs your older set will love to sing for hours on end.

Rated PG (really eight and up). VIP subscription only.

Ghostbusters (1984)


Three spirit-obsessed scientists are canned from their jobs at NYU, but they don’t let that get ’em down; instead, they put their talents to good use. Using their passion for the occult as a driving force, they start a ghost-extermination company to help New Yorkers handle some very real ghost troubles. Their work doesn’t come without its skeptics, though... one even wrongly jails them for fraud. Ultimately the unlikely team helps to save the city from an ancient god. Be warned: it’s another film that’s not quite rated for the current day, and Ghostbusters is probably only appropriate for tweens and older.

Rated PG (really 11 and up). VIP subscription only.

Monsters, Inc. (2001)


Being in the business of scaring kids isn’t easy – Sulley’s buddy Mike always reminds him so. When a regular day of terrifying the world’s children doesn’t go quite as planned, the two monster pals end up with an adorable kid (eeek – what could be scarier!) in tow and need to make a plan to get her home safely.Monsters, Inc. delivers a feel-good ending, and with leading voices from John Goodman and Billy Crystal (plus impressively advanced animation for the time – look at Sulley’s fur!), the film easily became an instant classic. Also, what’s better for Halloween than a monster movie?

Rated G/U (really five and up). VIP subscription only.

Hocus Pocus (1993)


What makes a better Halloween movie than three evil witches? Head to the 1600s, where Sanderson sisters (Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy) cast a spell that killed a little girl and turned her brother into an immortal black cat. Then, fast forward to the '90s and meet Max Dennison, who just moved from Los Angeles to Salem, Massachusetts with his parents and his little sister. He’ll do anything to impress his cute neighbour, Allison, who just so happens to have access to the old Sanderson House. He even lights the Black Flame Candle, which as legend has it, will bring back the Sanderson sisters – and does! But hey, who believes in all that hocus pocus, anyway?

Rated PG (really ten and up). VIP subscription only.

Goosebumps (2015)


See your favourite Goosebumps monsters in action with this cool Jack Black flick. Moody tween Zach Cooper has a crush on his cute neighbour, Hannah, but he’s a little thrown off by her dad’s weird behaviour – and not normal protective dad-style weird either… really, really weird. When it turns out Dad is actually the famed author R.L. Stine and he’s hiding a rather monstrous secret in his original manuscripts, the crew must work together to save their town from a disaster of a plot twist. Who knows? Zach might even earn the author’s stamp of approval before the night is over… maybe.

Rated PG (really nine and up). VIP subscription only.

Harry Potter (2001–2011)


Literature's greatest boy wizard is turned into one of the movie's most charismatic under-12 heroes (a tip of the pointy hat to Daniel Radcliffe) as J.K. Rowling's world of muggles, monsters and mystical goings-on at Hogwarts is brought to life on screen. Things will get seriously dark by the time this eight-film series ends, but the kid-friendly adaptation of book one truly makes viewers of all ages believe in magic.

Rated PG (really six and up). VIP subscription only except for Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban (2004).

Addams Family Values (1993)


This dark comedy-sequel dives right in with your favorite creepy crawly crew as they navigate some seemingly (and to them, horrifyingly) normal activities – like dating (the torture!), tolerating a new baby brother (the agony!) and even going to summer camp (the most vile of all).

Rated PG-13/PG (really 11 and up). VIP subscription only.

Monster House (2006)


One house on the street is not like the others, and teenager DJ knows it. Unfortunately, it’s harder than expected for him to convince the police and his babysitter that their neighbour’s home is actually a living, breathing monster. DJ and his friends must embark on a crazy adventure in hopes of saving the people the house has eaten (and ideally destroying it afterward). Anxiety-prone kids should pass on this one, but young horror fans will dig this film for its relatable characters and heartwarming ending.

Rated PG (really nine and up). VIP subscription only.

Corpse Bride (2005)


Think you’re having a rough day? The protagonist in this stop-motion Tim Burton flick accidentally proposes to a dead girl when he’s dreaming of proposing to his (very alive) arranged match. Awkward. You and your crew navigate the world of the undead as Victor tries to get things back in order – though by the end, normal isn’t exactly what he’d thought it was, and you’ll have a hard time figuring out who to root for in this sad, sweet romance.

Rated PG (really nine and up). VIP subscription only.

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)


When Elliott finds an alien hiding in his mum’s tool shed, a friendship blossoms into something truly out of this world. With the help of his siblings, he keeps E.T.’s existence a secret, but it’s hard to keep the creature safe when government agents try to sniff him out. You’ll overlook some slightly salty banter to allow your pint-size crew the joy of giggling when Elliott dresses E.T. as a ghost to sneak him out of the house on Halloween, and you’re sure to say 'awww' when young Drew Barrymore comes onscreen. Oh, and a final fun fact: Steven Spielberg’s character E.T. is actually inspired by an imaginary friend he had as a child.

Rated PG (really seven and up). VIP subscription only.

Hotel Transylvannia (2012)


This kid-friendly, animated twist on your typical horror movie finds Count Dracula (voiced by Adam Sandler) operating a high-end resort, situated far from humankind. When teen boy Jonathan (Andy Samberg) stumbles upon it and falls for the Count’s daughter, Mavis (Selena Gomez), the overprotective, undead dad must make sure his guests don’t discover the human visitor. The familiar voices of stars like Kevin James, Fran Drescher, David Spade and Molly Shannon help to further demonstrate that monsters have a non-spooky side – especially when they’re on holiday.

Rated PG (really six and up). VIP subscription only.

Casper (1995)

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Instead of inheriting her father’s millions (as expected), Carrigan Crittenden gets only his broken-down mansion. She soon realises that in order to claim the house (and the hidden fortune that may be inside), she needs to boot the troublesome ghosts that call it home. Crittenden hires Dr James Harvey, an experienced afterlife therapist who moves into the mansion, and his daughter Kat meets Casper (the only friendly ghost of the bunch). They all work together to help the spirits cross over to the other side (expect some mild cursing in the process). Will they be able to pull it off?

Rated PG (really seven and up). VIP subscription only.

ParaNorman (2012)


This comedy-thriller from LAIKA tells the story of odd 11-year-old, Norman Babcock. At first, it’s a familiar tale about a kid who doesn’t quite fit in (the boy claims he can talk to the dead), but everyone starts singing a different tune once it’s revealed that Norman is the only person who can prevent the town’s destruction by 17th-century zombies. This flick (best for ages seven and up) has its freaky moments, but in the end it's an endearing lesson about tolerance and compassion toward the strange and unusual.

Rated PG (really ten and up). No subscription needed.

To make the most of iQiyi's collection, head to iQiyi.com for the available VIP packages. Prices start at 15RMB per month and is payable via WeChat or Alipay. Movies usually come with subtitles in both English and Chinese.

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