Not-So-Scary Halloween Movies To Watch This Spooky Season

Want the thrill of being scared with none of the danger?

Columbia Pictures

Halloween is that time of year when we all take time out to scare the daylights out of each other, dress up in our favorite clever costumes, or just feast on tons of sweet, sweet candy. But another Halloween tradition is watching scary movies. TV stations dust off the old Godzilla and Addams Family reels and everyone's font turns bloody. But what if you're a scaredy cat? What if you love Halloween, but you don't love being scared into a stroke? Here's the answer for you lot.

We've found some thrillers that aren't hugely scary, but are still worth watching for a jolt of fun on Halloween. This genre within a genre isn't huge. Usually thrillers and horror movies are called that for a reason, but there are some movies that fit the description and would be fun to check out for a Halloween scare.


The Craft
Starring: Robin Tunney, Fairuza Balk, Neve Campbell, Rachel True, Skeet Ulrich, Christine Taylor

Rosemary's Baby is the scarier Goth selection, but The Craft has its moments, too. Fairuza Balk is downright striking in this film as Nancy and reason enough to see it. But the twisted high school tale is fun to get into as well. It's an outsider story as the new girl falls in with a group of supposed witches at her new high school. What's great is the school is in Los Angeles and the film's dark plot is set against the sunny beachside city. The Craft was a welcome alternate in 1996 to the goofball California antics of Pauly Shore and the lame schlock of Beverly Hills 90210. This flick had serious attitude and it still does.

Not-So-Scary Halloween Movies to Watch on Netflix
Columbia Pictures

If Nazis Scare You...

The Boys from Brazil 

Starring: Laurence Olivier, Gregory Peck,  James Mason, Lilli Palmer, Uta Hagen, Steve Guttenberg

Based on the Ira Levin novel and starring two of the best actors in film history, The Boys from Brazil is the stuff of real life nightmares. Filmed in 1978, it's overcooked and silly with its sweeping score, but it's also hugely fun to watch. Peck plays the infamous Nazi scientist Dr. Joseph Mengele, alive and living in Paraguay, and Olivier is Ezra Lieberman, the well-known, but aged, Nazi hunter who comes out of retirement to find him. Seeing Peck play Mengele is insane enough but the doctor's plan is even crazier. Years earlier, he had cloned Adolf Hitler's DNA, created 94 Hitler babies and sent them off for adoption. Now, he's killing their fathers and rounding them up, intent of finding the one black-haired, blue-eyed boy to become the next Fuhrer! It's kinda bloody, a little scary, and very twisted. 

Not-So-Scary Halloween Movies to Watch on Netflix
20th Century Fox
Not-So-Scary Halloween Movies To Watch This Spooky Season

If Overly Attached Girlfriends Scare You...

Single White Female

Starring: Bridget Fonda, Jennifer Jason LeighSteven Weber, Peter Friedman, Stephen Tobolowsky

Be forewarned, this is an early 1990s erotic thriller, the most dangerous genre for young impressionable minds because it marries those two most horrid American taboo subjects: sex and violence. That, of course, also makes SWF awesome. Single White Female may not be as naked as, say, Basic Instinct or Body of Evidence, but it's got its moments. It also offers a girl obsessed with girl story as Bridget Fonda finds the roommate from hell in Jennifer Jason Leigh. Things are cool at first, but soon she's talking about her dead twin and cutting her hair exactly like Bridget. Things don't end well. [Expires 11/1/14]

Not-So-Scary Halloween Movies to Watch on Netflix
Columbia Pictures

If You Love Movie Monsters...

King Kong

Starring: Jeff Bridges, Jessica Lange, Charles Grodin, Ed Lauter

Sometimes the idea can overcome script, acting, and special effects problems, especially when that idea is one of the greatest in movie history. The classic King Kong of 1933 will always be tops, but there's something compelling about this Dino De Laurentiis-produced '70s update. Maybe it's the gorgeous Jessica Lange, making her film debut. Maybe it's the color and danger of Skull Island. Whatever it is, it's not Kong, who looks like a guy in an ape suit. But that too, is part of the fun of this one. Monster movie enthusiasts need to see this version just know it actually happened.

Not-So-Scary Halloween Movies to Watch on Netflix

If You Love A Great Villain...


Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Julianne MooreGiancarlo Giannini, Ray Liotta, Gary Oldman, Frankie Faison

Hannibal isn't half as powerful as The Silence of the Lambs, but it does have its moments. Staying true to the novel by Thomas Harris, director Ridley Scott's sequel carries on the story of Dr. Hannibal Lecter 10 years after the events of Silence. Hannibal is often overlooked because Moore, and not Jodie Foster, was cast as Clarice Starling, but Moore does an admirable job. It's just hard to match the original's greatness. Scott, who made Alien and Blade Runner, is no stranger to creating tension and Hannibal feels like a dangerous film throughout, even if its thrills are few (be warned: it is gory). Most exciting, however, is the return of Hopkins as Lecter. He looks older, but is still a fantastic villain.

Not-So-Scary Halloween Movies to Watch on Netflix
MGM | Universal

Managing Editor, Zimbio — entertainment writer, critic, and reporter since 2011. Bay Area. Origin: Shark City.