When I was in high school in the mid 1980s, my friends and I saw as many horror movies as we could.
Those were the days of "Nightmare on Elm Street," "Children of the Corn," "Pet Sematary," the "Friday the 13th" series and others. They were all full of violence and blood and evilness.
Nowadays, I see enough of that stuff on the news. And with an 11-year-old son, my taste in Halloween movies is a lot more tame.
Here are some of the family-friendly Halloween movies we've watched this year. They're available on most streaming services.
(1991) When a man claiming to be Fester, the missing brother of Gomez Addams, arrives at the Adams home, the family is thrilled. But suspicions arise when Fester can't recall the details of his life. For those who watched the mid-1960s TV series, this film is full of nostalgia.
Stars: Anjelica Huston, Raul Julia, Christopher Lloyd, Dan Hedaya
(2012, animated) When monsters want to get away from it all, they go to Count Dracula's hotel. On the 118th birthday of his daughter, Mavis, a human enters the mix and falls in love.
Stars: Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Andy Samberg, Kevin James
'The Nightmare Before Christmas'
(1993, animated) Jack Skellington, Halloweentown's beloved pumpkin king, has become bored. So he takes a trip to Christmastown, where he plots to kidnap Santa and take over his role.
Stars: Chris Sarandon, Catherine O'Hara, Glenn Shadix, Danny Elfman
(1993) A teen who's new to Salem, Mass., accidentally frees a coven of evil witches. Now, with the help of a magical cat, the teen and some other kids must steal the Book of Spells to prevent the witches from becoming immortal.
Stars: Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy
(1984) While looking for a special gift for his son, a gadget salesman buys a "mowgwai," a cute, fuzzy creature that comes with some strict rules — don't expose it to bright light or water and don't feed it after midnight. All of those things happen, of course, and the result is a gang of gremlins intent on wreaking havoc.
Stars: Zach Galligan, Hoyt Axton, Frances Lee McCain, Phoebe Cates
'The Monster Squad'
(1987) Five youngsters find themselves up against the combined might of Dracula, the Mummy, the Gill Man and Frankenstein's Monster who arrive in town in search of a magic amulet.
Stars: Andre Gower, Jack Gwillim, Leonardo Cimino, Michael MacKay, Tom Noonan.
(2012, animated) Young Norman, who has the ability to speak to the dead, gets word that a centuries-old witch's curse is about to come true, and he is the only one who can stop it.
Stars: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Anna Kendrick, Casey Affleck, John Goodman, Leslie Mann
(2015) Teen Zach Cooper is adjusting to a new town when he meets neighbor Hannah, whose father turns out to be author R.L. Stine, writer of the "Goosebumps" series. When Zach accidentally releases monsters from the books, it's up to everyone to get the beasts back where they belong.
Rating: PG (some rude humor, scary intense creature action)
Stars: Jack Black, Dylan Minnette, Odeya Rush, Amy Ryan
(1988) After a couple of newlyweds die in a car accident, they find themselves stuck haunting their own house. When a new family moves in, the couple attempts to scare them away. At the last straw, the couple enlist the "help" of a rambunctious spirit named Beetlejuice.
Stars: Michael Keaton, Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Winona Ryder, Jeffrey Jones
(2017, animated) Despite his family's generations-old ban on music, young Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician. When he borrows a guitar from the late music idol Ernesto de la Cruz, Miguel finds himself in the Land of the Dead. He'll need his family and friends to get him home. This Día de los Muertos-inspired film is more appropriate for the day after Halloween.
Stars: Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Alanna Ubach
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