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Five for Families: Holiday movies to watch this Halloween

Posted October 31

Here are five movies from various platforms that families may want to consider. Because not all are appropriate for younger children, age recommendations are included.

Here are some family-friendly holiday movies to check out this Halloween weekend. Don't forget to bring the candy bowl!

iTunes: "Hocus Pocus"

A teenage boy, Max, who is new to the town of Salem, Massachusetts, dismisses tales of the Sanderson sisters, a coven of witches in the film "Hocus Pocus." After Max accidentally brings three 300-year-old witch sisters back to life on Halloween night, he enlists the help of his young sister, their new friend and a magical cat to steal the witches book of spells and stop the sisters from becoming immortal. While Common Sense Media states that this Disney film is “done in the playful, spooky spirit of Halloween,” parents should note that some of film’s content is not appropriate for young children. The film is rated PG for some scary sequences, and for language. Ok.com recommends the film for viewers ages 10 and older.

Netflix: "Goosebumps"

R.L Stine’s varied creepy creatures come to life in “Goosebumps” when a teenage boy accidentally releases the monsters from their manuscript pages. Parent Previews says the film is “like an amusement ride full of thrills, twists and turns” with “positive portrayals” of parents and teamwork. The film is rated PG for scary and intense creature action and images, and for some rude humor. Ok.com recommends the film for viewers ages 11 and older.

Amazon Video: "The Nightmare Before Christmas"

Tim Burton’s Christmas movie is creepy enough for Halloween. It follows Jack Skellington as he finds Christmastown and tries to take over Christmas by kidnapping Santa and assuming the role. The Dove Foundation awarded the film its Dove “Family-Approved” seal for ages 12 and older and says the film “takes the viewer out of the ordinary to a land of make believe,” but notes it is a dark animated fantasy. Ok.com recommends the film for viewers ages 7 and older.

iTunes: "Casper"

A paranormal expert and his daughter move in to a house occupied by a friendly ghost and his not-so-friendly uncles. Common Sense Media commented on the great special effects and acting that will entertain milder teens but younger viewers may be frightened at times. Although the film is rated PG, the website notes that parents should be aware of profanity and violence. Ok.com recommends the film for viewers ages 8 and older.

Amazon Video: "The Haunted Mansion"

A workaholic real estate agent takes his family on a vacation. Along the way, the family stops at a mansion the father has been asked to sell, only to discover it is haunted. Plugged In notes the family learns to value each other and desire to remain intact, but the website cautions that the film contains profanity and some images may scare younger viewers. The film is rated PG for frightening images, thematic elements and language. Ok.com recommends the film for viewers ages 8 and older.

Email: crandall@deseretnews.com

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