halloween movie reviews

Each movie listed includes: 

(1) Title (2) Rating (3) Genres (4) Starring (5) Synopsis (6) My Personal Review (7) Scoring 1-5

 

 Click on the pictures to pin them on Pinterest for later.

Night At the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (2014)

Rated: PG

Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy

Starring: Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, Dick VanDyke, Ricky Gervais, Rebel Wilson, Rami Malek, Ben Kingsley

Synopsis: Larry spans the globe, uniting favorite and new characters while embarking on an epic quest to save the magic before it is gone forever.

Review: Like most sequels, it’s not as amazing as the original but I still loved it. All the characters and their personalities and how they mix and have relationships that evolve through the movie series is fun for me. My favorite may always be Teddy Roosevelt. 

Scoring: 3

Nightbooks (2021)

Rated: TV-PG

Genres: Drama, Fantasy, Horror

Starring: Krysten Ritter, Winslow Fegley, and Lidya Jewett

Synopsis: Follows Alex, a boy obsessed with scary stories who is imprisoned by an evil young witch in her contemporary New York City apartment.

Review: I suggest you preview this before showing it to children to ensure it isn’t too scary for them.  Besides that, it’s an imaginative tale but I felt like it was akin to a jigsaw puzzle with some missing pieces.  If you can look past that and fall into their world, it’s a new concept and fun to watch.  Ritter does an amazing job.

Scoring: 4

The Nightmare Before Christmas 
Rated: PG
Genres: Animation, Fantasy, Musical
Starring: Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, and Catherine O’Hara
Synopsis: Jack Skellington, king of Halloween Town, discovers Christmas Town, but his attempts to bring Christmas to his home causes confusion.
Review:  The best way to describe this movie is with two words-Tim Burton. If you enjoy his movies you’ll like it. If not, this probably isn’t for you. A bizarrely macabre group of characters keep it unexpected . The reflection on holiday traditions and how they are twisted and turned is definitely interesting. 
Scoring: 3

The Nightmare Before Christmas Sing-Along

Rated: PG

Genres: Animation, Fantasy, Musical

Starring: Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, and Catherine O’Hara

Synopsis: Sing along to your favorite songs from the movie with on-screen lyrics. 

Review:  This is just the movie with the song lyrics written on the screen. Most fans of this movie, as it’s a cult classic, don’t need the lyrics but it adds another dimension. 

Scoring: 3

October Kiss
Rated: G
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Romance 
Starring: Ashley Williams and Sam Jaeger
Synopsis: Poppy Summerall is hired near Halloween as a temporary nanny by Ryan Lawson, a widowed, work-obsessed executive. Through a series of adventures, the eternally optimistic Poppy sets out to teach Ryan and his two young children what's important in life - unconditional love, family and the joy of everyday occurrences.
Review:  A lovely story that embraces the joys of Halloween, treats not tricks. Poppy’s sweetness and enthusiasm make this movie fun to watch. It has the expected happy ending but it’s fun getting there. 
Scoring: 4

The Others (2001)

Rated: PG-13

Genres: Family, Fantasy, Horror

Starring: Nicole Kidman, Christopher Eccleston, Fionnula Flanagan, and Alakina Mann

Synopsis: A woman who lives in her darkened old family house with her two photosensitive children becomes convinced that the home is haunted.

Review: I saw this movie with a friend.  She said she saw the ending coming from the beginning but I didn’t.  I was on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen.  It was suspenseful in the best way in that it wasn’t gory or violent.  The story just unfolded perfectly to keep you a little creeped out with the spooky feeling it evoked.

Scoring: 4

Pac’s Scary Halloween (2016)

Rated: TV-Y7

Genres: Animated, Fantasy

Synopsis: When Dr. Pacenstein schemes to swap bodies with Pac during a Halloween party, Cyli, Spiral, and Count Pacula scramble to save their pal.

Review: First off, it triggered horrid memories of my college philosophy class and the brain in a jar argument so it made me not really want to watch it.  In my opinion this isn’t made for adults but it isn’t horrible to watch.  Kids should find it very entertaining.

Scoring: 3

ParaNorman
Rated: PG
Genres: Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy 
Starring: Anna Kendrick, Casey Affleck, Leslie Mann, Jeff Garlin, and John Goodman
Synopsis: A misunderstood boy takes on ghosts, zombies and grown-ups to save his town from a centuries-old curse.
Review:  Another animated film that may be too scary for young ones. A boy sees and talks to the dead. He has to use his abilities to save the town from a girl killed as a witch for being a medium. It’s okay. A little slow. If you like the subject matter you may like it. 
Scoring: 2

Phantom of the Megaplex (2000)

Rated: G

Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy

Starring: Mickey Rooney, Taylor Handley and Corinne Bohrer

Synopsis: A young man working at a cinema on a special premiere night, finds that the films being shown are full of strange and eerie occurrences.

Review: This is a funny, silly, and scary movie for families.  It doesn’t have the best acting but Mickey Rooney is always a must see.  It’s trying to make a modern Phantom of the Opera in a movie theater and there are some similarities.  It’s one of those movies that’s so bad it’s kind of good.

Scoring: 2

Practical Magic

Rated: PG-13

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Fantasy

Starring: Sandra Bullock, Nicole Kidman, Aiden Quinn, Stockard Channing, Dianne Wiest, and Goran Visnjic

Synopsis: Two witch sisters, raised by their eccentric aunts in a small town, face closed-minded prejudice and a curse which threatens to prevent them ever finding lasting love.

Review: While the movie mostly takes place in Fall and ends on Halloween, it’s got many of the makings of a Halloween movie.  I really liked it.  The bond the sisters have is amazing.  It kept me guessing.  It had enough spooky to keep me on the edge of my seat without being totally grossed out.

Scoring: 4

A Quiet Place (2018)
Rated: PG-13
Genres: Drama, Family, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Starring: John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe and Case Woodward 
Synopsis: In a post-apocalyptic world, a family is forced to live in silence while hiding from monsters with ultra-sensitive hearing.
Review: I hate gore and horror movies. I loved this one. It’s amazing. I was riveted the entire time. It’s amazing how there’s always something going on in an almost silent movie that keeps you engaged and interested. If you like suspense you’ll like this. 
Scoring: 5

A Quiet Place 2 (2020)

Rated: PG-13

Genres: Drama, Family, Fantasy, Sci-Fi

Starring: John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe and Cillian Murphy

Synopsis: Following the events at home, the Abbott family now face the terrors of the outside world. Forced to venture into the unknown, they realize the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats lurking beyond the sand path.

Review: This sequel had a completely different feel for me. I wasn’t as absorbed as the first one but I did want to know what happens with the family. I think the difference is in the first movie you’re seeing how they survive and in this it’s how they keep going.  If you liked the first definitely watch this one. Based on the ending there’s a 3rd in the works. 

Scoring: 4

Return To Halloweentown (Movie 4 Of 4)
Rated: PG
Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy
Starring: Debbie Reynolds, Judith Hoag, Sara Paxton, Lucas Grabeel, and Joey Zimmerman
Synopsis: Marnie is offered a scholarship to study at Witch University, her mother wants her to go to college in the Mortal World. Gwen forces Dylan to tag along. She meets a genie named Aneesa. She finds a box that says,"S.Cromwell."She learns her grandmother's true identity.She has to choose to either use the Cromwell Gift or not.
Review:  This sequel takes place almost entirely in Halloweentown. It shows a whole other angle and side to this world. Younger children may not find this one as engaging as the previous three but I enjoyed the story, even with a different Actress playing Marnie. 
Scoring: 4

Return To Oz (1985)

Rated: PG

Genres: Adventure, Fantasy

Starring: Fairuza Balk

Synopsis: Dorothy, saved from a psychiatric experiment by a mysterious girl, is somehow called back to Oz when a vain witch and the Nome King destroy everything that makes the magical land beautiful.

Review: If you’re hoping for a Wizard of Oz sequel, this isn’t for you.  This is based on the books and there’s nothing happy or magical about it.  It’s a dark fantasy.  I definitely wouldn’t show it to young children.  If you like the books, dark fantasy, or 1980’s special effects, you should give this a try.  It didn’t scare me but it sure creeped me out at points.

Scoring:

School Spirits (2020)

Rated: NR

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Fantasy

Starring: Tiffany Alvord

Synopsis: A girl relocates to a small town only to find it inhabited by ghosts. A struggle against a bad spirit ensues to keep the town's children safe.

Review: This movie is probably best for tweens who aren’t scared easily.  I found it to be boring with a semi-amateurish plot and so-so acting.  Nothing about it grabbed my attention.

Scoring: 1

Scoob (2020)

Rated: PG

Genres: Animation, Comedy, Fantasy

Starring: Will Forte, Mark Wahlberg, Jason Isaacs, Gina Rodriguez, Zac Efron, Amanda Seyfried, Ken Jeong, and Tracy Morgan

Synopsis: Scooby and the gang face their most challenging mystery ever: a plot to unleash the ghost dog Cerberus upon the world.  As they race to stop this dogpocalypse, the gang discovers that Scooby has an epic destiny greater than anyone imagined.

Review: This movie is good for Scooby fans and people who aren’t familiar with the series.  It’s a good family film.  It felt like a fresh take on the characters.  I was entertained and enjoyed watching but it’s not one I’ll watch again.  My niece would watch it over and over again.

 Scoring: 3

Scooby-Doo
Rated: PG
Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy
Starring: Matthew Lillard, Freddie Prinze, Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar, Linda Cardinelli, Rowan Atkinson, and Isla Fischer
Synopsis: After two years apart, Mystery, Inc. are back together and ready to solve the mystery of Spooky Island, a resort run by one Mr. Emile Mondavarious, who is having troubles with what he believes are real spooks.  Mondavarious convinces the gang that they are needed and should work together. 
Review:  If you’re a Scooby-Doo fan you’ll like this movie. They capture the animated characters as well as humans can. The plot is straight out of one of their cartoons. Lots of silliness and a little corny but definitely fun. 
Scoring: 3
Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed
Rated: PG
Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy
Starring: Matthew Lillard, Freddie Prince, Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar, Linda Cardinelli, Seth Green, Peter Boyle, and Alicia Silverstone
Synopsis: The Mystery Inc. gang must save Coolsville from an attack of past unmasked monsters brought to life by an evil masked figure trying to "unmask" the gang.
Review:  Like the first movie, this is one Scooby-Doo fans will like. It follows the same silly adventures of the gang without being too scary. 
Scoring: 3

Scream (1996)

Review by @festive_films on Instagram

Rated: R

Genres: Horror, Mystery

Starring: Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, David Arquette, Drew Barrymore.

Synopsis: A year after the murder of her mother, a teenage girl is terrorized by a new killer, who targets the girl and her friends by using horror films as part of a deadly game.

Review: Scream has to be my favorite teenage horror slasher movie. Directed by the late Wes Craven.  The movie has a fantastic cast, which brings good acting, humor, suspense and mystery to the movie.  The movie is set in a quiet town, which is the hot spot for some brutal murders, mainly of local teenagers. Which seem to be somehow connected to unsolved murders a decade ago.  The local teens decide to throw a house party with a deadly outcome.  Definitely worth a watch and rewatch if you like me and having seen it for years! 

Scoring:

Scream 2 (1997)

Reviewed by: festive_films on Instagram

Rated: R

Genres: Horror, Mystery

Starring: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Heather Graham

Synopsis: Two years after the events of Scream, Sidney Prescott and Rand are attending Windsor College.  They are trying to get on with their lives….Until a new Ghostface killing spree begins.  With the help of Dewey and Gale, Sidney must find out who’s behind the murders.  As the body count goes up, the list of suspects goes down.

Review: The second movie in the Scream collection is a fantastic sequel to the box office hit, Scream.  Again, this movie didn’t disappoint.  Excellent directing from the late Wes Craven.  Personally, I didn’t think this movie was as terrifying as the original movie.  The movie starts at a movie premiere of Stab, which is based around the original Scream movie.  Sidney Prescott is one of the survivors in the original movie, has moved away to college.  Whilst at college, Sidney is on the hunt to find the killer or killers.  I really don’t want to give away too many twists of the movie.  Again, this is a must watch.

Scoring: 5

Scream 3 (2000)

Reviewed by: festive_films on Instagram

Rated: R

Genres: Horror

Starring: Neve Campbell, David Arquette, Courteney Cox, Liev Schreiber, Kelly Rutherford, Patrick Dempsey, and Scott Foley

Synopsis: While Sidney and her friends visit the Hollywood set of Stab 3, the third film based on the Woodsboro murders, another Ghostface killer rises to terrorize them.

Review: The third movie in the scream collections, the movie is set around the stab 3 production set where the killer is at large again and is killing his or her way through the cast in order to get to Sidney, 

but she's in hiding in the woods.  She lives in behind security locks and alarm systems. Sidney works anonymously at home on a violence-counseling hotline.  Sidney is tormented by dreams about her mother’s murder. 

I enjoyed this movie; despite the fact it lacked the usual levels of gore and suspense. 

The end was particularly good as it was all revealed as to how and why the first killings in the original Scream took place

Scoring: 4

Scream 4 (2011)

Reviewed by: festive_films on Instagram

Rated: R

Genre: Horror

Starring: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Kristen Bell, Lucy Hale, Alison Brie, and Emma Roberts

Synopsis: Ten years have passed, and Sidney Prescott, who has put herself back together thanks in part to her writing, is visited by the Ghostface Killer.

Review: Scream 4 was a very enjoyable movie and it was fun to watch. The film is based about where it all began the town of Woodsboro. 10 years later we find Sidney Prescott on the last leg of her self-help book tour.  Fellow original cast Gail Weathers and useless Deputy Dewey again are a main part of Scream 4 as well as an entirely new generation of kids including Sidney’s young estranged cousin, Jill.  Unfortunately, Sidney’s return to Woodsboro also brings the return of the Ghostface killer. 

Scoring: 4

The Scream Team (2002)

Rated: PG

Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy

Starring: Kathy Najimy, Kat Dennings, Eric Idle, Kim Coates, and Tommy Davidson

Synopsis: After Frank’s passing, his widower son Richard begrudgingly returns there from Boston with his own kids including the bright Ian and bratty Claire to settle the inheritance. Ian discovers grandpa's house is really haunted, and not just - as legend holds - by Zachariah Kull who was burned at the stake.

Review: I really enjoyed this movie.  Najimy is as funny as ever and Dennings has her sharp-tongued wit.  It was funny and entertaining without being too scary.  Scenes like Ian trying to catch a ghost with a dust buster keep the feeling light.  Wonderful family film.

Scoring:

Shutter (2008)

Reviewed by: michelle_floflo­_1 on Instagram

Rating: PG-13

Genre: Horror, Mystery 

Starring: Johua Jackson, Rachel Taylor 

Synopsis: A newlywed couple, Jane and Ben move to Japan to start their life. On the way to their honeymoon, they almost hit a young woman on the road. Terrifying and creepy events start to happen after they encounter the woman. As Jane investigates the events, she uncovers that her husband knew the young woman and digs to uncover what happened to her and why her husband lied about knowing her.  

Review: A creepy and scary movie. I love how the story is told and how everything is uncovered. Great pace and twists. A must see! 

Scoring:

The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008)

Rated: PG

Genres: Adventure, Drama, Family

Starring: Freddy Highmore, Sarah Bolger, and David Strathairn

Synopsis: Upon moving into the run-down Spiderwick Estate with their mother, twin brothers Jared and Simon, along with their sister Mallory, find themselves pulled into an alternate world of faeries and other creatures.

Review: This is supposed to be a children’s film but it’s a little too scary and gross for children.  I think it would scare a lot of them.  Personally, I found it to be very boring.  I was a good 40 minutes in and didn’t care at all about the characters or what happened.  I felt disconnected from it. 

Scoring: 2

Spookley The Square Pumpkin

Rated: G

Genres: Animation, Fantasy

Starring: Sonja Ball and Craig Francis

Synopsis: Poor Spookley is a pumpkin whose shape is square rather than round.  He’s teased and taunted by other mean, round pumpkins.  He receives help from a Scarecrow and his 2 bat sidekicks and 3 funny spiders.

Review: I actually enjoyed this, which is not always the case with animated movies and specials for very young children.  I liked the message of not judging people on their appearance.  This is a good Halloween movie for even the youngest viewer.  It’s not scary and it keeps a steady pace.

Scoring: 4

Spooky Buddies (2011)

Rated: G

Genre: Fantasy

Synopsis: The puppies go on a spooky adventure through a haunted mansion.

Review:  While this is rated G, it may be too spooky for very young viewers.  That said, it’s definitely made for children.  I’m not a super big fan of any of the talking dog movies but it you like those, give this one a shot.  The story is expected but may be a fun family film.

Scoring:

Spooky House (2002)

Rated: PG

Genres: Comedy

Starring: Ben Kingsley and Mercedes Ruhl

Synopsis: Max is a lonely, recently orphaned, young boy who is frequently bullied by other children.  One night after accepting a dare, Max wanders into a mysterious mansion, where he meets the Great Zamboni, an eccentric magician.

Review: This movie has two personalities.  The first is trying to be a comedy for children and the second is trying to be a moving story about loneliness and coping with loss.  They don’t work together in this film.  I was quite bored.  I don’t know if children would enjoy it.  There’s some fun for them but too many pauses in the fun to hold their attention.

Scoring:

 

The Spooky Tale of Captain Underpants Hack-a-Ween (2020)

Rating: PG

Genres: Animation, Comedy

Synopsis: When Melvin tries to cancel Halloween, clever best friends Harold and George create their own spooky holiday -- and it's a huge success.

Review: I was quite surprised that I was amused by this movie. This is one that I think would be good for families. It’s is a little on the silly side but if you don’t take it too seriously (I mean it is Captain Underpants) you may enjoy it. 

Scoring: 3

Steve and Maggie-Haunted Halloween Special (Vol. 4)

Rated: NR

Genres: Animation, Musical

Starring: Steve and Maggie

Synopsis: Join Steve and Maggie as they sing favorite songs, visit a haunted house, go trick-or-treating, and carve a pumpkin.

Review: This is for young children, especially preschoolers.  It’s fun and keeps a child’s attention.  Good for family but probably not adults alone.

Scoring: 3

Steve and Maggie-Spooktacular Special (Vol. 14)

Rated: NR

Genres: Animation, Musical

Starring: Steve and Maggie

Synopsis: Come along with Steve and Maggie as they go trick-or-treating, visit a haunted house, ride broomsticks, and more!

Review: Definitely for young children, maybe up to 5.  It’s cute and entertaining but adults may not want to watch it alone.

Scoring: 3

The Super Simple Show Halloween (2018)

Rated: NR

Genres: Animation, Fantasy

Synopsis: This compilation is all about Halloween including Halloween versions of popular children’s songs.

Review: This was really cute.  It’s geared for really young children but the adaptations of songs from my childhood and the fun Halloween take on them made it decent adult viewing.

Scoring: 3

Twilight (2008)

Rated: PG-13

Genres: Drama, Family, Fantasy, Romance

Starring:  Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Billy Burke, Gil Birmingham, Anna Kendrick, Nikki Reed, Kellan Lutz, Ashley Greene, Jackson Rathbone, and Taylor Lautner

Synopsis: When Bella Swan moves to the small town of Forks, WA to live with her father, she falls in love with Edward Cullen, a mysterious classmate who reveals himself to be a 108-year-old vampire.

Review: I’ve seen this movie more times than I can count.  Yes, I’m one of those.  I think the romance of the story is a key point but the family element is also an important part of the story, both Bella and her parents and the Cullen family.  It’s got adventure, friendships, excitement, fantasy, and an amazing musical score that ties it all together.

Scoring: 5

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn-Part 1 (2011)

Rated: PG-13

Genres: Drama, Family, Fantasy, Romance

Starring:  Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Billy Burke, Gil Birmingham, Anna Kendrick, Nikki Reed, Kellan Lutz, Ashley Greene, Jackson Rathbone, and Taylor Lautner

Synopsis: The Quileutes close in on expecting parents Edward and Bella, whose unborn child poses a threat to the Wolf Pack and the townspeople of Forks.

Review: A vampire and a human having a child is something no one, in this story or in most stories, knows about.  The characters fear the unknown.  Spoiler Alert: The breaking up of the Wolf Pack because Jacob will protect Bella rather than stay with the pack is an interesting turn.  Other than that, the story is quite slow.  It feels like a lot of waiting for something to happen. 

Scoring: 3

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn-Part 2 (2012)

Rated: PG-13

Genres: Drama, Family, Fantasy, Romance

Starring:  Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Billy Burke, Gil Birmingham, Anna Kendrick, Nikki Reed, Kellan Lutz, Ashley Greene, Jackson Rathbone, and Taylor Lautner

Synopsis: After the birth of Renesmee/Nessie, the Cullens gather other vampire clans in order to protect the child from a false allegation that puts the family in front of the Volturi.

Review: The series finishes with a bang.  We get to be introduced to all these different vampire clans from around the world.  We get to see Bella’s powers.  I won’t spoil this one but I will say the primary focus is preparing to face the Volturi and what happens when they do.  If you’ve watched the other movies, of course you’ll need to see how the series ends.

Scoring: 4

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010)

Rated: PG-13

Genres: Drama, Family, Fantasy, Romance

Starring:  Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Billy Burke, Gil Birmingham, Anna Kendrick, Nikki Reed, Kellan Lutz, Ashley Greene, Jackson Rathbone, and Taylor Lautner

Synopsis: As a string of mysterious killings grips Seattle, Bella, whose high school graduation is fast approaching, is forced to choose between her love for vampire Edward and her friendship with werewolf Jacob.

Review: I won’t spoil the movie by saying why this happens but Jacob and Edward have to work together to protect Bella.  The werewolves and vampires joining forces has the necessary tension but there’s a lot of action and the movie has a good pace.

Scoring: 4

The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009)

Rated: PG-13

Genres: Drama, Family, Fantasy, Romance

Starring:  Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Billy Burke, Gil Birmingham, Anna Kendrick, Nikki Reed, Kellan Lutz, Ashley Greene, Jackson Rathbone, and Taylor Lautner

Synopsis: Edward leaves Bella after an attack that nearly claimed her life, and, in her depression, she falls into yet another difficult relationship – this time with her close friend, Jacob Black.

Review: I have to admit, I prefer the vampires to the werewolves.  I didn’t like the way they filmed Bella’s depression.  It seemed to lack the emotional depth needed to explain the movie.  Having read the book I knew what was supposed to be communicated.  Meeting the Volturi gives viewers a good understanding of them when they are referenced in the movies that followed.

Scoring: 3

Twitches
Rated: TV-PG
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Fantasy
Starring: Tia Mowry-Hardricht, Tamara Mowry-Housley, Karen Holness, Arnold Pinnock, Kristen Wilson, Patrick Fabian, Jennifer Robertson, and Pat Kelly
Synopsis: In the magic realm of Coventry, the twin sisters Artemis and Apolla are saved by their protectors Illeana and Karsh from the Darkness and brought to another dimension. They are adopted by different families but in their twenty-first birthday, their protectors force them to meet each other. Alex Fielding lost her mother three months ago and is alone seeking a job while Camryn Barnes lives with her beloved wealthy parents. Once together they find that they have magic powers and they should return to Coventry to save their biological mother and their kingdom from the Darkness.
Review:  This family-friendly movie is loads of fun. It has the classic good versus evil with the bonus of reuniting twins and a cast of colorful characters. The comparison between one twin brought up by a struggling single mother and one brought up with great wealth and two parents is interesting. This is an annual must see movie for us. 
Scoring: 4
Twitches Too
Rated: TV-PG
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Fantasy
Starring: Tia Mowry-Hardricht, Tamara Mowry-Housley, Karen Holness, Arnold Pinnock, Kristen Wilson, Patrick Fabian, Leslie Sieler, and Pat Kelly
Synopsis: After using their powers to battle the forces of darkness, the sisters settle down to lead normal lives. However, the discovery that their biological father may not be dead, but residing in New York, causes confusion for the pair.
Review:  This sequel has the same magic as the first movie. We get to learn more about their kingdom and see them unite to battle evil. Another annual must see for us. 
Scoring: 4

Under Wraps (1997)

Rated: G

Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy 

Starring: Adam Wylie

Synopsis: Three curious teenagers and one very confused mummy collaborate through some risky adventures, with a race against time to reunite the mummy with his lover from 4,500 years ago.

Review: The plot was much more interesting and entertaining than I expected. What bothered me was the mummy. At times he looked like Big Foot or a Yeti. He was kind of gross, too. It was very distracting for me. This is one I would categorize as a kid or family movie. 

Scoring: 3

Under Wraps 2 (2022)

Rated: G

Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy 

Starring: Malachi Barton, Christian J. Simon, Sophia Hammons

Synopsis: While Amy is preparing for her father's Halloween-themed wedding, she, Gilbert and Marshall discover that Harold and Rose may be in danger. An evil mummy is unexpectedly awakened and out for revenge.

Review: This is a good non-scary movie for kids and families.  The mummies were much less distracting than the first movie.  The plot had a lot more going on and kept me more entertained.  There’s a good recap of the first movie at the beginning so you don’t have to watch the first to see this one.

Scoring: 3

Upside-Down Magic (2020)

Rated: PG

Genres: Family, Fantasy

Synopsis: Best friends Elinor "Nory" Boxwood-Horace and Reina Carvajal discover they have magical powers: Nory can transform into animals and Reina can control fire. They enroll at Sage Academy, a prestigious magic school.

Review: I wanted to enjoy this, but I was just bored. It never got interesting, and I didn’t care about the characters and what was happening. 

Scoring: 1

Vampire Academy (2014)

Rated: PG-13

Genres: Action, Comedy, Drama

Starring: Zoey Deutch and Lucy Fry

Synopsis: Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, half human-half vampire, a guardian of the Moroi, peaceful, mortal vampires living discreetly within our world. Her calling is to protect the Moroi from bloodthirsty, immortal Vampires, the Strigoi.

Review: This movie feels like an attempt of a combination of Twilight and Harry Potter but is more like a teen angst film.  I found it to be okay to sit through, but teens and tween may like it more.

Scoring: 2

The Witches
Rated: PG
Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy 
Starring: Anjelica Huston, Rowan Atkinson, and Brenda Blethyn
Synopsis: A young boy, recently orphaned, is taken to England by his grandmother. At a hotel in which they are staying, a group of witches have gathered to prepare a plot to rid England of all children.
Review:  Based on the book by Ronald Dahl, this movie is a fantastical adventure. Anjelica Huston makes an amazing witch and children will enjoy Luke’s adventures, as a mouse, as he tries to stop the witches. 
Scoring: 3

A Witches’ Ball (2017)

Rated: PG

Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy

Starring: Morgan Neundorf and Joey Fatone

Synopsis: A young witch has to jump some magical hurdles before joining the witching world at the ball.

Review: This is a good family film.  It includes the issues young girls face like mean girls.  The problems in the plot are resolved a little too easily but that also keeps the movie moving.  I believe preteen girls will enjoy this the most but adults may enjoy as well.

Scoring:

The Witches of Eastwick (1987)

Rated: R

Genres: Comedy, Fantasy, Horror

Starring: Cher, Susan Sarandon, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Jack Nicholson

Synopsis: Three single women in a picturesque village have their wishes granted, at a cost, when a mysterious and flamboyant man arrives in their lives.

Review: I really enjoyed this movie.  The camaraderie between the three women is amazing and they have tremendous chemistry.  Nicholson as the devil is perfection.  It’s funny, it’s a little creepy, and it’s one I can watch repeatedly.

Scoring: 5

You Cast A Spell On Me (2015)

Rated: NR

Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Romance

Starring: Ryan McPartlin and Nikki Deloach

Synopsis: Matt, the son of a prominent witch family, is expected by the Witches Council, to marry his good friend Lizzy.  But when Matt meets Sara, a psychiatrist, his magic fails him and Sara discovers that she suddenly has gained magical powers.

Review: I love this.  It’s a mix of Halloween fun and a romcom.  McPartlin and Deloach were fantastic.  It’s okay for children to watch but I think it’s more for teens and adults.

Scoring: 4

Young  Frankenstein (1974)

Rated: PG

Genres: Comedy, Fantasy

Starring: Gene Wilder, Teri Garr, Madeline Kahn, Peter Boyle, Cloris Leachman, and Gene Hackman

Synopsis: An American grandson of the infamous scientist, struggling to prove that his grandfather was not as insane as people believe, is invited to Transylvania, where he discovers the process that reanimates a dead body.

Review: This is in the formula of all Mel Brooks comedies.  They’re a bit off the wall and a tad campy and you’ll either love it or hate it.  I found it funny but almost a little too silly.  The addition of seeing the monster's bald cap was a good bit.

Scoring: 3

Zig and Sharko: Halloween Special (2021)

Rated: TV-Y

Genres: Animation, Comedy

Synopsis: On the spookiest night of the year, Hades visits his associates on an ocean liner, causing all sorts of problems that Sharko and pals must solve. 

Review: This is a series of shorts put together. It’s very silly and I think children will enjoy it. I wouldn’t recommend it to adults to watch alone but it could be good family viewing. 

Scoring: 3

Z-O-M-B-I-E-S

Rated: G

Genres: Family, Fantasy, Musical, Romance

Starring: Milo Manheim and Meg Donnelly 

Synopsis: Students from Zombietown are transferred to a high school in a suburban town preoccupied with uniformity, traditions and pep rallies.

Review:  This is similar to the Descendants movies except the villains are replaced with zombies.  I like Descendants but the music and dancing in this film were exceptional.  It keeps a good pace and the story has a good message.  Embrace what makes you unique rather than trying hard to fit in.  The zombies aren’t gory or scary for children.  This is a fun movie.

Scoring: 4

Z-O-M-B-I-E-S 2

Rated: G

Genres: Family, Fantasy, Musical, Romance

Starring: Milo Manheim and Meg Donnelly 

Synopsis: A budding Romance is threatened by the arrival of werewolves.

Review:  This feels like a forced sequel. The songs and dancing are good but it almost seems like they forced a story to work around them.  I still enjoyed it and children will like it but I wouldn’t watch a second time. 

Scoring: 2

 Z-O-M-B-I-E-S 3

Rated: G

Genres: Family, Fantasy, Musical, Romance

Starring: Milo Manheim and Meg Donnelly 

Synopsis: Zed anticipates an athletic scholarship while Addison is gearing up for Seabrook's international cheer-off competition. Then suddenly, extraterrestrial beings appear around Seabrook, causing more than friendly competition.

Review:  I liked this sequel a lot.  The music and dancing are good, and the story effectively continues the previous storyline while adding a new twist. It's a little corny at points but it's a Disney movie aimed for young viewers.  There is a short recap at the beginning that should make this easy to watch if you haven’t seen the first two. 

                                                  Scoring: 3