The Best Not-Too-Scary Movies to Watch if You’re a Scaredy-Cat For Real Horror Films

Jane Asher
Not Too Scary Movies
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Every year, my friend and I get together around Halloween, microwave some popcorn, and sit down to watch not-too-scary movies. We’re both pretty wimpy when it comes to frights and fears, but we love Halloween and the ghoulish, spooky vibes that come with it.

Our senior year of college we watched Silence Of The Lambs during the day on Halloween, a movie I highly recommend if you’re starting to wade into scary waters. It was creepy, unnerving, had a few “ahh!” moments, but nothing too overwhelming. Plus, it was a very well-made movie. And so the tradition began: Good movies that also happen to be a little scary.

When picking a movie, we always stick to a list of criteria: Not too much blood and guts, only a few jump scares, and we try to stay away from the supernatural, especially if good CGI is involved—I seriously can’t do ghosts and hauntings and the like, probably because there’s a part of me that believes that stuff is real.

Plenty of these movies actually aren’t scary at all, but were released when I was much younger, and at the time seemed very scary to 7-year-old me. Beetlejuice, Hocus Pocus and Practical Magic feel more like Halloween movies than scary movies, but still have a few moments of suspense to make me feel like I’m getting my fill of spooky.

And on the other side, a few of these movies move into some seriously dark territory. Think, less spooky, more creepy, movies like Rosemary’s Baby and Carrie. Definitely not the type of movies you’ll want to watch alone.

Read on for some of our favorite not-too-scary movies perfect to watch.

1. Carrie

Carrie is a classic when it comes to Halloween movies. Think, Stranger Things meets Mean Girls with a psycho overbearing mother. Be sure to watch the original 1976 film with Sissy Spacek, which got the actress her first Oscar nomination.

2. Beetlejuice

Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice!! I first watched this movie a few years ago, and wow, I had no idea how much I was missing out on. Catherine O’Hara lyp-syncing “Day-O,” a baby Alec Baldwin, one of Winona Ryder’s first-ever films, this movie seriously has it all.

3. Misery

This movie is definitely an underrated one, and Kathy Bates serves up a performance you’ll never forget. A few jump scares and plenty of suspense, I recommend watching this film with a stress ball on hand.

4. The Silence Of The Lambs

The Silence Of The Lambs is the definition of creepy and so iconic, everyone knows the name Hannibal Lecter, even if they haven’t seen the film. Pro tip: Don’t watch this movie alone, and if you do, watch it during the day time.

5. Practical Magic

This cult favorite is hardly scary, but I had to include it on the list because it’s one of my favorites. Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock are so charming, you’ll be wishing you were born into a caused magical family just like the Owens girls. Midnight margaritas for everyone!

6. Rosemary’s Baby

I don’t want to give away too much away about the plot, as you’ll want to go into this movie without context. It definitely makes for a better experience. I’ll just say I bought a couple of cute shift dresses inspired by Mia Farrow after watching the film.

7. Hocus Pocus

Again, hardly scary, but as a kid, I was terrified to watch this movie. I saw it for the first time a few years ago and absolutely loved it. The Sanderson Sisters are Halloween Queens and “I Put A Spell On You” is a true bop.

8. Little Shop Of Horrors

Seymore’s your friend!! As a lover of movie musicals, I am obsessed with this weird, campy, slightly scary movie. The film’s ending is much happier than the original musical’s ending, but plant parents beware, this one might not sit too well with you.

9. The Sixth Sense

Okay, this movie is *definitely* on the scary side, but nothing you can’t handle. Just a few jump scares and a general feeling of unease throughout the film until you get to the twisty ending—FYI, if you already know the spoiler, it’s still a great watch.

10. What We Do In The Shadows

You may have seen the tv series adaptation of this movie on Hulu, but there’s no comparison to the original mockumentary film. It’s kooky, campy and LOL-worthy, a great movie to watch after one of the scarier ones on this list to lighten the mood.

11. Get Out

This film needs no introduction. Creepy and unsettling on many levels, Get Out is a must-see on Halloween or really any other day of the year. If you thought Allison Williams was scary in Girls, just wait until you see her in this.

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