16 Movies Just as Quirky and Spooky as Hocus Pocus
Halloween wouldn’t be Halloween without at least a few viewings of “Hocus Pocus.” Pocus-ed out and wondering what to watch if you’re looking for something that hits all the same quirky notes, but is still a little different? Or what if you need another option for a spooky double feature (that’s not the upcoming sequel, “Hocus Pocus 2,” of course)?
It turns out there are plenty of fun movies with the same combination of hijinks and scary moments that are pitched perfectly to appeal to everyone. You don’t need tons of horror to make a great Halloween movie; these options are proof! We’ve rounded up a dozen of our favorite movies that, like “Hocus Pocus,” strike that fun balance between laughs and scares. Keep reading to discover your next watch for a fall night in.
– Additional reporting by Tasha Dowbachuk
"The Little Vampire"
Much like Max in “Hocus Pocus,” young Tony finds himself in a new place (Scotland), being bullied by his classmates with no friends to turn to. That is, until he meets a young vampire named Rudolph, who befriends him. When a vampire hunter goes on the chase threatening to wipe out Rudolph and the entire vampire race, Tony must do whatever it takes to save his new BFF.
"The Corpse Bride"
In “The Corpse Bride” the unassuming and clumsy Victor is engaged to marry his love, Victoria, in an arranged marriage. However, while practicing his vows in the forest, he unwittingly raises a dead bride named Emily from the dead. When she proclaims herself Victor’s wife and abducts him into the Land of the Dead, Victor must find his way back to the Land of the Living in time to marry his true love. But can he free Emily from her years of torment in the process?
When his beloved dog dies in a car accident, a young scientist named Victor Frankenstein reanimates Sparky in his homemade laboratory using a bolt of lightning. But when his classmates get wind of what he’s accomplished, they ask him to reanimate their dead pets too, leading to chaos.
Hotel Transylvania Franchise
In this family-friendly animated flick, Count Dracula operates a fancy hotel for monsters, ghouls, and all things magical as a safe haven free from the persecution of humans. But when a human boy discovers the hotel and falls for Count Dracula’s daughter Mavis (voiced by Selena Gomez), the hotel owner will do just about anything to protect her. “Hotel Transylvania” was such a hit, it has three sequels: “Hotel Transylvania 2,” “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation,” and “Hotel Transylvania 4: Transformania.”
“Zombies” is what you get if you mix all the things you love about “Halloweentown” with all the best parts of “High School Musical.” This hit DCOM franchise takes place 50 years after a zombie apocalypse. All the (now harmless) zombies live in a town called Zombietown, but they’re finally allowed to attend a human school in a charming, but cookie-cutter, place called Seabrook. When a charismatic zombie named Ned falls for cheerleader Addison, they show the conformity-obsessed Seabrook how much better it can be when everyone embraces their differences throughout the movie and its two sequels.
"The Nightmare Before Christmas"
Just like “Hocus Pocus” features Halloween-y creatures whose plans to take over are thwarted, “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is a fun and creepy tale where the spooky and goofy collide. When Jack Skellington wanders away from his haunted realm and discovers the joys of Christmas, he plots to take over that realm for himself – but there’s more standing in his way than he expects.
"The Addams Family"
The family that scares together, stays together. Just like the Sanderson sisters, the Addams Family live their spooky lifestyle with pride in this animated comedy. Of course, their wicked ways aren’t exactly evil – and honestly, can we all just admit that Gomez and Morticia are the best?
"A Witches' Ball"
“Hocus Pocus” brings the glam, campy witches, and a talking cat on screen while “A Witches Ball” has a magical academy, riddles, and a talking rat! The movie follows Beatrix (Morgan Neundorf), a young girl who passes her final test to become a witch and valedictorian until her pending title is in jeopardy. The film carries a lighthearted tone in contrast to “Hocus Pocus” and contains family-friendly twists and turns that are just the right blend of spooky and silly.
"The Spiderwick Chronicles"
Both “The Spiderwick Chronicles” and “Hocus Pocus” tell the stories of kids who investigate hidden worlds, with scary and potentially disastrous results. When three city-raised siblings move into an old mansion, they discover a magical guide that reveals an alternate realm of faeries and other fantasy creatures. As the three learn more about the secret world, they must fight to keep the book hidden from getting into the wrong hands.
“Hocus Pocus” has placed a spell on our hearts just as much as “Maleficent” did in this charming tale. After Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) places a curse on Aurora out of revenge and to protect the magical forest kingdom, she slowly begins to have a change of heart once she realizes that Aurora is the key to peace between the kingdoms. This surprisingly sweet movie is packed with beautiful visuals of mythical creatures, an epic battle scene, and a heartfelt bond.
Like “Hocus Pocus,” this Disney Channel classic features young siblings who are shocked to encounter witches and a curse. Unlike “Hocus Pocus,” though, these kids are magical too! Tween Marnie discovers on her thirteenth birthday that she’s descended from a line of powerful witches from an alternate dimension, and she and her siblings join her fabulous grandmother to try to stop a dark force.
"Halloweentown 2: Kalabar's Revenge"
Years after the Cromwells defeated the evil warlock Kalabar, they’re pretty sure they’ve got everything under control. That is, until a strange curse sucks all the life and color (literally) out of Halloweentown, and they discover that evil is lurking and ready to take revenge on witches and humans alike.
After Marnie accidentally wagers the Cromwell magic on the success of a magical “exchange” program, she and her family must work overtime to protect a group of Halloweentown students spending time in the mortal world. They’ve got to deal with an ancient enemy, a traitor within their group, and good old fashioned prejudice in order to keep their magic.
Alex and Camryn get two successive surprises on their 21st birthdays: they’re twins separated at birth, and they’re actually royal witches who were sent to the non-magical world to protect them from a malevolent force that invaded their kingdom and killed their father. Now reunited, they must learn to harness their magic to drive back the darkness once and for all. It’s all the sisterly bonding of “Hocus Pocus,” but with witches trying to save the world instead of harm it!
When Alex and Camryn discover a strange force in the magical world of Coventry, they believe it to be the spirit of their father – but their mother fears it’s a vanquished foe gaining strength. One way or another, they have to deal with the shadowy being, but one misstep could cost everything.
"The Haunted Mansion"
“Hocus Pocus“‘s plot includes a long-ago love story gone wrong and an ongoing curse that must be broken soon. That’s also at the center of “The Haunted Mansion,” Disney’s less-successful theme park ride adaptation. When a family moves into a creepy old mansion, they discover its haunted past, and the mansion’s ghosts believe one member of their family is the reincarnation of a spirit they’ve been waiting for.