7 MORE Boredom Busters for the School Holidays – Spooky Halloween Edition!!

Adam Fay,

It’s that time again. Kids are running free with no school and there you are, in a panic because you have no idea how to entertain them. Don’t fret. Like we did last school holidays, we got your back.

These 7 recommendations are guaranteed to keep them amused, distracted, and best of all…quiet!

Even better, since Halloween is approaching, we decided to help out with your plans there too and give you the best spooky movies to catch up on for all ages.

You can thank us later. Happy watching!

For the Older Kids

1. The Witches (1990)

The Plot: In a Nutshell

A young boy stumbles onto a witch convention and must stop them, even after he has been turned into a mouse.

Is it Any Good?

We decided to recommend the 1990 original over the recent 2020 version (starring Anne Hathaway) as we believe it does a better job of capturing the essence of the Roald Dahl book that both are based on. With a 93% Rotten Tomatoes rating for the 1990 version, it’s clear we are in the majority here. It’s good fun, and mixes wacky laughs with genuinely creepy moments.

Scare Factor?

Not gonna lie – The Witches gave nightmares to a generation after its 1990 release, with some adults still referencing it as the one movie that scared them as a kid. With that in mind, we suggest mid-to-older teens will get the most out of this one.

Watch The Witches in the Fetch Movie Store

2. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019)

The Plot: In a Nutshell

On Halloween 1968, reclusive Stella and her two friends meet a mysterious drifter, Ramon, and uncover a sinister notebook of stories.

Is it Any Good?

Make no mistake, this is a genuine horror film. But don’t let that “scare” you away. It is aimed at the younger crowd and provides real thrills for teenagers. With a solid 78% Rotten Tomatoes rating, it provides great entertainment for Mum and Dad too.

Scare Factor?

There’s jumps, there’s monsters…but there’s no gore or blood, so it’s safe for the squeamish. Keep the younger ones away though. This is best enjoyed with a group of older kids, some popcorn and some blankets to hide under.

Watch Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark in the Fetch Movie Store

For the Teens

3. Nightbooks (2021)

The Plot: In a Nutshell

Scary story fan Alex must tell a spine-tingling tale every night, or stay trapped with his new friend in a wicked witch’s magical apartment forever.

Is it Any Good?

With a Rotten Tomatoes rating currently at 80%, Nightbooks looks set to become a Halloween kids favourite for years to come. Most notable about this Netflix original is its slick production and visual flair. There are enough twists and surprises to keep both kids and parents engaged.

Scare Factor?

Recommended for teens mature enough to handle a few jump scares. Nightbooks is harmless enough, but does deal in the supernatural, so it could give nightmares to the little ones.

Watch Nightbooks on Netflix (Subscription Required)

4. Goosebumps (2015)

The Plot: In a Nutshell

R L Stine, the author of ‘Goosebumps’, is shocked when demons from his books come to life and create havoc in Delaware. Later, he, his daughter, Hannah, and her friend Zach strive to put things right.

Is it Any Good?

Fun from start to finish, Goosebumps is a guaranteed favourite. A great movie to introduce to those kids who have graduated from Pixar and sweet-hearted animation. Jack Black does what he does best and steals the show as soon as he appears, and adults will appreciated the good natured retro tone this one has. A hark back to 1980’s Spielberg-esque fantasy. Goosebumps sits at 78% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Scare Factor?

A few scary monsters here and there could have the younger audience covering their eyes, but most teenagers will have no problem at all with this one, and will no doubt be laughing more than screaming.

Watch Goosebumps in the Fetch Movie Store

5. Gremlins (1984)

The Plot: In a Nutshell

Billy’s father gets him a pet from China with three very specific instructions. However, when Billy does not follow them, it unleashes a horde of monsters.

Is it Any Good?

Gremlins is without doubt synonymous with it’s time with a very mid-80s feel, but this doesn’t mean it has necessarily aged poorly. In fact, it still holds up as a comedy horror pioneer that will thrill and delight generations to come. Savvy adults will also detect its subtext on consumer culture, which has contributed to it standing the test of time and remaining so popular. It is sitting pretty with an impressive 85% Rotten Tomatoes score.

Scare Factor?

Adorable at first…but these critters can get a little creepy when their petting rules are broken. Young teens will be able to easily handle it though.

Watch Gremlins in the Fetch Movie Store

For the Youngsters

6. Casper (1995)

The Plot: In a Nutshell

A paranormal expert and his daughter bunk in an abandoned house populated by 3 mischievous ghosts and one friendly one.

Is it Any Good?

Sitting with a 50% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s possible that Casper is a bit too whimsical for some, but trust us, the younger kids will appreciate the cuteness of the friendly ghost and the likeable characters. It’s got charm and decent special effects for a movie that is over 25 years old.

Scare factor?

Nothing to worry about here. Casper was made with the littlies in mind. No real scares, just a lot of cuteness.

Watch Casper in the Fetch Movie Store

7. Room on the Broom (2012)

The Plot: In a Nutshell

The story of a kind witch who invites a collection of animals to join her on her broom, though her cat thinks it will get too crowded.

Is it Any Good?

Here’s a great one for the very young (and young at heart!) who would like to be included in “Spooky Movie Night” at your place. This will have toddlers happily engaged throughout. At only 23 minutes, it may be too short for some but we highly recommend adding The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child to the mix. All three are adapted from the popular and beloved Julia Donaldson books.

Scare Factor?

Zero! Outside of featuring a witch (who is actually a sweetheart) Room on the Broom is completely child safe and adorable from start to finish.

Watch Room on the Broom in the Fetch Movie Store

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