As the weather gets colder, COVID-19 cases are unfortunately on the rise again. This has led Premier Doug Ford to advise against parents taking their children out to trick-or-treat like usual this year. It’s unfortunate to have to think about our children not being able to enjoy Halloween the way we all remember so fondly, but here at Queensville we believe that safety and fun can still go hand-in-hand for the holiday this year.
Halloween doesn’t have to be cancelled just because trick-or-treating has been deemed unsafe right now. Despite what our inner child might remember, there’s more to the holiday than just going door-to-door and collecting candy. The holiday originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, which marked the end of summer and the harvest, and the beginning of the dark, cold winter. On this day, people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts; it was believed that on Samhain the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became thin enough to allow spirits to pass between the two.
That’s a pretty spooky story all on its own, and it’s no surprise that telling spooky tales has always been a big part of Halloween. In fact, the telling of scary stories is a great place to start building up a Halloween celebration for your family that doesn’t break social distancing guidelines. There are a whole horde of horror movies out there that are perfect for Halloween, and we’ve got a handful of recommendations (and ratings) ready for you, all available on Netflix Canada.
Halloween Horror Movie Recommendations
We start our recommendations off with a few kid-friendly movies and shows that are suitable for the whole family. Rewatch these classic Halloween favourites, or discover them for the first time with your children!
Coraline (PG), Casper (PG), Hotel Transylvania (PG), and Goosebumps (PG)
If you’re looking to watch some genre horror movies, Netflix has a bunch of them. They have everything from slashers and found footage films, to zombie movies and creature features. Those last two categories are right up our alley, so we picked out two of each for you.
Dawn of the Dead (TV-MA), Zombieland (R), Jaws (PG), and Tremors (PG-13)
Next on the list are a few of the classics, as well as some unconventional options for you to choose from. Whether your villain of choice is the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man or a murderous barber with a penchant for bursting into song, you’ll find something fun in this selection of Halloween horror.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula (R), Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (R), and Ghostbusters (PG)
Color Out of Space (TV-MA), Sweeney Todd (R), and Eraserhead (TV-MA)
Last, but not least, we’ve got a selection of creepy and sometimes gory television shows for you to binge whenever the sun goes down.
Stranger Things (TV-14), Santa Clarita Diet (TV-MA), Ash vs. Evil Dead (TV-MA), and Love, Death & Robots (TV-MA)
Halloween Activities for the Whole Family
Horror movies are plenty of fun, and a great way to scare yourself into the Halloween mood, but movies alone won’t make this Halloween a holiday to remember. That’s why we’ve also got a list of Halloween activity ideas that are both fun and safe for your family.
Plenty of parents are planning Easter Egg-style candy hunts for their children in their homes or yards. Bobbing for apples is another fun, easy, and seasonally appropriate activity, as well as those old Halloween games where you put your hand inside a box full of something gross like cooked spaghetti “worms” or peeled grape “eyeballs”. Having a mummy-themed sack race, where everyone wraps their legs up in toilet paper and tries to hop across the finish line, is another fun and silly way to celebrate the holiday. And if you’re already planning to carve pumpkins, why not make a game out of trying to throw a hackysack through their open mouths before you pop a candle inside them when the sun goes down.
Our last recommendation is, arguably, the most important one. The worst part of trick-or-treating is going through your stash at the end of the night and sorting out all the “dud” candy. You know the ones we mean. The candy corn, that gum that loses its flavour in a couple of chews, the licorice. So, since your kids won’t get to go out and collect their candy stash themselves, we recommend you buy all of their (and your!) favourites from the store yourself! That way, whether you choose to give that candy away as prizes for winning whichever Halloween-themed games you and your family play together, or just put it out in a bowl when you settle in to watch a scary movie together, at least they’ll still get the best haul ever, and you won’t be stuck eating the reject candy for once.