Best Spooky Films to Watch with Seniors

Halloween is easily one of the most popular holidays in the United States. For the month of October, people of all ages are encouraged to embrace their inner child with seasonal festivities—including seniors! Now that it’s officially October, embrace what is affectionately known as “spooky season” with some of the best spooky films to watch with seniors.

Watching films alongside your elderly loved ones is a fantastic way to spend time together. It provides you the opportunity to share an activity together and then gives you something to speak about afterward. Make an event out of it by popping some popcorn, preparing their favorite snacks, and choosing a few films from any of these lists.

If your loved one is concerned about a movie being too intense, we’ve included a “Scare Rating.” A 1/5 will indicate a film is not very scary, whereas a 5/5 indicates it is quite scary. With this scale, you’ll be certain you’re picking a film your loved one will enjoy.

Best Spooky Films to Watch with Seniors

Classic spooky/horror films

Even if your loved one isn’t a big horror fan, there are a handful of films that are classics for a reason. Below are lists of films that are Halloween classics—some of them sillier, some of them bone-chilling, and some down-right scary. Speak with your loved one about what level of frights they can handle, then cozy up with these classics.

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

Scare Rating: 1/5

The classic comedy duo takes dips their toe in the horror genre with Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. A series of strange shipments bring Abbott and Costello face to face with classic monsters such as Dracula, Frankenstein, and Wolf Man. Full of laughs and nostalgia for older generations, this film is a great option for those who can’t handle genuine horror films, but want a movie to remind them of Halloween.

Psycho (1960)

Scare Rating: 2/5

In potentially one of the most revered horror films, Psycho follows a young secretary who ends up at the Bates Motel. There, she meets the strange Norman Bates and learns he is far more than he seems. This film is not particularly gory, but it is quite suspenseful and involves some disturbing topics. It’s important to be aware of that before pressing play.

Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

Scare Rating: 3/5

Based on a novel by the same name, Rosemary’s Baby follows a young mother who becomes increasingly isolated by the neighbors of her new building throughout the course of her pregnancy. As the story goes on, it becomes clear that her neighbors have other plans for her baby. This is another film that isn’t particularly violent, but it is quite tense and involves disturbing content to be mindful of.

Young Frankenstein (1974)

Scare Rating: 1/5

Young Frankenstein follows a young medical lecturer who learns he has inherited his grandfather’s, Victor Frankenstein, estate. The young Dr. Frankenstein takes up his grandfather’s helm in creating his own monster. Spearheaded by the legendary Mel Brooks, the film is full of his iconic wit and humor, making it a fun watch for those of any age.

Halloween (1978)

Scare Rating: 4/5

Halloween is the movie that changed the slasher genre forever by introducing the now iconic Michael Myers and giving Jamie Lee Curtis her title of “Scream Queen.” The film follows Laurie Strode, who faces off with Meyers following his escape from imprisonment. As a slasher film, it’s important to note that it is more violent than the other films on this list. However, if your elderly loved one enjoys classic horror, they may enjoy this film too.

Watch these films with seniors

Spooky films

The films on this list are perfectly safe for those who want to get in the Halloween mood without worrying about frightening content.

Beetlejuice (1988)

Scare Rating: 2/5

As one of the films that launched famed director, Tim Burton, into stardom, Beetlejuice is a must-watch at Halloween. The film follows a ghost couple as they haunt the new owners of their home. When their attempts fall unsuccessful, they call upon Beetlejuice. This movie gets a two out of five due to a few strange and unnerving scenes. Otherwise, it shouldn’t be too alarming for even the most easily spooked seniors.

The Addams Family (1991)

Scare Rating: 1/5

Based on the television show with the same name, The Addams Family can be enjoyed with the whole family. The movie follows the titular family as they accept a new member of the family, Uncle Fester. There is a little bit of violence and some off-kilter humor, but nothing that isn’t to be expected from our favorite, spooky group.

Practical Magic (1998)

Scare Rating: 2/5

Though based in the springtime, Practical Magic is a fantastic watch around October. Two modern witches, who have mostly avoided their natural calling, are forced to use magic to cover their tracks. It’s a fun watch about familial bonds and is full of heart, but it does cover some sensitive topics and has a few disturbing scenes.

Horror films to watch with seniors

Horror films

While most of the above films are fairly easy for anyone to watch, these horror movies aren’t for the faint of heart. If your elderly loved one genuinely enjoys the horror genre, these films will most certainly give the two of you some chills.

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Scare Rating: 4/5

The Silence of the Lambs is the film that made Hannibal Lecter one of the most infamous villains in Hollywood. To solve a serial killer case, Clarice Starling recruits the help of Lecter, who worms his way into her head in more ways than one. It is a great film, but it is highly suspenseful with disturbing content that leaves viewers thinking of the film long after they walk away.

The Sixth Sense (1999)

Scare Rating: 3/5

Even if you haven’t seen The Sixth Sense, you know the iconic “I see dead people” line. The movie follows a young boy who is haunted by ghosts and can only speak of it to his child psychologist. With serious suspense and shocking twists, this is the film that made M. Night Shyamalan one of the most well-known directors of his time.

Hereditary (2018)

Scare Rating: 4/5

Widely recognized as one of the scariest films of the 21st century, Hereditary follows a family who is forced to undergo a series of horrific events upon the passing of their matriarch. The antagonists of this film actually end up being seniors, which might be interesting for your loved one to see older adults in a role other than “doting grandparent.”

Don’t let the prospect of care scare you

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by change when you realize your elderly loved one needs assistance to stay at home. Luckily, Home Care Powered by AUAF can help. For over 30 years our at-home caregivers have supported seniors and their families, and we’d be happy to support you too. For more information on our services, give us a call at 773-274-9262.

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