Some of us just don’t do horror movies.
You can have your “Exorcists” and your “Shinings,” your “Its” and your “Screams.” Those of us with slightly less-robust constitutions prefer our scary movies without so much, well, scare.
So what are we supposed to watch at Halloween? "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown"?
Well, here are a holiday-befitting 13 films, in alphabetical order, to get you in the Halloween mood without risking too many night terrors:
1. “Fright Night” (1985, rated R)
The original 1985 version is a classic, offering suspense, genuine scares and plenty of understated humor. Be warned that there’s also a fair amount of gore — hence the R rating — but overall it’s a fun, mildly scary horror flick. The film was remade in 2011, starring Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell and Toni Collette.
2. “Hocus Pocus” (1993, rated PG
Arguably the greatest family-friendly Halloween movie out there. This Walt Disney film stars Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy as the Sanderson sisters, witches who were executed 300 years earlier and come back to life thanks to a virgin who lights a candle.
3. “The Ghost and Mr. Chicken” (1966, rated G)
Don Knots was nothing less than comedic gold. And he was never better than in this silly tale of an aspiring journalist for a small-town newspaper who gets his big break when the editor assigns him to spend the night in a haunted house. Think Barney Fife with a reporter’s notebook.
4. “Ghostbusters” (1984, rated PG)
The original ghost-hunting team leads us on a fun and funny romp through the world of spirits and ectoplasmic slime. It stars Bill Murray, Dan Akroyd, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver and Rick Moranis. The film was remade in 2016 with actors Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones.
5. “Little Shop of Horrors” (1986, rated PG-13)
For Broadway lovers who like their musicals, this is the Halloween offering for you. It stars Rick Moranis as a nerdy florist who discovers an alien plant with a taste for human flesh. Ellen Greene stars as his love interest, and the film includes cameos by Bill Murray, Steve Martin and John Candy.
6. “The Lost Boys” (1987, rated R)
When a family moves to a beachside town, the two brothers discover that it’s a hotbed of vampire activity. Another mildly frightening film, with plenty of comedy thrown in. It stars Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Dianne Wiest and Kiefer Sutherland, but it’s the vampire-hunting Frog brothers — played by Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander — who basically steal the show.
7. “Practical Magic” (1998, rated PG-13)
It’s Halloween night. You want to watch a scary movie, but your significant other would prefer a love story. What do you do? Check out this endearing little film starring Sanda Bullock and Nicole Kidman as two witches looking for love in all the wrong places.
8. “Salem’s Lot” (1979, rated PG)
This made-for-TV series is probably the scariest of all the offerings here — the only one that might make you sleep with the lights on a night or two. It stars David Soul (yes, David Soul) as a novelist who returns to his childhood home in New England, only to discover it’s got a vampire problem. James Mason is significantly creepy as the vampire’s caretaker.
And bonus: Utah native and B-movie actress Marie Windsor also appears in the film.
9. “Shaun of the Dead” (2004, rated R)
The laughs come even harder and faster than the gore in this film starring Simon Pegg as a man whose boring life is suddenly disrupted by the zombie apocalypse. It’s about as funny as zombie movies come.
10. “Something Wicked This Way Comes” (1983, rated PG)
A wonderful, atmospheric, unsettling film about an evil carnival that comes to town to prey on the hopes and dreams of its residents. Based on the Ray Bradbury novel, the movie stars Jason Robards and Jonathan Pryce.
11. “Tremors” (1990, rated PG-13)
Bloodthirsty worm-like creatures that live underground are gradually killing the residents of a small town in this horror comedy. Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward star as two locals intent on stopping the carnage. The classic Michael Gross line alone — after he and his Second Amendment-loving wife, played by Reba McEntire, unload an entire arsenal of weapons into one of the creatures — makes the film worth watching.
12. “Young Frankenstein” (1974, rated PG)
Gene Wilder plays the grandson of the infamous mad scientist in this classic Mel Brooks comedy, shot entirely in black-and-white. The film also stars Madeline Kahn, Marty Feldman, Teri Garr, Peter Boyle and Cloris Leachman. Ix-nay on the otten-ray!
13. “Zombieland” (2009, rated R)
Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg are hilarious in this sendup of the zombie apocalypse. Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin aren’t bad, either. And the scene with Bill Murray is absolutely priceless. Plus which, with the sequel “Zombieland: Double Tap” now in theaters, it’s a good time to revisit the original film.