Need to get into the Halloween spirit? What better way than to watch some Halloween-themed movies? If you’re not into horror films, don’t worry. There are certainly some “scary” movies that don’t quite live up to their genre. From children’s classics to the newer thrillers, here’s a list of movies that will make you forget this past summer and dive headfirst into spooky season.
The first movie (a must-watch, in my opinion) is “Halloween.” Obviously, the next 13 sequels and remakes are optional, because nothing can beat the original. Though it lacks that true spine-chilling energy that most horror movies today have, “Halloween” is all about reliving a classic movie and set of characters. For those of you who haven’t seen it, the film revolves around Michael Myers, who killed his sister when he was just six years old. Years later, he escapes the mental facility he was placed in and terrorizes the protagonist, Laurie. It’s a great slasher film that takes place on the night of Halloween itself, so it’s perfect for an Oct. 31 watch party.
The next movie is also a classic, which also has a new sequel (it recently became available on Sept. 30 on Disney+ only!). “Hocus Pocus” is a more playful idea of a scary movie, appropriate for kids and revolving around three witches seeking eternal youth. It is up to the main characters, Max, his love interest Allison and his sister Dani to stop the witches from stealing childrens’ souls to become immortal. It features a star studded cast, with headliners such as Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker. The movie itself has amazing music and a gripping plot that anyone, whether a kid or an adult, can enjoy.
Anyone who has seen a Tim Burton movie knows the man does Halloween right. With so many movies to choose from, I went with “Corpse Bride,” the gothic claymation romance. There are barely any Halloween movies about love and passion such as this. Victor, the main protagonist, is betrothed to Victoria. In the process of preparing for the wedding, Victor is taken to the land of the dead by Emily, who was murdered following her wedding and intends to marry Victor. With familiar voices done by Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, “Corpse Bride” is extremely well done and will draw in any watcher with a spooky atmosphere and ghostly music.
“Scream” is another Halloween classic. Depicting a perfect slasher-comedy, “Scream” takes the classic ideology of a horror movie and puts a hilarious, and yet ultimately scary, spin on it. Ghostface, who has become an icon during the Halloween season, returns a year after Sidney Prescott’s mother is murdered, only to attack Sidney and her friends. The girl herself must figure out who the killer is behind the mask, all while dealing with their morbid sense of humor. It’s a great movie to watch with a group of friends, especially if you’ve seen the traditional costume and never watched the film itself.
For a more serious horror movie, I recommend watching” The Blair Witch Project.” This movie is filmed as found footage, as three students attempt to record a documentary about the Blair Witch, a local legend. The movie begins fairly tame, but as it progresses, the viewer watches the three main characters get terrifyingly lost in the woods. Their camping becomes even more horrifying when they begin hearing noises in the middle of the night, finding odd rock and branch structures outside their camp, and eventually losing one of their own. I would suggest watching this with friends and looking up an explanation of the ending if you don’t quite understand it, because it will certainly keep you from sleeping that night.
Returning back to more pleasant movies, almost everyone I know has seen “Halloweentown” when they were young. On her thirteenth birthday, Marnie discovers that she is a witch and is taken to Halloweentown, where her grandmother (also a witch) lives. The town is an entirely different world, filled with supernatural characters. Marnie and her two siblings, Dylan and Sophie, must save the town of monsters from the evil that could forever destroy Halloweentown. It’s always fun to relive those memories of Halloween as a child, from costume ideas to trick or treating. “Halloweentown” allows us to be transported to a simpler time, one where CGI was clearly not used on Disney Channel.
Finally, I decided to include one of the most terrifying movies I’ve ever seen, “Annabelle: Creation.” This film is technically the sequel to “Annabelle,” and came out three years after the first movie. However, the story told is a prequel, so it can be watched as a stand-alone. Halloween offers plenty of creatures to be afraid of, but a haunted doll is definitely high on the list. This film chronicles the story of a doll created by the Mullin family, whose daughter Annabelle was killed in a car accident at seven years old. After twelve years, the married couple welcomes six orphans and a nun to their farmhouse after the closing of their orphanage. One of the girls, Janice, is lured to a room in the house, though she was told it was strictly off-limits, and discovers Annabelle. In releasing her, Janice does not realize she has released a powerful and terrifying demon possessing the porcelain doll. Make sure you don’t watch this movie alone, and maybe keep the lights on. Trust me.
With October just beginning and fall break next week, there’s no better way to pass the time than with a movie marathon! Whether you like scary or silly, there are plenty of Halloween films for you. Just make sure to stock up on candy before binging.