It’s that time of the year again! Everything has become automatically spooky. That’s right, Halloween. We all love the lead up to Halloween. Pumpkins, ghosts, and skeletons are all wonderful, but something to really look forward to is the movies.
Ah, Halloween movies. Something about eating the candy gathered from trick or treating and watching a feel good halloween film or getting friends together for a scary movie night makes October a special occasion. There’s definitely some must watch films to watch during this season. Let’s take a look at a few.
First up is essentially anything created by Halloween extraordinaire, Tim Burton. We are all familiar with the stop motion expert of the film industry, who seamlessly intertwines creepy aesthetics with lovable characters. A few that may stand out are Corpse Bride, and of course The Nightmare Before Christmas. The Corpse Bride (2005) is a personal favorite of mine, following the tale of soon to be wed Victor (Johnny Depp) and his run in with Emily (Helena Bonham Carter), a former bride to be that was killed by her so called “lover” so he could inherit her fortune. This is a lovely story, full of spooky scenery and fun musical numbers, not to mention an impeccable score composed by Danny Elfman. Currently, Corpse Bride holds a certified fresh rating of 83% on Rotten Tomatoes. I suggest you check it out.
Next up on the Burton list is the universally beloved The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993). This film is directed by Henry Selick but was produced and conceived by Tim Burton, who did the storyboarding and designed the concept art for the stop motion. The Nightmare Before Christmas follows Halloweentown’s pumpkin king, Jack Skellington, who is bored with the usual routine of scaring people, and ends up opening a portal to Christmastown. Here, he decides to try kidnap Santa Claus and take over his role, but things soon go awry. This movie also has a stellar soundtrack, including the popular tune “This is Halloween.” The Nightmare Before Christmas is a terrific film, good for both the Halloween and Christmas season. It currently holds a certified fresh rating of 94% on Rotten Tomatoes, both a critic and fan favorite.
Moving on from Tim Burton are some classic scary movies. Even if you aren’t a fan of scary movies, it is a must when the Halloween season comes around. Halloween (1978) stars original scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis as she is stalked by psychiatric hospital escapee Michael Myers (you know him as the guy with a white mask, navy blue jumpsuit, usually carrying a knife) on Halloween night. This movie is a classic, spawning seven sequels and providing common slasher tropes for horror movies to come. Although it was a fan favorite from the beginning, Halloween initially garnered negative reviews from critics. Eventually, critics began to praise the movie more, especially for its camera angles, lack of violence and gore, and simple music. Now, Halloween is considered one of the best movies of 1978, holding a certified fresh rating of 92%. Even if you don’t particularly love horror movies, Halloween is a must see.
High budget, critically acclaimed movies are all wonderful, but it would be a shame if everyone’s favorite Disney Channel original movie, Halloweentown, wasn’t included in this article. Halloweentown (1998) is a movie that everyone should see, and honestly it’s likely that most teenagers have. Halloweentown is a tradition, a staple in my Halloween festivities. This Disney Channel movie follows Marnie, her brother Dylan, and sister Sophie as they follow their grandmother into the magical Halloweentown, where broomsticks are used and potions are created. Although it seems like a dream, something evil is brewing in Halloweentown and Marnie and her family have to help defeat it. This movie is undeniably cheesy, but that just makes the movie even better. It’s a family friendly, cute Halloween flick that also spawned 3 sequels (I’d ignore the last one though), that is sure to brighten up your Halloween. If you haven’t already, catch this movie on Disney Channel this season to experience the whimsicalness that is Halloweentown.These are just a handful of movies the great holiday of Halloween has brought us. Whether you enjoy scary, light hearted, or a mix of the two, there is something out there for everyone. Enjoy this upcoming Halloween, and happy watching to everyone!