This archived article was written by: Nathan Pena
What better way to get ready for Halloween than to watch movies that bring in the spirit of the holiday? The movies listed here have been chosen from different sources that have both shown the factor of horror and the spirit of Halloween. This list has been separated between horror movies and those that represent the fun of Halloween.
Spirit of Halloween
(not-so scary movies)
Hocus Pocus (1993) – This is a traditional movie to watch with close friends or the whole family. After moving to Salem, Mass., teenager Max Dennison (Omri Katz) explores an abandoned house with his sister Dani (Thora Birch) and their new friend, Allison (Vinessa Shaw). After dismissing a story Allison tells as superstition, Max accidentally frees a coven of evil witches (Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy) who used to live in the house. Now, with the help of a magical cat, the kids must steal the witches’ book of spells to stop them from becoming immortal.
Although not getting enough praise from critics, giving the film a 30 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, the film has become a classic among audiences for its comedic scenes and the Halloween theme that circulates the whole movie.
Nightmare Before Christmas – A stop-motion film that is perfect for both Halloween and Christmas, Nightmare Before Christmas is a Tim Burton classic that has been praised by both critics and audiences (a ninety-four percent on Rotten Tomatoes) for its tantalizing story, eye-popping visual effects and entertaining music. The film focuses on Jack Skellington, who has become bored by the routine of scaring people. One day he accidentally discovers Christmastown, a complete opposite from his hometown. He decides to change things up a bit and sets to kidnap “Sandy Claws” and become the fabled image of Christmas. He soon realizes that there are some things that he cannot control.
Coraline- This film borders around the surreal and artistic, a perfect not-so scary Halloween film. After a bored and curious Coraline finds a secret door to a parallel universe where everything is perfect just for her, she soon realizes that not everything is what it seems to be in this parallel world and finally sees the sinister in this perfect imagination. This film will take you in as its out of world characters and weird “fairy-tail” story fully realizes the spirit of Halloween.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow – This Disney film tells the story of superstitious Ichabod Crane as he rides through a haunted forest, only to make contact with a certain horseman. This film is not exactly of the horror genre, but the terror you feel from its ominous setting meets the criteria for a perfect Halloween movie.
Never watch these movies alone
The Shining – A film adapted from the famous author of the Horror genre, Stephen King. The Shining is the story of Jack Torrance, a writer looking over an isolated hotel in Colorado for the winter with his wife Wendy and son Dany who has been having psychic visions. As the son’s visions worsen, Jack begins to discover the hotel’s dark and sinister past and he is brought into the threshold of insanity and terrorizes his family. It is not only capable of keeping you on the edge of your seats through its perfectly timed scares, but it leaves you scared to ever walk the hallways of a hotel alone ever again.
The Babadook – This psychological horror film will make you want to sleep with the lights on. The story revolves around a widow named Amelia who is trying to take care of her out-of-control six-year-old son Samuel. Samuel is plagued by dreams of a monster that he believes is going to kill the two. When a disturbing book aptly titled “The Babadook” appears in their doorstep, things spiral out of control as Samuel’s imagined monster becomes a reality. This is not a mainstream version of horror, but it’s value and critical acclaim from Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes as well as from the praise audience have given it is enough to consider this film as a perfect movie to watch on Halloween.
The Conjuring – The film sent waves and rekindled the interest of the infamous Anabelle Doll in mainstream media. After a family moves in to an old house, they begin to notice strange things happening to their family and to the house. When an almost tragic accident occurs, they call on the help of famous demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren to investigate. This well-paced film will make you wish your eyes were sewed shut throughout the movie. The Conjuring toys with the terror lingering in the audience’s minds and executes its frightening scenes with near-perfect direction.
Alien – A science fiction movie that recreates the feeling of fear and isolation is perfect for a Halloween movie night. Sigourney Weaver plays as Ripley as she battles alone against an extraterrestrial intruder inside her ship Nostromo. Alien recreates the feeling of isolation and the idea that the alien could be anywhere, even in the darkest corners. A perfect Halloween movie to keep your lights on for the remainder of the night.