As we inch closer and closer to Halloween, we all start to watch Halloween-themed movies. Hell, Freeform even has 31 Nights of Halloween for the whole month of October! In my family, we like to have a big Halloween party (at least for the last couple of years). And it’s usually in conjunction with my birthday, which falls on October 20th. By now, my cousins and I have all outgrown trick-or-treating, so we’re all usually free around Halloween. If not on Halloween night.
Lately, I’ve noticed that I’ve never actually watched a Halloween movie on Halloween. The same goes for Christmas movies on Christmas day. But I’ll get to that in a future post. Instead, we watch those movies in the weeks leading up to the holiday. On the actual day, I’ve found that we’re preoccupied with other things. For Halloween, we’re usually eating dinner, showing off our costumes (or lack thereof), or carving pumpkins. Last year, we had a great party. And hopefully, you can tell from the picture above. If it isn’t already obvious, I’m the Clark Kent/Superman in the picture.
Family traditions aside, it got me thinking: what are my favorite Halloween movies? And do I have enough to compile into a list for this very blog post? When I started writing this post a month ago, the answer was no. But with the help of the internet, I do now. So enjoy!
1. E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (1982)
E.T., A classic movie altogether, not just for Halloween. It may have come before my time but luckily for me, I took a film class in high school. The class was all about instrumental scores so we got to watch this movie. It’s a classic Steven Spielberg movie and I’d always at least heard of the movie. Even before I watched it. And the movie came out more than ten years before I was born. That aside, it’s about Elliott befriending a friendly alien. Then, he and his siblings help try to get him back to his home planet. And fun fact, it’s the first movie that promoted products in the movie. Namely, Reese’s Pieces and Coca-Cola. So check it out if you haven’t already!
2. Maleficent (2014)
This is probably my favorite live-action Disney movie to date. It’s basically a retelling of Sleeping Beauty from Maleficent’s point of view. Who, if you didn’t already know, is the villain in the original story. It’s a little dark with a really great score that I still go back to listen to now and then. But then again, I’m the type of person that likes listening to instrumental scores. Especially when I’m studying, but maybe that’s just a me-thing. It twists the story into one where Maleficent wants to fix her mistake after getting to know Anastasia.
3. Twitches (2005) AND Twitches Too (2007)
Then, there are Twitches and its sequel, Twitches Too. I legitimately grew up on these movies and remember them so clearly. They’re just really sweet Disney original movies, which I grew up loving. Plus, the first movie came out right before my birthday, so that’s pretty memorable. Basically, the movies are about two teen witches AKA “Twitches”, hence the name of the mini-franchise. They’re separated at birth but meet on their 21st birthday, which just so happens to be Halloween. Then, they must fight “the darkness”, which is like this dark entity in the first movie. That is until they discover that there’s someone behind it all. As I watched these movies as an adult, I’ve found they still hold up. For the most part. So if you haven’t yet watched it, do yourself a favor and watch it this Halloween season!
4. Ghostbusters: Answer the Call (2016)
I know the classic Ghostbusters films are the preferred ones by hardcore fans but hear me out. The original movies were a little before my time, therefore meaning that I never grew up watching them. But for some reason, I knew they existed. Probably because of the infamous song that would play on the radio. But that aside, in this newer rendition of the franchise, they’re all women. But similarly, they all work together to figure out what that these so-called aberrations are. Plus, they’re all trying to prove that ghosts really exist. And these are all SNL women, Melissa McCarthy, and Chris Hemsworth, so you know it’s funny.
5. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Do I even need to justify this one? I may have only seen this movie a few times but the soundtrack is iconic. “This is Halloween” is my go-to Halloween-themed song for the season. And the score is by the incredibly talented, Danny Elfman, who’s brilliant. Even if it’s been a while since I’ve actually seen the movie, it’s a classic.
6. Coraline (2009)
Ahh Coraline, another classic. It’s just a really sweet movie that works for younger and older audiences. In the movie, Coraline, the main character, discovers an alternate universe. It seems ideal at first but she quickly discovers it has its own suspicious secrets.
7. A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
Now, this is going to be the only scary horror movie on this list. And I know Halloween is basically the prime season for horror movies and I can understand that. But I’m also a huge scaredy-cat in all honesty. I’ve gotten better at it over the years but I think A Nightmare on Elm Street was the first horror movie that I actually watched. It’s about the infamous Freddy Krueger coming back to haunt these teenagers in their dreams because their parents murdered him. It’s the remake or retelling of the original. So it’s probably not as scary. But in all honesty, I haven’t seen the original. Because again, I’m a complete scaredy-cat. But this remake was definitely the perfect movie to ease me into the horror genre.
8. Return to Halloweentown (2006)
Before I get into this one, just know that all of the movies from the Halloweentown franchise are great. And I definitely recommend watching the other movies before it). But the last one’s definitely the one I remember the most. Probably because they changed the main actress. But I personally don’t mind because it’s Sara Paxton. But it also makes sense because Marnie’s supposed to be a little older in this movie. I mean, Marnie and Dylan (her brother) are going to a witch college, or Halloweentown University. There, Marnie learns more about her grandmother, played by the late and great Debbie Reynolds. More importantly, she discovers there’s a mysterious prophecy all her teachers want Marnie to fulfill.
9. Boo! A Madea Halloween (2016)
I don’t know about any of you, but I love a good Madea movie. Most of them anyway. They’re not the best movies ever but they’re still really enjoyable to watch. But the Halloween one is great. Perhaps a little predictable but funny nonetheless. The official poster makes the film look scarier than it actually is, as does the official synopsis via IMDB. But the story’s really about Madea looking after some teenagers, specifically her niece and her best friend. But they end up sneaking out to go to a party. So, obviously, Madea goes to find them at the party.
10. Hotel Transylvania (2012)
This movie’s gotten so popular that it’s gotten multiple sequels and a TV show now. But Hotel Transylvania is honestly just a cute and quirky kids movie. It centers around Dracula, who owns a hotel full of creatures as his guests and staff members. The first one is about a human stumbling upon the hotel and falling for Mavis, Dracula’s daughter. But if you really think about it, it’s almost like a kid-friendly version of Twilight. Except it’s cute and funny instead of angsty and dreary. Regardless, it’s still an enjoyable movie for kids and adults to watch together for Halloween.
And that is a list of my favorite Halloween movies. I know there’s a bunch I didn’t mention but I also haven’t watched many in all honesty. So what’s your favorite Halloween movie? And what traditions does your family have for the holiday? Let me know all about it in the comments!