Tis the season to be scary, or at least nostalgic. The month of October is here and with it comes weeks of preparation for the one holiday where everyone can be a kid again playing dress-up and make-believe. Halloween is only a few days away and the costumes have been bought, the houses and yards have been decorated with cobwebs, ghosts and witches, and the cupboards have been stocked with candy. The real question is, have the movies been assembled? Whether you’re into fright or funny, scary or sweet, here’s a list of ten classic Halloween films to have ready for a holiday movie night that are sure to bring back all the childhood feels.
- Corpse Bride:
Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride tells the delightfully frightful and heartwarming story of a young man named Victor (Johnny Depp) who, just days before his arranged marriage, accidentally marries a corpse bride (Helena Bonham Carter) while practicing his vows in a dark forest. The two become friends and teach each other the importance of love, forgiveness and what it means to live in a world of harsh expectations. The lines between the living and the dead are blurred in this Halloween classic complete with musical skeletons, dance numbers with the dead, creepy villains and corpses for heroes. This film is a must-have at any scary movie night.
- Hocus Pocus:
Disney Channel watchers everywhere will remember the Halloween movie countdown where Kenny Ortega’s Hocus Pocus was a regular feature. Starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy as three very devious witches, Hocus Pocus both scares and comically entertains as a boy named Max (Omri Katz), his sister Danny (Thora Birch) and new-found friends Allison (Vinessa Shaw) and a cat who used to be a man race against time to stop the three witches from becoming immortal by stealing their book of spells. Bring the magic of tricks, treats and sibling love to your Halloween with Hocus Pocus.
Hocus Pocus is not the only Disney Channel classic in the bunch. Whether it’s the first, second, third or fourth, no Halloween is quite complete without Duwayne Dunham’s beloved Halloweentown. After discovering the “be-witching” powers her family possesses, Marnie Piper (Kimberly J. Brown) sets out on an adventure with her grandma Aggie (Debbie Reynolds) and two siblings to save a town home to all sorts of supernatural creatures. The magic of family, believing in yourself and having a little too much fun with uncontrolled magic are just a few of this film’s features that make it a favorite among avid Halloween fans.
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone:
It’s the story that started it all. Boys and girls running around in Gryffindor robes waving their wands shouting, “Wingardium Leviosa!” Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, based off the beloved book by J.K. Rowling, follows the adventures of Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliff) and his two best friends (Emma Watson and Rupert Grint) during their first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry as the three magical children attempt to save the school from a dreaded and well-feared wizard by the name of Lord Voldemort. Ghosts, trolls and three-headed dogs, oh my! Not to mention dragons and talking hats. Harry Potter is one of the most spell-binding Halloween movies of the early 2000s and continues to unlock the magic inside the hearts of children and adults alike. “Alohomora.”
- The Addams Family:
Barry Sonnenfel’s completely bazar and totally ridiculous film starring Anjelica Huston and Raul Julia gives viewers a taste of a loveably creepy family dynamic where there’s always love and never a dull moment. The Adams Family appears to have stepped right out of Halloweentown and into a stereotypical suburban neighborhood. While this unusual family may stick out like a sore thumb and make viewers questions whether or not they are actually human, they stuck like glue on the list of timeless classic Halloween films as much as their theme song stuck in the heads of 90s kids everywhere.
- The Nightmare Before Christmas:
A movie that doubles as both a Halloween and Christmas classic is a must have for any occasion. Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas gets audiences laughing with delight and screaming in fear as Jack Skellington (Danny Elfman) seeks to bring Christmas to his world of Halloween. When Jack’s plan starts to fall apart, he must seek the help of his fellow Halloween inhabitants to take down the Oogie Boogie before he destroys both the world of Christmas and Halloween forever.
- The Little Vampire:
After moving to Scotland with his parents, Tony (Jonathan Lipnicki) struggles to make friends at his new school until he meets a young vampire named Rudolf. Rudolf and Jack quickly become best friends, but when Rudolf’s vampire race is threatened by a ruthless vampire hunter, Tony must find the courage to embrace his inner vampire to save the life of his friend and the vampire race. This is heartwarming and mystical tale of a friendship that transcends worlds is the best treat for any Halloween bag this year and is sure to tell a better love story than Twilight.
Brad Silberling’s Casper, tells the story of a friendly ghost (Malachi Pearson) who haunts an abandoned mansion in Maine and befriends Kat, the daughter (Christina Ricci) of a widower (Bill Pullman) who moves into the mansion hoping it will bring him closer to contacting his deceased wife. While part of the film centers around Casper and Kat’s budding relationship, the other part focuses on the damaged relationship between Kat and her father. While Casper takes viewers on a fun and hilarious ride of ghostly antics, it also teaches about the importance of family and the power of love to reach across the limits of death.
Tim Burton is the king of all things creepy and bazar with yet another film making the list for Halloween classics. Beetlejuice is a film unlike any of its kind, with tricks and treats at every twist and turn. When Barbara (Geena Davis) and husband Adam Maitland die in a tragic car accident, they find themselves stuck haunting their country home, unable to leave. When new residents move into the house, Barbara and Adam hire Beetlejuice, a wild and unpredictable spirit, to help them “scare away” the new residents. Things soon get out of hand as Beetlejuice takes Barbara, Adam, and viewers on a rambunctious ride with his crazy shenanigans.
- Scooby Doo:
It’s not Halloween without the world’s favorite mystery team. Based off the classic cartoons, Raja Gosnell’s live action Scooby Doo movie released in 2002 and has since aired on every ABC Family Halloween movie countdown without fail. Starring Matthew Lillard, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Freddie Prinze Jr. and Linda Cardellini, four best friends and their trustee pup must once again come together to solve a mystery, this time, conveniently enough, on Spooky Island.