Halloween is one week away and today we are looking at our favorites picks for a movie session - we have everything from classic horror to comedy!
As most of our lists, this is not in any particular order of preference. Just find something you like and give it a chance!
The movie didn’t have an outstanding critical reception at the time, nor did it find a cult audience years later, but you can easily find voices of people who will tell you this is a perfect movie. And it’s easy to understand why - we follow the story of two inexperienced witches learning and understanding their powers in order to find true love. Sounds silly when you say it, but it’s that levity that keeps you invested. Both Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock have amazing chemistry onscreen, and their discoveries are always a joy to watch. If you missed it, now is the time to give it a shot.
Despite being absolutely insane, there is a charm to Hocus Pocus that few movies manage to have. If you see it now, maybe you won’t get it, but to the millions who saw this movie as a kid on Halloween, watching it now is like entering a time machine to another time. Say what you will about it holding up today or not, but a movie loved by so many - even if for the sake of nostalgia - is worth checking out.
Supposedly, there is a remake on the works… sort of. Nothing concrete yet, but would we really be surprised Hollywood would do such a thing?
The Nightmare Before Christmas
A true Halloween classic for the ages, and almost a Christmas classic at the same time. Tim Burton’s unique art style combined with stop-motion, memorable songs, and unforgettable characters makes this one of Halloween’s most beloved classics - and with good reason.
Despite popular belief, Tim Burton did not direct The Nightmare Before Christmas - it was directed by Henry Selick. It was only based on Burton’s story and characters. Also, points to Burton for refusing to make the sequel Disney wanted. Kudos, Mr. Burton.
By now a cult classic, Donnie Darko rips off all the David Lynch, but manages to deliver an interesting story involving many complex themes that go from time travel to the illusion of choice. It can be more confusing than it should at times, but it’s weird original charm is still there - not to mention the always energetic presence of Jake Gyllenhaal, who’s one of the best actors of his generation.
The Tears for Fears “Mad World” cover by Michael Andrews became a hit and it’s celebrated to this day - it has almost 40 million plays on Spotify, and it was recently featured in an episode from Netflix’s Sense8.
The Addams Family
Addams Family’s particular humor was a very refreshing take on comedy, especially because it managed to have jokes about murder every five minutes and somehow still be a light hearted movie that despite the dark imagery, managed to stay kid friendly without insulting adults. Also, it’s worth it just for Wednesday’s quotes, Christina Ricci’s character.
Years after The Nightmare Before Christmas, Tim Burton brings his artwork back to stop-motion in yet another beautifully dark addition to his creepy movies for children. Corpse Bride is even better animated than The Nightmare Before Christmas and offers a dark story both children and adults can enjoy.
Interview With The Vampire
Adapted from the novel by Anne Rice, this is a different kind of vampire tale, where instead of dark dungeons, coffins and animalistic attacks, these vampires are intellectual, charming, beautiful and almost theatrical - but deadly nevertheless. It’s a beautiful gothic tale that later inspired a new generation of vampire stories - yes, including that one.
Easily one of my favorite Tim Burton movies (right before “Ed Wood”), Sleepy Hollow takes everything we loved about his style and condenses it in a story that was made for him. The dark foreboding atmosphere is here, but so is the levity and humor, making this a pleasant combination of horror and comedy in the most perfect balance. And it has CHRISTOPHER WALKEN AS THE HEADLESS HORSEMAN. Need I say more?
Horror of Dracula
There were so many great incarnations of this beloved story that it’s hard to pick just one. For this list, we went with Horror of Dracula, starring Christopher Lee. It’s basically an abridged version of the classic story everyone knows with a few twists and turns, but despite its simplicity, it’s competent all around. Christopher Lee demands a strong mystical presence as Dracula and Peter Cushing as Van Helsing is a serious and likeable protagonist.
Dark, funny, and by now, classic. Beetlejuice was a welcome addition to comedy, by giving the world a twisted and downright dislikeable character, but somehow with enough charm to slip through, just enough for him not to be unbearable. The dinner scene, despite not featuring said character, is one of the funniest scenes in comedy, and the insane turns it takes near the end proves why everybody loved this weird mix of comedy and horror - you will see no other comedy like it.
Death Becomes Her
Like most Robert Zemeckis movies, Death Becomes Her has some incredible practical effects that hold up amazingly well to this day, and best of all, they’re not just flashy CGI stuff jumping on the screen, they are actually well-made combinations of props and CGI that not only still look great, but organically fit on the movie’s narrative. At the time not many people liked the dark humor, but it has a legion of fans, some willing to call it one of the greatest movies ever made.
Death Becomes Her won the Academy Award for Best Special Effects in 1992.
If you're not up for monsters, ghosts, serial killers, or ghouls, but still love a dark and oppressing atmosphere, you should try visiting the rainy world of Blade Runner. While not traditionally something you'd pick for Halloween, this sci-fi thriller is undeniably creepy, and it makes for a great "out of the box" choice for a Halloween late night session.
Originally the producers hated Blade Runner and asked the director to cut down a lot of scenes, change the ending to a happy one, and add narration to explain slower scenes. A few years ago, the approved director's cut was released, featuring the darker, longer and much more subtle intended version.
Adapted from the Neil Gaiman novella, Coraline is all kinds of creepy as far as kid’s stories go. A young girl finds an alternate version of her home that is, well, not normal. At first, this other world seems to have advantages, but she soon realizes there is something wrong about it all. Kids should have fun with the amazing visuals, and maybe get a little terrified at the imagery, but that’s what the adults are for.
Coraline was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film of the Year in 2010. It was directed by Henry Selick, famous for directing The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Did we miss any of your favorite Halloween movies? Let us know in the comments! And be sure to share this article and follow us on Facebook for more awesome articles every week!