As the leaves begin to change, there’s a crispness in the air — Starbucks has its pumpkin items back, and all the fall candles are lit, letting us know that fall is among us. Well actually, as soon as it hits September 1st, it’s Fall in my book, which means it’s Halloween which means Halloween movies. Now I don’t mess around when it comes to Halloween movies and there are ESSENTIAL movies that must be watched every year in order to truly celebrate the spooky season. Here are my five essential Halloween movies that are a must for everyone:
1.The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
The Nightmare Before Christmas is by far my favorite Halloween movie. And yes, this is a HALLOWEEN movie, not a Christmas one. If you watch this as a Christmas movie, that’s just scary. This is the appetizer for the holiday season. The Nightmare Before Christmas follows Jack Skellington; the king of Halloween town, who is bored with his life of Halloween and then discovers Christmas Town. He tries to take over Christmas but it doesn’t go so well. The art/claymation in this film is so amazing and has all the dark spooky vibes that are necessary for the Halloween season. Not to mention that it also has an incredible soundtrack that contains all bops.
2. Hocus Pocus (1993)
I guess 1993 was a popping year for iconic Halloween movies? Hocus Pocus is another classic. It is set in Salem, Massachusetts which is the spookiest place ever, so it has a great Halloween aesthetic throughout the movie. Hocus Pocus is centered around the iconic Sanderson sisters, who are a trio of witches that died and then are resurrected in the present day. Oh, they also like eating children! Gotta stay young somehow. This movie has a great mix of spooky/halloween vibes while also being funny/wholesome. Plus, there is a new one coming out September 30th so you can now have a double feature!
3. Halloween (1978)
As you can probably already tell from this list, I’m not a big scary movie fan. However, I guess if you’re doing a Halloween movie list, you HAVE to include a scary movie. So for me it’s going to be the original Halloween movie. It is set on Halloween, which I mean can it get more Halloween then that? This movie is about Michael Meyers who was in a mental hospital for killing his sister when he was younger. Years later he escapes and follows/kills a teenager and her friends while also being tracked down by his psychiatrist. This is a classic, and that’s pretty much the main reason it’s here. It’s got your suspenseful music, it’s got your jump scares, your murder and, this might just be me, but at points it’s lowkey funny? Maybe? Overall a classic and iconic movie. Perfect for people who want a scary movie for Halloween but aren’t the biggest fans of scary.
4. It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown (1966)
Now I understand this is basically on the other spectrum of Halloween movies from my last pick, but hear me out. This is a family favorite and the cutest 25 minutes ever. It’s super short which is perfect if you don’t have a lot of time but still want to watch something to get you into the spirit. This Halloween special follows the Peanuts gang celebrating Halloween and Linus trying to convince everyone of the Great Pumpkins existence. It’s nostalgic, funny and a great movie to watch with your family. Also it has iconic quotes like, “There are three things I’ve learned never to discuss with people: religion, politics and the Great Pumpkin.”
5. Beetlejuice (1988)
As I come to the last movie on the list, I am just now realizing that I have no movies that were released in any part of the 2000s…I guess they just don’t make Halloween movies like they used to. Once again I have another Tim Burton movie because he is truly the king of Halloween. Beetlejuice is a hilariously funny movie that follows a couple who have recently died. They are now ghosts haunting their old house and call the obnoxious and hilarious ghost Beetlejuice to scare away the new owners. This is a very fun watch and is perfect for people who want to get into the spirit, but maybe aren’t wanting a movie that screams HALLOWEEN. (Although who wouldn’t want a movie that screams Halloween?)
So now that you have a list, go get your cup of tea, your cozy halloween blanket and have yourself a movie marathon. Well, at least that’s what I’m going to do now.
Allie Richter is a Sophomore Psychology major who lines up early to make sure the first Pumpkin Spice Latte is theirs. They can be reached at [email protected].