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Only 6 more days until Halloween! I swear we’ve been ready since Labor Day. If you missed Monday’s post where I shared the (mostly) final reveal of our Halloween decorating, check it out here. Clearly, we’ve got the Halloween spirit going on but if you’re lagging behind this year here is a list of 15 Halloween movies to jumpstart your Hallow-mood. ME-OW.
Halloween Movies You Must Watch This Year
Movies for the Entire Family
When Aislynn was about 2 years old, we watched Hocus Pocus one night. Little did I know that we would watch that movie about 800 more times before it was out of her system. It is a cute movie and it’s been a few years since we’ve seen it so I might actually rent it for us to watch this week. Our copy of the DVD mysteriously disappeared…..
Alex was a child of the 90’s and in the 90’s, Disney movies were the thing to watch. One of the Halloween movies we had to watch every. single. year. was Halloweentown. Yes, it’s cheesy. Yes, it’s predictable. But it’s fun to watch and it was our tradition. This year it’s a little bittersweet as well with the passing of Debbie Reynolds late last year.
Nightmare Before Christmas
It’s a toss-up as to what Alex’s favorite movie is but it’s a sure thing that the Nightmare Before Christmas is near the top of the list. Merch? Check? Special edition DVD? Check. Begged me a few weeks ago to drop $300 on the Jack Skellington display from Spirit Halloween. Check. And denied BTW. Are you kidding me?
Harry Potter. All of them. In a row.
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Ok, yeah. I get that these aren’t technically Halloween movies. But when Alex was growing up, Harry Potter was our thing. It’s still our thing even though the last movie was released in 2011 and the last book (well, a real book, because I just can’t count the Cursed Child) was released in 2007. Holy crap, that’s ten years ago. We did all the midnight movie premieres and midnight book sales. And we still try to have a marathon of the movies every year. #Always.
In the not so distant past, there was no social media. Hell, we didn’t even have cell phones. Let that sink in for a minute. I’ll wait. *waits kinda impatiently* We still had movies though even if we didn’t have all the fancy CGI stuff that we have today. Movies like Beetlejuice hold up because they’re good movies. And for the times, the effects were pretty good. And the fact that it’s a Tim Burton classic doesn’t hurt either.
Movies for Older Kids
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
This is definitely not one of those movies you should let younger kids watch. Even though it’s a cult classic, some of the themes are too adult for the little ones. Our local drive-in would have a double-feature of Rocky Horror and Grease on the last weekend of the season. Once Alex was old enough we’d go every year. Even though it meant I’d have to hear “it’s just a jump to the left” every day for the next three months. #momminglikeaboss
Poltergeist (the original)
Snow on a TV screen is like a dial tone on a phone. Kids today will likely never experience either. Back in the days before everything was digital, a snowy TV would likely prompt the phrase “They’re Heeeeere”. Poltergeist is one of those movies that sticks with you after you’re done watching it. Maybe because it’s all too easy to imagine a world where a greedy developer builds over a cemetery. Maybe because we all wonder what happens after we die. In any case, this is one you should add to your list. Note that I said the original, not the remake.
Well, duh. Of course this makes it on my list for Halloween movies. But really. Slasher flicks will come and go but the original Halloween takes its place among the top of the genre. Halloween has it all – hormonal teenagers, a lunatic with some impressive knife skills, suspense and “yep, I saw that coming” moments. And plenty of gore if that’s your thing. And you know, Friday the 13th came after Halloween in an attempt to ride on its coattails. So pay some homage to one that did it first.
On the surface, Scream seems to be mocking those slasher films that came before it while at the same time reinventing the game. Scream has the usual components of a good horror movie – teenagers, a masked villain, the proverbial knife and just the right amount of suspense and gore. And even all these years later the sight of the frozen scream mask will have you looking over your shoulder to see what might lurk there.
I’m a huge Stephen King fan. The first book I read was Pet Semetary and was ever after a “constant reader”. The Shining is based on King’s novel of the same name. “Here’s Johnny” takes on new meaning when it’s maniacally uttered by Jack Nicholson as he’s just axed his way through a door. The deserted Overlook hotel has a lot more than spiderwebs and dust going on. Will “The Shining” be enough to save them though?
I honestly don’t even know why I included this one on the list other than it’s a really scary movie. I personally have only watched about 10 minutes of it because even the thought of this movie will keep me up at night. I once had a nightmare about it after seeing the DVD cover at the movie rental place. So yeah. “I want to play a game”. Well, good for you, pal. I don’t. I don’t want to play a game at all. I want to sleep with the lights on now.
I have always thought Freddy Krueger was the most evil of all the horror movie villains. The nature of his crimes that got him dead for one but also the insidious way he could creep into dreams and do harm. I think we’ve all had those nightmares where you can feel the panic because you don’t think you can wake up. Bring that to life and make a movie about it. That’s Nightmare on Elm Street. It also happens to be Johnny Depp’s first acting role. Awww. But his death in the movie? Yuck.
The Blair Witch Project
Ah, remember when we all thought the Blair Witch Project was a true documentary? Those were the early days of the ‘net back when we truly believed that it must be true if it was on the Internet. A brilliant marketing campaign was the foundation of our belief. The filmmakers went all out to make us suspend disbelief for just a moment. Doesn’t matter. The movie is still creepy as hell. Although the jerky movements of the camera gave me a headache for real.
The Silence of the Lambs
Talk about leaving the best for last. The Silence of the Lambs is the most terrifying movie ever made. Not because of the gore, because there wasn’t really any. The pure psychological terror impressed upon us by Anthony Hopkins’ Dr. Hannibal Lecter more than made up for the lack of any knife-wielding madmen. “Are the lambs still screaming, Clarice?” Maybe not, but I’m pretty damn close to it myself.
I hope you enjoyed this list of Halloween movies! There’s one weekend left before Halloween so why not put on your comfy clothes and haul in a bunch of junk food for a movie marathon?
If you’ve missed any of the other Halloween posts, check them out here:
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