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Halloween is the holiday dedicated to everything that can creep, crawl, jump and generally scare us. As such its only right that the films viewed on the occasion represents its traditions.
Although it’s true that Halloween films should involve the disturbing, mysterious and dark it can be argued that many take it to an extreme and uncomfortable area.
With the popularity of horror films in contemporary times there’s no questioning that a lot of people like to jump, shake and scream at a good horror film.
Nonetheless there’s the few of us that don’t want to watch these psychological gore-fests. Be this because of age, kids or just a general dislike for the horror genre.
So if you’re looking for a nice film to snuggle up to this Halloween that won’t jump in your face and give you nightmares then you’re in the right place!
With our combined film knowledge we’ve pulled together a list of must-see films for the spooky night. So sit down, relax and enjoy these masterpieces in cinema. In no particular order…
Let’s start of light shall we? This lesser known Disney film depicts a family in which Halloween is firmly forbidden, much to the children’s dismay.
So what do they do? Run away with their Halloween loving grandma of course! Turns out she’s actually a witch from Halloweentown, an area perpetually in a state of spookiness.
Halloweentown is a surprisingly good film with fun for all the family. If you want to marathon something, it has 3 sequels!
This movie is considered to be one of the greatest works of acclaimed director, Tim Burton.
This funny, creepy yet bittersweet tale stars a socially awkward man who himself seems like the perfect fit as a slasher villain. Although, Edward is in fact an incredibly endearing and generous character, the true horror of this film? The suffocation of social conformity.
Humorous yet deep, this film is a must watch, especially if you’re a fan of Tim Burton’s other works.
Speaking of Time Burton, The nightmare before Christmas is yet another one of his most critically acclaimed projects. The film is produced by Disney and is a fantastic stop motion musical that continues to stand the test of time
But isn’t this a Christmas story? I hear you ask. Well, yes, but it is also a Halloween one! You see the story focuses on Jack Skellington, a literal skeleton whom is the “pumpkin king” in his homeland “Halloween town”. Not the same one as before!
Jack soon begins to bore of the consistent and dull celebrations of the spooky town and endeavours to find something new and exciting for their new Halloween. Here he accidentally stumbles into Christmas town and takes it upon himself to become the brand new “sandy claws”, get it?
Creepy, yet child friendly, this movie is a hidden gem within the host of other Disney films out there.
Now when I say non-horror I don’t mean that all these films are specifically kid friendly. In fact parents should be wary if they choose to let their young ones view this flick.
This movie focuses on a deceased couple, that’s right, ghosts eternally trapped in their home. Soon, new home owners move in and the couple begin to try to scare them away. Unsuccessful In their efforts they decide to hire the “bio-exorcist” Betelgeuse, a narcissistic and rude entity who proceeds to cause chaos.
Raunchy yet creepy at times this film is incredibly enjoyable for those of the right age.
Let’s be honest for a moment. Who doesn’t love the Addams family? The original cartoon was a work of genius and the film follows up as a fantastic piece of comedy fantasy.
For those of you living under a rock, the Addams family is a film about a slightly….odd family, each possessing many of the stereotypical Halloween traits we’ve come to love. From the Frankenstein esque- uncle fester to the nosferatu-like butler, Lurch.
Although scary in appearance, the family are known for their hearts of gold and the comical mishaps of this film are bound to bring a smile to anyone’s face, young or old.
The original…..just to be clear.
Ghostbusters is a film ingrained into many of our childhoods, introducing us to scary concepts with wacky characters and incredibly action.
The film focuses on the exploits of an inept team of scientists who attempt to create a business of recording and catching paranormal activity. With big stars such as Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd at the reigns who couldn’t love it?
So sit down, grab the popcorn, you know who to call.
A bit of a cop out? Maybe. But in all honesty the Harry Potter films are fantastic. The first 2 can be seen as rather dated by today’s standard but the rest can provide solid entertainment.
I feel like there’s no reason to talk about who or what Harry Potter is as must likely you already know everything about it so instead I’ll go with my recommendation: The Goblet of Fire, a fantastic film that, in my mind, signalled the change in the series. Harry is no longer a child, he’s a man.
Where better to spend Halloween then the wizardry world of Hogwarts, full of witches, magic and wonder.
Before you say it, it’s a thriller, not a horror! Nonetheless view this film at your own discretion as it may not be appropriate for younger audiences.
If you don’t know the ending to this film then you must be a literal hermit. The biggest twist discussion since “Luke I am your Father” (sorry spoilers!), the ending to this film was a shock to those who experienced it first-hand.
Not to discredit from the rest of the film which is tense and entertaining. It focuses on a boy whom can communicate with dead spirits who decides to enrol the help of a child psychologist.
Touching, thoughtful and thrilling. Prepare to see dead people.
A simple film for a simple night in. Casper is by far not the most polished, creative and stunning film, but it does have heart. So that makes it the perfect pick for the kiddies.
Who doesn’t know Casper the friendly ghost? In this live action adaptation Casper must ward of the evil harassing of his three uncles whilst finally making friends and conquering his fears.
Although a little dark at times, this film is the ideal thing to view in a family environment,
This timeless tale of sci-fi friendship holds a special place in many of our hearts. This film holds great cultural significance, beating out star wars at the box office the year it was released.
The movie depicts the tale of E.T, an alien whom has become stranded on earth and his subsequent bonding with a ten year boy named Elliot. Elliot has to endeavour to help E.T whilst keeping the alien’s existence hidden from his mother and the government.
Touching, sincere and a true classic, there’s no better time to watch E.T. It even has a Halloween part!
This widely unknown film is yet another Disney hidden classic, gaining great critical reception and achieving cult status soon after its release.
This film follows a villainous trio of witches, who are inevitably resurrected by a male teenager in Salem, Massachusetts. Here, the teenager along with 3 friends, including an immortal cat, must try to foil the witches’ plans on Halloween night.
With talks of a sequel in the works and with its Halloween theme and kid friendly style, Hocus Pocus is a top pick for movie night.
Oh Gene Wilder, how you will be missed. This labour of love will forever stay in our hearts as fantastic piece of comedy parodying its earlier adaptions.
Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (grandson of victor- the original scientist) is content to prove he is nothing like his grandfather, although, after discovering his research notes, begins to grow a fascination with him.
Soon the young Frankenstein is performing the same experiments as he predecessor with humorous outcomes.
This film is a love letter to the old Frankenstein films of the 30’s and 40’s and nails it with its satirical nature.
Want something different and critically acclaimed? Here’s your story.
Why not end on a classic? This oldie but goldie puts the carry on cast into the horror genre. Its brilliant satire directly parodies that of hammer films which were a series of popular horror films around the time.
This comedy takes all the silliness, rudeness and double-entendre that makes the carry on films great and mixes it with a spooky atmosphere.
The film primarily focusing on the exploits of the sinister Dr Watt and he’s schemes involving kidnapping young women and turning them into mannequins. As a true piece of parody many of the greats of horror make an appearance, including Frankenstein and Dr.Jekly/ Mr. Hyde.
If you want a blast from the past or want to view comedy as it was back in the day then there’s nothing better to watch on Halloween night.