The festive period of Halloween isn’t all about candy and costumes. Aside from all the TV specials that you will see every year, there are quite a lot of movies that honor the tradition in one way or another. This list attempts to include everything from family flicks to heart-pumping horror whether they are directly related to Halloween or not.
Trick ‘r Treat
The amount of people who haven’t watched “Trick ‘r Treat” is incredibly disappointing. This anthology horror film focuses on four stories that take place in Halloween. In each of those stories, someone breaks a Halloween tradition with deadly consequences. After watching this film, you might also want to read up on actual Halloween folk tales and traditions so that you don’t accidentally break one.
Though it might be an obvious recommendation, “Halloween” is the first movie you should watch on this holiday. Even when you set aside its historical and cultural significance, it remains as one of the scariest horror films of all time. Michael Myers is such a fantastic villain, meticulously exacting his wrath on unsuspecting victims.
Tales of Halloween
Another anthology film, “Tales of Halloween” contains ten different stories that all take place in Halloween. You will see demons, ghouls, spirits, witches, and more supernatural creatures. While some stories are stronger than others, this movie can easily become a Halloween tradition in any household with its fantastic mix of horror and comedy.
Though this film is probably best known for Brandon Lee’s accidental death, it’s also a fantastic movie by its own right. After all, director Alex Proyas has a unique visual style that simply cannot be replicated. “The Crow” is a tale of revenge which just so happens to take place in Halloween, making it the perfect choice for those looking for something different.
One of the few family films that has developed a cult following, “Hocus Pocus” is about three witch sisters who were resurrected in Halem after three centuries. A group of kids and an immortal cat are all that stand in their way. This is a movie that you’ll be quoting for a very long time though you’ll have to be forgiving in some of its cheesier parts.
The Monster Squad
The titular Monster Squad is really a fan club of young kids who love classic horror tales like Dracula and Frankenstein. Unfortunately for them, these monsters are not only real but they’ve also hatched a plan to rule the planet. Now, it’s up to those kids to save the world and put an end to the monsters once and for all.
Ernest Scared Stupid
Jim Varney’s Ernest P. Worrell is still one of the most memorable characters on TV, even though his movies weren’t always well-received. This time, Ernest accidentally unleashes a troll that can turn people into wooden dolls, logs, and all kinds of nasty things. Knowing that he’s the only one who can stop him, Ernest plans trick after trick to defeat the evil troll.
The Halloween Tree
If you grew up with Cartoon Network then there’s a good chance you’ve seen this animated classic already. The movie follows a group of children who come to learn about the origins of Halloween while also attempting to save their best friend who has been taken away by mysterious forces. Few other movies capture the spirit of Halloween as well as “The Halloween Tree” and I couldn’t recommend it more.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Now that we are on the subject of animated films, it’s time to talk about “The Nightmare Before Christmas”. This stop-motion horror comedy musical is set on the mystical Halloween Town where Jack Skellington reigns king. When he discovers Christmas, however, he starts to question his once favorite holiday.
Marnie, a regular girl in a strange town, learns that she’s actually a witch with a long lineage. On the day of Halloween, when her town is attacked by all kinds of supernatural creatures, she teams up with her friends to defeat the evil presence and save everyone. This classic family film is the first in a series of four, all of which are great choices for family movie nights.
When I hear the words “horror comedy”, the first movie that always pops to mind is “Beetlejuice”. After a couple gets in a driving accident, they slowly discover that they’ve actually died and are now ghosts. However, they soon also discover that they aren’t the only ones haunting their house as the mischievous Beetlejuice has other plans for them.
Though most other teenage horror films tend to focus on lighthearted subjects, no one can say that about “The Craft” in good conscience. The film follows a group of young girls who learn more and more about witchcraft and decide to start using their powers for good and bad. It’s a surprisingly impactful movie that touches on some very dark themes with some fantastic performances from the main cast.
The Addams Family
Even though it has nothing to do with Halloween, “The Addams Family” is such a hilarious black comedy that no one should miss it. In a family where the supernatural is normal and everyone is completely oblivious, secret plans and amusing schemes are everyday occurrences.