From Scary to Silly, Here Are 10 Movies to Get You into the Halloween Spirit!
Halloween movies can be so much more than just the latest blood and guts flick. Creepy, time-traveling bunnies, Goth families, headless horsemen, undead witches, the entire population of Halloweentown, vampires galore, and everyone’s favorite Beagle are all here to get you into the Halloween spirit!
- Donnie Darko, 2016. Directed by Richard Kelly.
Early on in this movie we know that something is going to happen on Halloween. The events leading up to the climax of the movie are only the tip of this mind-blowingly complex and creepy iceberg. Give yourself some time – you’ll need to watch this one more than once.
- Once Bitten, 1985. Directed by Howard Storm.
Check out a veeeerrrrry young Jim Carrey as a frustrated teenage virgin in this 80s comedy cheesefest. Lauren Hutton plays the 400-year old vampire who must drink his blood three times before Halloween in order to retain her youth and beauty. If you enjoy dance-off fights done in costume, you’ll love this movie.
- Halloween, 1978. Directed by John Carpenter.
Before Freddy Krueger haunted your dreams, before Jason Voorhees (and his mom) wreaked havoc on Crystal Lake, there was Michael Myers and his spine-tingling theme music. If you must have at least one slasher movie for your Halloween party, consider this one your go-to classic.
- The Nightmare Before Christmas, 1993. Directed by Henry Selick.
“This is Halloween, this is Halloween, Halloween, Halloween,” sing Jack Skellington and the residents of Halloweentown. Special bonus: get a two-for-one shot with this movie, and watch it again at Christmas!
- The Addams Family, 1991. Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld.
Raul Julia and Anjelica Huston positively nailtheir roles as Gomez and Morticia, the lusty heads of the Addams clan. This family makes every day feel like Halloween. *snap snap*
- The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, 2016. Directed by Tim Burton.
The king of bizarre but loveable losers cranks up the creep-factor in his take on the Washington Irving classic story. And who but Christopher Walken could play His Royal Headlessness to such wicked perfection?
- Hocus Pocus, 1993. Directed by Kenny Ortega.
A kid-friendly movie that even grown-ups can appreciate, if only for Bette Midler’s outrageous makeup. And check out the pre-Carrie Bradshaw Sarah Jessica Parker!
- Frankenstein, 1931. Directed by James Whale.
3a. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, 1994. Directed by Kenneth Branagh.
- Dracula, 1931. Directed by Tod Browning.
2a. Bram Stoker’s Dracula, 1992. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola.
Treat yourself to a quadruple-feature of Halloween classics! The updated versions of these movies stay truer to Shelley and Stoker’s books. They also include some very bare-chested Englishmen and plenty of fright. But the older versions are considered classics for a reason. Nearly 80 years later, the originals remain etched into our collective pop culture psyche. Watch the early versions first, followed by the modern versions and see how they compare!
- It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!, 1966. Directed by Bill Melendez.
Poor Linus. Will this finally be the year his blind faith is vindicated? Will Charlie Brown get anything but rocks in his treat bag? This perennial Peanuts favorite has become a tradition shared every year from generation to generation. It’s just not Halloween until Linus falls asleep in the pumpkin patch he so meticulously and mistakenly cultivated.