Top 5 Halloween-Themed Movies of All Time
Few can deny that Halloween is one of the better holidays. It’s the only time of the year when it’s acceptable to dress up (even if you’re an adult!), eat all the candy you want, and carve spooky jack-o’-lanterns. But, there’s one Halloween tradition that’s often overlooked: the Halloween movie marathon! Although you could spend October 31 watching any old horror movie, there are plenty of flicks made especially for All Hollow’s Eve. These five Halloween movies could be the best of them.
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)
Like them or not, the “Peanuts” animated films of the 1960s are required viewing for everyone. “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is probably the best of the bunch, but the “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” Halloween special is a close, close second. While the main storyline–which has poor Linus believing in a made-up Halloween figure–is a good laugh, it’s the characters as always that make this one worth watching. Plus, we get to see Snoopy as his fighter pilot alter ego!
You might not know the movie, but you definitely know the spine-chilling piano melody that serves as the film’s theme. If you haven’t seen the original “Halloween” and you’re debating whether or not to give it a view this season, consider this: It’s the original “slasher flick,” and it’s called “Halloween” for goodness sake! The movie, directed by horror pioneer John Carpenter, still holds up pretty well, too, making it required viewing. Unlike today’s horror movies, this film relies more on tense situations than grisly murder scenes for scares, showcasing the art to be found in a well-crafted horror. By the way, don’t get this one confused with its 2007 remake – you’ll want to skip that one.
Hocus Pocus (1993)
A landmark movie for many a childhood, Disney’s “Hocus Pocus” is a Halloween flick that’s good fun for the whole family. The comedic movie follows three kids (and a magical cat) who are tasked with stopping three evil witches from taking over the town. While “Hocus Pocus” initially received negative reviews, it’s maintained a healthy cult classic status for the last twenty-odd years. Already seen it a hundred times? Keep your fingers crossed for a potential sequel that’s been rumored for the past few years.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)\
Another 1993 Disney Halloween feature, “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is a decidedly darker film than “Hocus Pocus,” but many would agree that it’s the better film. “Nightmare” was directed by Henry Selik, but the movie was first imagined by Tim Burton, and it shows. With skilled animation, memorable songs, and unforgettable characters, there’s no single factor that makes “Nightmare” unforgettable.
Donnie Darko (2001)
“Donnie Darko” isn’t your traditional Halloween movie. It’s tough to even call it a traditional movie at all. The mind-bending cult classic follows high school outcast Donnie Darko, played by Jake Gyllenhaal in one of his first roles, discovers he has special powers that allow him to predict the future… probably? This movie, which takes place in the weeks leading up to Halloween, is a spooky head-scratcher that’s sometimes hard to follow but is unsettling in ways not many other movies are.