It’s that time of year again — time to binge-watch Halloween movies until our eyes bleed! Well, let’s not go that far, because catastrophic global pandemic. The consensus may be that 2020 is an epic disaster, but that doesn’t mean spooky season is out! We can still celebrate at home.
Below, I’ve compiled a second part to my favorite Halloween movies list. These films will surely add a smattering of horror to your ghostly celebrations. Peruse at your peril.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Who doesn’t love demon barbers that work on Fleet Street? Of course, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street was adapted from a Broadway musical prior to getting Tim Burton-ed. Johnny Depp stars as the macabre barber opposite Helena Bonham Carter, who bakes people into pies. In that order. Sweeney Todd is the quintessential Halloween flick in my eyes. If you can get your hands on the original 1979 Broadway cast recording (or you can watch this), all the better.
Tim Burton continues to Burton with Corpse Bride, which gives off a whiff of The Nightmare Before Christmas. The stop-motion animation is definitely more intricate here. There are musical numbers too! Danny Elfman is back creating musical magic in minor key signatures. The visuals in Corpse Bride are stunning. It’s a fun, whimsically macabre romp for the whole family.
The Addams Family
While Addams Family Values is the superior film, its predecessor The Addams Family is still a horrific delight. Our favorite creepy aristocratic clan falls preys to a fake Uncle Fester who attempts to swindle them out of their fortune. Who doesn’t love a good extortion plot? Nothing says “spooky” like a statuesque Frankenstein’s Monster-type butler and a sentient hand sans body!
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
Well, this one’s more like a TV special than a movie, but it should send you down Memory Lane nonetheless. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is a childhood holiday staple, in my humble opinion. Frankly, you’re never too old for good ol’ Chuck. Fun fact: the initial broadcast was on my birthdate in 1966. It’s got an exquisite score and a simple premise. Prepare to sit back, relax, and enjoy this special with a steaming cup of nostalgia.
Who you gonna call? If you ever have issues with slimy green ghosts, you can call the Ghostbusters! This film is a classic ’80s hit, and one of my favorites. Everything from the writing to the performances to the effects is pitch perfect. And Bill Murray! Bill Forking Murray! Need I say more?
Get your bucket of pig’s blood ready! Carrie is another horror flick that should be immortalized in the Horror Hall of Fame. Sissy Spacek stars as a misunderstood, shy girl who unleashes her telekinetic powers on her classmates after they humiliate her at prom. We’ve all been there, right? Carrie’s domineering religious mother also serves as an obstacle. It’s just pure horror at its finest. That Stephen King fellow knows a thing or two about writing.
The friendliest ghost of all! I grew up with Casper, as did many a millennial like me. Christina Ricci should be crowned the Queen of ’90s Halloween as far as I’m concerned. Casper the friendly ghost haunts Whipstaff Manor in Maine with his uncles, the Ghostly Trio. He’s bereft of his human memories. Later, he becomes smitten with Kat (Ricci) and the pair embark on an adorably haunted path of friendship. Ghostly fun for the whole family!
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
“With a bit of a mind flip, you’re into a time slip.” The Time Warp is always en vogue, especially during spooky season. The Rocky Horror Picture Show was my high school obsession, and I still adore it to this day. Tim Curry is a god. I’ll accept no rebuttal on the matter. Rocky Horror is a campy good time laden with toe-tapping musical numbers and pelvic thrusts.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula
Gary Oldman makes an excellent creature of the night. Bram Stoker’s Dracula is the most accurate depiction of our favorite vampire I’ve seen thus far. Besides Dracula: Dead and Loving It, obviously. The costumes in this 1992 film are breathtaking, and Oldman’s Dracula is superb. On a materialistic note: Keanu Reeves is not a sight for sore eyes.
It’s practically magical! 1998’s Practical Magic is the rom-com of Halloween movies. It’s a lighthearted tale about a pair of witch sisters burdened with a curse that prevents them from finding love. Practical Magic boasts a bewitching cast: Sandra Bullock, Nicole Kidman, and Stockard Channing. You can’t go wrong with a little Stockard Channing.
Honorable Mention: The Shining
Heeere’s one more film! Stanley Kubrick‘s The Shining is, undoubtedly, one of the scariest movies of all time. That’s an undisputed fact. While there’s gore aplenty in The Shining, I find the psychological aspects to be more disconcerting than bloody body parts. One of Jack Nicholson‘s best performances too. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, indeed.
What are your favorite Halloween movies? Sound off in the comments below!
Article originally published 9/29/20
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