We talked last time about some great Halloween-themed TV shows. So this time, we’re going to talk about the Halloween movies.
Now, I will miss some big ones. NOT to fear! It’s not because they’re not awesome; I’ll just be talking about the ones that have meant something to me over the years. Some of these I have grown up watching every year and they have become more than just films to me. If I don’t see them every year around this time it just doesn’t feels right.
Hopefully, some of these are your favorites too, or they give you some ideas for your movie nights in the future.
A huge fan of The Goonies, I remember finding out they had made a movie about a group of kids that fight classic monsters. You had me at hello. There was no reason this wasn’t going to be my favorite movie when I was a kid. And it was.
I saw this movie on opening day and was just floored. It had everything I’d want in a monster movie. Not only did I wish I lived in the movie, having the amazing Stan Winston redo my favorite classic monsters giving them all an updated edge was just was like a cherry on top. Noting better than watching a group of kids fighting Dracula, Frankenstein, Wolf-Man, The Mummy and the Creature From the Black Lagoon for all of humanity’s survival. It’s one of the better flicks to watch around the Halloween time.
Many have credited this as the first slasher film, and it is still considered one of the most profitable independent films ever. John Carpenter’s Halloween is simply amazing.
In the town of Haddonfield, Illinois, inmate Michael Myers escapes the sanitarium to return to his hometown to reek havoc on Halloween night, slashing his way though most of the over-sexed, pot-smoking-teenagers he encounters.
Not only is this a great Halloween movie, it’s just one damn fine film. This was scary for its day and I think it still holds up well today. I had the pleasure of seeing this in the theaters a few years back and watching people see it for the first time was just awesome. This is still definitely one Halloween movie not to be missed.
More family-friendly than some of my other choices, Hocus Pocus is nevertheless a fun Halloween movie.
In a nutshell the film mainly focuses on a Halloween-hating teenager named Max, who inadvertently resurrects three witches, The Sanderson Sisters, from their temporary death. Once alive again they have but the one night to take the souls of the children of Salem to live again.
Yeah, it’s a Disney movie and not scary at all. But it’s just so fun and totally worth a watch with kids and families around Halloween. And frankly it has some damn good one-liners that have always kept my family and me laughing for years.
I would be no good as a Halloween fan if I didn’t mention Elvira, The Mistress of the Dark, a campy film loosely based on her character from her TV show. No stranger to Halloween Elvira was a TV show host for B-rated horror flicks on her show Elvira’s Movie Macabre, where her campy, quick-witted valley-girl punk rock style begin a huge following throughout the 1980’s.
She became such an pop icon she was given her own movie, TV specials, appearances at all major comic cons, CDs and was the Halloween spokesmen for Budweiser for years. She still rocks this shtick today to this day, with a return of Movie Macabre back in 2010.
The movie itself is fun and campy: Elvira finds out she’s a witch and needs to discover her past before starting her own Las Vegas show. Comedy ensues.
Watching these two films over the last almost twenty years has been a great joy for me. They mix the creepy and macabre with humor for wonderfully funny results, supplying the weird vibes I crave this time of year.
The Addamses are a satirical inversion of the ideal American family; an eccentric, wealthy clan who delight in the macabre, blissfully unaware that people find them bizarre or frightening. Both films are enjoyable, although I prefer to watch the second more. Wednesday in summer camp is amazing.
Full of great one-liners and some amazing sets this is a nice morbid fun time for all.
Mel Brooks’s comedy takes on the Frankenstein story, Young Frankenstein focuses on Frankenstein’s descendant and he seeks to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps and bring a monster to life. Featuring some of the greatest characters in film and a background of pure (yet affectionate) comedy, this movie is close to perfection and has always a big hit in my house. I’ve spent many, many hours spent reciting lines and acting out scenes with friends.
This is a great film to show around Halloween. It gave us the wonderful performances from Madeline Khan and Cloris Leachman as the legendary Frau Blücher.
It came out in 1974 so some of the jokes are dated, but the film is a classic must-see for any comedy fan. Young Frankenstein shows today’s “comedies” how it’s done.
One of the few newer films to be added to my list of Halloween must watches was the 2007 horror film Trick ‘r Treat, an anthology of four Halloween-related scary stories tied together by “Sam”, a mysterious pint-sized trick-or-treater wearing shabby pajamas with a burlap sack over his head. He makes an appearance in all the stories as a ‘friendly-reminder’ to those who break Halloween traditions.
Despite never making a traditional release in theaters due to it’s violence towards kids, Trick ‘r Treat has moved though the horror circuit and is widely considered one of the greatest Halloween movies of the decade. It’s imaginative, creative and gives us an awesome horror icon in Sam, a well-crafted tribute to horror movies with each scene bursting with all sorts of homages.
This is one of my new favorite Halloween movies. Not only does it have some great images and some good scares, but some awesome music. But let’s be honest: It’s all about Sam. This little horror icon is amazing, a perfectly crafted character to guard over this wonderful holiday. This is one film not to be missed for all fans of Halloween, horror, gore and people who love the Halloween traditions that should always be followed… or else.
A few quick hits that shouldn’t be missed either:
Nightmare on Elm St.
Creature of the Black Lagoon
Dawn of the Dead (original and remake)
So those are a few great movies to watch year after year. I hope some of the suggested film make your cut for your movie nights, on Halloween or any night when you’re in a macabre mood.