I must admit, as much as I LOVE Halloween and in general, the cool crisp breeze and amber glow of the fall, I cannot do horror movies. I prefer more of a light-hearted, Disney-loving, kid-friendly kind of flavor... mostly so I can sleep at night. Too many times as a kid I was traumatized by horror flicks I'd catch a scene or clip in passing, or even just the preview or commercial, and it would send me into a series of sleepless nights, anxiety, obsession, fear and of course nightmares - I truly am a softy. So out with Saw, Nightmare on Elm Street and you know... the one with the red-headed freckled doll who must remain nameless that came out the same year I was gifted a Cricket doll for my birthday (just Google Cricket & Corky dolls)... and in with my list of must-watch Halloween movies for the faint at heart. I will start watching these films 1st of September working my way down to Halloween before Hallmark Holiday movies take over my television on the constant Christmas marathons - even though I criticize the ridiculousness story lines, predictability and terrible acting - I just can't simply get enough... more on that after Spooky Season ends.
So get out those legging, sip on that apple cider, decorate your space with pumpkins or webs, and nibble on that caramel corn...
My Top 5
These are ones that I have to watch every season, and will probably watch throughout the year at any given time.
1) Hocus Pocus (1993)
2) Practical Magic (1998)
3) Addams Family (1991)
4) Casper (1995)
5) Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
These are some of my favorite animated movies. Just keep note to read the Parent's Guide before assuming these animated films are best for any age. I probably won't be showing my nephew under the age of 7yr Corpse Bride or Coraline.
1) Corpse Bride (2005)
2) Coraline (2009)
3) Hotel Transylvania (2012) & the Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015)
4) Monster House (2006)
5) Addams Family (2019)
6) The Legend of Sleepy Hallow (1949) - classic, must watch.
For The Kids
Here's a short list of some live-action fun movies for the kids, and you too. Some bad acting or interesting plot choices, but nonetheless I still find myself wrapped up in the nostalgia of watching these movies and enjoying them anyway.
1) Double Double Toil and Trouble (1993) - Yes, I used to love going over to my neighbor's house to "baby sit" their daughter and would convince her to watch some Olsen twin movies. This was one of our favs to watch together.
2) The Haunted Mansion (2003)
3) Sabrina the Teenage Witch (1995 movie) + current re-binging on the 1996-2003 TV series as part of my countdown to Halloween
4) Halloweentown Movie Series (1998 - 2006)
5) Matilda (1996)
A Little Gore
Only when I can take a little gore, maybe a little suspense, but not cross that bridge over to complete horrorville...
1) Interview with a Vampire (1994) - yes, this movie satisfies all of my early day Brad Pitt fantasies. I was obsessed as a young pre-teen.. the hair, those eyes, that jawline. Stahhhhhp.
2) Sleepy Hollow (1999)
3) Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007) - Helena Bonham Carter is everything.. and the scene of the picnic/beach daydream in her red and white dress.. loved it all.
4) Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992) - not really gory at all, but didn't know which category to put it into. It's not the greatest, but still have fun watching this one. I do recommend if you want to invest the time, go watch the entire TV series with Sarah-Michelle Gellar instead, followed by Angel.
5) The Craft (1996) - quintessential 1990s angsty teenage horror-ish film.
Tons of Fun
These are great for the entire family to watch and are just classic movies to watch this time of year. Full of adventure, good laughs and maybe a little spook here or there, these will surely become family favorites.
1) Ghostbusters (1986) - the OG
2) Ghostbusters (2016) - awesome band of female ghost busters
3) The Little Shop of Horrors (1986)
4) Addams Family Values (1993) - watch Addams Family first (1991)
5) The Goonies (1985) - absolute classic
6) The Witches (1990)
Quirky, odd and slightly more adult in content.
1) Death Becomes Her (1992)
2) Witches of Eastwick (1987)
3) Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
That's it! I am sure a couple here or there were missed, so comment below some of your favs, or share some of your favorite memories from watching any of the films I listed!