Tomorrow night is Halloween, and I am beyond excited. I actually wasn’t allowed to celebrate Halloween as child, so now I’ve had to make
up for lost time. The one thing I was free to do was watch Halloween themed movies-go figure! So I have compiled a short and sweet top five list of my favourite Halloween/Spooky-themed movies. Enjoy any one (or more) of these Halloween night if you’re (like me) too old to trick-or-treat, too poor to go out and drink, and/or too anti-social to go to a friend-of-a-friend’s or co-worker’s Halloween party.
In order of not-as-absolute favourite to absolute-most favourite:
5) The Skeleton Key (2005) – This movie, starring a brooding and grungy-looking Kate Hudson and a so-not-southern Peter Saarsgaard, takes place in modern day New Orleans on a spooky, spanish moss covered plantation with a dark Hoodoo past. Now I didn’t stumble upon this one until around 2008 or 2009, and friends, what a discovery it was indeed! I was a sophomore at uni, and my friends/suitemates and I had a penchant for watching fantastic (and terrible) movies at late hours and bothering our neighbors with our witty and over-zealous commentaries. This was one such gem that, while pretty scary upon first viewing, got more and more hilarious with each subsequent session. We may or may not have created a rousing drinking game out of it, but that didn’t come ‘til later.
4) The Corpse Bride (2005) – Now, what Halloween movie list would be complete without at least one Tim Burton flick? While most people go for the obvious pick, Nightmare Before Christmas, I have opted for the less celebrated, but equally mesmerizing tale of our lovely Corpse Bride. A bridal mix-up, murder mystery, and blood-curdling revenge can all be found in this whimsical yet bittersweet tale of unrequited love. Perhaps I love it so much because it’s basically my life- minus the whole coming-back-from-the-grave thing.
3) Teen Witch (1989) – This 80s cult classic rarely gets the credit it deserves. Nerdy, unpopular Louise Miller (Robyn Lively, older, half-sister of Blake Lively) can’t get a break- until she discovers she’s descended from the witches of Salem and has inherited their awesome powers. With the help of her dorky best friend Polly (Amanda Ingber), and her half-pint mentor Madam Serena (Zelda Rubenstein of The Poltergeist fame), Louise discovers that being accepted and loved for who she is is far more important popularity gained by magic spells and potions. If nothing else, this movie is totally worth it for the stellar music- spoiler alert: the dorky best friend has a badass rap battle that will make your day. Top that!
2) Beetlejuice (1988) – Another Tim Burton classic. Don’t ask me why, but this movie simultaneously delighted and terrified me as a child. That dinner party scene where everyone gets possessed by a calypso singing Betelgeuse is probably my favourite scene in cinematic history (clearly, my standards aren’t very high). In my defense, this movie boasts a pretty all-star cast: Michael Keaton, Catherine O’Hara, Geena Davis, Alec Baldwin, Jeffrey Jones, and (my personal favourite) Winona Ryder as the morbid teen Lydia Deetz.
And finally my ultimate, absolute most favourite Halloween movie- drumroll please!
1) Hocus Pocus (1993) – Surely you all saw this one coming: Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker star in this fabulous tale of three sassy witch sisters, who are brought back from the dead one fateful Halloween night, and plot to gain immortality by sucking the youth of the children in all of Salem! There’s also a talking cat, a teeny tiny Thora Birch as the precocious sister of virgin hero Max (Omri Katz), and a killer musical sequence (“I put a spell on you-ooooh!”). Doesn’t that just scream “instant classic”? Believe it or not, this marvel of cinematic triumph did not do so great in theatres, but it has resurfaced as the quintessential holiday movie for Halloween lovers of all ages.
Well, that’s my list, thanks for reading, and feel free to comment with your favourite seasonal films, and why you love this spooky, quirky, magical time of year.