So, you’ve been assigned candy duty this year, or you just feel like staying in for the night. The good news is that you can still get in the spooky spirit. Turn on the TV or Netflix or whatever you fancy and find these five Halloween movies recommended by our writer. All movies recommended are suitable for children, so if you’re looking something a little more bloody, here’s a great guide.
Hocus Pocus (1993)
This movie is about as old as I am and I’ve probably watched it every year since I was a child and it never gets old. The Sanderson Sisters and their reign of terror over Salem is the right mixture of hilarity and spooky I’d expect from a Halloween movie. It’s great for all ages and who doesn’t love Bette Midler singing “I Put a Spell on You”?
The Book of Life (2014)
This isn’t exactly Halloween-themed, but the artistry of the animation of this movie will certainly get you in the spirit. The plot begins in Mexico on the Day of the Dead, when a love story between a young man named Manolo and a young woman named María before she is sent to boarding school in Spain. Years later, María returns to Mexico and is confronted with Manolo and another suitor.
Tragically, Manolo dies, (I won’t spoil how), and is sent to the Land of the Remembered to be reunited with his lost loved ones. The Land of the Remembered is full of sugar skulls and color, and it’s also full of opportunity. Manolo enlists his loved ones to go on a journey to come back to life so he can be with María. In short, it’s touching and well worth the watch.
Maybe I’m biased because this movie was filmed near my hometown in Oregon, but many of those who spent countless nights watching Disney Original Movies can attest to the excitement of the coming of October and the knowledge of Halloweentown and its sequels being on before bed.
For those of you who haven’t seen the movie, the plot involves 13-year-old Marnie Piper and her family on Halloween night, a night her mother Gwen won’t allow her and her siblings to go out but is always highlighted by the annual visit of their grandmother Aggie. What Marnie doesn’t know is that her whole family is magical and Aggie wants to train her as a witch (against Gwen’s wishes), as 13 is the coming of age of a witch.
Aggie drops hints to Marnie and her siblings of their special powers before going back home to Halloweentown, an alternate reality where ghosts and ghouls of all kinds reside. Marnie and her siblings follow without Aggie knowing and the adventure begins. Give it a watch to find out more!
The Addams Family (1991)
To say this family is kooky would be an understatement, but they’re kooky in the most endearing way. The Addams Family follows to antics of Gomez and Morticia Addams, their children and their extended family, their antics and trials in losing their estate to a con.
The dark humor of this movie is what brings the family to life and you may just find that the Addams family is more like yours than you think. The romance between Gomez and Morticia just may be more heart-warming than your favorite romcom.
Here’s a fun Halloween/Christmas hybrid. From the wonderfully twisted mind of Tim Burton, The Nightmare Before Christmas tells the story of Jack Skellington—the “King of Halloween”—finds a door to Christmas Town and decides to Christmas back to his town, something that isn’t entirely well-received. Hilarity and terror ensue in this musical adventure. How you could not find all the little monsters endearing is beyond me, but I’ll let you decide for yourself.