By Sami Dugdale
Blog Content Contributor
It’s finally October, which means Halloween is just around the corner! Halloween for me means fun costume parties, pumpkin patches, eating delicious foods and most importantly, locking myself in my dorm room to binge watch Halloween movies. While there are some great Halloween movies being released, I believe the best ones are the ones that we grew up watching. Here is a list of what I believe to be some of the greatest Halloween movies of all time that you have to watch before the big day.
The Addams Family
If you’re really old school, then you’ve probably seen The Addams Family TV series that came out in the 60s. However, my childhood consisted of the movie remakes, The Addams Family (1991) and Addams Family Values (1993). The Addams are a strange family made up of some odd characters. There’s Gomez, the lively head of the household; Morticia, his dark and mysterious wife; Pugsley, their son obsessed with destruction; and Wednesday, their morose daughter who enjoys torturing her brother and frightening the Girl Scouts in the neighborhood. When Gomez’s long-lost brother, Fester, returns home after going missing for years, Gomez is ecstatic. However, when the rest of the family begins to suspect that the man is a fake, the Addams are forced out of their home and must figure out a way to get the real Fester back.
Although it’s an animated movie, I remember going to see this movie in the theatres and getting a serious case of the heebie-jeebies. Coraline is the story of a spunky young girl who is forced to move into a big, old house where there is nothing to do. All of her friends are back home and her parents won’t pay any attention to her. One night, Coraline finds that a little door that was boarded up is now open and leads to an alternate universe. In this universe, her bland home is warm and inviting, her parents are completely devoted to her and the neighbors are fun and interesting. Coraline goes back to her perfect world multiple times, and on the third time her “Other Mother” tells Coraline that she can stay there forever, but there’s a catch. She has to sew buttons into her eyes. Coraline refuses and runs away, thinking she’s done with her mirror world for good. When Other Mother kidnaps her real parents, Coraline must be brave enough to beat the Other Mother at her own games and win back her family and freedom.
In my opinion, the most iconic Disney Halloween movie is the masterpiece known as Hocus Pocus. In this 1993 classic, Max and Dani are the new kids on the block in Salem, a town once known for being the home of witches. When Max and Dani go exploring a museum in what was once a house that supposedly belonged to a coven of said witches, Max lights a candle that accidentally resurrects three witches that have been dead since 1693. Max, Dani and their new friend Allison embark on a journey on the night of Halloween to stop the evil women from stealing the souls of all the kids in Salem and becoming immortal.
Released in 1990, this haunting film is about a quiet man named Edward (played by Johnny Depp), who was built by a scientist who dies before he can finish his creation, leaving Edward with scissors for hands. When a saleswoman named Peg finds Edward abandoned in an old mansion at the top of the hill, she takes him back home to stay with her. The neighborhood is in awe of this strange man, some treating him like a friend and some treating him like a monster. While Edward tries to find his place in a new strange world, he becomes infatuated with Kim, Peg’s daughter (played by Winona Ryder), and learns about love and how to live in the world as an outcast.
Corpse Bride is a stop motion film directed by Tim Burton and stars, you guessed it, Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. When Victor’s parents arrange a marriage between him and the beautiful Victoria, the daughter of the wealthiest family in town, Victor find himself with cold feet. On the night before the wedding ceremony, the nervous Victor goes into the woods to practice his vows. When he places the ring on a tree branch, the branch transforms into a hand belonging to the corpse of a woman who takes him to the land of the dead. The “Corpse Bride”, Emily, was murdered by the man she was supposed to run away with, and is now convinced she and Victor are married. Victor must try to make his way back to the living world to prevent Victoria from marrying a different man, while trying to manage his new wife.
James Harvey is a paranormal specialist who moves into a haunted mansion with his daughter Kat in order to communicate with the spirits that remain there. Among them are three mischievous ghosts named Stretch, Fatso, and Stinkie, and their nephew, Casper, the gentle and “friendly” ghost of a boy who died at a young age. Casper and Kat quickly become friends, which helps Kat adjust to the strange new town. Soon Casper begins to fall in love with Kat which complicates things a bit, considering he isn’t a normal teenage boy that Kat can just take to the dance. James and Kat try to help the ghosts “pass on” to the other side while also learning a few things from them in return.
Featured image by Hannah Wisterman.