A List of Classic Halloween Movies that Pack More Fun than Fright
I love Halloween for exactly two reasons. The first reason is the costumes. I absolutely love a good excuse to dress up. If I’m being honest it’s at least part of the reason I joined a sorority in college (theme party anyone?). It’s also why I was the president of the drama club in high school and why I adore my trips to Burning Man. How could you not enjoy the liberating feeling of getting to be anyone/anything you want even if just for one night? Anyone who has seen my oversized costume duffel bag can attest that I get behind themed endeavors.
The second reason I love Halloween is the candy. Though I consider myself fairly stable minded with a good head on my shoulders and a strong will, something happens when chocolate enters the room. Throw in a great excuse to eat as much of it as possible and all diet bets are off. Halloween only comes around once a year right? The snack sizes are so small! No one is counting, everyone is doing it, just one more piece won’t hurt…. Excuse word vomit takes over my brain and I’m totally okay with that in celebration of the season.
Now that we’re clear on what is good about Halloween, I can tell you that what I hate the most about the holiday is the scary movies that it brings about. If it were up to me, even the trailers to horror movies would be banned from playing in public. I catch 20 seconds of one and I can’t sleep for nights. That’s not to say however, that I don’t enjoy a good seasonal film. I just prefer that they don’t leave me cowering under the covers.
For those of you who, like me, want your Halloween movies to teeter on the tame side, I’ve compiled a list of 11 flicks that pack more fun than fright. Read on to see the list!
1. Hocus Pocus
How could we start this list off with any movie other than Hocus Pocus? SJP was a favorite of ours long before her Sex in the City Days. This classic Halloween flick tells the tale of three witch sisters who, after three centuries, are resurrected on Halloween night in none other than Salem, Massachusetts. It is up to Max, his younger sister Dani, his crush Allison, and an immortal cat names Binx to send them back to the grave once and for all. (1993)
2. The Nightmare Before Christmas
This is the first of many Tim Burton influenced films to make our list. The Nightmare Before Christmas blurs the lines between a Halloween and Christmas film in a way that only Burton could conjure. The film follows the Jack Skellington who accidentally discovers Christmas Town. Though delighted by the joys of the town, Jack’s attempts to bring Christmas back to Halloweentown aren’t exactly received . (1993)
An oldie but a goodie. Another film from the creative mind of Tim Burton, Beetlejuice is the story of a young deceased couple (Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis) who hires a ghost of their own to scare out the new owners of their former home. (1989)
4. The Addams Family
If nothing else, watching The Addams Family will remind you that you’re own family isn’t that crazy after all. The Addams are a wealthy eccentric family whom nobody seems to understand. They attract the attention of con artists who plan to get a hand in the family money by planting their accomplice as the family’s long-lost Uncle Fester. (1991)
5. Corpse Bride
This 2005 Tim Burton film starring Johnny Depp and Helena Carter seems to have flown under the radar. However the tale of a young groom who accidentally marries a deceased bride instead of his own lady in waiting, makes for the perfect Halloween-time film. If you like The Nightmare Before Christmas, you’ll certainly want to check this one out. (2005).
6. Edward Scissorhands
Surprise (okay not really)! We’ve got another Tim Burton/Johnny Depp movie on the list. Edward is a manmade creation who, though gentle at heart, appears quite scary as he has scissors instead of hands. A makeup totting suburban woman comes to his rescue and brings him into her family where Edward falls in love with Kim, their teenage daughter. (1990).
7. Idle Hands
Idle Hands is a 90’s flick at its’ best. The movie follows a young man and his two best friends as he struggles to tame his right hand which takes on a murderous mind of its own. (1999).
8. Practical Magic
A Halloween chick-flick? Yes one does exist! Practical Magic stars Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman who play sisters who possess magical powers and a shared family curse. Whenever either of them fall in love with a man he is doomed to an untimely death. This film is probably best watched with your girl friends and not your BF who might take the movie’s message personally. (1998).
9. The Phantom of the Opera
OK, technically this movie was released during Christmas-time but we think it’s haunting cinematography and dark tunes suite the Halloween season perfectly. This film adaptation of the popular Broadway musical stars Gerard Butler as the phantom who terrorizes the Paris Opera House in the name of love. That love is played Emmy Rossum who spectacularly fills the role as the Opera house’s talented rising star. (2004).
10. Teen Witch
Who didn’t wish they had magic powers when they were in high school? In teen witch, Louise lives out our fantasies when she discovers that she comes from a family of Salem witches. As any teen girl would do, she uses her magic to make her the most popular girl in school. (1989).
11. Rocky Horror Picture Show
Last but certainly not least we leave you with The Rocky Horror picture show. This 70’s cult class features the adventures of a newly engaged couple who enter the mansion of Dr. Frank-N-Furter. Watch it once at home with friends. Then, find a local theater that has a showing. This film is known for drawing out crowds that get dressed up and act out the movie as it plays along in the background.
What Halloween movies are on your list? Share your faves with us by commenting below or sharing them on Instagram with to @toastmeetsjam!
A Toast to You!