The leaves have turned, the temperature’s dropped, every coffee chain has dropped its fall line, and hoodies are everyone’s go-to; it’s officially Spooky Season. There are tons of ways to get in the spooky spirit this fall, from romping around the apple orchards and carving pumpkins with your roomies to baking autumnal treats and watching Halloween movies. If you’re not one who likes to be scared, though, that can make Halloween festivities kind of tough. VALLEY has a line-up of spooky (totally not scary) movies to get you in a Halloween state of mind!
This one was kind of a no-brainer. In the last five years, “Hocus Pocus” went from a cult-classic to a cultural phenomenon. The fan-favorite movie about three witches returning to Salem 300 years after their death is full of witty one-liners, tons of ’90s nostalgia and Sarah Jessica Parker pre-“Sex and the City”. After Max, a teenager who does not believe in “witches and stuff” lights the candle that calls the Sanderson sisters back to life, Salem is run amuck with dark magic. Featuring a killer musical number from Bette Midler and some of the most beloved Halloween characters of all time, “Hocus Pocus” is the be all end all of Halloween movies.
“It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”
Is it really a holiday season without a Charlie Brown classic? The correct answer is no. Charlie Brown starts making appearances in October and lasts through the whole holiday season. From Charlie Brown’s classic cat-and-mouse game with the football to the gang trick-or-treating to Lucy and Linus waiting in the pumpkin patch, nothing says Halloween quite like the Peanuts. Snuggle up with your best gal pals and watch this one curled up with a mug of cocoa or hot cider. This classic Halloween special will get you in the coziest, most nostalgic frame of mind.
“Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”
If you can stomach blood and musicals, “Sweeney Todd” is a perfect Halloween match for you! (Seriously, if you don’t like blood, maybe skip this one.) Based on the Stephen Sondheim musical of the same name, “Sweeney Todd” is about a falsely accused man seeking vengeance on those who wronged him. Gothic, romantic, grim and a little gory, the film is a hauntingly enticing musical, perfect for Halloween. Starring Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, and half of the Harry Potter cast, “Sweeney Todd” is a dark story with beautiful music.
The “Harry Potter” Series
As “Harry Potter” (particularly Draco Malfoy) has been trending on TikTok, who hasn’t been thinking about rewatching all eight of the movies? And what better time to rewatch them now, since there can’t be any major Halloween parties? Everyone’s favorite witches and wizards would be a perfect addition to your spooky streaming festivities. Between the Hogwarts castle, its bewitched grounds, magical spells and the mystical antics Harry and his friends get into, “Harry Potter” is a perfect watch for a night-in this October.
“The Corpse Bride”
Easily one of the most light-hearted Tim Burton movies, “The Corpse Bride” is a zany Halloween favorite. With a catchy soundtrack and lovable characters, this movie has a little something for everyone. When Victor is humiliated after the dress rehearsal for his wedding, he runs to the woods to practice his vows alone. After slipping the ring on what he believes is a branch, he awakens a corpse bride named Emily and is brought to the Underworld. This colorful, eclectic Tim Burton flick is a crowd-pleasing, feel-good Halloween favorite you and your roomies will love (if you don’t already).
The “Twitches” Movies
You’re lying if you say you weren’t in love with this witchy Halloween DCOM starring the Mowry sisters. The clothes, the magical powers, the evil forces they have to fight off together; totally the makings of a classic early 2000s Halloween special. When two sisters (who have no idea that they’re sisters) encounter each other for the first time, they awaken something in one another that sparks a series of magical happenings. This super cute girl power movie is spooky and sassy, a perfect Halloween combo.
“The Nightmare Before Christmas”
This one was another obvious choice, but who doesn’t love “The Nightmare Before Christmas”? Perfect from September until December, the cult-classic movie tells the story of Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King, as he struggles with living the same thing every day and is searching for more. He discovers a whole new world full of joy, laughter, and light; a total change from his dark and dreary existence in Halloween Town. With fan-favorite characters, classic songs, and a story about changing your perspectives, “Nightmare Before Christmas” is a must-watch this spooky season.
The “Halloweentown” Movies
Which one of the coveted “Halloweentown movies was your fav growing up? (Hint: there is a correct answer). Whichever one you loved most, all of them are available on Disney+ this spooky season. When Marnie, a normal teenage girl, finds out she’s actually a witch, her entire world turns upside down. Starring Kimberly J. Brown (who makes the most hilarious, adorable fall-themed TikToks @officialkimberlyjbrown) and the late Debbie Reynolds, the four “Halloweentown” movies are a surefire way to get all the spooky memories from Halloweens past flooding back.
“The Haunted Mansion”
Inspired by the classic ride at Walt Disney World, “The Haunted Mansion” is a grossly underrated Halloween flick. It is the fifth Disney film based on an attraction in the Disney Parks. Starring Eddie Murphy as a selfish realtor with little time for his wife and children, “Haunted Mansion” is a story all about family values (even if the family is kind of haunting a centuries-old house). Eddie’s character Jim decides to show the house to his wife and their kids after forgetting his wedding anniversary but has no idea what he’s in for when he does. This campy Halloween film is a frighteningly fun watch for anyone looking for a little supernatural activity.
“The Rocky Horror Picture Show”
How does a movie go from one of the most obscure, unheard of films of all time to one of the most beloved Halloween classics? Ask the creative team behind “Rocky Horror”, they can tell you. The campy, vampy, rock glam film is easily one of the biggest cult classics of all time; they used to have midnight showings of it where people dressed up in costume. “Rocky Horror” starts when Janet and Brad, a newly engaged couple, stumble upon an old, seemingly normal mansion, only to find that it’s completely tricked out. With an iconic performance by Tim Curry, “Rocky Horror” is a can’t-miss this Halloween season.
Let us know what your favorite not-so-spooky spooky movie is!