Every year Halloween rolls around and the studios crank out a roster of terrifying, chilling, or just plain scary movies. This year we have “The Nun” and the “Halloween” remake, but what if you love the holiday, want to celebrate it with cinema, but blood, gore, and jump cuts just aren’t your thing?
There are lots of Halloween movies for the movie buff who can’t stand horror.
Here are 14 Halloween movies that will get you in the holiday spirit.
“Nightmare Before Christmas” (1993) is a Tim Burton classic.
“The Nightmare Before Christmas” follows Jack Skellington as he decides to kidnap Santa Claus and take over the winter Holiday. This movie is so beloved that they transform an entire section of Disneyland into Halloweentown in its honour each fall.
“Ghostbusters” (1984) is a must-see.
Harold Ramis, Dan Aykroyd, and Bill Murray are “Ghostbusters” tasked with saving New York City from a gateway to another dimension threatening to release evil upon the city. “Ghostbusters” is an iconic ’80s film, and if you’re in the mood for a double feature, pair this with the equally silly 2016 all-female remake.
“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” (1975) is more bizarre than scary.
This Halloween favourite is too campy to be seriously scary. Although the best way to see this film is at a midnight showing at a brick-and-mortar theatre, it’s still a fun throwback watch. Gather your friends and your singing voice for this wild musical romp about an eerie haunted mansion filled with bizarre characters.
“Hocus Pocus” (1993) is an iconic witch movie.
Though the film deals with a shockingly dark premise (the witches kill a young girl in order to gain immortal life), it’s mostly just fun to see Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy as witches.
“Practical Magic” (1998) stars two big Hollywood names.
This 1998 rom-com stars Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman as sisters and witches who are doomed to live by the Owens family curse: That any man who falls in love with either of them will die. Nothing seriously scary happens in this romantic throwback favourite.
“Edward Scissorhands” (1990) is a story about acceptance.
Before Tim Burton solidified his place in the CGI family-film space, the visionary director made his mark on Hollywood with “Edward Scissorhands.” It stars Johnny Depp as Edward Scissorhands, a humanoid creation who is cast out from society for having scissors for hands. Despite its subject matter, it’s a tender and sweet film about acceptance.
“Shaun of the Dead” (2004) makes zombies funny.
Yes, it’s a movie about zombies, but it’s really a whip-smart comedy about a boy becoming a man and proving to his girlfriend that he’s both brave and capable of change. Plus, it’s really really funny.
“It’s a horror movie that’s funny, intelligent – and, yes – horrific, and seamlessly so,” Christy Lemire wrote for the Associated Press.
“Little Shop of Horrors” (1986) will thrill you without scaring you.
“Little Shop of Horrors” is a musical comedy starring Rick Moranis, Levi Stubbs, and Ellen Greene. In the film, Moranis plays a florist seeking success with the help of a man-eating plant. You get your Halloween fix without any real horror because the murderous plant is played by a cartoonish puppet.
“Beetlejuice” (1988) is a beloved film starring Michael Keaton.
It wouldn’t be a Halloween-movie round-up if Tim Burton’s name didn’t appear several times. This bizarrecomedy fantasy flick stars Michael Keaton in the titular role as a demon tasked with haunting a family until they move out of their home.
As Dave Kehr wrote in the Chicago Tribunereview, ” Burton has captured the sweet ghoulishness of a 12-year-old pouring over horror comics, dreaming of the greatest Halloween costume ever invented.”
“Teen Witch” (1989) should be your go-to ’80s flick.
“Teen Witch” is an aggressively ’80s flick about a young girl who learns that she’s a witch and uses her newfound powers to attract popularity. It’s the kind of cheesy ’80s movie you can put on in the background at a Halloween party.
Watch the “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” (1992) film instead of watching eight seasons of the show.
“Buffy The Vampire Slayer” was actually a movie before it was a TV show. The original “Buffy” movie was silly, campy, and had more in common with “Clueless” than it did the Sarah Michelle Gellar series that followed. The film is a fun romp and a faster alternative to watching all eight seasons of the television series.
“Young Frankenstein” (1974) has solid ratings.
“Young Frankenstein” follows the legendary mad scientist’s grandson as he inherits the massive Frankenstein estate and ends up creating his own monster. It’s a parody of classic horror films though you have to get on board with Mel Brooks’ silly style of humour – however, its 93% score on Rotten Tomatoes should convince you it’s worth a watch.
Watch “Casper” (1995) for a trip down memory lane.
If you’re a millennial, chances are you’ve seen and love the 1995 film, “Casper.” As Halloween approaches, it’s time to dust off this ‘90s classic based on the Harvey Comics.
“Halloweentown” (1998) is a Disney classic.
Teenage girls learning they’re witches is a popular micro-genre, but none did it better than “Halloweentown.” This Disney Channel Original Movie was so successful they made several sequels, so you can have an entire nostalgic binge with “Halloweentown,” “Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge,” “Halloweentown High,” and “Return to Halloweentown.”
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