October is upon us and one of the various fall activities that excite is the long-awaited airings of Halloween movies. Below is a list of some of the most iconic and spooky Halloween movies to complete your binge-watching sessions, whether you are searching through television channels, movie streaming platforms or looking for some new releases in theatres.
The title alone makes you wonder what “Halloween” is exactly about, the movie that is. The 1978 classic directed by John Carpenter successfully sets the standards for modern day horror films. While horror films and their thematic elements, graphics and effects have changed drastically over time, “Halloween” delivers scares, spooks and mystery. The story revolves around a young boy, Michael Myers, played by Tony Moran and Will Sandin. Myers kills his sister, Judith, played by Sandy Johnson, on Halloween Day in 1963 and is sent to a mental hospital. This is where he plans to escape and return home 15 years later to stir up more trouble on Halloween in the town of Haddonfield, Ill. As promised, “Halloween” takes place during Halloween, both in the beginning of the film and following the murder of Judith, so it not only delivers the elements but also the proper period of time, unlike some Halloween-themed movies.
The Exorcist (1973)
Probably your parent’s least favorite movie, “The Exorcist” was once dubbed as one of the “scariest movies of all time.” The Exorcist will deliver fear, nausea and shock. It follows the exorcism of a little girl, Reagan, who has been possessed by Satan. The film should stir up exotic reactions, like running out of the theater in tears. The movie may not be suitable for younger audiences or those with stronger religious beliefs. “The Exorcist” is also known for gut-wrenching scenes, specifically the ones featuring the makeup art done on Reagan, played by Linda Blair. She has the ability to turn her head around in 360-degree turn, as well as flexible body stretching, like the crawling upside down on a staircase, spewing blood from her mouth and rolling her eyes back, all in one scene. While audiences today may poke fun at what was once the scariest movie, it still remains a classic.
Hocus Pocus (1993)
Witches, witchcraft and Disney equal “Hocus Pocus.” This 1993 Disney movie revolves around the Sanderson Sisters, played by Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Nijamy, who are hung for practicing witchcraft but seek revenge on the townspeople nearly 300 years later. Immediately, you may wonder if this movie is for kids or not, and we are happy to say, it is. Directed by Kenny Ortega, who is also the director of the “High School Musical” movies. “Hocus Pocus” features soft thematic elements, like musical numbers, constant comedy and special effects used for zapping spells and fictional Halloween elements. The witch trio is the highlight of the movie with their spooks, spells and singing. All three come in and act together in a fitting way. Midler is the lead witch who portrays a smart and evil charmer, while the other two appear to be not bright. Parker is the ditzy blonde who easily gets distracted, and Nijamy is the ditzy follower who will do anything to please her sister’s evil plans. “Hocus Pocus” is a fun film for the whole family around Halloween and is a nostalgic gift for 80’s and 90’s Disney lovers.
Another nostalgic 90’s Disney original movie, “Halloweentown,” is directed by Duwayne Dunham and stars Kimberly J. Brown, Judith Hoag and the late Debbie Reynolds. We follow Marnie Piper, a teenage witch, her siblings, Dylan and Sophie, and the kids’ grandmother, Aggie. Aggie drops in from Halloweentown to have her granddaughter be trained on how to use her supernatural powers by her 13th birthday. However, Aggie also wants Marnie to defeat the forces of dark and evil in Halloweentown. Marnie’s mother, Gwen, then follows her children and Aggie back to Halloweentown, where she and Aggie are attacked by the dark force. We follow the three children as they must work together to find the ingredients and magic to put an end to the evil forces and restore the good in Halloweentown before time runs out. The movie delivers humor, science fiction and fantasy. “Halloweentown” is the perfect, timeless family movie.
Grab some popcorn and sit down for a night of frightful and festive movies this Halloween season.