13 Days of Spooky Movies
In a few weeks, one of the 'spookiest' days of the year occurs: Halloween. While I'm not necessarily crazy for the holiday (I get much more excited about the autumnal season as a whole), I do have a mental list of movies I start craving before the end of the month. From obvious cable-network-popular flicks like Hocus Pocus and Beetlejuice, to revealing my (lack-of) age with Halloweentown or The Little Vampire, there's also a couple older or slightly obscure faves mixed in.
Definitely not a cohesive list of all 'Halloween' or 'horror' movies, this is entirely my personal favourites - films that mean "spooky season" to me for whatever reason. Because once you start to know me a little too well, you'll learn I love exchanging movie recommendations, even with no purpose.
I tried to steer away from media released in the past 10 years, because I wanted to use films that I think of/watch in a nostalgic manner. If I hadn't the list would be much longer (re: Nightcrawler (2014) and It Follows (also 2014)).
(not in order, but feel free to make a countdown out of it! I suggest starting with my yearly repeat, in spot number 1...)
** = Family Friendly :)
1. An American Werewolf in London (1984) Pretty sure my father convinced me to see this in my early teens because of jokes he made about my desire to travel to the UK. It remains an absolute top favourite, partially cause I really love werewolf stories, partially because the camp horror is fun but also darn effective (the howl in this film chills me every time!).
2. Interview with the Vampire (1994) Not a casual watch, per-say. It gets heavy - which is the kind of content I like most. It's also the best Tom Cruise role, so, fight me.
3. Van Helsing (2004) Probably considered a junk movie for most people, but I can write essays on how well this integrates multiple horror legends (Dracula, Frankenstein, Wolfman, etc) into one narrative - and it features the best werewolf designs I've yet seen on film.
4. Corpse Bride (2005) ** It's spooky-cute and one of Tim Burton's somewhat underrated works.
5. Beetlejuice (1988) Does not need an introduction. Where is Michael Keaton's academy award for this.
6. Halloweentown (1998) ** No comment, I'm one of those kids. Your children are too though.
7. Hocus Pocus (1993) ** Here
8. Ernest: Scared Stupid (1991) ** This won't be the last time you see the name of Ernest P. Worrell on a movie list of mine.
9. Sleepy Hollow (1999) Sometimes I forget how over-the-top this is...then I rewatch it. Weird, dark humor, with authentic creepy moments; a good balance.
10. The Addams Family (1991 movie, or the series) Easy classic, obviously.
11. The Shining (1980) Pretty sure I was too young the first time I saw this and it went (thankfully) very over my head, although plenty of spook-factor did work. My rewatch in my late teens happened during a week where my building of 250 other people...was empty beyond myself and maybe 5 others. Lots of very empty, very quiet, long hallways. Yeah, that worked.
12. Pycho (1960) Classics are classics for a reason. This reason being, Anthony Perkins's last 30 seconds on screen.
13. The Little Vampire (2000) ** My siblings and I were possibly more attached to this than to Hocus Pocus - a family of friendly vampires befriending a little kid? Solid fun.
Netflix's original series from last fall: The Haunting of Hill House (2018). I suggest you book out a weekend for that one, keep a light on, and have a friend over - it'll get to you with more than just jump-scares and it's very worth it.
Another series, this one more family-friendly and with a MUCH lower budget 20 years earlier, but with episodes that still haunt me to this day (including at least one episode that I never finished), R.L. Stine's Goosebumps (1995-1998).
Yes, I'm obviously not a horror-movie kind of gal - I prefer my spooks with a little charm, it goes great with apple cider and blazers. If you see something on here that you're not familiar with, give it a try (I've definitely already watched a couple by now), and please suggest your favourites to me in return!