Light a candle, pop some popcorn and get ready to rumble my friends. Nothing puts me in a holiday mood more than a good movie. From heartwarming Christmas stories to cheesy Valentine’s Day rom-coms, there’s a flick for everybody.
Instead of going for straight up gore and horror, I chose a different route. In honor of spooky season, I’ve compiled a list of some fun films with the perfect mix of tricks and treats to add some spice to your next night in!
1. “Hocus Pocus”
How could I compile a list of Halloween movies without including this one?! It’s a classic, for sure, and definitely one of my personal favorites. After his family moves from Los Angeles to Salem, Massachusetts, home of the 1600s’ infamous Salem Witch Trials, teenager Max accidentally awakens three dead witches. With the help of his new crush Allison and his little sister Dani, he must race against time to stop the witches from putting a spell on all the children of Salem. Stars you’ll know: Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker
Why “Hocus Pocus”?: I think it’s a great balance of humor, adventure, and light-heartedness. Plus, I’m a sucker for kids movies.
This is the only scary movie I’ve ever seen, and I liked it so much more than I thought I would. A group of misfits is brought together when they witness the return of Pennywise, a clown that kidnaps and feasts on the town’s children every 27 years. After running into Pennywise, they each begin to see their deepest fears. The only catch? No one else can. Stars you’ll know: Finn Wolfhard
Why “IT”?: Even though I’m not a huge fan of violence, I really liked this one. There’s a good story and good character development. Richie (Wolfhard) definitely had the best lines — my housemates and I were cracking up the whole movie.
3. “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”
Harry, Ron, and Hermione are on guard throughout their third year at Hogwarts, and for good reason. Dangerous criminal Sirius Black has escaped from the wizard prison, Azkaban, and the trio fears he may be after Harry. Although this isn’t your typical Halloween movie, there’s a full moon, a werewolf and a haunted house, so do with that information what you will. Stars you’ll know: hopefully everyone. (But seriously, Emma Watson, Tom Felton, and Rupert Grint are my favorites).
Why “Prisoner of Azkaban”?: There’s enough mystery to keep you on your toes, and the time travel aspect really gets you thinking. This is one of my favorite Harry Potter movies!
4. “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown”
You CANNOT have a Halloween without Charlie Brown. Linus is intent on proving his devotion to the Great Pumpkin, who/which is a Santa-like entity. Meanwhile, Charlie can’t get anything from his trick-or-treating besides rocks, and Snoopy is navigating the night as the World War I flying ace. Stars you’ll know: probably none. It’s a cartoon from 1966.
Why Charlie Brown?: This is a feel good classic that will make you happy from your head to your toes. I grew up watching this with my family and whenever it comes on, it gives me a beautiful rush of nostalgia.
5. “The Nightmare Before Christmas”
One of Tim Burton’s most famous masterpieces. Jack Skellington is the “Pumpkin King” of Halloween Town, and after discovering Christmas Town, decides that he will take over Christmas this year by staging a coup to kidnap Santa and take his place. Stars you’ll know: Catherine O’Hara
Why “The Nightmare Before Christmas”?: Awesome stop-motion and a catchy soundtrack. Plus, it’s just quirky enough to appeal to everyone in some way.
What Halloween movies are your favorites? What did you watch growing up? Let us know in the comments!