It’s Halloween everyone! As if you didn’t know already! That means it’s time to reveal my Top 10 Halloween movies for the perfect night in fright fest … MWUHAHAHAHAHAHA.
1. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Produced by the oh-so-fabulously-freaky Tim Burton, The Nightmare Before Christmas is a spooky delight suitable for the whole family. I was three when this film came out, and still to this day I run around the house chanting “What’s this, what’s this?” at the top of my lungs when it comes on.
Jack Skellington, the “Pumpkin King”, vows to bring Christmas to his eerie home of Halloween Town after stumbling across Christmas Town and all its magical delights. With lots of musical numbers to sing along to, The Nightmare Before Christmas is a great movie to ease you into your Halloween fright fest.
2. The Purge Box Set (2013 – 2018)
If you haven’t heard of The Purge movie franchise in the last 5 years at some point or another, then I think you’ve been hiding under a rock – and I wouldn’t blame you. However, for those who are into gruesome violence and haven’t seen it – put the box set on now, NOW!
Since 2013 The Purge films have been keeping me on the edge of my seat. Part of me wonders what it would be like if all crime really was made legal for 12 hours once a year; the other part of me fears that this dystopian way of life may actually come into effect – I mean, Trump got elected after all? Stranger things have happened!
We follow various characters as they try to survive the night, or take part in the purging to avenge their enemies in the most gruesome, horrific and violent of ways. With no emergency services available, and all crime including torture and murder legal, the “Founding Fathers” use purge night as an excuse for the poor to kill the poor – ridding society of the ‘burden’ they cause whilst also indulging themselves in a little (yeh …. ) pre-planned violence: you know, for fun! There are currently four films in the franchise and it’s also been released as a TV show this year. Maybe don’t watch these ones alone?
3. Hocus Pocus (1993)
Another family favourite, Hocus Pocus is an absolute classic for Halloween. Unwittingly, young Max Dennison who lives in Salem, decides to light the Black Flame Candle only going and bringing a trio of cackling, child-eating witches back to life! Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker are two of those witches and what ensues is a cat and mouse chase around Salem as Max, his sister and Allison (the girl he stupidly tried to impress with his “I’m not afraid” routine), try to work out how to send the witches back to period they came from. Hilariously funny, Hocus Pocus is a fun watch for anyone wanting some lighthearted Halloween comedy. Come little children ….
4. The Lost Boys (1987)
Screw Twilight, The Lost Boys, for me, is the original and only vampire movie worth watching. Okay, so I’ve always had a crush on the two Corey’s (during their 80s heyday – obvs) but it’s also a great film to watch at Halloween, or you know, whenever! With a stellar cast including Kiefer Sutherland and Dianne Weist, The Lost Boys follows two brothers who have moved to a new town in California; a town plagued by a gang of young vampires. Local people keep dissappearing, and it’s not long before the boys find themselves tangled up in the vampire’s gritty underworld. An 80s classic horror with the obligatory cheesy romance, The Lost Boys will certainly give you a fright this Halloween!
5. The Witches (1990)
Based on the wonderful Roald Dahl’s children’s book of the same title, The Witches is a dark but humorous tale of a young boy and his grandma who travel to a hotel in England, only to find said hotel is hosting a conference for U.K. witches! These witches HATE children, enjoy torturing and teasing them, and plot to turn them all into little mice! Our young protagonist Luke hears the grand plan and enlists his grandmother’s help in bringing them and their whole operation down. Whilst no movie is ever as good as the book, the film version has to be seen at least once and is another softer film for your fright fest.
6. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1994)
If you watch any adaptation of the famous book by Shelley, it has to be Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein starring Robert De Niro as the monster and Kenneth Brannagh (also director) as Victor Frankenstein. The ultimate story of one man’s hubris, this film version is as close to the novel she wrote on that dark evening at Lake Geneva as you can get and the amazing cast just make it so much more watchable. If you aren’t familiar with the story of Frankenstein, (who is actually the doctor, not the monster), it’s a tale of one man’s determination to create life by reinvigorating dead and rotting body parts with electricity. Naturally, or unaturally in this case, it doesn’t go to plan and we’re left questioning who the monster actually is. Enough said.
7. Casper (1995)
I remember being so taken with the animation in this film when I saw it in the cinema – hey, it was only 1995 – and I still adore it to this day! As an adult I find it kinda freaky on reflection that Casper is the ghost of a dead child, but it’s still a classic and a light-hearted comedy about the young ghost and his devlish ghouly uncles who haunt Whipstaff Manor, a mansion newly inherited by a spoilt woman called Carrigan. Desperate to find treasure somewhere within the house, she employs a local ‘paranormal therapist’ to come in and deal with the ghosts who have taken it upon themselves to torment her to stop her from demolishing the mansion, their home. Casper soon befriends the therapist and his daughter, and the daughter helps him to remember his short childhood. Slightly dark in places but action-packed and hilarious, Casper is a classic Halloween family movie and provides a nostalgic watch for any 90s kid.
8. Sleepy Hollow (1999)
Starring the gorgeously hunky Johnny Depp and directed by Tim Burton, Sleepy Hollow is the perfect gothic Halloween film. In the eighteenth century, the small town of Sleepy Hollow has become plagued by a series of murders – devilish decapitations that is – and Mr Depp (Ichabod) is sent out from New York to investigate the goings on. A terrifying headless horseman continues to murder the townspeople and Ichabod discovers that his skull has been exhumed from his grave, meaning that someone (but who?) is controlling the horseman’s actions. Dark, horrifying and tense, keep your wits about you whilst watching, and be careful not to lose your head.
9. Scream (1996)
If you enjoy a good ol’ slasher horror, then Scream is definitely for you. The film parodies itself, as for the first time in a horror film the cast are aware of the cliches the serial killer that is out to get them is commiting, and make reference to it throughout the film. A classic 90s hit and the subject of SO many spoofs since, Scream is an all-American teen horror which follows the lives of a group of kids who become victims of a gruesome killer(s) in many a brutal (and now kind of hilarious) way, fighting for survival as they try to uncover just who is after them!
10. Sweeney Todd (2007)
Based on the story of the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Sweeney Todd is a horrific yet enthralling look at how the brutal hairdresser commited his murders, with a bit of a dark romantic twist thrown in for our viewing pleasure. Yet again Johnny Depp switches up his character to become the deeply troubled Benajmin Barker, barber come dark, disturbed murderer of men. Benajmin is cheered on and encouraged by the incredibly talented Helena Bonham Carter; his sidekick ‘Mrs Lovett’, who takes full advantage of all the corpses being disposed of by the barber, turning them into pies for the whole of London to enjoy. With some fantastic musical numbers and the late hero Alan Rickman supporting these two stalwarts of dark cinema, Sweeney Todd is a must on Halloween and will certainly give you a fright. You might just be up all night after watching – and you certainly wont go for a close shave anytime soon!
So there you have it, my Top 10 films for a perfect (but not too scary) Halloween fright fest. What will you be watching this Halloween?
Did you see my Top 10 Girl Power Films?