The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

75° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

10 must-see classic Halloween films

10+must-see+classic+Halloween+films

Double, double, toil and trouble. The month of October begins this Sunday, and it’s now that time of year again to celebrate everything spooky, gory and downright scary. The Daily Wildcat has compiled a list of frightful flicks to get you started on the essential Halloween film extravaganza. Get scared, laugh till you cry and submerge yourself in spooks and horror galore

“Ghostbusters”

Who you gonna call? This 1984 supernatural comedy reserves an honorable mention. Starring Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Bill Murray as paranormal investigators running a business in New York City, these three men, later joined by Ernie Hudson, hunt down the terrors of the city such as the gobbling, disgusting Slimer and the cute but deadly Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. That is, until they face their biggest threat yet: Gozer. With the risk of paranormal activity destroying the world thanks to a strange building and its even stranger architect, it’s up to the Ghostbusters to save the world and make it out in one piece. Filled with plenty of laughs and entertainment, this is a classic to watch again and again throughout October. It even has a sequel, released in 1989, to continue the ghost-busting adventures. You can watch this film with Netflix DVD rental or buy it on Amazon.

“Hocus Pocus”

The film begins on October 31, 1693 near Salem, Massachusetts. Thackery Binx, played by Sean Murray, attempts to save his sister Emily, played by Amanda Shepherd, from the evil witches, the Sanderson sisters, played by Better Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker. Unfortunately, they succeed in killing Emily with their spell to drain her life force to restore their own youth, as well as turn Thackery into an immortal cat before they are hung by the townspeople — but they promise to return with their final words. Three hundred years later to the day in 1993, Max Dennison, played by Omri Katz, is the virgin male that inadvertently brings them back to life. Max, his sister Dani, played by Thora Birch, and Max’s love interest Allison, played by Vinessa Shaw, spend Halloween night evading capture and trying to find a way to send the Sanderson sisters back to where they came from, aided by Thackery. Hilarity ensues as the kids repeatedly outwit the three witches, and of course, we laugh at the three sisters’ reaction to the 20th century, from screaming at firetruck sirens to getting their brooms stolen. You can watch this film with Netflix DVD or buy or rent from Amazon. What’s the harm in watching? It’s just a bunch of hocus pocus.

RELATED: The Loft Cinema hosts horror movie marathon, All-Nite Scream-o-Rama

“Halloweentown”

This 1998 Disney Channel original classic is still loved by audiences today. Marnie, played by Kimberly J. Brown, is a young teenager obsessed with the supernatural. On Halloween, her grandmother Aggie, played by Debbie Reynolds, comes to visit her and her family. She stays for only the night, but before she departs, she reads them a story about “Halloweentown”, a mythical place home to beings like witches and ghosts. When Aggie leaves to return home, Marnie, her brother Dylan, played by Joey Zimmerman, and her sister Sophie, played by Emily Roeske, follow her. They are amazed to find that Halloweentown is a real place, and meet all kinds of mythical beings. However, their mother Gwen, played by Judith Hoag, appears to take them home, despite the fact that Aggie has asked for help in determining the source of several disappearances in Halloweentown. Marnie and her family soon discover the source of these disappearances when Aggie is led into a movie theater and subsequently frozen by the demon alongside Gwen. It’s up to Marnie and her siblings to save their family and Halloweentown, and discover their roots along the way! You can rent this film with Netflix DVD or rent on Amazon, and enjoy three sequels as well. Visit Halloweentown this season; normal is vastly overrated.

“It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”

This 1966 classic follows the Peanuts gang as they prepare for Halloween. Linus, voiced by Christopher Shea, insists that a Great Pumpkin will appear Halloween night in the local pumpkin patch and present them with presents while everyone else goes trick-or- treating. Only Sally, voiced by Kathy Steinberg, who possesses a massive crush on Linus, supports him and sits in the pumpkin patch with him. Of course, Charlie Brown, voiced by Peter Robbins, gets a rock instead of candy at every door. Enjoy the antics of the Peanuts gang and show some support for the Great Pumpkin as part of your Halloween line-up. You can watch this film with Netflix DVD or rent on Amazon.

“Beetlejuice”

Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin star as a recently deceased couple, Barbara and Adam Maitland, in New England. Their dream home is bought following their deaths and is transformed by the Deetz family, whose daughter Lydia, played by Winona Ryder, is the only person who can see them. Barbara and Adam initially attempt to scare the Deetz family from their home but grow to be friends with Lydia. However, prior to this newfound friendship, they contacted “bio-exorcist” Betelgeuse (a.k.a. Beetlejuice), played by Michael Keaton. Betelgeuse provides the majority of humor in this 1988 Tim Burton film, causing chaos wherever he goes. The Maitlands eventually must get rid of him to save Lydia from marrying him, after nearly being exorcised by a family friend of the Deetz’s, played by Glenn Shadix. You can watch this film on Netflix DVD or rent it on Amazon. Think twice before you say the B word thrice.

“Halloween”

This 1978 John Carpenter classic initially introduces us to Michael Myers as a child on Halloween night in 1963, having stabbed his older sister to death, and who is subsequently sent to a sanitarium. Fifteen years later, on October 30, Michael breaks out of the sanitarium and returns to his hometown in Illinois to resume his killing spree. He stalks Laurie Strode, played by Jamie Lee Curtis, and her friends. Meanwhile, Michael’s psychiatrist Sam Loomis, played by Donald Pleasence, urgently searches for Michael alongside the local police. Before Halloween is over, Michael slashes some throats and strangles a few others, and nearly kills Laurie before Loomis appears, shooting Michael six times and sending him over a balcony in the process. When he later goes to check on the body, he finds it is missing. We hear Michael breathing, implying he is still watching, and that he is still alive. This slasher flick boasts a franchise of sequels and a gory remake. You can watch this film by renting or buying on Amazon.

“A Nightmare on Elm Street”

One, two, Freddy’s coming for you. Freddy Krueger, played by Robert Englund, is a child murderer that was released on a technicality and was subsequently burned to death by enraged parents seeking vigilante justice. Now, Freddy has returned for revenge, haunting the dreams of the children of Elm Street; specifically, a group of teenage friends. One teenager, Nancy, played by Heather Langenkamp, takes the reins and tries to save her friends from Freddy and must ultimately face him, intending to bring him from the dream world to the real world in which she can kill him. You can watch this film by renting it on Amazon, and start a marathon with the film’s sequels and remake. Nine, ten, never sleep again.

RELATED: Horror movies in winter: what makes us enjoy fear?

“The Nightmare Before Christmas”

Jack Skellington, voiced by Chris Sarandon and Danny Elfman, is the “Pumpkin King” and leader of Halloween Town, and has grown bored with his title. He stumbles upon Christmas Town, and decides that he and the residents of Halloween Town will take over Christmas in Santa’s place. Dressing up as St. Nick, the skeleton Santa royally messes up Christmas. In the process, he reignites his love for Halloween and apologizes to Santa, who assures him that all is not lost. You can watch Jack and his friends on Netflix as they wreak havoc in a frightfully spooky manner.

“Child’s Play”

“Hi, I’m Chucky, wanna play?” Serial killer Charles Lee Ray, played by Brad Dourif, is shot to death in a toy store following a police chase and uses voodoo to transfer his soul into a “Good Guy” doll. A young boy named Andy Barclay, played by Alex Vincent, winds up with the Good Guy doll, Chucky, in his possession. Soon, Chucky begins killing, but it is Andy who is taking the blame for the crimes. No one believes him until Andy’s mother Karen, played by Catherine Hicks, is nearly killed herself. Karen reaches out to Detective Norris, played by Chris Sarandon, who has been investigating Chucky’s crimes, for help, insisting Chucky is alive. Norris doesn’t believe her until Chucky nearly kills him as well, and together, they set out to stop Chucky, aka Charles Lee Ray, and save Andy. This horror slasher film is available with a STARZ subscription on Amazon or via Netflix DVD.

“Christine”

Christine, a killer 1958 Plymouth Fury, is one classic car you never want to own. Arnie, played by Keith Gordon, is an unpopular teenager that winds up owning the car and restoring it. His best friend Dennis, played by John Stockwell, and his girlfriend Leigh, played by Alexandra Paul, are uneasy about the car, especially when they begin to see how much it’s changing Arnie’s personality. Christine kills a group of bullies from Arnie’s school that vandalized her, among other things, and Leigh and Dennis resolve to kill Christine before she kills anyone else. You can watch Christine in all her fury on Netflix DVD or Amazon.

Of course this only brushes the surface of great Halloween films, but they’ll at least get you started. Other great films include The Shining, The Craft, Gremlins, Practical Magic, Edward Scissorhands, IT, Casper, The Addams Family, Scream, The Exorcist, Dream House, The Mummy and many more.


Follow Daily Wildcat on Twitter.


More to Discover
Activate Search