I meant to have this written and published sooner, but this is the time of year where things really start to get busy and well, illnesses like to spread. If you're reading this and it's just before October, than great, if not, October isn't over yet so there's still time to start on this list and if you're very enthusiastic and have time, you can still complete it by the last day... that might mean you'll have to watch two or more movies a day (at least), but if you're like me and love Halloween, (I mean October) then this could just be as simple as watching some on the weekend as a marathon.
I'm not a huge haunting/demonic fan- I don't really like to get scared, so my list will be a little tame and there will be movies that you can watch with your kids, too. Here're my list of movies to watch during October.
1. What Lies Beneath- Ok, this really isn't a Halloween movie per-say, but there is a haunting in it. A wife suspects that her house is haunted after her daughter goes off to college and she's alone in the house all day. She tries to tell her husband, but he thinks she's crazy. There's even a plot twist in this movie. Plus, Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer are awesome.
2. Sweeny Todd- The Demon Barber of Fleet Street- I went and saw this movie with my college room mate, my husband (who was my b/f at the time), and my good friend. We had the theater almost all to ourselves and I laughed like a maniac throughout the whole thing. I don't know if I just have a morbid sense of humor or if it's meant to be both funny and morbid, but I still can't watch this throat cutting movie without laughing. Again, this really isn't a Halloween movie, but it's a Tim Burton Film with Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. Doesn't any movie by Tim Burton Count?
3. The Worst Witch- This movie is an older one with Tim Curry who plays the Grand Wizard. It was one of sister's and my favorite Halloween movies growing up. I'd post a link to buy the movie, but the only one I could find was selling the movie for a $100, and well, that's just a little steep to pay. Instead, you can enjoy a video.
4. Casper- I loved this movie for many reasons... Number 1 was Devon Sawa as human Casper, but not that I'm older, that's just a little creepy. Now I love it because it's just a good movie. Casper is a friendly ghost who's misunderstood. Despite the fact that he lives with some terrible uncles, he is still a happy-go-lucky ghost/kid. Christina Rici plays a young girl who just wants to find a place to stay put, but her dad is a traveling ghost psychiatrist- he probably should have seen someone in his vocation for himself, and finds friendship with Casper.
5. The Nightmare Before Christmas- Is it a Halloween movie or a Christmas movie? It's both! I probably don't need to tell you much about this movie because it's still crazy popular and people talk about it year round and even decorate their houses with the decor. For those who aren't familiar, Jack Skelington is the king of Halloween Town, but is bored with doing the same ol' same ol' and stumbles across Christmas Town. He then tries to incorporate Christmas into Halloween town and the town suffers with mixed emotions. Watch the movie to discover the reason why it's so popular to this day!
6 and 7. The Addam's Family and Values- These were two of my favorite movies growing up. I remember laughing and thinking how clever Wednesday was with her quick quips and solemn manner and I loved the romance between Morticia and Gomez. This unusual family will make you fall in love with them and go through a goth phase. I would like to add a warning: If you have kids who are into sibling rivalry, perhaps this movie should wait for viewing as it does show the kids lovingly torturing each other. We wouldn't want to give them any ideas.
8. Harry Potter 1-8- I wanted to do a single line for all of these, but thought that I would combine them instead since I didn't want the list to taken up by series. Harry Potter can be a Halloween or Christmas movie. In fact, when I had mentioned to someone that I would put it on here, that person said, "I think of it as a Christmas movie." Well, there are witches, wizards, and other mythical creatures and since Halloween is about ghouls, goblins, witches and wizards, this seemed like a good place for this. I suggest that you read the books and not just watch the movies because there is a lot that gets left out or changed in the movies and really, both are extraordinary in their own way. So follow this neglected child as he finds out that he's a wizard and grows up in a magical world each year to only return to his awful relatives in the summer.
9. Twilight- If you like battles between Werewolves and Vampires and even like sex and awkwardness, than this four book, five movie saga is for you. Watch in horror as Bella falls in love with a vampire and cringe as she does everything that you hope your daughter never does including: putting a guy first, being reckless, inviting boys into her room, changing herself for a boy, and forgetting her self worth... Maybe this should be something that you let your kids watch when they're old enough to make their own decisions. In the meantime, this series is great to watch to pass the time.
10. The Haunting- I love Catherine Zeta-Jones and well, the rest of the cast is pretty spectacular too. Nell, is invited to do a study for insomniacs, but we find out that another character is doing a study based on people's tolerance of fear. Unbeknownst to them, the house is haunted and the people in the house must fight it in order to survive. Watch this movie for suspense, and be terrified and angry all throughout the movie. I'll have to watch it all over again as a mother and see how much more I am angered. (Motherhood puts things into a different perspective.)
11. Beetlejuice- The one thing that I remember most about this movie is the beautiful covered bridge. It was spectacular until a couple drove off of the bridge and died, resulting in them coming back to haunt their beautiful house that ended up being bought by a new modern family. Only one other person can see them, but her family doesn't believe. The couple, desperate to get their home back for them calls in Beetlejuice- oops, one more time and he might be summoned here too.... who helps the family in the most unconventional ways possible to get this other family moved out quickly.
12. The Wolfman- This is like the werewolf story of all werewolves. Follow this sinister actor as he heads back home after the death of his brother. After being home with the father who had him committed to a mental ward at a young age for witnessing a monster, the son goes out to get some fresh air and space from his overbearing and disapproving father. Unfortunately, he got bitten by something bigger than a mosquito and he begins to make a change of appearance. Can this unfortunate event be managed enough that he may have a normal life with his brother's widow, or will he be degraded by his perhaps, maniacal father for the rest of his life?
13. The Wizard of Oz- This also another one of those movies that aren't really considered a Halloween movie, but why not? You have a scarecrow, a tin man, and a lion all in costume. If anything, this movie is the ultimate journey for trick-or-treating. You have a teenage girl who has taken someone's ruby slippers who meets some unlikely, dressed up characters and each are in search of finding a wizard to ask for something in return for their journey: A brain, a heart, the nerve, and a home.
14. Stir of Echos- Stir of Echos is perhaps one of the scariest movies I've allowed myself to watch although, I was a teenager when I watched it, so it might not be as scary as I remember. Kevin Bacon lives in a house that seems to be haunted, but only he is afflicted by it. He is told parts of a story from this teenage haunt about how she died and where she's hidden. He's considered crazy, but a murder is solved in the end. Very suspenseful.
15. Van Helsing- Hunters, werewolves, and vampires- oh my! Van Helsing is a man who ended up on a church step with no recollection of his past. He was recruited by the church to do their bidding of ridding all things evil from the world with the promise that they would help him remember who he was.
16. Hotel Transylvania- I'm not a huge Adam Sandler fan, but I do love these movies. Each new one gets better than the last. It has the cartoon quality that kids love and the subtle humor and puns that parents can enjoy. Follow Drac and all of the lovable monsters as they make a place for themselves in the human world.
17. Red Riding Hood- There's a wolf going around hunting people. Where is it? Who is it? How do we save ourselves from it? Watch the movie to find out on this different take of Little Red Riding Hood.
18. Warm Bodies- Ok, so this one could and probably should be classified as a Valentine's day movie... or should it. Can a zombie fall in love? Can he fall in love and not eat his loved one's brains? Watch as a zombie redefines how a zombie should behave. There's more to being a zombie than just eating brains.
19. The Shining- I'm not going to lie, it's been a really long time since I've seen this movie, so I'm unsure of what really happened. I remember liking it and it was scary, and of course the "Here's Johnny" from a much younger Jack Nicholson and the "redrum" saying that I remember class members going around saying as they bent their pointer fingers for a month. It used to be on the tv all of the time. Catch it there, or catch it here.
20. Practical Magic- Sandra Bulloch is probably my favorite actress. She's beautiful and amazing in this movie. Nicole Kidman plays her younger, care free sister. After needing rescued from her terrible boyfriend, Sandra comes in and saves the day by accidentally killing the boyfriend and then killing him again. The guy cannot get the hint and stays around to continue haunting the sisters who finally get the help they need from their crazy aunts after guiltily pleaing for their help.
21. The Gremlins- I was told this was a Christmas movie because it happens around Christmas, but c'mon! Can't it be both? Watch this movie about monsters who are basically toddlers do things they aren't supposed to do. I think this movie scared me as a child, so you might want to view it before showing it to your kids.
22. Sleepy Hallow- This is another Johnny Depp and Tim Burton movie. Watch as Icabod Crane uncovers the truth about some murders happening in the town of Sleepy Hallow. Perhaps one of the first forensic scientists of his time, he's able to figure out who dunnit and with what weapon of choice.
23. Scream- There really aren't any monsters in this movie, although an unexpected murderer could be considered a monster. Already suspenseful, what could be scarier than knowing that someone you know may be killing your friends, and quite possibly you?
24. I Know What You Did Last Summer- Pretty much the same movie, minus the scary mask.
25. Dracula, Dead and Loving it- See Mr. Magoo as a raunchy old Dracula. I feel this description says it all.
26. Child's Play- Please do not let your kids see this movie. Up until I tried to find this movie, I always thought this movie was called Chucky. If you want your child to be forever traumatized of dolls and never use the basement stairs at night, by all means, let them watch this movie. A serial killer dies, but before he does, he makes a deal so he can come back to life, but unexpectedly, he's placed inside a child's doll. Does he get out? Does the family live? Watch to see.
27. Underworld- This is a Romeo and Juliet type series of movies of Vampires hating Werewolves while a Vampire and Werewolf fall in love and try to defy the odds of everyone hating them for being different.
28. Halloween- I can't leave this one off of the list. A whole town is being terrorized by a man who just loves to wear a mask of William Shatner's face. Can this William Shatner fan be stopped from his killing sprees or will he eventually kill everyone in the end? Do not be fooled by the name Michael Meyers, it's not who you think.
29. Edward Scissorhands- A tale of a misunderstood youth. He's taken in by the most mommish type figure and finds a good use of his hands. Can he ever be a normal boy?
30. The Mummy- Again, not really a Halloween movie, but it's entertaining and has mummies and zombies and suspense. If the first one wasn't enough, there are several movies in this series. My love of Dwayne (the Rock) Johnson as an actor sprung from this spinoff- The Scorpion King. These movies are suspenseful and comedic. You'll go from being at the edge of your seat to laughing within the same scene.
31. Hocus Pocus- This wouldn't be a real list if Hocus Pocus wasn't in it. The whole movie is centered on a Halloween night when three real life witches are brought back from the dead. Can three witches survive the night after being dead for a 100 years? Can two teenagers and an 8 year-old defeat them and save a whole town? Watch to see!
Did your favorite movie make the list? What would you add? What would you take away?