Just like the residents of Halloween Town sing in “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” “This is Halloween!”
It’s officially spooky season, and that means it’s time to watch some spooky movies. Luckily for us, there are endless amounts of Halloween movies, or Halloween-adjacent movies that are perfect to watch this time of year.
From horror and scary movies, to campy classics, this list has something for everyone who loves Halloween.
This one is a no-brainer, right? It is, without a doubt, the most iconic and recognizable Halloween movie of all time. There’s a reason why Freeform plays it over and over again during the month of October. The Sanderson Sisters are synonymous with Halloween, from dressing up as them for Halloween, to watching the movie over and over again.
Of course, if you’re going to watch “Hocus Pocus,” you might as well watch “Hocus Pocus 2,” which debuted in October of 2022. For years, fans have been begging for a sequel, and while it can’t touch the original, it was just so much fun to see Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy reunite once again to become the Sanderson Sisters.
If you’re a millennial, you grew up watching “Hocus Pocus” and the “Halloweentown” movies. They were on repeat during the month of October on the Disney channel, and there was truly nothing better. If you’ve never seen any of the movies from the “Halloweentown” series, you’re really missing out. It follows teenage Marnie as she discovers she comes from a family of witches that live in a place called Halloweentown, where classic Halloween characters live. It’s silly, fun and stars the legendary Debbie Reynolds. What more could you want for a Halloween movie?
‘Nightmare Before Christmas’
You’d think there would be more animated Halloween musical movies that appeal to children and adults after the success of “Nightmare Before Christmas,” but maybe you just can’t repeat a home run like this. Tim Burton has tons of spooky movies, but “Nightmare Before Christmas” has to be his best. The songs are fun, the animation and style is one of a kind and it celebrates two different holidays! It’s like a buy one get one deal.
TIm Burton’s second time on this list of course has to go to “Beetlejuice,” the camp classic starring Michael Keaton as the titular character, as well as Geena Davis, Catherine O’Hara and Alec Baldwin. “Beetlejuice” doesn’t really have a lot to do with the holiday of Halloween in general, but it’s still spooky, has ghosts and is just fun to watch. You can also see how Burton’s style in “Beetlejuice” influenced the art in “Nightmare Before Christmas.” There’s even a sequel to “Beetlejuice” coming out next year, so be on the look out for that.
Your favorite creepy and kooky family is back for their favorite time of the year. Is there anything better than watching “The Addams Family” during spooky season? This family comedy influenced a whole generation of goths to tap into their inner Wednesday Addams and let their freak flag fly. The Addams family are unapologetically themselves, and it’s so fun to watch. So is the sequel, “Addams Family Values,” which of course stars the iconic Joan Cusack as Debbie. Both movies are so much fun to watch this time of year.
Finally, a scary movie is on this list! There are tons of “Halloween” movies over the years from this legendary horror franchise, but nothing beats the original, that of course stars a very young and not famous Jamie Lee Curtis. If you really love horror films, you could watch all the “Halloween” movies in the franchise, which would take a very long time, but could be a very fun Halloween tradition!
‘It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown’
Watching “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” was a family tradition for me growing up. You just can’t help but think of childhood when you watch this Peanuts special that always airs this time of year. Even with it being so old, it still brings back that nostalgia of simpler times, no matter what age you are now. It’s also a great Halloween tradition to start with your kids if you’re a new parent! There’s just nothing better than the Peanuts.
It should be required to watch a a Stephen King movie during the month of October, so why not make it “The Shining,” his best one ever? Jack Nicholson is so memorable in this movie, as well as Shelley DuVall. Plus, there are so many moments from this movie that are etched into movie history. The scary twins? Jack Nicholson’s delivery of “Here’s Johnny”? Just the entire vibe of the real hotel in Colorado? It’s all iconic, and a perfect movie to watch during Halloween.
This is another horror franchise that is just so fun to watch. The original “Scream” movie came out in 1996, and really changed the genre of horror movies forever. From Courtney Cox, Neve Campbell and David Arquette, “Scream” and all of the sequels became instant classic. And who can forget the opening scene with Drew Barrymore? The image of her screaming on the phone will forever go down in cinema history.
More witches! “Practical Magic” is a movie that should have the fame level of love and adoration as “Hocus Pocus,” but probably because it’s not as campy, it doesn’t have that legendary status. Regardless, it’s such a great movie, and a great tale about sisterhood and female friendship. Plus, it hsa young Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman as witches! What more could you want?
Who you gonna’ call? The Ghostbusters, obviously! This is a movie that has nothing to do with Halloween whatsoever, but it’s still fun to watch this time of year. It’s a comedy classic, and a film that went on to inspire some of the biggest names in comedy working today. You can watch the original, the sequel and the remake from a few years ago that stars Kristin Wiig and Melissa McCarthy. So fun!
‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’
Let’s do the time warp again! Like a lot of movies on this list, the “Rocky Horror Picture Show” has nothing to do with Halloween, but it’s a yearly tradition to watch the movie (hopefully with a shadow cast) and sing your heart out to this cult campy classic. I always make it a point to watch “Rocky Horror Picture Show” during the month of October, and it’s always such a fun time.
Another cult classic that is a must-watch during Halloween. If you’ve seen “The Craft,” you probably either love it or hate it. It’s super goth, but it for sure inspired a generation of girls to embrace their inner punk and goth vibes.