I realize that a lot of people will just take any old horror movie and consider it to be Halloween-y, but I have higher standards that that. Actually, I’m just not much of a horror movie person, but I am a big Halloween person, and just blood and gore don’t do anything for me. (Saw. Come on. Don’t worry, Cary Elwes, you’re still awesome!)
Here, in no particular order, are movies that 1) I enjoy, and 2) have some connection to Halloween.
Ernest Scared Stupid – I love Jim Varney. Jim Varney is in this movie. Ergo, it is awesome. This one really is a good kids’ Halloween movie, though. It’s clean, doesn’t have any blood and gore, but is still scary and set on Halloween. It involves an ancient curse and a troll that snatches children. Also see Eartha Kitt as a local crazy woman.
Don’t Look Under the Bed – A Disney Channel Original Movie from 1999, this was one of Disney’s few attempts at kid-horror. It’s the story of a teenager whose little brother is taken by the Boogeyman, and she teams up with her brother’s imaginary friend to search for him. It’s pretty cheaply made and corny, but is a good kid-level scary movie. Unfortunately, not really available anywhere anymore.
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad – Just the Ichabod part of this one. Probably the most classic dramatization of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, no blood, no gore, but scary anyway. Classic songs that get stuck in your head for days.
Sleepy Hollow – Tim Burton, Johnny Depp, Christopher Walken and a whole slew of excellent British supporting actors take on the Sleepy Hollow story, adding a whole lot of plot and intrigue. Johnny Depp is twitchy and funny (his Ichabod faints at least four times during the course of the movie). There is some blood and gore, but a lot more suspense and scary demon faces. Not for little kids, although I’m letting my daughter watch it tonight so we’ll see how it goes! 🙂
Ghostbusters – Not really a Halloween movie, but a great, light scary movie from back when movies didn’t have to be crude to be entertaining and funny.
Halloween – THE original Halloween/horror movie. Like I said, I’m not a big horror fan, but I remember seeing this one and being surprised at how good it was just as a movie. So many horror films are made so poorly, but this one is actually a good movie that happens to be horror. A classic with a young Jamie Lee Curtis.
I started late this year, but I’m planning on watching as many of these as possible during Halloween season. Next year I’ll start earlier and try to do one or two each weekend leading up to Halloween.