We all have certain things that we love to watch around the Halloween season, if not on the day itself. Sometims they’re the movies that best represent the holiday for us, some have nostalgic value instead. Maybe they’re titles we first saw as a kid during what would typically be the only time of the year when horror movies were in constant rotation on cable.
Whatever the case may be, there are movies that stick with us and simply define the way we think of the holiday. Last year, I picked five movies that I considered classics to be watched during the month of October. I stand behind them, but those certainly aren’t the only movies I think of when I think of Halloween.
Instead, I thought I’d take this opportunity to highlight some less obvious choices, films that I feel people don’t necessarily leap to add to their Halloween viewing. If that’s the case, I think you’ll be happily surprised with just how effectively these features can get you into the Halloween spirit.
The first shot of the film is of a jack-o-lantern looking out through a window. The flick is bookended on Halloween. But even more than that, the black humor and sadistic glee contained in the stories represent everything that is so much fun and enticing about the very nature of the holiday.
This one I’m adding to the list because I can distinctly remember watching it on Halloween night, just after getting back from trick-or-treating. It may not directly have anything to do with the holiday, but it is such an energetic, well-made, fun horror flick that is great to watch with a group. If you’re having people over on Halloween, this one is a must.
John Carpenter’s Halloween is the obvious choice, but back in the day, Halloween II was the one I saw on TV a lot more when channels started having their annual horror marathons. I think Dean Cundey did an excellent job of keeping a visual consistency with the original, recapturing that atmosphere and perfectly autumnal tone.
Hitting a constant theme on this list, Casper is a bit of an underdog when it comes to Halloween viewing. If people are going to watch a kids movie, they’re probably going to watch Hocus Pocus. But Casper is not only a terrific kids movie, it’s actually set on Halloween. People definitely need to start adding this one to their annual celebrations.
Another one that sort of falls by the wayside, Idle Hands is a legitimately great horror comedy that’s made even better by the fact that it is set on Halloween. It’s funny as hell and at times it also manages to be scary, occasionally even gruesome. This is another one that’s great to watch with a group of people because it’s just such a great time. It’s almost impossible to imagine that it won’t brighten up your holiday if you add it to your viewing list.