The spooky season is upon us once again! For cineastes, that means putting together a marathon of films to watch on Halloween. In keeping with the festivities, I’ve decided to start a tradition on this blog of listing my top 13 movies to watch on Halloween. This year, in no particular order, I’m listing my top 13 comedic Halloween movies:
1. Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1992)
During the release of all those cheesy teen movies from the late 80s-early 90s, this film made a silly new statement about vampire movies.
2. Casper (1995)
There’s kind of a dumb part a the end, but overall this is a good kids’ movie for Halloween.
3. Dracula: Dead and Loving it!
This is by far my favorite version of the Dracula story. Mel Brooks manages to stay surprisingly true to the story in Lugosi’s version, sometimes matching it shot-for-shot, but does so in the height of the satirical tradition. Also, MacNicol does the most hilarious rendition of Renfield ever – building on all the performances that came before his to deliver a masterfully silly performance.
4. The Ghost Breakers (1940)
Bob Hope chases monsters in a haunted mansion. This is probably my favorite of Hope’s films.
5. Young Frankenstien (1974)
Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder team up to deliver a singing, dancing Frankenstein’s Monster.
6. Ghostbusters (1984)
Everyone should see Ghostbusters at least once in their life, if only for the giant marshmallow man.
7. Hocus Pocus (1993)
From the story alone, you’d think this would be a pretty average kids’ movie. But it’s actually really entertaining. There are a couple of overwrought argument scenes, but they’re in the beginning of the film and can easily be avoided. The rest is just good, creative filmmaking/acting.
8. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1949)
This is the classic cartoon from Disney, with Bing Crosby as the voice of Ichabod Crane. I would describe this cartoon as odd, but good.
9. The Halloween Tree (1993)
This is a cartoon based on the story by Ray Bradbury – who also narrates the story. It’s very true to the book, and is therefore vastly entertaining and imaginative. The humor is somewhat subtle and low-key in this one.
10. Shaun of the Dead (2004)
A parody of zombie movies, this is by far one of the wackiest films I’ve seen in a while. Definitely worth seeing if you’re not bothered by modern zombie makeup.
11. Halloweentown (1998)
This was a Disney Channel TV movie. The sequels are all pretty bad, but the original is worth seeing.
12. Don’t Look Under The Bed (1999)
This is a classical coming of age story told through the story of a girl who must rescue her brother from a boogie man – with a couple of interesting twists. Although this was also a Disney Channel TV movie, and had a somewhat low budget, I think it did a better job on this kind of story than some of its high-budget counterparts like Labyrinth (1986).
13. It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)
Ah, last but not least… It just isn’t Halloween without Linus waiting for the Great Pumpkin. By now, at least two or three generations have grown up watching Charlie Brown holiday specials. How did our grandparents ever grow up without them.