Not so Scary Movies

A ranking of Halloween movies for scaredy cats

Graphic | Madison Pilon

We are rapidly approaching Hallow’s Eve and if you want to participate in the festivities by watching movies and eating candy, I have got some options for you! Halloween is a super fun holiday and I love the great movies that accompany it. 

I have compiled a list of Halloween-themed movies that overall rank pretty low on the “scary” poll. For those who love thrillers or horror movies, you will be disappointed in my list, but as a scaredy cat myself, I love to watch these films during this time of year. I thoroughly enjoy all these movies but I have ranked my favorite from 13 to 1 and included a brief synopsis along with my thoughts so you can check them out for yourself! 

13. It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown (1966) 

In this Halloween classic, Linus believes a magical pumpkin will rise from the pumpkin patch on Halloween. The kids get ready for the Halloween festivities and continue to tease Linus. Despite the mean remarks and put-downs, when the moon rises on Halloween night, Linus will see if the Great Pumpkin is real. My grandpa would always call me and tell me when this show was on so I could make sure I was free to watch it. It was such a sweet gesture that made me love this short and Charlie Brown is such a good guy; you can’t help but love him. 

12. Halloweentown (1998) 

In this Disney flick, Marnie and her siblings find out that their family comes from a long line of witches. The kids’ grandmother tells them that this town is the only place that is safe for them. The family must suppress the trouble that begins to arise in the town. I know there are a good amount of people who like this one, but honestly, it is just background noise for me while I fold laundry or do homework. With mediocre acting and weird costumes, it’s a cute story with a happy ending. 

11. Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) 

This film follows the adventures of Jack Skellington, whose job is to frighten people in the real world. He arrives in “Christmastown” and becomes fascinated with the new colors and ideas. He plans something big after meeting Santa, but with Jack’s luck, it might go awry. I am not this film’s biggest fan, because I don’t like the mix between Christmas and Halloween. I think they should be separated and thought this film has good moments but I give it a 5/10. What I can say is that it has a very popular and killer soundtrack. Go listen to “This is Halloween” right now. You won’t regret it. 

10. Coco (2017) 

Coco is not seen as a traditional Halloween movie, but I think it represents a holiday often overshadowed, the Day of the Dead, or Día de Muertos. The Day of the Dead originates from an Aztec holiday that is practiced often in Mexico/Central America and Halloween stems from this. Coco is about Miguel and his dream to be a musician, even though his family forbids it. Despite them, he goes on an adventure to find out more about his past and his family history. It is full of fun colors and music that will bring tears to your eyes. Definitely recommend!

9. The Haunted Mansion (2003) 

When real-estate agent, Jim Evers, takes his family on a vacation, they stop by a scary mansion that Jim must sell for his job. The family finds outs that this house is haunted by a man who lived there and his servants who all need the Evers’ help to break a curse. The Haunted Mansion is a lighter comedy and with Eddie Murphy as Jim, you are guaranteed some laughs and smirks in this light-hearted, yet semi-corny Halloween movie. This movie is right off of Disney channel and I think if you gave it a try you’d be pleasantly surprised with this film. 

8. Hotel Transylvania (2012) 

Even monsters sometimes need to get away and take a vacay. Count Dracula runs the top hotel for monsters in the area to keep them safe from humans. Count’s daughter is his pride and joy, so for her 118th birthday, he throws a big blowout, but when a human wanders into the hotel, things go belly-up. Selena Gomez voices Mavis and I thought she did well on this project. It moves along nicely and the theme of redemption and forgiveness is sweet for this vampire family. If you watch this and like it, there are two more films to complete the trilogy! 

7. Hubie Halloween (2020) 

In the infamous town of Salem, Massachusetts. Hubie Dubois, the self-proclaimed “Halloween Monitor” is ready for anything that might go wrong during Halloween. He believes it is necessary to protect each and every citizen. The whole town thinks he is a joke. Even the police department thinks he is crazy, but when October 31st rolls around, he will have to stand up for himself and save them all. With Adam Sandler playing Hubie, this movie is exactly what you’d expect from him. There are funny moments but also some super cringy parts. I really like how it is a present-day, live-action film, and it has a good cast. 

6. Monster House (2006) 

This nostalgic film follows three kids that find out a harmful living creature resides in their neighbor’s house. No one, especially the adults, helps or believes them. This trio must find a way to stop the mysterious creature and save the trick-or-treaters that will come on Halloween night. I watched this movie as a child and it brings back so many fun memories. I like the different style of animation in this film. I hadn’t seen anything like it before, so that was a cool aspect of this movie. I also enjoyed the gossip and dialogue of the wildly overdramatic young boys. 

5. The Addams Family (1991) 

They’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious, and spooky. Gomez, Morticia, Wednesday, and Pugsley Addams are twisted and enjoy all the awful things you could think of. When Fester, the Addams’ alleged long-lost uncle, arrives at their unconventional home, they are thrilled. As Fester settles in, the family is not quite sure he is who he claims to be. If you’ve seen it once, or a hundred times, this is a go-to Halloween movie. Be sure to watch the original one, that’s best. I know they’ve made a thousand remakes, but nothing tops the first one. The main theme song always gets stuck in my head and I sing it to myself for weeks afterward, so be warned.

4. Trick ‘r Treat (2007) 

Smell my feet, give me something good to eat. In this comic book adaptation, Warden Valley, Ohio, seems normal enough. This film follows 4 different storylines as the characters experience Halloween in this seemingly quiet town. There is a father with a twisted mind, a nasty group of teens, a woman looking for her first, and an old man who hates Halloween. The problem for them seems to be a masked child that disrupts their lives. You can watch and see how this unnerving monster causes all their paths to intertwine. The action begins right away and I didn’t think this movie had any super dull moments. There were multiple times I had to shield my eyes because this is a gruesome film with lots of blood and very vulgar scenes, but I was very entertained (even though I was freaked out too.) 

3. Hocus Pocus (1993) 

I’m sure many of you were looking for this film as you browsed over the list. As an incredibly popular and highly streamed movie during this time of year, the plot is well known. If you are unfamiliar, Max and his sister Dani move to Salem, Massachusetts. Within their first week there, they encounter three evil witches on Halloween who want to make them immortal. It’s up to them to save the day and their new town. This made my top 3 because I love it, but rewatching it all these years later, there are some plot holes and missing pieces, but don’t get me wrong it’s awesome! And who doesn’t love the Sanderson sisters? You can also check out the sequel release that comes out this year! Hot take – it was not nearly as good as the first. 

2.Halloween (1978) 

Michael Myers has a horrifying past that places him in prison. When he escapes on Halloween eve, he is on the move to find his next victim in Haddonfield, Illinois. This film is decently scary and has a constant state of suspense and thrilling jump scares. I scare easily so I barely kept it together while I watched this movie, but for those who can handle anything, this is probably 

nothing for you. This movie is just the first of a whole series about Halloween. The final chapter came out on October 14th. I can’t wait to see it! This is THE Halloween movie…I mean it’s the title of the movie! 

1. Scream (1996) 

Have you seen one too many scary movies? This film stars teen Sidney Prescott who lost her mother and a year later, another killer is now on the loose in Woodsboro, California. This film picks at the stereotypical horror movie and the characters must defy the rules of most scary movies to survive. For example, you should “Never, ever, ever under any circumstances say, “I’ll be right back.” Because you won’t be back” (Williamson, 1996). This film has some decent jump scares and it is super corny at times. There are great plot twists and some unexpected developments throughout the show. I thought it was the perfect amount of creepy, scary, and comedy all wrapped up in a single film. It is a must-see during the Halloween season. 

As I mentioned, I recommend all of these films for your viewing pleasure during the final week of October. Some are cheesy and some are scary, but no matter what you watch, it is always so

fun to curl up on the couch and view a Halloween movie. I certainly hope you can find the time to enjoy one or two. Happy watching!

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