THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS (Image Credit: Tim Burton Productions)
The moment I turn the page in my calendar over to October, my Halloween obsession ignites. After all, such an awesome holiday deserves a month of celebration, not just a day! In order to get myself in the Halloween mood (which admittedly doesn’t take much), I like to pop in some movies that set the tone for the season without crossing over into horror film territory. If you need something to help you get in the spooky spirit, look no further than this list.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
It will be rather difficult to not just make this a list of movies from the mind of Tim Burton, also known as The King of Gothic Films (I just made that title up, but I think we can all agree that he deserves it, right?) The Nightmare Before Christmas is about as Halloween-y as movies come, with its singing skeleton, mad scientist and ghostly dog. Jack Skellington may want to make Christmas the new Halloween in his town, but the opening tune “This Is Halloween” still trumps every holiday jingle.
Christina Ricci in CASPER (Image Credit: Universal Pictures)
If you’re looking for something darker than a stop-motion musical, perhaps try a film about a man who rises from the dead on the eve of Halloween to avenge his and his fiancée’s murder. It doesn’t get much darker than that, folks. The Crow is a cult classic with very good reason, though, and will most definitely get viewers set for a particularly gloomy Halloween.
I make no apologies for the children’s Halloween movies on this list, for I am a wimp when it comes to the horror genre. It’s Casper, though! He’s a friendly ghost! Who can resist a friendly ghost to help get them fired up for Halloween? What the film lacks in scariness it makes up for in its ability to remind viewers of a more innocent time, when all we wanted was to go trick-or-treating, not scream our way through a haunted house.
I tried to avoid listing another Tim Burton film, I really did. But Sleepy Hollow, a tale set against a dark autumn backdrop, is just too good to ignore. When you watch the quirky Ichabod Crane (Johnny Depp) uncover the mystery of the Headless Horseman, you’ll be pumped to start pumpkin carving before the credits roll.
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (Image Credit: George A. Romer
Night of the Living Dead
While zombie movies can be terrifically terrifying, most aren’t necessarily Halloween-themed. Night of the Living Dead makes it onto this list, however, for the eerie atmosphere that the black and white film creates. Technically speaking this may not be a Halloween film, but it’s perfect for a dark, stormy October night.
October will be gone before we know it, so enjoy this season of spooks while it lasts! Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go plan a movie marathon…
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