The Best Halloween Movies: Fun or Run (…and hide!)

halloween movies

Lauren is the newest Client Services Associate at Tutor.com.

My younger sister hates scary movies… I mean, she really hates them. She doesn’t like the creepy music or the notion of monsters lurking in the shadows. She doesn’t want to question what might be living up in the attic when the lights are off, real or not. For my part, I like a good horror movie that keeps me on the edge of my seat and forces me to reach for the hand of the person next to me in the dark just to know the other person is there.

With this in mind, I’ve put together a list of some Halloween movies for fun and some to make you run….and hide.

The “Fun or Run” List of Great Halloween Movies

1.      Nightmare Before Christmas: For FUN!

Probably the most beloved Halloween-themed movie out there, some might call this animated classic a Christmas movie, but most of the story is set in Halloween Town and features a cast of creatures in charge of putting Halloween together every year. This movie from grand master, Tim Burton, is fun for the whole family! Check out the incredible musical intro: “Here Comes Halloween”. If you like this, also see the Burton’s Corpse Bride.

2.      Buffy The Vampire Slayer (The TV Series): For FUN!

Ok, not a movie, but long before Twilight and Vampire Diaries, there was the far superior Buffy the Vampire Slayer series that ran from 1997-2003. In its first Halloween episode, (Season 2, Episode 6), we get a great mix of the silly, the scary, and the fun. The episode plays with the idea of what would happen if people became the people they dressed up as on Halloween. Wimpy geek, Xander, becomes an ultra aggressive military man; tough-girl Buffy becomes a flailing princess; mousey Willow literally disappears behind her ghost sheet costume. Hilarity ensues as each of our characters plays a completely out of character character. If you like this, also check out the entire series and its spin-off Angel.

3.       Hocus Pocus: For FUN!

I almost didn’t include this movie on the list. Not because it’s not fun… it really is… but I thought the story of three witches coming back to life on Halloween night and terrorizing some teenagers a little too silly. However, after a call out to my movie-obsessed friends on Facebook in which they all suggested it, I reconsidered. It really is a terribly fun story about Halloween misadventures. If you like this, also see Casper (the movie).

4.      Ghostbusters:  For FUN!

Very funny movies about a quartet of nerdy scientists who decide to become the police for ghosts. If you haven’t seen them yet, they are not to be missed! Check out this famous scene featuring green ghost, Slimer in his first cinematic appearance. This one is close to my heart, because the New York Public Library (featured prominently) is across the street from the Tutor.com office!

5.      Labyrinth:  For FUN!

This fantastical 80’s movie features a teenage girl (a young Jennifer Connelly) whose baby brother is kidnapped by a Goblin King (played brilliantly by music legend, David Bowie) and taken into another world.  In order to save her toddler sibling, she must journey to the land and navigate the obstacles of an enormous maze. The greatest moment of the film is when David Bowie sings alongside a bunch of his puppet minions: Dance Magic Dance. If you like this, also see Legend.

6.      Gremlins: FUN and RUN!

Pets gone bad! Remember, “never, never let them eat after midnight…” If you like this, see the sequel.

7.    The Birds: RUN!

You’ll never look at a parakeet the same way again! As the reigning Father of Suspense, director Alfred Hitchock’s The Birds set the standard for the “creatures attack” film. Other movies would follow, some decent: Arachnophobia, some bad: Bats. Nothing since can compare to the expertly crafted movie about birds waging an all-out war on the human race. If you like this, see Arachnophobia.

8.      The Others : RUN!

In a world where we see more and more violence as horror, this movie is a good old-fashioned ghost story that scares by through chills, mysteries, and suspense. Definitely worth a viewing if you are inclined for a scare, but not violence and gore. If you like this, also see The Sixth Sense.

9.      Harry Potter (The Entire Film Series):  ALMOST DONE!

Relive the Magic! Gear up for the beginning of the end by marathon watching the series all over again. Enjoy the nearly ten year cinematic journey that has been Harry Potter and watch everyone’s favorite witches and wizards grow up before your eyes. Check out the official trailers for number 1, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone vs. the upcoming 7th film out November 19th, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. If you like this… watch them all again!

Lauren’s favorite scary movie is Alien. Last year on Halloween, she attended the New York City Halloween Parade dressed as a Disney tourist. This year, she hasn’t thought about her costume yet at all… suggestions welcome.

What are your favorite movies to watch around Halloween?

(photo credit BdwayDiva1)

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One Response to The Best Halloween Movies: Fun or Run (…and hide!)

  1. Mel October 28, 2010 at 7:45 PM #

    Lauren, for a costume, I suggest resurrecting one of the old classics that is perhaps both a “fun” and “run” in our minds — like Raggedy Anne, for instance. She is adorable and also frightening. Your list is great — thanks for the tips! Especially The Nightmare Before Christmas. Although, I do think Poltergeist could make the cut, as well. I can certainly say I’ve never looked at a television set the same way. And don’t get me started on closets…

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