Top 10 Halloween movies to watch

 The Nightmare Before Christmas, released in 1993, is one of Tim Burton’s classic claymation and Halloween films. (Chris Friese/Flickr Creative Commons)

The Nightmare Before Christmas, released in 1993, is one of Tim Burton’s classic claymation and Halloween films. (Chris Friese/Flickr Creative Commons)

It’s the spooky season, and that means it’s time to celebrate Halloween. Whether you’re attending a costume party, going trick-or-treating (maybe you’re too old for that) or doing homework that’s due at 11:59 p.m. (yikes, that’s scary), you should find some time to watch a classic Halloween or horror movie.

If you are looking for a feel-good Halloween movie or a timeless horror classic, this list will help you choose a movie to watch at 12 a.m. with your friends. Note that this list does not solely focus on horror movies, but rather Halloween-themed movies. Also, the movies are not ranked in order.

1. The Nightmare Before Christmas, (1993)

What’s this? What’s this? A Halloween and Christmas movie combined? Well, this movie is good for either occasion. Disney’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is one of Tim Burton’s classic claymation films that I’m pretty sure everyone has seen at least once. Who could forget the opening song, “This is Halloween”? For those who haven’t seen it, the movie is about a skeleton named Jack Skellington (Danny Elfman), who is the “Pumpkin King” of Halloweentown. Jack plans to steal the holiday Christmas after becoming tired of celebrating Halloween, but things do not go according to his plan. This is undoubtedly a movie you have to watch for Halloween, as it is a charming, entertaining musical animation.

2. Halloween, (1978)

Nothing’s scarier on a Halloween night than a masked murderer slaughtering a bunch of people, but if you want to watch something like that, then “Halloween” is the choice for you. This slasher film tells the tale of Michael Myers, a psychopath who dons a white mask and blue coveralls and kills people with a huge kitchen knife. The movie will surely frighten you, and you’ll want to lock your doors at night after watching it.

3. Hocus Pocus, (1993)

It’s a good thing witches don’t exist. Or maybe after watching “Hocus Pocus,” you would think it wouldn’t be so bad. Disney’s witch-based movie focuses on a boy named Max Dennison (Omri Katz) who has accidentally resurrected three witches, the Sanderson sisters (Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy), in modern Salem, MA. Max and his friends must stop the witches from stealing children’s lives on Halloween. This movie is a cute, light-hearted family film to watch on Halloween.

4. Donnie Darko, (2001)

Jake Gyllenhaal stars as the weirdo Donnie Darko, a teenager who has visions of a guy in a scary bunny costume who persuades him to commit crimes after Donnie survives a freak accident. It might sound confusing, but the movie itself is very interesting and entertaining. The film presents a plot unlike any other, and it is strange and amusing. It will surely be a dark, sinister comedy that you can enjoy Halloween night.

5. Ghostbusters, (1984)

Who you gonna call? You can’t really call Ghostbusters because they’re not real, but you can definitely watch the movie about them. “Ghostbusters” is not just a catchy hit Halloween song, but it is a comedy starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Sigourney Weaver. The movie is about three professors who decided to create a ghost-exterminating company to fight the supernatural forces that plague New York City. Filled with clever jokes and iconic moments, “Ghostbusters” could be one of your favorite Halloween movies.

6. Coraline, (2009)

“Coraline” is another creepy stop-motion animated film. But unlike “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” this movie is actually really freaky. “Coraline” is about an 11-year-old girl named Coraline Jones (Dakota Fanning) who finds a door to a different dimension where everything in her home (including her parents and neighbors) is strangely better. She finds the world to be very enjoyable and perfect, but everybody there has buttons for eyes. She realizes that the world is a trap, and she must escape from the evil presence that wants to sew buttons into Coraline's eyes. This movie is great, creepy and magnificent for you to watch either alone or with your friends.

7. Beetlejuice, (1988)

Tim Burton just loves making freaky movies. But “Beetlejuice” is unlike his other works. In this film, Michael Keaton stars as Betelgeuse, a strange demon hired by a recently deceased couple (Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis) to frighten away a family from the house they are haunting. With the eccentric performance by Keaton and the rest of the cast, Beetlejuice is a hilarious, twisted movie that is enjoyed by everyone.

8. A Nightmare on Elm Street, (1984)

If you’re looking for a movie that will prevent you from sleeping on Halloween night, this one’s for you. This classic horror movie portrays the terrifying Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund), the spirit of a dead janitor who invades the dreams of the teenagers whose parents caused his death. The movie’s protagonist, Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp) and her friends Tina Gray (Amanda Lyss), Glen Lantz (Johnny Depp) and Rod Lane (Jsu Garcia) must survive in their own nightmares with the killer and find a way to stop him.

9. Halloweentown, (1998)

Nothing says Halloween nostalgia for 21st century Disney fans out there better than “Halloweentown,” a Disney original that you and your friends should watch if none of you want to be spooked. This movie is a favorite among adolescents, as it presents the tale of Marnie (Kimberly J. Brown), a girl who discovers the existence of a supernatural town called Halloweentown and finds out that she is a witch. The film stands as a childhood Halloween memory, and it will certainly evoke a feeling of the good old days.

10. Scream, (1996)

What’s your favorite scary movie? Maybe it could be “Scream” after watching it. Wes Craven’s “Scream” is a fantastic movie in the slasher genre that tells the horrifying story of the serial killer Ghostface who wears a long white mask. The movie incorporates both mystery and dark comedy that satirizes slasher films like “Halloween” and “Friday the 13th.” Ghostface uses horror movies in his deadly game to torment a teenage girl (Neve Campbell) and her friends as they try to identify who the killer is, as it could be the same killer of her mother.


Jude Infante is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at jude.infante@uconn.edu.