The leaves begin to change, and the air turns crisp. It's finally that magical time of year again—when ghosts, ghouls, and goblins emerge from the shadows. Costumes and pumpkin carving are essential for a hauntingly good Halloween, but it's also a time to watch bone-chilling films.
So what are you waiting for? Enjoy your popcorn while snuggling under a blanket. Prepare for a journey through the cobweb-covered corridors of cinematic delight as we explore five Halloween movies.
Based on the 1990 horror children's novel by British author Neil Gaiman, Coraline tells the story of a young girl who discovers an alternate universe behind a secret door in her new home.
Directed by Henry Selick, the animated film discusses wonder and fear. Coraline must use her wit and bravery to survive and escape the alternate universe.
Coraline has recently moved into a new apartment complex. She misses her old life and resents her parent's "new" busy life. While exploring her new home, she finds a small door and a key.
As she entered the mysterious door, Coraline chanced upon a parallel universe that looked exactly like the one she just left behind. The universe has an alternate family with the Other Mother and the Other Father, who look exactly like Coraline's real parents. Her other parents urge her to stay with them, but she refuses. The next morning, she finds that her parents are gone and decides to investigate in the alternate universe.
Throughout Coraline's adventure, she learns the value of family and discovers her impressive strength and discipline.
Directed by Sam Fell and Chris Butler, ParaNorman is an animated comedy horror film. In the town of Blithe Hollow lives 11-year-old Norman. Norman is a misunderstood boy who speaks with the dead using a strange inherited talent.
The story takes a twist when Norman's estranged uncle, Mr. Prenderghast, informs him of an impending curse on the town. Norman must take on the responsibility of preventing the curse from unleashing a horde of vengeful zombies on Blithe Hollow.
To do this, he must follow a series of cryptic clues and enlist the help of his friends, including his skeptical sister, his schoolmate Neil, and Neil's older brother Mitch. The group embarks on a perilous journey that leads them to unravel dark secrets about the town's history and the true nature of the curse.
The heartwarming and comedic film teaches its audience to love people unconditionally and accept them for who they are.
Directed by Tim Burton and Mike Johnson, Corpse Bride is a 2005 stop-motion animated film. The story follows shy groom-to-be Victor Van Dort practicing his wedding vows in a forest. As he finishes his vows, Victor places the wedding ring on a tree branch that turns into a hand and drags him to the land of the dead.
Victor discovers a vibrant and lively underworld inhabited by deceased souls. Emily, the Corpse Bride, believes Victor is her true love, and he must navigate the complexities of his predicament while trying to return to the Land of the Living. Meanwhile, Victoria faces pressure from her family to marry the wealthy and villainous Barkis Bittern.
The plot unfolds as Victor and Emily's relationship deepens, and they face challenges from both the living and the dead.
The Addams Family (1991)
Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, The Addams Family is a supernatural comedy film featuring a macabre aristocratic family. The film starts with the mysterious disappearance of Gomez's long-lost brother, Fester Addams (played by Christopher Lloyd), who vanished in the Bermuda Triangle many years ago.
Gomez and Morticia's lawyer, Tully Alford, devise a plan to infiltrate the Addams family mansion and steal their vast wealth by impersonating Fester.
Will "Fester" be able to take over the Adams Family's fortune without being caught?
Directed by Gil Kenan, Monster House is a 2006 animated supernatural film about three kids discovering that a neighbor's house is a living, breathing monster. The kid's neighbor is Old Man Nebbercracker, a mean elderly male who loves terrorizing children.
As they dig deeper into the mystery, they learn that the house itself is possessed by the vengeful spirit of Constance, a woman believed to be Nebbercracker's deceased wife. Throughout the film, they unravel the tragic backstory of Constance and her connection to Nebbercracker.
The three children must venture inside the home without Old Man Nebbercracker realizing to destroy the creature before the monster home attacks innocent trick-or-treaters.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Directed by Henry Selick, The Nightmare Before Christmas is a stop-motion animated fantasy film. The main character, Jack Skellington, is the king of Halloween. However, he has become bored with Halloweentown's annual routine of scaring people in the real world.
One night, Jack Skellington stubbles into a doorway that leads to Christmas Town. Jack is stunned by the bright colors and warm spirits and comes up with a plan to stay there forever.
Upon returning to Halloween Town, Jack decides to take over Christmas and replace Santa Claus. He enlists the help of the town's residents, including Sally and Oogie Boogie, a sinister villain. As Jack attempts to put his spooky twist on Christmas, chaos and confusion ensue. Oogie Boogie imprisons Santa Claus, and the world is plunged into a nightmare.
Haunted Mansion (2023)
Directed by Justin Simien, Haunted Mansion is Disney's reimagining of Eddie Murphy's 2003 film. The movie follows single mom Gabbie and her son Travis enlisting the aid of a team to help exorcise their newly bought mansion, destroying the ghosts lingering throughout. Gabbie hires a tour guide, a psychic, a priest, and a historian to accomplish this goal.
Audiences should expect a comedic yet thrilling movie with astonishing acting and scenery.
Directed by Rob Letterman, Goosebumps is a thrilling adventure-comedy film based on the popular children's horror book series of the same name written by R.L. Stine. The story centers on a teenager named Zach Cooper, who moves to a small town and becomes neighbors with the enigmatic writer R.L. Stine.
Stine's daughter, Hannah, introduces Zach to a collection of Goosebumps manuscripts kept under lock and key. When he opened one of the books, he discovered supernatural creatures and monsters in the real world. The town quickly descends into chaos as these terrifying creatures terrorize it. To get the escaped horrors back into their stories, Zach embarks on a perilous journey.
The spirit of Halloween comes alive through the spine-tingling narratives and eerie atmospheres of these eight spooky movies. I hope you loved these cinematic selections, which will keep you on the edge of your seat and leave you with a lasting sense of Halloween magic. What is your favorite Halloween movie?