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Movies for Halloween

Halloween has always been a fun time in our house.  We love scary movies and scary-like movies.  Every October we start looking forward to movie marathons on television as well as those old standards that just seem to be better in the fall.

I’ve broken this up into five categories – General, Artsy, Family, Funny and Classic.  Some are on Netflix and I will make a little (N) notation.  Some are not.  I’m not really sure how one goes about finding some of these movies but if you happen to run across them, take the time to watch them.

General: This list isn’t very long because you really could watch just anything and have it fall under this category.  However, there are a few movies we like to dig out.  Series movies are great for us because as we get further into October the weather turns really cold and dark so a movie marathon is perfect for giving the family something to do.

Sleepy Hollow (N) – Johnny Depp and Christopher Walken, need I say more?
You’re Next (Hulu) – This movie was refreshing in so many ways.  I love that the main character turns out to be a butt kicking female.
Friday the 13th – it’s really almost a classic
Nightmare on Elm Street – Any of this series is great (the remake is debatable in my house but I liked it).
Hellraiser (N) – as far as I can tell, the entire series is on Netflix which makes it an easy choice for marathon watching.

Artsy:  I, almost, prefer a more artsy type horror movie.  I think they are more interesting and sometimes more frightening.  It’s like I’ve graduated to a better class of horror movie.

Mary Reilly – this one is nearly impossible to find but if you do, pick it up.  This retelling of Dr Jeckyll and Mr Hyde through the eyes of a maid is fascinating.  I love John Malkovich and his performance is evil and touching all at the same time.
Pontypool (N) – I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about this movie when I watched it.  It’s slow and simple but the effect is amazing.  Imagine being isolated from the zombie apocalypse and having to report it.
Byzantium (N) – this vampire retelling is beautiful.  I was so glad I watched it.  In fact, I was more than willing to watch it over again when it was finished.
Babadook (N) – if you can make it through the boy’s constant screaming/whining, the pay off is great.  I may not have loved the movie but I loved it’s ending.  That was worth it.
Monsters (N) – I just found this movie interesting.  It’s an alien movie where the main characters aren’t out to destroy them, just get passed them so they can get home.
We Are What We Are (N) – a twist on the cannibalism theme
Come Back to Me (N) – not sure this is exactly an artsy movie but it’s slow so I thought I would put it here.  The movie is okay, probably not the best on the list, but the twist was so fascinating that I keep recommending it.

Family: not one of these are on Netflix which leaves my family to hunt for them where ever we can find them and beg family members to let us “borrow” their cable for a Saturday (food is always included so they are more than willing to let us crash in their living room watching fun Halloween movies).  This list could easily grow to be thousands but I’ve narrowed it down to the few movies we hunger for every year.

Hocus Pocus
Beetlejuice
Halloweentown – usually ABC family airs the entire series sometime in October.  I really should look for them on DVD.
Scary Godmother – I don’t which channel airs this show but I believe there are now 2 Scary Godmother movies.
The Halloween Tree – this classic Ray Bradbury cartoon has not lost it’s appeal in all those years.
It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown
The Good Witch Series – this non-cartoon is a family favorite and we love that there are so many movies now to enjoy.
Any of the Scooby-Doo movies (cartoon or live action)

Funny Movies: these are not all comedies but are definitely more tongue in cheek.

Scary Movies (N- 3,5) – some are better than others.  I like trying to figure out which movie they are making fun of.
Scream (N) – the first movie is on netflix and while it’s meant to be a bit more serious than Scary Movie, it’s still a spoof on the horror movie genre.
Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (N) – if you haven’t seen this, why are you waiting?
Housebound (N) – this New Zealand movie is rather funny.
Stage Fright (N) – I loved this, my family did not.  It’s a horror musical that reminds me of so many of the horror comedies from my youth.
Tremors (N – 5) – each one gets sillier than the one before but they are still so funny.
Killer Klowns from Outer Space – one left over from my childhood that has become a family classic.

Classics: when I say classic, I mean classic.  These are your pre-80’s movies.  Many still in black and white.  Yes, there are remakes but there is something wonderful about the originals.  They are less graphic and, in some cases, less frightening  but you have to marvel at the story telling and the ingenuity of movies pre-computer days.

House on Haunted Hill (Hulu) – Vincent Price at his best.
Thirteen Ghosts – a family friendly ghost story
Carnival of Souls (Hulu)
Dementia 13 (Hulu) – this is one that is said to be so bad it’s good.  I’ve always loved it so what does that say about me?
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir – not a scary movie but still a great ghost story
Rosemary’s Baby (N)
Anything Alfred Hitchcock or anything with Vincent Price

I hope this really long list will help you find some fun and frightening traditions for your Halloween watching.

One thing we loved last year is that Hulu did a 13 days of Elvira leading up to Halloween.  She’s another one we love (and I forgot to add).

Please share your Halloween favorites.  We’re always looking for new movies to watch.

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