I know a few people really don’t enjoy horror movies, so I thought I’d make a little list of non-horror flicks you can still watch at Halloween. Many of these will be animated movies, simply because I really love animation.
Coraline is one of my favourite animated movies. The stop-motion animation is honestly breath-taking. The movie can be a little scary or creepy at times, but the story is really engaging. Coraline (Dakota Fanning) discovers a mysterious door in her new home, which leads to a fantastic new world at night. At first, everything seems really great and she has a lot of fun, until she discovers what really lies behind the door. The movie is filled with strange and interesting characters and places, some of which you kinda wish could be real (not in the universe they’re in though…). All in all, Coraline is a lot of fun and will certainly keep you in the Halloween spirit.
Corpse Bride (2005)
When I first saw this movie (I was about 9), I became kind of obsessed with it; I’d watch it almost everyday, I knew all the words and all the songs, I drew the characters everywhere… and I still watch it every Halloween. In Corpse Bride, we are introduced to Victor (Johnny Depp) who unknowingly gets married to Emily (Helena Bonham Carter), who has been dead for a little while. We travel to the land of the dead, which is very colourful and much more alive than the land of the living. It is a fun movie with great music and a pretty cool musical number from a skeleton. And of course, the animation is very beautiful.
So Goosebumps definitely wasn’t spectacularly great, but it was an entertaining watch and I think it is rather fitting for Halloween. If like me, you read the books as a kid, it is fun to try to spot the monsters and guess which monster belongs to which story and all. Author R.L. Stine (Jack Black), alongside his daughter Hannah (Odeya Rush), his neighbour Zach (Dylan Minnette) and Zach’s friend Champ (Ryan Lee) must capture all the monsters from Stine’s stories, who escaped the books, before they destroy the whole town. I personally think that some of the special effects could have been better, the same goes for the acting, but it is entertaining nonetheless.
The Harry Potter series (2001-2011)
Ok so I am a big Harry Potter fan; I grew up reading the books and watching the movies and I’ve learned English by doing so too. The first three movies are the most Halloween appropriate ones, according to me, but why not watch the whole series, right? Who wouldn’t want to spend Halloween at Hogwarts? The movies succeed to transport you into this whole new world, and much like Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), you have a lot to learn and to become familiar with. It is a very interesting and, yes, magical world that you probably won’t want to leave. The Harry Potter movies are always a lot of fun to watch, whether it’s Christmas or Halloween.
Hocus Pocus (1993)
This movie isn’t “great”, but if you’ve seen it as a kid, you probably really liked it and still watch it every Halloween, out of nostalgia. In this movie, teenagers (Omri Katz, Thora Birch and Vinessa Shaw) accidentally free three evil witches (Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy) and must now try and stop them from becoming immortal. It certainly has a Halloween aesthetic and story, but it isn’t scary, so it’s perfect for people you don’t like horror. If you have never seen it before, you might not enjoy it as much as if you were a kid or had seen it as one, but you can still give it a try. I personally saw it when I was pretty young and really enjoyed it at the time.
Monster House (2006)
I’m usually not a big fan of this particular kind of animation, but I don’t mind it so much in this movie; I think it actually works pretty well with the story. It doesn’t quite hold-up, but if you can watch past that, you can enjoy it. In this movie, three kids (Mitchel Musso, Spencer Locke and Sam Lerner) believe that a house in their neighbourhood is actually alive and eating children. They must destroy the house before Halloween comes, otherwise, the other kids in the neighbourhood will get eaten when trick-or-treating. The story is quite entertaining and my friends and I used to watch this movie pretty much every Halloween in elementary school.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Of course, this movie had to make the list. Kind of like the Harry Potter series, it is a great watch on both Christmas and Halloween. The many monsters presented to us in this movie are all pretty unique and entertaining, and really interesting to discover. This is the movie that made me fall in love with stop-motion animation; I wanted to make movies like this since I was a kid. The music is really good and you’re probably going sing the main song under your breath for like ever, but at least it’s great. This movie made me want to have a Halloween-Christmas day, where my presents would be real-life little monsters that I could bring with me everywhere I go.
This movie is amazing. Not only is the animation marvellously executed, it has ghosts, zombies, and even a witch. Norman (Kodi Smit-McPhee) can see and talk to the dead, but nobody believes him and he doesn’t have many friends amongst the living. One day though, a witch’s curse hits the town and Norman is the only one who can save the day. This movie is funny and intriguing, and kinda makes us wish we also had the ability to talk to the dead. Just like Coraline, this movie was made by Laika and proves once again that this company has great talent and imagination. It is definitely worth watching and is guaranteed to make you feel like Halloween.