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I Watched 4 Classic Halloween Movies for the First Time: My Thoughts

Going into this Halloween season I knew it was time for me to face my fears and get on the spooky movie train. So this year I’m making an effort to finally see some of the classic Halloween movies. I’m very easily scared so I kept my picks on the spookier rather than scary side to save myself from whatever nightmares I could have endured. 

Coraline (2009)

I started my marathon with Coraline because it’s a movie I’ve always wanted to see. I absolutely loved the stop-motion animation. There’s an uncanny nature to stop-motion that really fits a spookier vibe well. The story was interesting, and while I found Coraline to be obnoxious at times, I enjoyed the characters overall. It’s definitely more of an art piece than a movie, as most of the time is spent on interesting visual effects. There is also more of a creepy vibe than a scary one. I enjoyed it overall, but I wouldn’t say it’s a new favorite of mine. I give it a solid 3/5.

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

I really expected more from The Nightmare Before Christmas. For a movie that has stuck in the public consciousness for so long, it really just flopped for me. I enjoyed the stop-motion animation and a few of the songs (Making Christmas being my favorite of the film). I thought Halloween Town and its residents were genuinely scary and unsettling. However, that’s where my enjoyment ended. My main issue with the film was the characters. I genuinely do not understand the Jack Skellington obsession that seems to have gripped the hearts of fans and made him the de facto mascot of Hot Topic. He wasn’t that interesting to me and his songs were repetitive and unappealing. His female counterpart Sally seemed to have no personality other than being in love with him. Finally the villain of the film, Oogie Boogie, made no sense to me. Who is he? Why is he outcast from the rest of the town? What is the rivalry between him and Jack? Overall this movie was a real miss for me, and only earns a 2/5.

Beetlejuice (1988)

I loved Beetlejuice pretty much as soon as it started. The absolute 80s camp of it all pulled me right in and made this movie so enjoyable. As soon as she appeared on screen, Winona Ryder had me obsessing over her character. She embodies the emo style so many of us were trying to achieve in middle school and she pulls it off effortlessly. Micheal Keaton also knocks it out of the park as Beetlejuice, making me laugh out loud on several occasions. The spookier aspects of the movie are definitely more weirdly campy than they are scary, but I was loving the colorful eccentricity of the ghost realm. I wished the film had more memorable music, which is why I was so glad to listen to the soundtrack of the Broadway remake of the movie. My other bigger criticism is that the stakes didn’t feel very high until right at the end. I wanted to be on the edge of my seat a bit more. Despite that, I still loved the ending and gave this movie a 4/5. 

The Addams Family (1991)

Starting off I’d like it to be known that I did in fact watch the classic 1991 version of The Addams Family and not the newer animated one. I definitely had high expectations going into this movie. The aesthetic was impeccable and each character was so unique and interesting. Gomez and Morticia are definitely my new couple goals and I’m obsessed with their relationship. And, let’s just say I think Lurch is actually kind of cute. I enjoyed the humor of the movie, but at some points it did cross over to being ridiculous in a way I actually didn’t like. I was left wishing they had expanded more so into the back stories of the characters to make me understand how these people came to be how they are. Overall I did really enjoy it and it got a 3/5 from me. 

Let me know in the comments below what your favorite Halloween movie is! Do you agree with my thoughts on the movies I watched? 

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Julia is a freshman English major at Lasell. She enjoys reading, writing, exploring nature, and spending time with her family. Most nights you can find her in bed watching Keira Knightley movies.
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