It hardly seems like an entire year has passed since the last time I wrote an article about Halloween, and yet spooky season is upon us once again. I’ve personally been celebrating since October 1st, and in that time I’ve generated a list of my favorite but generally underrated halloween flicks to watch in the coming weeks.
The first time I watched this movie, I was only about nine years old. While I thoroughly enjoyed it the first time around, I recently rewatched it for the first time since then and realized that the movie is even more enjoyable as a young adult. The premise of the character Scamper, an immortal rabbit-like creation voiced by Steve Buscemi, went entirely over my head as a child but is now hilariously relatable with his dark humor and sarcastic tone. The movie has witty humor, a star-studded cast, and creepy-cute animation to accompany it’s creative plot, leaving no reason to not give it a watch this October. It’s even currently available on Netflix!
My parents recently told me about how they watched this movie and enjoyed it, so I decided to check it out myself. Falling somewhere between Disney Channel Original and Oscar-nominated, this movie is cheesy in all the right ways with shockingly funny one-liners that will make you chuckle and surprisingly impressive animation incorporated throughout. Jack Black can be an acquired taste, but he isn’t overpowering in this film and adds just enough silliness to make the movie more enjoyable. If you go in with no expectations and an open mind, this movie is the perfect fun Halloween flick to laugh about with friends or family.
2b. Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween
This October break, my parents and I rented the second installment of the Goosebumps movies. Surprisingly, it stood up to the first movie with it’s humor and plot. Part of the reason it did not pale in comparison to the prior Goosebumps movie was the entirely new cast (with the exception of Jack Black’s cameo at the end of the film). Instead of an extension or revision of the first movie, this film incorporated previous ideas while also creating an entirely new story line. This movie is also currently on Netflix, so be sure to watch it before the season is over!
3. Scary Godmother: Halloween Spooktacular
When I was a kid, Halloween meant two things: trick-or-treating and Scary Godmother marathons on Cartoon Network. For some reason, the channel refused to play just about anything else for the month of October, or at least that’s how it felt to me at the time. This movie is a true gem that most people I talk to have never even heard about, never mind seen (which is such a shame). Although the animation is a little funky, seemingly falling into a dimension somewhere between 2D and 3D, realizing that the movie was released in 2003 makes it less strange and more impressive. The film follows Hannah as she goes trick-or-treating and is brought to Scary Godmother’s world to meet other friendly monsters and attend the best Halloween part of all time. The plot is intriguing, a perfect mix of spooky and sweet. You can currently find the entire TV movie on YouTube.
3b. Scary Godmother: The Revenge of Jimmy
I couldn’t put Halloween Spooktacular on this list without including the sequel! The second film follows Hannah and Scary Godmother as they try to stop Jimmy from erasing Halloween from the calendar forever. While the idea of Halloween being erased is a nightmare for me, this movie is a great lighthearted watch that’s perfect for all ages during the month of October. This one’s on YouTube, too!
4. The Corpse Bride
The Corpse Bride may be one of the best-known movies on this list, but in addition to being my favorite of all of his films, my personal opinion it is also one of the least appreciated Tim Burton movies of all time. The beautiful music, endearing animation, and imaginative story line all contribute to my love for this movie. If you’re still not convinced that The Corpse Bride deserves a watch, then you should know that I never cry at movies, but I cry at the end of this movie every single time I watch it. It’s also only one hour and 18 minutes long, which means there’s no reason you can’t fit it in before October 31st!
Even as a huge Tim Burton fan, I didn’t know about this movie for the longest time. I finally watched it in high school and have been obsessed with it ever since. Post-apocalyptic artificial intelligence technology ravages the earth as nine mechanical rag dolls try to take back control in this action-packed, emotional movie. Even though there is relatively little dialogue throughout the film, it’s hard not to form connections with the characters, and the topic of technology overpowering humans is a little too plausible to not be scary. 9 is on Netflix right now and should definitely be added to your watch list!
6. Monster House
Monster House is another movie that got a lot of airtime on Cartoon Network during my childhood. I know this movie elicits a deep fear and hatred in most people, but I find that’s usually just because they watched it when they were really young. My parents didn’t let me watch this flick until eighth grade, so I was able to appreciate it in all its horror and greatness the first time around, without being scarred for life. This movie is probably the creepiest of all the films on this list (even my dad admits that it made him a little uncomfortable the first time he saw it). It’s impressively scary for an animated movie and the concept is super interesting and imaginative.
With only two weeks left in October (yikes!), I hope these lesser-known, seriously spooky movies help get you in the spirit of Halloween!
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