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7 Iconic & Spooktastic Movies To Enjoy If You’re Not A Fan Of Horror Movies

Here, here! I have come to save you from the wild herd of Halloween lovers and their terrifying passion for horror movies. I know October is widely known as “spooky season,” but for a person who does not celebrate this holiday, it is still a month full of happy fall vibes. I will say though, there are a few films that I do enjoy watching during this beloved month. Some of these films may not be classified as iconic Halloween films, but I do get the vibe of that creepiness that’s perfect for this weekend. As a true scaredy-cat, I can promise you that these movies are completely fun and exciting. They do not have traumatic jump scares that I’m sure you have experienced and prayed to God never comes to happen. With that said, here are the top seven films I recommend you watch on Halloween day in no particular order:

Casper (1995)

“Can I Keep You?”

‘90s kids definitely know this movie by heart. Though I was not born in the ‘90s, I am definitely a fan of young Christina Ricci’s films. If you’re not so fond of ghosts, don’t worry, Casper will turn your heart around. In this film, Casper and his three eccentric and chaotic uncles are visited by a widowed man and his daughter, James and Kat Harvey, who are moving to their haunted mansion. While James Harvey reluctantly joins the ghost trio in their insane antics, Casper develops a close friendship with Kat, which adorably turns into love. This movie contains heartfelt themes such as the power of friendship, to the beauty of first love, to the dark themes of death and reincarnation. A tip from me to you is to keep a stash of Kleenex beside you… I’m positive you will need them.

Coraline (2009)

Coraline follows the life of an 11-year-old girl who moves into a strange mansion that has been divided into small rooms called Pink Palace Apartments. This new chapter in Coraline’s life brings so many unexpected encounters with her neighbors, as well as a mysterious alternate reality she has access to through a strange portal. This film does creep you out with the way the characters move and look, due to the whole movie using the stop-motion technique and clay figurines for the characters. Not only is this a beloved classic film, but it is also a haunting masterpiece to admire. This film is where I hold the most nostalgia. It was always being played during the scorching summer days in my elementary school, and students would go inside classrooms to watch movies on those old bulky televisions. The theme that stays with you after having watched it is that no matter how imperfect life is, enjoy the people in it and enjoy what you have.

Spirited Away (2001)

I am a huge fan of Studio Ghibli, and I will gladly plug this movie into the list even if it’s not centered on Halloween! This Academy-Award winning film directed by Hayao Miyazaki is a breathtaking story about a 10-year old girl named Chihiro and her parents who enter what seems to be an abandoned amusement park- but is actually a bridge to the spirit world. While inside, Chihiro loses her parents, and she must begin her quest to find them. With the help of a mysterious boy named Haku, Chihiro goes through many trials and encounters strange yet intriguing spirit creatures. This experience shapes Chihiro into a brave and selfless young girl full of maturity and wisdom that will surely mark your heart.

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

The million-dollar question is this: do you watch this movie on Christmas or Halloween? I have always wondered about this. In Mexico, Disney Channel would screen it on both holidays, so in my mind, I associate this movie with both. Regardless, this is another film that I am sure you have heard about a million times. Join Jack Skellington, the pumpkin king of Halloweentown, who becomes fed up with going through the motions of scaring and frightening people. He yearns for something different, something new to experience when he stumbles on Christmastown. The excitement of this cheery and bright world causes him to make Christmastown his own and takes matters into his own hands by kidnapping Santa Claus; making Santa’s identity his own.

Edward Scissorhands (1990)

The ‘90s did seem like simpler times back when Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder were one of the most beloved couples in Hollywood. Directed by Tim Burton, Edward Scissorhands is about a peculiar inventor’s unfinished creation named Edward (Johnny Depp), who is adopted into a small suburban family. The neighborhood is aghast to discover this man has scissors for hands, but later accepts him to take advantage of his naiveness and his shrub trimming and shaping skills. Edward’s only desire is to love and be loved, desiring the attention of Kim (Winona Ryder), but those surrounding him only see him as a monster. Will he be able to reach her heart? Yes, but this one also requires you to leave a box of Kleenex handy.

The Corpse Bride (2005)

Since we are following the Tim Burton train, I thought the addition of The Corpse Bride was perfect. You may be seeing a theme here as I am a sucker for any film that has a bit of romance in it; this film is no exception. The story focuses on a young bachelor named Victor, who is about to be married to a young lady named Victoria. They have never met before, so the anxiety of making such a vow so quickly haunts Victor, and he retreats to the woods in the middle of the ceremony. His fear and anxiousness lead him to a whole new world of skeletons, ghouls and a beautiful corpse bride who somehow his fate is tied to. With the wedding still happening, it is up to Victor to decide who he will spend his life with.

The Addams Family & The Addams Family Values (1991, 1993)

If you think your family is dysfunctional, I present to you The Addams Family. This ghoulish family of seven will steal your heart with their dark humor and the peculiar situations they find themselves in. They don’t look like the average all-American family, but they do know how to act like one. Both of these films have the theme of family through their sweet family dynamic, as well as the power of self-expression. I definitely recommend this one if you want a good laugh.

There you have it! These are the seven films you can enjoy this weekend with family and friends by yours truly. I can guarantee that you’ll definitely enjoy any of these picks, and maybe you’ll even add them to your list of favorites. You are very welcome to send me a private message on my Instagram, so we can talk non-stop about these films! I hope you have a great weekend and eat lots of candy and popcorn!

Marvin is a Junior majoring in Korean and (hopefully) minoring in Comparative Literature. Her dream of living in LA has become a reality, even if she lives the UCLA experience through Zoom.
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