The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Don’t hesitate to rewatch this classic again in December, as the two worlds of Halloween and Christmas fuse together in Tim Burton’s stop-motion animation masterpiece. Burton’s unmistakable visual style of dark and whimsical tones brings a dreamlike quality to his classic film. It’s a treat to dive into the world of unforgettable Gothic architecture, exaggerated characters and spooky landscapes. As a timeless master of stop-motion animation, Burton is equivalent in status to “Nightmare”’s main protagonist: Jack Skellinton, the King of HalloweenTown.
The Shining (1980)
Jack Nicholson’s iconic performance will certainly leave you with goosebumps, and make you rethink your next stay at a hotel. Based on a Stephen King novel, “The Shining” serves a spine-chilling atmosphere, filled with eerie scenery from the Overlook Hotel, inspired by the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park. The deserted hallways and ballrooms, mazed hedges, and elevator of blood blurs the line between reality and the supernatural. Even on repeated watches, “The Shining” unleashes new fears of isolation and cabin fever.
Hocus Pocus (1993)
The Sanderson sisters are what makes this movie beloved among Halloween enthusiasts. Each sister carries a distinct personality reflected in their flamboyant, enchanting costumes and looks. Winifred Sanderson (Bette Midler) has a fiery red mane of curls held in a green headband. Sarah Sanderson (Sarah Jessica Parker) wears an ethereal, low-cut gown. Mary Sanderson (Kathy Najimy) sports a slanted smile. These features and more mold the essence of their individual quirks. If you are planning on dressing up as a witch this Halloween, be sure to take notes!
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
“The Blair Witch Project” revolutionized horror cinema with a minimalist, effective approach to storytelling through its found-footage style. The low-budget film is shot all on handheld cameras by the actors themselves, drawing moviegoers into the raw, unrefined events of the ill-fated expedition. Every scream, camera shake and panicked breath evokes an alarming quality of the movie that puts audiences right in the Black Hills of Maryland. The ominous, dense forest that you don’t physically see throughout the movie, but know is all around, is a sinister presence that leaves you vulnerable in the fear of the unknown.
The Addams Family (1991)
“The Addams Family” embodies the free-spirited nature of Halloween with the celebration of fantastical and bizarre individualities. This eclectic family is unapologetically themselves, from Gomez and Morticia’s passionate love, Uncle Fester’s childish antics, Wednesday’s stoic demeanor to Pugsley’s love of destruction. The unconventional (yet charmingly weird) characters captivate audiences of all ages. This movie will leave you wanting your own “Thing” at home.