As the air turns crisp and leaves crunch beneath my feet, I eagerly prepare for a month filled with spine-tingling thrills. What better way to embrace the spirit of the season than with a curated list of must-watch films and TV shows? In this roundup, we'll explore my top 5 Halloween gems that promise to add the perfect amount of spook and nostalgia to my October nights. From animated classics to heart-pounding horrors, let's embark on a cinematic journey that celebrates the essence of Halloween.
5. The Simpsons Treehouse of Terror (Any Episode)
As Halloween approaches, no list is complete without a visit to the iconic "Treehouse of Terror" episodes from The Simpsons. While every installment offers a delightful mix of humor and spookiness, my personal favorite is Number 21 from October 2009 titled “Sweeney Toad Moe and Beer.” Fortunately, all episodes are currently available on Disney Plus, making it a perfect addition to my Halloween watchlist.
4. Dark Skies (2013)
For someone like me, currently residing in a UAP (Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon) hotspot, "Dark Skies" makes its mark on this list. This movie takes on an even more chilling dimension. Priced at $3.99 on Apple TV (free on AMC+), it offers a hair-raising alternative to the usual extraterrestrial fare. Brace yourself for a thrilling experience that goes beyond the usual E.T. encounters.
3. Halloweentown (1998, 2001, 2004)
For 90’s kids like myself, Halloween is incomplete without a trip to "Halloweentown." The first three installments, especially, hold a special place in our hearts. With amazing animatronics and the delightful Debbie Reynolds, these movies are a nostalgic binge-watch on Disney Plus. Let's forget the unfortunate fourth film and revel in the magic of the first three that define Halloween for many of us.
2. Hocus Pocus (1993)
A Halloween classic, "Hocus Pocus" takes the second spot on my list. As a 90’s kid, this film was an annual ritual, eagerly awaited on ABC Family or Disney Channel. With 24-hour marathons now available on various networks and streaming platforms, the Sanderson sisters' antics are a must-watch. Personally, I once went as far as trying to resurrect my VHS copy because, truly, it's not Halloween until the witches sing!
1. The Exorcist (1973)
Topping my list is a Halloween must-watch that transcends time – "The Exorcist" (1973). While I am partial to the Extended Director's Cut, based on the 2000 Remaster, the 1973 version available on HBO MAX is the one that changed the world. Its groundbreaking impact on horror cinema is undeniable, and I believe that every Halloween should include a viewing of this cinematic masterpiece. Whether it's the classic 1973 version or the extended cut, "The Exorcist" remains an essential Halloween tradition that sends shivers down my spine.
As the curtain falls on my Halloween film and TV marathon, I find myself immersed in the rich tapestry of spooky tales and nostalgic delights. From the animated charm of The Simpsons to the bone-chilling horror of The Exorcist, these handpicked gems have woven a cinematic spell that captures the essence of the season. Whether I choose to laugh, scream, or indulge in a bit of both, these Halloween must-watches promise an unforgettable journey into the heart of October's magic. So, grab my favorite snacks, dim the lights, and let the Halloween movie marathon begin!