By Kaitlyn Waller, Staff Writer
Unsure of what to watch this Halloween? From the myriad of films available, I have picked the best five for you to watch this holiday ranging from lighthearted to creepy.
“Halloween Town” (1998), rated PG: Kimberly J. Brown plays Marnie Piper, a young girl who learns that she is a witch. With the help of her family, she fights to save Halloween Town, a supernatural town in another dimension, from being destroyed by Kalabar.
This is a fun and entertaining Disney movie for the cheery Halloween spirit. The film has the trademarks of Halloween without the fright—it has spooky scenes, fun creatures, magic spells, and catchy music.
“Hocus Pocus” (1993), rated PG: Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy star as Winnie, Sarah, and Mary—Salem witches resurrected by the skeptic Max Dennison (Omri Katz) who unknowingly lights the black candle. Max, with his sister Dani (Thora Birch), his love interest Allison (Vinessa Shaw), and a cat named Binx, have to try and stop the sisters from becoming immortal before sunrise.
This movie is a funny cult classic. The aesthetic quality of the film is worth watching. It has beautiful autumn sets, costumes, and old homes, and an intriguing plot line that draws on the creepy Salem witch trial atmosphere.
“The Lost Boys” (1987), rated R: After moving to Santa Carla, a vampire-ridden town, Michael (Jason Patric) soon falls for Star (Jami Gertz), a member of a gang of vampires led by David (Kiefer Sutherland). Michael’s younger brother Sam (Corey Haim) has to save him, Star, and their mother from the head vampire’s plot with the help of his new found vampire hunter friends.
“The Lost Boys” is a fun teen movie. It has awesome 80s music, creepy vampires, comedy, and a gloomy boardwalk beach atmosphere. Some gore and mild sexual themes are present.
“Psycho” (1960), rated R: After stealing $40,000 from her boss, Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) goes on the run, ending up at the Bates Motel owned by Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins), a strange man with an even stranger mother.
“Psycho” is a classic Alfred Hitchcock film. It is in black and white, but instead of the color palette dulling the movie to a modern viewer, it highlights the gothic terror of Norman Bates’s home and the eerie mystery of the mother, who appears as a shadow behind the window panes. The psychological horror that is Norman Bates and the mystery of the killer provide an interesting and terrifying mystery to solve. Besides some brief slasher scenes, blood, and what would be considered indecent exposure in the 60s, the film is great for the faint-of-heart who still desire a scare.
“The Shining” (1980), rated R: Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson), his wife Wendy (Shelly Duvall), and their son Danny (Danny Lloyd) become winter caretakers of the Overlook Hotel in Colorado so Jack can overcome his writer’s block. The hotel’s dark past soon starts to affect Jack’s mental health and his son begins having visions; stress accumulates quickly and Jack soon develops a homicidal rage toward his family.
“The Shining” is an iconic movie based on the novel by Stephen King. Instead of relying on explicit gore, it terrifies the viewer through the incredibly eerie and creepy dark past of the hotel that surfaces as frightening visions and insanity. It is a terrifying but intelligent film with much to discover and decipher.
You will be sure to find several of these films playing this Halloween night to get into the holiday spirit without too restless a night’s sleep and dreams. “The Lost Boys” and “Psycho” can be found on YouTube, “The Shining” on IFC, and “Hocus Pocus” and “Halloween Town” on Freeform.