Quintessential Movies for Halloween


Courtesy of Refinery29

Debbie Reynolds stars in the Disney classic “Halloweentown.”

Olivia Sabalaskey, Staff Writer

‘Tis the season for all things spooky. Halloween is right around the corner, and students are embracing all the traditions that make this time of year so fun. For some, celebrating Halloween may entail going to a pumpkin patch with friends, while other students may enjoy the glorious return of apple cider donuts or pumpkin spice lattes.

Holidays are always special and inspire a sense of excitement among us. Although there are many activities and traditions we are unable to celebrate this year, we can still watch our favorite, classic Halloween movies.

So turn on your television and treat yourself to some popcorn and candy because here is a list of some of the most iconic and beloved Halloween films.

“Hocus Pocus”: Is it even Halloween if you don’t watch “Hocus Pocus” at least once? Directed by the one and only Kenny Ortega, this movie follows characters Max, Dani and Alison as they try to stop three witches from becoming immortal. Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy star as the evil yet hilarious Sanderson sisters in this fantasy-comedy film.

“Halloweentown”: “Halloweentown” debuted on Disney Channel in 1998. Villanova students declare it a classic because of its nostalgia and all-star cast that includes film legend Debbie Reynolds, Kimberly J. Brown and Joey Zimmerman. “Halloweentown” follows Marnie, who discovers she comes from a family of witches. Along with the help of her grandmother, Marnie must learn to adapt to a town where monsters and witches are real. However, as soon as she begins to understand more about her family’s history, Marnie unravels the town leader’s looming plot to take over the world. With little experience of casting spells, it is up to Marnie to stop the villain and save Halloweentown.

“It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”: Halloween simply isn’t Halloween without watching “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.” Produced and animated by Bill Melendez, this Halloween special debuted in 1966 and is based on the comic strip “Peanuts” by Charles M. Schulz. The story follows Charlie Brown, who is invited to a friend’s Halloween party. While other members of the Peanuts family travel with Charlie Brown and trick-or-treat, Linus awaits the acclaimed Great Pumpkin in the local pumpkin patch. “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” is one of the most beloved Halloween short films of all time.

“Psycho”: Looking for a good horror film? “Psycho” is a timeless classic. Directed Alfred Hitchcock in 1960, this movie follows Marion Crane as she stops by the Bates Motel, where she meets Norman Bates, a mysterious taxidermist. Strange and frightening things begin to occur. Praised as one of Hitchcock’s best thrillers, “Psycho” is a masterpiece that changed cinema forever.

“Casper”: Not a fan of horror movies? “Casper” may be the perfect movie for you. James Harvey and his daughter, Kat, travel to a haunted mansion in Maine where Casper, a young ghost, peacefully haunts. Although Casper and Kat quickly become friends, Casper’s family of ghosts starts to cause trouble. Starring Bill Pullman, Christina Ricci and Malachi Pearson, “Casper” has become a staple of Halloween movies.

“Twitches”: “Twitches,” which debuted in October of 2005, is another fan favorite Halloween film that follows twins, Alex and Cam, as they learn to control and use more of their magical powers as witches. However, as Alex and Cam are reunited on their twenty-first birthday, evil emerges and, together, they must use their magic and wits to defeat the villain and save the kingdom. Tia and Tamera Mowry star in this Disney Channel Original Movie that students will undoubtedly enjoy watching.

There are so many wonderful Halloween movies to watch this year. Most of them can be found on streaming platforms such as Disney+, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. However, Freeform has also released its popular and annual “31 Nights of Halloween” schedule to help plan out your movie nights and watch parties.