Mix and match these beloved movies to create the perfect marathon for a stay-at-home Halloween weekend
From apple picking to trick-or-treating, fall houses a variety of beloved traditions. One of my oldest friends and I have a long-running tradition of spending Halloween together. When we were younger we used to go trick-or-treating together, but in more recent years we’ve stayed in, baked and watched movies. Neither of us is a scary movie fan by any means so we’ve gravitated towards the more wholesome Halloween movies.
While many things have changed this year, we are still able to stay in and enjoy some good Halloween movies. With the holiday falling on Saturday, it’s the perfect night to stay in and enjoy a good film. Here’s my list of the top 10 wholesome Halloween movies.
The Addams Family, 1991 or 2019
Just from reading this line you probably can already hear the theme song playing in your head. Join this spooky family with their pet hand as they navigate the tribulations of family dynamic when their long lost uncle mysteriously shows up at their house one day. On the other hand, you can watch the recently animated version of the film that is sure to bring a smile to your face with its outlandish humour. The animated film is available on Amazon Prime Video.
Ghostbusters, 1984 or 2016
A favourite of my younger sister, these uplifting supernatural comedies are centred around the adventures of a group of ghost-catchers. The 1984 film details the origins of the original ghost-busting business and the professors-turned-ghosthunters exploits leading up to the team’s confrontation with an otherworldly, demonic threat. The more recent 2016 follows the formation of a new, all-female team of Ghostbusters, including a paranormal researcher, a physicist, an engineer and a subway worker. Both are available on Amazon Prime Video and Netflix.
A favourite for students who grew up in the early 2000s, Halloweentown is truly one of those movies that scream a Halloween classic. A story about curiosity and exploration into family heritage, join Marnie as she adventures to her grandmother’s mysterious town where ghosts, goblins, ghouls and witches live in harmony amongst themselves. If you like this movie, you’re in luck as there are also three additional films in the franchise. All are available on Disney+.
Hocus Pocus, 1993
What would happen if witches from Salem were brought back from the grave today? With an all-star line up playing the Sanderson sisters, the three sisters witches are looking for vengeance on Halloween night. This movie is definitely a cult classic and it is sure to put a spell on you. Currently available on Disney+, a sequel was just confirmed featuring the original cast.
Hotel Transylvania, 2012
In the late 1800s, Count Dracula opened a luxury hotel for monsters, to provide them with a reprieve from humans and to create a safe environment in which he can raise his daughter Mavis. Now approaching her 118th birthday, Mavis is eager to leave and explore the world to the great concern of her father. To make things even more complicated Jonathan, a human backpacker, discovers the resort just before the birthday celebration starts. Available on Netflix, this adorable and comical movie puts a twist on familiar Halloween figures, including Frankenstein and his bride, werewolves and mummies as well as the usual vampire love story.
It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, 1966
No list would be complete without this classic short. This movie is another one of my personal favourites. I often end up watching it once with my family in the week leading up to Halloween and then again with my friend. A lighthearted and uplifting Halloween special shows the Halloween preparations of the Peanuts gang, including Linus’ time staking out the pumpkin patch waiting for the Great Pumpkin to the exasperation of the rest of his friends, all leading up the big night of trick-or-treating. Available on Amazon Prime Video.
The Nightmare Before Christmas, 1993
This eerie and entertaining film, with the music to match, is centred on Jack Skellington, the King of “Halloween Town.” Bored with what he sees as the monotony of yearly Halloween, he wanders off and stumbles upon Christmas Town. Excited by this new holiday, he attempts to not only bring Christmas to Halloween Town but also usurp Santa Claus. Available on Amazon Prime Video and Disney+, this is a perfect film for those who are just waiting until Halloween to be over to start playing Christmas music (or who have already started!).
Over the Garden Wall, 2014
One of my younger brother’s favourites, this is a spooky, but also very sweet mini-series. The story follows two half-brothers — worry-prone Wirt and happy-go-lucky Greg — as they try to find their way back home through deep dark woods. On the way, they cross paths with the mysterious Woodsman, the feisty bluebird Beatrice among many, many more fantastical beings, all with their own reasons for being in the woods. Available on Amazon Prime Video.
The mystery-solving adventures of four meddling kids and their dog could almost be a marathon on its own. The franchise is a long time favourite of my family; we’ve seen just about all of them, from the original 1969 Scooby-Doo: Where Are You? TV show to the more recent movies. Scooby-Doo! and the Witch’s Ghost and Scooby-Doo! Frankencreepy are among some of the obviously Halloween-themed films, but all of the series offers a nostalgic, wholesome and comically spooky narrative, so you can pick and choose your favourites from the 30 plus films and 14 television series, many of which are on Amazon Prime Video.
Based on the book series of the same name, this Disney Channel original movie is centred around twin sisters, Alex and Camryn. Born in the magical realm of Coventry, they are brought to Earth in order to be protected from the evil entity, the Darkness and go on to be adopted by different families. The two sisters don’t meet again until their 21st birthday when their magical history is revealed and they are given the responsibility to save their home realm. This fantastical, lighthearted movie along with its sequel are both available on Disney+.