8 Spooky Movies To Watch This Halloween If You Hate Horror And Want More Treats Than Tricks
It's that time of year again: There's a chill in the air, the leaves are starting to turn, and pumpkin spice is everywhere (including some places it should never, ever be.) It's fall, and one of the best months of fall: October, the one with Halloween in it.
If you're like me (a former emo kid who will jump if you walk up behind her too quietly), you might love Halloween, but you're not necessarily into the whole "getting scared" part of it. For you, Halloween is about costumes, characters, jack-o-lanterns, candy, and maybe some really weird stuff, but definitely no movies starring Jason or Chucky.
If your Halloweens are more about treats than tricks, here are eight movies you can watch - without worrying too much about jumping out of your skin.
Crimson Peak (NETFLIX)
This one is in on here for those people who wanna watch something a LITTLE scary, but not true horror. (There is exactly ONE (1) jump scare.) Crimson Peak is a spooky Guillermo Del Toro film about an aspiring young novelist from Buffalo, New York at the turn of the century, who is wooed and whisked away by a charming but mysterious English nobleman and his sister. What follows is a twisted gothic tale of romance and suspense and horror, but as our hero Edith says, it's not a ghost story...just a story with a ghost in it. (Also, Tom Hiddleston's bare butt. That's in there too.)
What We Do In The Shadows (FUBO)
This sounds like the title of a spine chilling vampire story, and it is...but hold the chilling, because these guys definitely don't have any chill. What We Do In The Shadows (the movie that preceded the now-popular FX show) is Taika Waititi's hilarious story about a vampire coven in the modern age and the various hijinks they get up to. If you like It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia and have always wondered what it would look like with vampires, werewolves, and some guy named Stu, this is the movie for you.
Young Frankenstein (PRIME VIDEO)
One of Mel Brooks' funniest films (and that's saying something), Young Frankenstein is a comedic powerhouse of a movie, an absolute classic, and a must-see around Halloween. It has everything: black and white picture, old classic movie sound effects, a creepy haunted castle, and a monster to boot. It also features a star-studded cast: Gene Wilder, Marty Feldman, Peter Boyle, Cloris Leachman, and more. Best of all, this comedy is a twist on the classic story, offering laughs the whole way through, and a happy ending to boot.
You know you're going to play the song, you may as well watch the movie. Ghostbusters is such a calssic Halloween movie that I don't even know if I need to explain why it's on the list. You wanna watch some really funny guys bust some ghosts and see Rick Moranis and Sigourney Weaver turn into rabid gargoyles? Ghostbusters. Wanna watch Dan Akroyd get absolutely plastered in exploded marshmallow? Ghostbusters.
(Also, Ghostbusters II, whose plot centers around a sentient pink goo that flows under the city of New York and channels all its emotions, is a highly underrated movie, and is also worth a shot.)
Little Shop of Horrors (HBO MAX)
Speaking of Rick Moranis, Little Shop of Horrors is a great movie for Halloween if you don't necessarily want a happy ending, but still want to laugh while you're served your horror. Based on an old, cheesy horror film from the early 20th century, and written by two Disney powerhouses years before they ever worked for the mouse, this Howard Ashman/Alan Menken musical is a dark comedy about a cannibal plant that crash lands from outer space, and convinces a sad, lonely flower shop hand to commit murders so he can eat the bodies. Do you love campy stuff? Definitely try Little Shop.
It'd be a crime not to put any Tim Burton movies on this list, and of all his films, Beetlejuice is one of the most Halloween-y (with the exception of, perhaps The Nightmare Before Christmas, which, by the way, is a bonus suggestion for you.) It's got a tragic death, a ghost couple, a haunted farmhouse, a bunch of trips to the afterlife, and, of course...that smarmy character Michael Keaton plays. (I can't say it a third time!)
If you like Halloween for its ability to bring out the dark and the weird in all of us, go with this movie.
Hocus Pocus (DISNEY+)
This one's a kids' movie, but it's such a classic and so bizarre that it has a cult following of adults who love it, probably largely owing to Bette Midler's performance as a witchy old hag - and her stage performance at one point in the movie. Viewers get to watch her, along with her sisters, fellow witches played by Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker, attempt to "suck the life force" of three 90's tweens in order to stay alive and regain their youthful beauty. There's also a talking cat that's really the ghost of a puritan boy they killed. Hocus Pocus was weird for a regular kids' movie, especially given the number of times they say the word 'virgin,' but it's great for a Halloween watch.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (PARAMOUNT+)
Sweeney Todd is another musical, but this one is really dark, not just campy dark. It's also another Tim Burton film, but it's a decidedly darker one - the only scene containing bright colors or whimsical patterns plays them as incredibly ironic. It's a classic story and a classic musical, and you get to watch Helena Bonham Carter, Johnny Depp, Alan Rickman, Sacha Baron Cohen, and many, many others sing about killing people and making them into meat pies. It's fun, but remember: There's no happy ending here.
Did you enjoy the reccommendations? Do you have any of your own that you think were overlooked? Please, tell us all about it in the comments!