October! It’s here!
No, I’m not talking about the crisp air, the falling leaves, or the fact that pumpkin spice has taken over grocery store shelves and coffee shops, alike. I’m talking about that halfway point between Shark Week and Falalala Lifetime- that time on television where characters take shape as witches and goblins and ghosts, where magic comes alive, and you hesitantly fall asleep with one eye open.
So, as the season’s change and darkness comes quicker, it’s time to settle in for a night of Halloween “Horrors.” Whether you’re looking for an old-time classic or something to scare your socks off, I’ve put together a list of Halloween favorites to gear you up for a month of fear.
- Hocus Pocus
Don’t even try to tell me this isn’t the best Halloween movie. I won’t allow it. Over twenty years after its original release in 1993, this cult classic can still be viewed on an array of channels throughout October. Between Sarah Jessica Parker playing, in my opinion, her best role yet, and Bette Midler’s wicked one-liners, this movie brings you back to your childhood. The quaint town of Salem comes alive with tales and rumors of the Sanderson sisters, waiting for the day that a virgin lights the candle so they can walk the streets once more. But some people aren’t believers, because after all, “it’s just a bunch of hocus-pocus.”
- MTV’s Scream
We’ve all seen the classic Scream movies, right? Telling the story of a girl who’s haunted by her mother’s dark past, and playing into every horror movie trope you can think of. Well, MTV snagged that idea and threw together a series from that, because who said: “you can’t turn a slasher movie into a TV show.” Well, every resident slasher movie enthusiast on any slasher movie would say that, but Scream is proving them wrong. With two seasons of it on Netflix, it’s the perfect show to binge over a long October weekend. But before you do, I suggest locking your windows and doors, because you never know what could be lurking in the shadows.
If you’re not too keen on the jumpy, spooky, and scary, then Disney’s Halloweentown is the place for you. Almost as classic as Hocus Pocus, this movie has been around since 1998 and continues to amuse me with every rewatch. It follows the life of a girl who realizes she’s a witch, and that her family is originally from a different world and now, it’s in danger. You’ll see this pop up on Disney channel in the next few weeks, along with its three sequels, Halloweentown II, Halloweentown High, and Return to Halloweentown (all honorable mentions).
It wouldn’t be Halloween without Halloween. This series invented its own sub-genre of horror, with ten movies out, and with each one, All Hallows’ Eve gets a little more disturbing. After a young boy was institutionalized for killing his family, he escapes years later, and haunts the town that once discarded him. Rating a full 10/10 on my scare scale, I reckon you want to keep the lights on for this one.
- Stranger Things
I couldn’t get through this list without mentioning this Netflix original that’s taking over television screens across the world. After a young boy disappears, his friends and family set out to find him. What they didn’t expect to find was a telekinetic girl who may know more than they think. With eight episodes released, this is a quick binge for a lazy Saturday. Its eeriness will keep you up at night, and you’ll never look at a light bulb the same, ever again.
- Practical Magic
Back to witches. Because we all know that’s where the magic really lies on Halloween. If creepy isn’t quite your forte, Practical Magic is the movie for you. It’s Halloween meets rom-com, magic meets heartbreak. If the fact that Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman star in this together doesn’t win you over already, let me try with the plot. This 1998 romantic comedy centers on a family of witches who are cursed to find love but then, painfully lose it. That doesn’t stop these sisters from putting their hearts out, though, because like they say, “Plant roses and lavender for luck. Fall in love whenever you can.”
- Witches of East End
Can you tell I love witches? Don’t get too attached to this show, though, as it was canceled after just two seasons. But damn, is it good. Those two seasons are on Netflix, allowing you to binge to your heart’s content. An updated “Charmed,” this show focuses on two sisters realizing they are witches, and being guided by their overprotective mother and eccentric aunt. After watching this, you’ll immediately want to immerse yourself in their world of spells, potions, and of course, their fabulous witchy wardrobe. It wouldn’t be complete without a love story, but this one’s anything but ordinary.
What kind of lady-empowering feminist would I be without adding the 2016 remake of Ghostbusters to this list? And what kind of Halloween would it be without ghosts? Rebooted from the male-led 1980s classic, this film is shining a new spotlight on female leads. With outstanding performances from Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones, the future of television is here. Oh, and Chris Hemsworth. In glasses. Lucky for us, the DVD is set to release on October 11th, just in time to become a new Halloween favorite.
So, grab someone to scream with, lock your doors, and enjoy these classics that’ll jump start your season of magic!