BSR Staff Picks: Halloween Movies

Written by on October 15, 2021

It’s that time of year when everyone is looking for movies to celebrate the spookiest season, Halloween. BSR’s Web Staff has put together their favorite picks that you must watch this Halloween.

Jenn Noga: It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown (1966)

As a Peanuts stan, I grew up watching special after special but none will hold a place in my heart quite like the Great Pumpkin does. Halloween was never complete until trick or treating was over, the costumes removed, wrapped up in my favorite blanket watching Linus have the snot slugged out of him by Sally, who, by her own fault missed Tricks or Treats to hang out in a pumpkin patch all night long with a boy she likes. (We’ve all had that moment Sally, it’s okay.) The Great Pumpkin always gave me a feeling of home, and the first Halloween I spent away from my family by some weird twist of fate was playing live on the common room TV. It’s a tradition I never hope to break and pass down to the next generation.

Izzy Schreck: Casper (1995)

I remember watching this movie on the little box tv in the corner of my grandma’s basement when it was on whatever cable channel aired when we were over. The film is so nostalgic, and I have gone to rewatch it during fall when I wanted to be brought back to the simpler days of first grade. In short, Casper is about a ghost named Casper (lol, get it, it’s the name of the movie) who friendly haunts a mansion which is visited by a ghost communicator and his daughter, who Casper falls in love with. It definitely is a very overlooked Halloween movie, and it is the only Halloween movie I can remember that made me want to cry at the end, when the mom appeared at the end. I have never been the biggest fan of scary movies, and this movie brings in both mild spookiness with a heartwarming ending. 

Cara Carlson: Coraline (2009)

I know, I know, Coraline is every quirky girl’s favorite Halloween movie, but it’s basic for a reason–because it’s good! Coraline is, for me, full of magic. With vivid colors, endearing characters, and the memorable song from the Other Father, this movie will always keep me glued to the screen until the very end. And, for someone like me, who hates scary movies, this is the perfect “fake scary” movie. It makes me feel like I’m watching something scary, even though it’s a kiddie movie and all the characters are made out of clay. Coraline is my favorite movie to watch around Halloweentime, cuddled up with a fuzzy blanket and snacks. Bonus if I can watch with the people I love, too. 

Selene Price: Evil Dead 2 (1987)

As someone who loves horror movies good and bad, the Evil Dead series is a perfect blend of everything good about the genre, and everything fun about a cheesy movie. The sequel takes place six years after the first movie was filmed, with a much much larger budget, and impressive practical effects. We follow Ash Williams, played by Bruce Campbell, trapped alone in the cabin in the woods, still tormented by the demons haunting the place. The first half of the movie is Bruce Campbell running around covered in fake blood, fighting for his sanity until more people come along and he’s forced to get a grip to protect them. It’s generally a fun movie, a great continuation of the first, and nothing screams Halloween more to me than a classic scary movie full of demons and the risen dead.

Audrey Pierson: Monster House (2006)

Anyone who is a fan of nostalgic early 2000s animation is sure to love my personal Halloween favorite. Nothing screams Halloween more than watching a trio of friends fight a house that seems to have a monstrous life of its own. This oddly heartwarming tale is my family’s favorite fall movie. As we live in a century-home that resembles the one in this movie, we would dress up our house for the last week of October. We would put giant eyes in our second floor windows and tack up painted green teeth to our porch to welcome trick-or-treaters. If you want a thrilling movie with all the fun but without gore or blood, this is the movie for you!

Max Simon: The Fly (1986)

Do your best to imagine The Shape of Water if instead of a fish monster there was a strapping young version of Jeff Goldblum that turns into a humanoid fly creature. Whatever image you’ve conjured in your mind cannot possibly compare to the horror you will endure while watching the classic horror flick ‘The Fly’. I would recommend this movie to people who don’t like horror movies but love pimple popping videos and want to give their life a little flavor. This arguably isn’t that scary of a movie but if you just want a casual, feel-good movie to get you into the halloween spirit this is the one for you.

keyart for Cabin Fever.

Margaret Villarreal: Cabin Fever (2002)

First, if you haven’t seen it already then, I recommend doing so. I believe this was a very underrated film at the time of its release. Sure, you have the usual college goer’s getting trashed and looking for sex, like in every horror movie. But then you have the concept of this movie, which was encountering this raging disease which ultimately caused your death. It’s that fear of who’s next to die that would really get to me when watching this film. The uncertainty of what was going on with the infected and how it developed into sweeping across the land were also of key interests. 

Chloe Ritzic: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)

This movie is a gory, Victorian-style musical set in the 1800s that tells the story of Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett’s shared business venture. Sweeney Todd murders people, and Mrs. Lovett consequently bakes them into delicious pies. Directed by Tim Burton, it obviously stars Johnny Depp, but it also features Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman, Christopher Lee and many, many others. Not only does it feature a yummy, star-studded cast, but it gives spooky, gothic London horror, which makes it a perfect Halloween pick. The songs will get stuck in your head, and you will find yourself crushing on Sweeney Todd despite his major, arguably valid flaws. There’s romance, there’s blood, but not too much, there’s thrill factor, and there’s great acting. I think everyone should treat themselves and watch Sweeney Todd this Halloween. 

Kenny Dillard: IT 1&2 (2017 and 2019)

The IT franchise was really popular back in 2019 when chapter two came out. It’s based off of the book IT by Stephen King, a famous horror author. I really like it because it didn’t feel like the actors were overacting when it came to being scared. Their reactions were what one would expect from a normal child that age. While some of us would like to think children are pure and well behaved, I feel like IT provides a realistic view on how children genuinely talk and act. At least that’s how me and my friends were growing up. The movie has a mixture of jump scares and comedy that makes it less frightening. Unless of course you don’t like clowns which is exactly what our main antagonist is. I love how chapter two continues the story and sort of puts an end to the problem that never got solved in the first movie. 

What’s your favorite Halloween movie? Did we mention your favorite? Leave us a comment below!

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