I have always loved the whole concept of Halloween, even when I was little.
Granted, it had much more to due with the candy and knocking on doors for treats than what I appreciate about the season as a “grown up”. I used to love getting dressed up–at one point, I was definitely a devil, Perdita from 101 Dalmations and even a queen–how appropriate. I can vividly recall two ugly, terrifying masks my dad would wear every year to scare trick-or-treaters who approached our door, an ugly Wolfman and one that I’d rather forget.
Basically, I am Marnie–Marnie is me.
As if tradition, even if I’m not going out to celebrate in the costume merriment, I always manage to pay homage to the quasi-holiday with movie marathons of my favorite movies. Since horror will NEVER be my genre of choice and I am one of the jumpiest people you will ever meet, I stick to movies that are…more family friendly. If you’re looking for some movie choices to add to your own not-so-scary-Halloween movie marathon, you’re in the right place.
Photo source: substreammagazine.com
Halloweentown is one movie I make sure to catch every Halloween (or Harvest) season. I mean, who doesn’t love a good 90’s throwback? From start to finish, this movie is funny, light-hearted and brings back the best feelings of nostalgia. And okay, who else secretly hoped that their grandmother would reveal that they were really a family of magical beings?
RIP Debbie Reynolds
I’m still waiting for my magical powers to kick in—maybe it’s really at 30 and not 13—I’ll keep you all posted. Fingers crossed!
Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge (2001) is another favorite of mine, because all the classic characters are back and the storyline gets real interesting. All the magic is disappearing from Halloweentown and no one knows why—plus everyone around Marnie and her siblings, start to change. It’s up to them to figure out why. This movie is both cheesy and super endearing, and it was a great end to the series.
I say ENDING because, although there is a Halloweentown High and Return to Halloweentown, I refuse to acknowledge those movies. I mean, really? They should have just stopped at I & II. But that’s none of my business.
photo source: whosdatedwho.com
This is my favorite Disney Channel Original Movie throwback. I fondly remember, after a night trick-or-treating with my friends, sitting together trading chocolate bars and watching this gem of a movie. The basic plot is that these three kids (mainly the two older ones, because it’s really the youngest one that had the MOST sense!) try to set their mom up on a date so they can go and enjoy a night out with friends. Only problem is, they’ve unintentionally set their mom up on a date with…you guessed it: a vampire. I know, right? Super realistic.
This movie is so nineties it’s ridiculous, but that’s kind of what makes it THE BEST.
Plus, hello—Aunt Hilda from Sabrina is in it, so you can’t really go wrong.
photo source: the-arcade.ie
I think we can all agree that this movie recommendation goes without saying. Hocus Pocus is most likely at the top of everyone’s favorite Halloween movies list—and if it’s not, I can tell you without uncertainty—they’re doing it wrong.
Hocus Pocus is a classic, not only because it’s filled with an awesome cast of hilarious women—Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker (pre-Carrie Bradshaw days)—but also because it’s filled with one liners that get pulled out each and every Halloween season and there’s honestly never been a movie like it since.
photo source: express.co.uk
Plus, that last scene with Binx the cat and Dani—it always gets me right in the feels.
photo source: letterboxd.com
If you know me, you know cartoons and I mix very well. ParaNorman is a newer film (2012) and is probably my favorite Halloween movie of ALL time. Yes, I went there. I can’t even tell you why exactly, besides the fact that it’s brilliantly made and witty to the core—and so unexpected. Of course, you may guess the ending to the story in a broad sense, but I can promise that you’ll never quite get it right if you’re just assuming. It is one movie that you need to see for yourself and experience at least once—or maybe even, ten times—this Halloween season.
photo source: amazon.com
Coraline, Coraline, Coraline. I don’t know why I decided to type that three times, it just seemed appropriate. Like I said, cartoons and I go way back. This particular film is stop-motion animated, which is insane—watch it and you’ll see what I mean—and beautifully done as well. I’m always fascinated by stop motion animators and the time and effort they put in to make something so beautiful and, to me at least, effortlessly so. Coraline is originally a book and its screen debut portrayed the curious, and at times, snarky character of Coraline so well. You definitely fall in love with the characters and their quirkiness throughout the movie.
I’m a big baby when it comes to surprises or things that make you jump—and this movie has its fair share of surprise moments. But overall, I would watch this movie again and again, just for the cool animation and fun storyline.
Hint: the Other Mother gets real weird.
There you have it! My not-so-scary Halloween movies of choice. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m about to pop some popcorn and start marathoning today.
What Halloween classics did I miss?
Tell me what your go-to Halloween movies are in the comments below!