By Gio Arteaga
Growing up, Halloween classics were a go to seasonal thing my family used to partake in. Lighthearted movies like It’s the Great pumpkin, Charlie brown to more sinister movies like Scream, these movies are what tie generations together and something we can all either laugh about, cry over, scream at, and hide under the blanket when it gets too scary. Here, I’ll be giving my top 3 personal favorite movies that I think everyone should watch this Halloween!
#1 Hocus Pocus
When someone says the two words ‘Hocus Pocus’, what’s the first thing you think of…well… Hocus Pocus!
The movie itself follows along the story of 3 witches during the Salem witch trial era named the Sanderson sisters, when all of the sudden a young girl is lured into the witches forest where her youth is literally sucked out of her body and used by the witches for their eternal youth. Her older brother attempts to come to her aide but fails in the nic of time and in turn is transformed into a black cat and sentenced with curse of eternal life just before the witches are lynched and hung for witch craft. 300 years later, 3 kids venturing into the historic witches house have awoken these evil spirits with them lighting the eternal flame, causing havoc to wreak across the town of Salem once more.
Now what will the children do to save their town, free their feline friend, and put the witches to rest once and for all? And how will the three sisters adapt to the new times they’ve been challenged with?
The iconic Hocus Pocus movie starring Bette Mildred as Winifred Sanderson, Sarah Jessica Parker as Sarah Sanderson, and Kathy Najimy as Mary Sanderson I think was the all time perfect casting call for this movie. All three of their synergy throughout the movie is absolutely phenomenal, they all play the part as the three mysterious yet quirky witches from the Salem witch trial era just like they’re coming back from that time period, from flying on brooms to flying on vacuums? Not to mention all of their hair, make-up and outfits are absolutely on point with what I would associate a which to be like during that time.
Overall, The movie is an absolute timeless classic and really gets anyone in the Halloween spirit! 10/10 would recommend
#2 The Nightmare Before Christmas
What’s the perfect way to blend two of the most (in my opinion) iconic BEST holidays of the year? Make a joint movie!
The Nightmare Before Christmas follows our main protagonist Jack Skellington who is widely known in his world as the “Pumpkin King” where everyone in Halloween Town knows him. He has an epiphany that maybe he’s tired of having the same holiday every single day, every single year giving people a scare in the real world. One day, he walks into the forest outside of the Halloween town and finds a rind of trees with each having a different symbol on each one, 7 to be exact, as each representing a different ‘mainstream’ holiday. Jack decides to make his way into one of them and finds a whole new world of making presents, giving gifts, singing carols, having reindeer pulling a sleigh, all foreign and new concepts to Jack. He has an idea but what could it be?
Now, what will Jack do, will he stick to familiarity and not mess with the Holiday continuum. Or will he take the leap of faith and as his own, personal twist on Christmas???
The movie itself is an absolute artistic masterpiece. The producer’s stop-motion animation creates that authentic feeling you can only get from watching a movie of that style. It took the producers of the movie three consecutive years to finish the movie and you can see the effort and time that went into the making of it. Jack Skellingtion’s voice actor Chris Sarandon perfectly portrays and captures the essence of a half-dead humanlike character who is very inquisitive about the world around him. Now feeling scared to take risks and potentially mess with the futures of our younger generations! And Catherine Anne O’Hara voice acting the iconic rag-doll Sally. O’Hara’s voice has that subtlety and softness that captures Sallys essence and I would envision if she were animate, having this soft voice.
Overall, the movie is comforting to many, as it has that subtlety and innocence from the overarching idea of the movie but still has those creepy and twisted aspects to it which in my opinion make Nightmare Before Christmas hit such high marks for me. I would rate this movie a 10/10.
#3 The Shining
Finally, the absolutely iconic infamous horror movie everyone and their mother grew up with, The Shining!
The Shining follows a man by the name of Jack Torrance who has the opportunity to stay at the Overlook Hotel in Colorado. Jack is an infamous writer for his time and unfortunately faces a severe case of writer’s block so he thought it would be a good idea to go there, unwind, and have free time for himself and his family. Jack decides to bring his wife Wendy and his son Danny and consider it a fun family getaway. Little did they know how this would go south. Wendy’s son Danny is not considered a normal child, he was gifted with foresight and gets visions on what’s prophetically going to happen. Soon, Jack unravels the dark and twisted secrets the Overlook Hotel possesses, making him go insane and wanting to hurt his family.
So will Jack decide to go against these dark thoughts and fight them off? Or will he find a way to finally knock off the door?
The Shining is an absolute original work of horror film making. The movie directors did an amazing job filming this and putting it into production. The set tone of the movie creates this eerie feeling that at any point something just may pop out and jump scare us! It’s so amazing and astonishing how even when nothing is going on, you still get that horror feeling deep down in your gut even when there’s no horror that’s going to play out. The actors on top of that make the production even better; Jack Nicholson who plays Jack Torrance and Shelly Duvall who plays Wendy Torrance make this movie the movie. The horror Wendy faces in her eyes when Jack is outside the door breaking it down is unmatched. How she has that sheer look of horror on her face says everything you need to know. And the maze scene where Jack Chases Wendy around puts you over the edge of your seat but at the same time makes you just want to cover your eyes all at once. Overall, the work the directors put out for The Shining is absolutely amazing and overall historic, it really set the tone for all horror movies that came after is and is what I would consider the basis of what a true horror movie should be. I would recommend this movie to anyone looking to watch a real scary horror movie, 10/10!