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Halloween is just a few weeks away. Time to pick out costumes, carve up pumpkins, and watch tons of scary movies. Personally, I’m a huge fan of classic movie monsters and slasher flicks. Every once in a while though, I get nostalgic. These are the movies I loved to watch around Halloween when I was little. They’re great for kids, and for those of us who occasionally like to revisit our childhood.
1. 'The Nightmare Before Christmas'
This remains one of my all time favourite Halloween movies. The characters are all so interesting and unique and the songs are amazing. Sometimes I’ll just catch myself singing “This Is Halloween” or “Kidnap the Sandy Claws”, even when it’s not anywhere close to Halloween. Jack and Sally particularly are great characters, because they are curious about things beyond their small world. Jack does go a bit overboard in his curiosity, but that’s what drives the story. Watching him get so wrapped up in everything, then trying to fix his mistakes is always heartwarming. Then there’s just that basic concept of a skeleton wanting to try Christmas that is simply brilliant.
2. 'Scooby Doo and the Witch’s Ghost'
This will always be my absolute favourite Scooby Doo movie. When I was little my favourite thing about it was always the Hex Girls. I thought they were so cool, and the couple of songs they sing are really fun. Now that I’m older and I can appreciate this fact, my favourite thing is Tim Curry as the voice of Ben Ravencroft. Another great thing about it is that it came out in the 90s, when they were making the stories more complex than just a person in a mask. They were also updating the characters so they didn’t all look like they were still in the 60s. I know they’re still making Scooby Doo shows and movies, but I’m convinced that this will always be one of the best of them.
3. 'Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein'
This was always another favourite that I would look for when it got close to Halloween. I didn’t own it, but I remember checking tv schedules to see when one of the kids channels I watched would be showing it. Typical chipmunks highjinks with a Frankenstein monster thrown into the mix. Of course being a chipmunks movie, it also comes with some great songs. My personal favourite is “Things Out There”, a song the boys sing at a theme park.
4. 'The Little Vampire'
This is one I haven’t seen in a few years, but still have fond memories of. As a kid I always wanted to be a vampire, and I’m pretty sure this is where it all started. Tony starts having dreams of vampires and becomes obsessed with them. Everyone thinks he’s just got a really overactive imagination, and that it’s a phase that will pass. We discover that it’s all real when he meets Rudolph and his family. It turns out that Tony’s dreams are more than what they seem. Part of what I love about this movie is that it makes the vampires kind and friendly, without making them depressed and broody. They are also still quite imposing and can be frightening when they need to be. Some of our more recent vampire movies could probably have taken some tips from this one.
I just had to put Beetlejuice on here. Another favourite that gets watched multiple times, even when it’s not close to Halloween. I always love how the people, the living people are the ones seen as the intruders/outsiders. Normally that’s whatever creature is haunting the house, so it’s fun to see that turned around. Of course Beetlejuice himself is an amazing character, and so entertaining to watch. One of those movies that’s just so over the top, it’s impossible not to laugh and smile throughout.
So those are my top 5 Halloween movies for kids. Maybe you’ve been reminded of some that you’ve already enjoyed. Maybe you’ll go looking for some of these in the coming weeks. Happy Halloween!