Rating Illinois Wesleyan’s favorite Halloween movies

Sarah Buchmann

 October is finally here and spooky season is here. Fall weather is a great excuse for staying in and binge watching movies, specifically the Halloween classics we all know and love. Still searching for something to watch? Here’s a ranking of some of the best and worst fall movies…

Hocus Pocus (1993)

10/10

The ultimate Halloween movie, starring Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker as the witchy Sanderson Sisters. “It never gets old!” said sophomore Cait Convery. Filled with laughs for all ages, witches and zombies, and an emotional rollercoaster over a talking cat. The film features the hit tune, “I Put A Spell On You” with a special twist on the lyrics. Winifred, Mary, and Sarah Sanderson are iconic.

Halloweentown (1998)

8/10

One of the original Disney Channel Original Movies that kicked off a beloved Halloween movie series. “I feel like it’s one of those movies that was so good and spooky when I was a kid, but if I watched it now, it might be ruined it for me,” said junior Katie Connelly. Sure, the special effects might be “old school”, but who else would top Debbie Reynolds’ performance as a lovable grandmother witch?

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

9/10

The real debate is whether this is a Halloween movie or a Christmas movie. “The music is really good and it’s a fun and silly movie, while also being heartwarming. I watch it every year,” said junior Katie Cavender. “It’s like The Grinch Who Stole Christmas but way better.” Tim Burton’s claymation film is witty, spooky, and great to watch any time for the last three months of the year.

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)

6/10

When it’s constantly being broadcasted on national TV every October, it’s hard to avoid this animated flick. “It’s a classic, but it’s a horrible movie and no one wants to watch it. Why would you want to watch it over anything else? You wouldn’t. Your mom might,” says junior Emily Blake. Charlie Brown and the Peanuts may be timeless, but the jokes are overdone and overrated.

Halloween (1978)

3/10

This is the first installment in the Michael Myers slasher films, with the most recent one released in 2018. Despite having 11 movies in the franchise, Halloween isn’t as good as it seems. “A predictable Halloween thriller in every sense,” said senior Will Heidenrich. “You know exactly what’s going to happen from the get-go.” As far as horror films go, this one doesn’t make the cut.

Monster House (2006)

4/10

Out of all the children’s Halloween movies, Monster House is probably the scariest. The house instilled nightmares for young generations, embodying every possible childhood fear. “It was pretty freaky,” said Connelly. The movie is entirely computer-animated, but when compared to Disney or Pixar animation, the characters are chunky and not fully artistically developed. The poor animation definitely enhances the creepiness of the movie!

Young Frankenstein (1974)

8/10

Starring Gene Wilder, this black and white film is a modernized version of the classic novel by Mary Shelley. “It’s a Halloween movie, but it’s not scary,” said Blake. “It’s just dramatic enough where it’s silly, but still really good.” This cult classic has survived generations and never gets old.

The Haunted Mansion (2003)

10/10

Eddie Murphy starred in one of the most hauntingly beautiful movies to come out of Disney. Not just about ghouls and ghosts, the plot focuses on lost love and dealing with grief while still being lighthearted and goofy. “I love the talking heads and it’s a solid ride at Disney World,” said Cavender. Fun fact: The amusement park ride inspired the movie, 34 years after its opening!

Photo credit: iTunes & IMDb