Halloween is by far one of my favorite holidays. This fall festive holiday has many activities for everyone to enjoy. In my opinion, it's like a sacred holiday for introverts like me. Wearing a costume for animosity, making festive treats for yourself, or just reading a book with a warm cup of tea at your side is the best way to celebrate the fall season. For me, just staying indoors to watch my favorite Halloween movies with my favorite treats is the best way to kick off the festivities.
Tim Burton Movie Marathon
Whenever I think of Halloween, Tim Burton is the first name that comes to mind. Ever since I could remember, watching Tim Burton movies at the start of the fall season has always been a family tradition at my house. His movies are built around characters who are seen as outsiders, misfits, or even a bit eccentric who struggle to fit into conventions. These classic Tim Burton movies are perfect for everyone in the family, no matter what age.
Edward Scissorhands and Individuality
Edward Scissorhands is a classic gothic romance film starring the iconic actors Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder. Edward is a boy created by an inventor, however, his inventor passes away, leaving Edward incomplete with scissors for his hands. Years later, he is discovered by Peg, a beauty saleswoman who lets him stay with her family. From there, he struggles to fit in with his new suburban lifestyle and falls in love with Peg’s daughter, Kim.
The movie has a bittersweet ending, with a lasting impact on its audiences. It looks into the superficiality and conformity of suburban life and how people are treated because they are labeled as “different”. Edward Scissorhands also reflects people of a genuine and artistic nature.
Nightmare Before Christmas with Honesty
The Nightmare Before Christmas, written and produced by Tim Burton, is a stop-motion animated musical that clashes Halloween and Christmas themes. The story revolves around Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King, who embodies Halloween. He gets bored of his annual duty of scaring the humans every Halloween night. One year later, he decides that he wants to do something different. From there he stumbles upon Christmas Town and wants to be in charge of the Christmas tradition instead. This film is a modern classic for all ages to enjoy during the holiday season.
This stunning animated movie shows us how to appreciate what we have. By the end of the film, Jack starts to realize the value that he already has in Halloween town. He learns to be more grateful toward his people and Sally. Sally plays a pivotal part in the movie. She represents loyalty and honesty. Throughout the movie, we start to see her gain confidence and independence. With her development, she is able to save Halloween town and become Jack’s voice of reason. The movie's impulsivity can be detrimental. Jack’s impulsive nature leads him to a series of mishaps and confusion due to his lack of understanding of the situation around him. By the end of the film. He learns that he must think carefully about his decisions and take others' input into consideration as a leader of Halloween Town.
Retro Classics (70s-90s)
From the 1970s and 1980s came the “Golden Age of Horror Movies” After Gothic horror films like Frankenstein and Dracula emerged from the 1950s, the horror genre began to expand. Horror has come a long way from its mythological and fantasy elements to showing the grotesque nature of our reality. To be warned, these movies are directed toward mature audiences.
Carrie with Empathy
Carrie is a classic horror movie based on Stephen King’s novel. It follows a young girl, Carrie White who is bullied by the majority of her classmates. Her life at home is even more difficult since her highly religious mother keeps a very close eye on her. One day, she discovers that she possesses telekinetic powers and chaos ensues.
The movies explore themes of bullying, abuse, isolation, and the consequences of unresolved anger. The movie’s theme is still such a prevalent theme among young adults. It also shows that it is important to show empathy towards others. Understanding and simply being kind to others gives people hope, especially when it comes to exploring the world as a young adult.
Perfect Blue (1997) and Obsession
Perfect Blue is a Japanese animated psychological thriller film that focuses on celebrity culture and dealing with obsessive fans. Despite being an animated movie this film is rated R as it contains violence and explicit scenes and is suited for a mature audience. The central protagonist of this film is Mima Kirigoe, who is a famous J-Pop idol with a high reputation and fanbase. However, as she starts to transition towards being an actress she starts facing an identity crisis while a disgruntled fan starts to stalk her.
The film has a lot of creativity when constructing the illusion sequences that Mima has during her mental crisis throughout the film. This film was ahead of its time. The movie takes place right before home computers were common among households. The movie seems to predict how fan culture has evolved into something even more extreme. This overarching theme plays on topics that are still relevant today such as parasocial relationship issues with celebrities and social media drama.
Nostalgic Fall Favorites
These are not scary Halloween movies that are fun for the whole family. These movies excite adventure, curiosity, and creativity among their viewers. To their older audience, they reconnect their childhood festivities and memories during the holiday season.
The Wizard of Oz with The Value of Family
The Wizard of Oz is a classic film from 1939 and is one of the first colored movies to be released. The film is about Dorothy getting stuck in a new world called Oz after her house gets blown away by a tornado. To get back to her home she has to find Oz the great wizard in the Emerald City. Throughout her journey, she meets a scarecrow, a tin man, and a lion. However, they all lack something such as a brain, a heart, and courage, which gives them a reason to go with Dorothy to find the wizard.
Each character in the movie provides us with many important life lessons, such as being confident in your decisions, accepting others, overcoming your fears, and the value of a home/family. Dorathy’s longing to travel back to her home pushes the idea “home is where the heart is”. It teaches younger viewers how we should appreciate and cherish the people in our lives back home.
Hocus Pocus and Responsibility
Hocus Pocus is a Disney film directed by Kenny Oretega and is a comedy horror film which makes it perfect for the Halloween season. This film is about three evil witches who accidentally get resurrected in modern-day Salem by our protagonist Max Dennison. The three witches want to seek out immortality by sucking out the life forces from children. To stop their plan Max and his sister, Dani, take the witches’ spell book preventing them from making potions. They also team up with an immortal cat named Binx who was a victim of the witches’ curse.
This Halloween-themed comedy shows us how we should take responsibility for our actions. Throughout the story we see that the main cast, mainly Max, tries to own up to his mistakes, it isn't until his family and his crush are in danger that he sees the severity of the situation. Therefore, learning the consequences that might occur when making a decision is important. We may not think of this a lot, but many of our actions reflect on our family and the people around us.
Carving Out this Season
The Halloween season is just around the corner, and it makes it perfect to go on a whole marathon of rewatching iconic movies to enjoy with either my friends or my family. From Tim Burton movies to retro animated classics there are so many movies that I want to rewatch to kick off the holiday season. Each of these movies has its special treats and lessons that everyone can learn this holiday season. Halloween inspires us to share our creativity and imagination, adding a bit of spice to the everyday norms. It also encourages us to be more empathic and understanding towards others’ fears and hardships. Moreover, it allows us the value of spending time with friends and family.
About The Author
Alina is currently a junior at UNLV. She graduated from Northwest Technical Career Academy in 2021 from the Media Communications program. So far, she has been working as a full-time student but has an extensive history with reporting, acting, graphic design, social media management, editing, and writing. This summer, she is an intern for both The Love Yourself Foundation and OneSeven Agency for marketing. Since the pandemic, she started making content and streams on YouTube and Twitch. She also has experience with voiceovers and audio and video editing.