Halloween Movies for the Faint of Heart


For most, Halloween means jack-o-lanterns, fun costumes, tons of candy and, of course, horror movies. For some, that last item can be tricky to deal with. For those on the jumpier side, Halloween can be a time of nostalgia rather than scare. So instead of watching a movie that might make you sleep with the lights on for the next month, you can pick one of these Halloween classics to enjoy.

The Addams Family

While not specifically for Halloween, The Addams Family (1991) movie rises out of the grave to give us the creepy feeling to the point of laughter. In this film, a con-man is attempting to swindle the Addams out of their family fortune. Unfortunately, he doesn’t know where they keep their money and the job is then left to Abigail Craven and her son, who looks an awful lot like the missing family member Fester Addams. The cast brings this crazy family to life with actors like Christopher Lloyd (Fester Addams) who is known for his role as Dr. Emmett Brown in Back to the Future and Anjelica Huston (Morticia Addams), now known for her roles in Medium and SMASH. One of the best scenes in the movie is during the party for Fester, which is towards the movie’s climax. The party brings in all of the classic Addams family members like Cousin It and puts on quite the show with Gomez and Fester dancing the mamushka, a Russian dance the family has done together in the past. The movie is fun and scare free. For those who might be a bit squeamish, the movie does have obviously fake blood and some other potentially uncomfortable moments, like Fester catching a sword in his mouth during the mamushka. You can find The Addams Family on Netflix until Nov. 1.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Is it a Halloween movie? Is it a Christmas movie? It can be both. Tim Burton’s classic focuses on Jack Skellington (Chris Sarandon), better known as the Pumpkin King, as he discovers Christmas Town. The movie then follows him through his journey to understand Christmas in a way expected of such a character: kidnapping Santa and becoming Sandy Claws himself. Jack is voiced by Chris Sarandon who is known for his roles in The Princess Bride and Judging Amy, and his other half, Sally, is voiced by Catherine O’Hara who played Kate McCallister in Home Alone. Some of the best moments of this movie are musical numbers, a favorite being Jack’s song “What’s This?,” and the beautifully done claymation work on all of the characters. The movie allows viewers to witness Burton’s creepy writing and style, but is perfectly safe to watch alone in the dark. The movie is a classic and will be on Freeform, as part of their 13 Nights of Halloween programming on Saturday Oct. 29 at 7 a.m.

Hocus Pocus

There honestly couldn’t be a Halloween movie list without Hocus Pocus being on it. The film takes place on Halloween night in Salem and follows Max, his sister Dani, Allison and the immortal cat Binx. In this movie, the kids and their new friend Binx try to keep the newly resurrected Sanderson Sisters from becoming immortal by consuming the souls of children. There’s a bit of magic, fun and tons of great comedy brought by Bette Midler as Winifred (Beaches, Parental Guidance), Sarah Jessica Parker as Sarah (Sex & The City), and Kathy Najimy as Mary (Sister Act, Numb3rs). These three witches bring three different personalities to the table with Winifred as the brains of the coven, Sarah as the dumb blonde and Mary just bumbling along, trying to help. The three put together bring the Sanderson Sisters to life in a hilarious way as they interact with the new elements of Salem in 1993. The movie has one zombie, but even he isn’t that scary. Hocus Pocus can be seen on Freeform, and Student Productions is showing the film on Oct. 28 at 8 p.m. in Reeves Theater.

Veronica Gray can be reached at veronica.gray@spartans.ut.edu

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