What to Watch this Halloween Part 1

halloween

There’s no better night to get comfy on the couch with delicious treats and a stack of spooky films than Halloween. Here’s a list of some ideas for this October 31st.

Hocus Pocus

hocus pocusNot the scariest, but it’s enchanting and darn good fun. The Sanderson Sisters (Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy) are hanged in 1693 for murdering a child. Fast forward three hundred years and some kids bring them back to life when virgin, Omri Katz lights the black flame candle. A night of high jinks ensues. The costumes are stunning, the atmosphere spooky, and we get some fun musical numbers. One of my favourite movies of all time.

From Winifred Sanderson: “On all Hallows Eve when the moon is round, a virgin will summon us from under the ground. We shall be back, and the lives of all the children of Salem shall be ours.”

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Buffy

Buffy_the_Vampire_Slayer_title_cardAny episode will do, but I suggest wading through the options until you find the Halloween episodes. First up is the imaginatively titled season 2 episode Halloween. When evil sorcerer, Ethan, casts a spell on Halloween that makes all kids become the costume they’re wearing, all hell breaks loose in Sunnydale. Seeing Buffy as a helpless lady of leisure from the past, Xander in soldier mode and ghostly Willow take charge is entertaining every time. In the Season 4 episode, Fear, Itself Buffy and the gang attend a Halloween party at college that turns into a house of horrors. Waiting for them in the attic is the cutest monster the Buffyverse has ever produced, an Irish fear demon. What will Buffy do to this little beast?

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Ginger Snaps

gingerThis Canadian film is wickedly gross and lots of fun. Fifteen year old Goth sisters, Ginger and Brigitte, are the misfits of their high school.  They strive to be different and are obsessed with darkness and death, making a pact, “dead by sixteen”. Nothing much happens in the sleepy (a.k.a. boring) suburb of Bailey Downs until one night Ginger is attacked by a rabid dog under a full moon and it’s not long before her imminent werewolf status starts to ruin her life. I loved this dark comedy when it first came out and it still holds up today. It’s tongue-in-cheek, clever and gross out violent in some parts.

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The Conjuring

conjuringYou have to watch at least one haunted house movie on Halloween. I’d like to suggest The Conjuring. Set in the 70s, the story follows a young family who move into their dream home and soon learn they are not alone. They hear knocking at night: three sharp raps in quick succession, photo frames fall off the walls and the children find their bed covers drawn off them at night. Creepy!

The Conjuring has a great cast including Lily Taylor and Vera Farmiga and provides several genuine scares. The uneasy atmosphere will keep you on edge from the opening moments when we’re introduced to the scary-looking doll Annabelle. Annabelle, the movie, is actually out in cinemas right now. Anyone fancy going to see that one with me? 😉

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The Skeleton Key

skeleton keyWho’s up for some voodoo or hoodoo magic this Halloween?

Well, look no further than the bayous of southern Louisiana. When Kate Hudson moves into a big plantation house by the swamps to take care of Gina Rowland’s elderly husband, she’s not expecting to hear tales of ghosts in the house and the powers of hoodoo. She’s a firm skeptic and won’t be taken in by such nonsense… Until she is.

Spooky and haunting, and set in the backwaters of Louisiana, you can’t beat the eerie atmosphere of this movie. The setting is also a major plus.

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Next week, I’m got some vampires, witches and more monsters coming up. What will you be watching on Halloween? Leave your suggestions for Halloween movies in the comments.

I’ll leave you with the trailer for Hocus Pocus.

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About Emma

Buffy fan, avid reader, writer.
This entry was posted in Film Reviews and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to What to Watch this Halloween Part 1

  1. Mae Clair says:

    I LOVE Hocus Pocus! One of my favorite movies for this time of year. Also really liked The Skeleton Key but I get creeped out too much by ghost stuff so I’ve never been brave enough to try The Conjuring, though I hear it’s excellent. I’ll probably hone in on whatever creepy movie is on TV as there are usually plenty of them at this time of year. Happy Halloween, Emma!

    • Emma says:

      I adore Hocus Pocus. My little niece loves it too so we end up watching it several times a year. 🙂 Yeah, there’ll be a lot on TV to choose from. Happy Halloween, Mae.

  2. Hocus Pocus is a must watch every year! As well as all four Halloweentowns. 🙂 I definitely need to find the Halloween episodes of Buffy. I really like the one you mentioned in season 2. I didn’t realize that one was so early in the show. I haven’t watched Ginger Snaps or The Conjuring, although I’ve heard The Conjuring is VERY scary. I think I watched The Skeleton Key, but I’m not 100% sure. I’m ready for some Halloween fun!

    • Emma says:

      I think I saw one of the Halloweentowns years back. I must refresh my memory. The Conjuring scared me, gave me a few sleepless nights actually… Are you dressing up, Lauralynn? 🙂

      • I have nowhere to go to dress up for. 😦 And we don’t get trick-or-treaters because I live out in the country and have a LONG driveway. We have a block party in our town every year, but the crowd pressing against me…no fun! Last year, one of the businesses (bank, I think) did a ghost story telling thing with a ghost tour. I need to see if they are doing that this year. That would be fun!

  3. Trish Loye says:

    Love those Buffy episodes! I might have to look them up again.

  4. Somehow I never watched Hocus Pocus, but it is now on my list, along with The Conjuring. Thanks for the recommendations!

  5. sherry fundin says:

    I would watch anything with Bette Midler in it. They all sound scary, but that that doll, Annabelle….Happy viewing and I look forward to seeing what you come up with next.
    sherry @ fundinmental

  6. I love Hocus Pocus and Buffy. I also love movies like The Lost Boys or The Covenant or Dusk Til Dawn. 🙂

  7. Jess Witkins says:

    I love all these. Except I haven’t seen Ginger Snaps. The Skeleton Key was a favorite of mine when it first came out and i have the soundtrack. Joe and I have been watching scary movies for the Halloween mood. Last night we watched Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Neither of us had ever seen it before. It’s got some crazy cinematography – lots of red, eyes in the sky, freaky stuff. Have you seen that one?

    • Emma says:

      The Skeleton Key is different to a lot of horror films. I loved the setting near New Orleans. I’d probably classify Ginger Snaps as a dark comedy. I caught it on the SyFy channel again a year or so ago and it held up in the years since I’d first seen it. I really like Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The music score is creepy.

  8. I loved The Skeleton Key when I was younger because it was scary enough for me to feel ‘all grown up’ when I was watching it but not so scary that I couldn’t sleep at night, hehee!

    I adore all the Buffy Halloween episodes (except maybe the season 6 one with Dawn). All I have to say to you is: WHO’S A LITTLE FEAR DEMON?
    LOL, that gets me every time, plus Anya’s bunny outfit and Giles making a door with a power tool rather than magic. Love how Buffy doesn’t take itself too seriously.

    • Emma says:

      And I’m going to spoil The Skeleton Key now for those who haven’t seen it, but I actually like that the ending wasn’t happy.
      I had forgotten that Halloween episode with Dawn. The latter seasons of Buffy weren’t the best, in my opinion. I’d be hard pressed to remember a lot of them.
      Ha ha, Becky. “Who’s a little fear demon”.. That was Xander, right?

  9. Yeah, Halloween time! I have yet to watch Buffy or Hocus Pocus. Better get off the internet and remedy that, and figure out what I’m gonna dress up as.

  10. It’s been SO long since I’ve watched an episode of Buffy, and reading your post has totally put me in the moodl Hocus Pocus is of course a must, but my favourite Halloween movie by far is The Nightmare Before Christmas. I just LOVE all things Tim Burton!

  11. fuonlyknew says:

    Let’s see. I watched The Conjuring, Skeleton Key and Ginger Snaps. Also watched Ginger Snaps Back. I just added Buffy on Netflix! I love that show and I got Angel too. Right now I’m watching World War Z, again. Gots to get my zombie fix. Then I plan on watching Rite with Anthony Hopkins. It’s a chilling one. After that I’m hitting the sack and reading Dinosaur Lake II. I know it’s going to scare me good.

  12. Shah Wharton says:

    Loved HokusPokus! The Conjuring was satisfyingly scary at times. Today I”m watching Beetlejuice 🙂 PS: Random Org told me you won my Halloween Boxset. Congratulations. I sent you the file 🙂 X

  13. I remember watching this as a kid 🙂

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