Halloween: A Holiday Review

Halloween: A Holiday Review

Dawson Broten, Writer

With Halloween rapidly approaching, the people of the Roar have decided to put together a list of some of the most spectacularly spooky movies to watch for the holiday.  Here are five truly great films to watch on your fantastically freaky All-Hallows-Eve.

5. Hocus Pocus: This movie couldn’t be farther from scary, but it is really funny. When I first watched it, my chest hurt from how much I was laughing by the end. It does, however, have quite a few problems on the production side of things. It’s very dimly lit in parts, to the point that you can’t even see what’s going on. It also spends a little too much time on some jokes that just don’t land that well. Overall, though, it’s an entertaining goofy experience that is fun for the whole family.

4. Frankenstein (1931): This one is older than my grandparents, but despite this it’s still one of the best horror movies to date. It’s the ultimate monster movie, and it has special effects that look like they were put together 50 years after the movie came out. The lead performances are spectacular, with every actor pouring themselves into their character. It’s also surprisingly suspenseful, with multiple scenes that made me genuinely tremble in fear on my first viewing. It set the precedent for all future Halloween movies, and it deserves a permanent spot on the horror movie hall of fame, as well as my highest recommendations.

3. The Nightmare Before Christmas: There are probably going to be quite a few people who say that The Nightmare Before Christmas is a Christmas movie and not a Halloween movie, but this is my list and you’re just going to have to make peace with the fact that it’s here. That aside, this movie is wonderful. The lead, voiced by Danny Elfman, carries so much charisma and charm that you can’t help but root for him, even when his actions might otherwise make that difficult. It leads you through a richly realized world with amazing set design and beautiful animation. It will leave you thinking long after you’ve stopped watching, and I am anxiously awaiting the sequel that is announced to come out next year.

2. Corpse Bride: This is the movie that made me believe that true love is real. It’s not the scariest, or the funniest, or the most well made, but it’s the most genuine emotional experience on this list. The score is packed with so many different styles of music, each song carrying more dramatic weight than the last. The spectacular vocal performances of Helena Bonham Carter and Johnny Depp carry so much emotion and life (despite them all being dead) that you forget there are actors in a movie, and start to believe the characters are real people. On top of ALL of that, it has a heart warming message about  not fearing death and living life in the moment.

1. Coraline: This is by far the scariest movie on this list. It’s the only movie to date that I still get genuinely afraid while watching every time. Despite that, I’ve watched it at least once a year every year since I first saw it in 2009. It has amazingly terrifying stop motion visuals, spectacularly eerie voice acting, and a soundtrack that will leave you trembling long after you’ve left the screen. Aside from that, it’s packed with some really funny jokes, which is a rarity for horror movies. Coraline is the perfect example of what makes a perfect horror movie, all while never showing a single drop of blood or jump scare, and I cannot recommend it more. 

And that’s it! Have a happy Halloween everybody.