When it comes to holiday-themed movies, it makes sense how most people’s minds would jump to Christmas first. Between theatrical releases and Hallmark’s devotion to Christmas specials, Christmas would be a significant contender. However, the true victor is Halloween. October 31st is about more than tricks and treats. Halloween-themed movies embrace the unknown in a way that many other holiday movies can not manage. There is a mystery and fear that surround Halloween that other holidays can not capitalize on, which makes Halloween films far more creative and innovative than watching people discover that Santa Claus is real for the hundredth time in the newest addition to the growing list of Christmas-themed movies.
Halloween films can be appropriate for children, creating a fun-loving movie surrounding Halloween’s most beloved creatures that never dives into the thrills and scares that teenagers and adults can handle better. On the other side of the spectrum, if you are looking for a real scare to match the holiday season, there are many horror movies that either take place on Halloween or that people save specifically to watch on Halloween to fully immerse themselves in the fear of the unknown on Halloween night. But what else makes Halloween-themed movies the best?
The Range from Child-Friendly to Adult
Halloween-loving families looking for films that their children can enjoy are in luck. Child-friendly Halloween movies are in large supply, with Disney Channel being one of its biggest supporters as the home of the Halloweentown series. However, Halloween films are not just for children or family-friendly. For those wishing for a scarier and more adult approach, slasher films such as Halloween and other horror movies offer a thrilling and terrifying immersion into the darker side of Halloween.
They Have Less Predictable Endings
Halloween has the opportunity to do more than just celebrate the spirit of the holiday, ending with the family gathered together. With horror films, the audience is waiting to see who lives or dies. In other types of Halloween films, there may be a quest to defeat whoever the villain is. Even if beating the bad guy is a predictable ending, it is still less obvious based on which film it is.
Some Can be Watched All Year Round
Just because the film uses Halloween as the backdrop does not mean that it can not be watched all year. Films that use Halloween as a backdrop but do not rely on it to fuel the entire story allow for it to be a fun movie for any time of the year. Halloween plays a backdrop to Totally Killer. But, while Halloween is important regarding timing, the actual holiday is not the center of the movie.
They’re More Creative
Halloween is entwined with anything from the supernatural to the eerie, scary, or wonderfully different and exuberant. Whether it be through Tim Burton’s eerie creations or frightening horror films, capitalizing on superstitions about the holiday and pre-existing fears allows for Halloween movies to lean into those tropes to create something new and innovative.
The Nature of the Holiday Sets the Tone
Halloween movies do not need to build up anything to set the tone. Just by stating that Halloween is near tells the audience all they need to know about the background feelings of the movie. Films such as The Nightmare Before Christmas and The Corpse Bride do not need to do much to influence the audience’s understanding of what type of movie they will be. On Halloween, anything, even the most disturbing and scary occurrences are possible.
Gives the Audience a Larger Range of Emotion
Do you want to feel scared? Happy? Excited? Thrilled? Halloween films offer all of those options. Movies such as the Scream franchise devote themselves to scares and deliver fear to its characters and the audience. Totally Killer allows the viewer to be horrified and comically amused by the story’s characters and storyline. Hocus Pocus fans can be enthralled by the Sanderson Sisters’ deadly use of magic, but still wish for the trio of kids to defeat them in the end.
The Halloween Spirit Is More Fun
Due to needing to be acceptable for kids of all ages, Disney Channel’s array of Halloween-themed movies embraces the fun and mystery of the holiday more than the scares. Although there are some scares, Disney Channel Original Movies such as Girl Vs. Monster, Invisible Sister, Twitches, and Underwraps all embrace the spirit without going too far into fear. They tell stories of teen monster hunters and a race against the clock to save others. Don’t Look Under The Bed may be the network’s scariest film.
Embraces the Supernatural
Hocus Pocus and Hocus Pocus 2 use Halloween night as a backdrop for their far more worrisome storylines. The Sanderson sisters’ resurrection in both films leads to the threat of Salem’s local residents, and it is up to the film’s main trios to put a stop to their plans. The first film’s heroes are three mortals facing off against three powerful witches, and the movie discusses different elements of magic. Hocus Pocus 2 embraces the supernatural by turning its main character into a witch, and having her best friends back her up as a new coven.
Halloween-themed movies face various types of stories and characters. Casper Meets Wendy offers a childhood-friendly tale about a wholesome friendship between a girl and a ghost. The Addams Family portrays an insight into the cooky and off-beat family, whose love is only rivaled by their bizarre life choices. The Haunted Mansion is a family film with its own brand of horror when one of the members is targeted as a ghost’s new wife. Meanwhile, other films, such as The Shining and The Exorcist, deliver horrifying villains.
They’re More Underrated Than Christmas Movies
This is not to say that networks and audiences do not appreciate Halloween movies when October rolls around. However, everything becomes Christmas-themed once Thanksgiving approaches. Christmas is an overwhelming holiday, taking over network and radio airings once the season approaches. Most Halloween movies are not even about Halloween as a holiday, but instead use it as a backdrop for the main story. While that is partially true for Christmas films as well, the holiday plays a much bigger role in the events of the story.