For viewers who love to be scared, there are numerous Halloween-themed movies. Perhaps the most well known-and most terrifying-is the appropriately titled “Halloween.” The original “Halloween” movie, which was released in 1978, tells the story of a psychotic killer who terrorizes a group of teenage girls. Starring a young Jamie Lee Curtis, the film is full of suspense and tense silences that are designed to spook viewers. In “Halloween,” Tony Moran plays the killer Michael Myers, a deranged young man who has escaped from a mental institution 15 years after murdering his sister.
“Halloween” is widely regarded as the first movie in the modern slasher tradition. It was made on a tight shooting schedule with a small budget and uses considerably less violence and blood than the movies it inspired. The horror in “Halloween” is less visual and more cerebral, with scenes that are designed to keep viewers on the edge of their seats.
There are plenty of movies for families with children who want to celebrate Halloween in a less terrifying manner. One of the most charming is “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.” The animated film follows the Peanuts characters as they enjoy Halloween festivities. Linus is preoccupied with the Great Pumpkin, while Charlie Brown has trouble trick-or-treating. The movie is sweet, short and appropriate for all audiences.
Another animated film that is equally delightful for children and adults is “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” This Tim Burton movie is made in the director’s unique style, with dark, gloomy scenes and creative characters. The story follows Jack Skellington and the residents of Halloween Town as they attempt to blend Christmas and Halloween-with mixed results. The movie is visually stunning and contains enough adult-appropriate humor to entertain viewers of all ages.
For adults or families with older children, the 1993 movie “Hocus Pocus” is certain to set the wholesale Christmas costumes . The story opens in ancient Salem, where three witches are cursed with a temporary death, and fast-forwards to present day. When a teenager, Max, accidentally awakens the witches on Halloween night, he must find a way to defeat them and save the town. The movie is filled with high-energy action sequences, spooky evening scenes, an abundance of Halloween costumes and a healthy dose of magic. Older audience members will enjoy watching Kathy Najimy, Sarah Jessica Parker and Bette Midler as the three witches.