Trip Ideas

5 Halloween Flicks For Your Own Fright Night Film Fest

1. Halloween (1978)

The wildly influential classic slasher film, Halloween was directed by John Carpenter (who also composed the movie’s iconic theme music) and written by Carpenter and Debra Hill. It stars Donald Pleasence and Jamie Lee Curtis in her break out role as the scream queen babysitter.

What makes it Halloween worthy?

First of all, it’s called Halloween and it is the first of many in the horror franchise, which includes 7 sequels and a reboot with its own follow-up film. The story takes place in a fictional Midwestern town and the film begins with a six-year-old boy murdering his big sister on Halloween. Flash forward 15 years when the boy, now 21 has escaped from a mental institution. His psychiatrist follows him in the hopes of preventing him from killing again.

Family friendly?

Halloween is definitely not kid-friendly. This film is best served by watching with a group of friends—you can take a shot every time someone jumps! It also makes an excellent ‘Netflix and Chill’ movie.

2. E.T. (1982)

Stephen Spielberg directed this iconic 80s flick that stars Henry Thomas, Dee Wallace, Drew Barrymore and Peter Coyote. E.T. is about an extraterrestrial who gets stranded on Earth and is befriended by a little boy, Elliott. Shenanigans ensue as they try to keep E.T. from being snatched by the government.

What makes it Halloween worthy?

Other than the general spooky ambiance of the movie, there is also one of the best trick-or-treat scenes of any movie, ever.

Family friendly?

Absolutely. E.T. is for kids and adults alike. There are some scenes of mild peril that may be too intense for younger children. There are a few swear words and the film contains a scene in which Elliott feels slightly drunk because E.T. has been drinking beer. It is worth noting that the movie was criticized for having a complete absence of non-white characters.

3. Hocus Pocus (1993)

Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy star in this award-winning Disney cult film.

What makes it Halloween worthy?

The story begins in Salem, Massachusetts on Halloween night in the 17th century. The Sanderson sisters have been executed for witchcraft. Flash forward to three hundred years when the sisters are resurrected and they have one night to ensure they stay alive. Two teenagers and one immortal cat set about to destroy the witches once and for all.

Family friendly?

Hocus Pocus is rated PG and is wildly popular among the Disney Channel crowd.  There is some violence, but nothing gory or gratuitous.

4. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

The Nightmare Before Christmas is a critically acclaimed stop-motion animated film from the mind of Tim Burton.

What makes it Halloween worthy?

The film tells the story of Jack Skellington from "Halloween Town," who stumbles through a portal to "Christmas Town" and then becomes obsessed with celebrating the winter holiday.

Family Friendly?

According to Disney, who released the film through Touchstone Pictures, felt the film was too dark and scary for kids. It may be pretty frightening for little kids, but parents must use their own discretion. You know your kids better than we do!

5. Donnie Darko (2001)

Donnie Darko stars Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jenna Malone, Drew Barrymore and many more. The movie was shot in 28 days for less than 5 million, which in Hollywood is a super low budget. It went straight to home video, but thanks to Drew Barrymore’s production company, it got a limited theatrical release. It has since then developed a strong cult following.

What makes it Halloween worthy?

Donnie Darko is a mind-bending film center on the life of an emotionally disturbed teenage boy who has stopped taking his medication and has begun sleepwalking. One night he meets a man in a bunny costume who tells him that the world is about to end on Halloween. After surviving a freak accident, Donnie begins to explore what it means to be alive—he then uncovers secrets of the universe that give him the power to alter time and destiny and he must choose who gets to live and who dies.

Family friendly?

Probably not. The film is rated “R” for violence, language, and drug use. There are also sexual references. Most of the psychological/philosophical stuff will go over a child’s head, but there are some frightening scenes. Parental discretion advised

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