Halloween Watchlist 2022

Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)

One of the earliest, and finest, family-friendly horror films. A loving homage to the genre with plenty of laughs, scares, and references to both the character’s history as well as the history of horror. Full review in the upcoming edition of UnDividing Lines.

Cloverfield (2008)

A certified classic that solidified the “found footage” style of horror movies. With regular, flawed characters and a shining example of having a horrifying creature without having to show much of it. Full review HERE.

10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

A stunning follow-up that proves not only can a sequel be as good as the original, but it can be better. Perfect use of a minimal environment with a twist that continues to chill, even if you already know what it is. Full review HERE.

ET The Extra Terrestrial (1982)

A beloved family classic for a reason. It has marvelous characters, great emotion and excellent visuals…all of which were stronger upon a cinematic viewing. Beautifully re-mastered and masterfully scored.

Jaws – in 3D! (1975/2022)

The original blockbuster remains one of the best. It’s a slow burn, with very few shots of the shark and a minimalistic but beautiful score. Also stunningly remastered for the big screen.

Bodies Bodies Bodies (2022)

The first new release on this list is a delight. Funny, full of violence and with an on-point take on class structure this is worth catching up on if you missed it.

Werewolf by Night (2022)

An MCU installment that’s only an hour long, and it’s about time. This spooky tale feels unlike any other part of the franchise, proving Michael Giacchino isn’t just great with music, but can master any craft he puts his mind to.

Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared [Series](2022)

Based on the YouTube series of the same name and created by the same team, this show is a trip. Life lessons shrouded in humour and dark imagery, it’s exactly the kind of show young people deserve.

Gravity Falls [Series](2012)

One of the greatest shows ever created and worthy of a full, loving analysis someday. Funny, heartfelt and occasionally featuring genuine scares, the story of the Pines family is worth every second.

The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)

An odd creature for sure. Developed in the same way as it’s predecessors but lacking the same oomph, it’s worth watching for a couple performances and the score. Full review HERE.

The Babysitter (2017)

A new seasonal classic from Netflix, this is an absolute delight to watch. Horror-comedies feel underrated and with films like this, that shouldn’t be the case.

The Simpsons Halloween Specials I-XII (1990-2001) / The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror XIII-XXI (2002-2020) / The Simpsons Thanksgiving of Horror (2019) [Series]

A staple of the holiday that continues to entertain with new installments every single year. The “original” run of 7 episodes were solely focused on horror and remain undisputed classics, but even as the series began to lean more heavily on current pop culture references it never began to disappoint. There are a couple of dud segments but no entire episode worth skipping over. The Thanksgiving edition is especially wonderful.

The Babysitter: Killer Queen (2020)

More proof that a sequel can be as good as the original. It manages to retread old ground without ever feeling like a direct copy, has plenty more laughs and features the sweetheart of the moment Jenny Ortega.

ParaNorman (2012)

Coraline may have thrust Laika Studios into the limelight, but ParaNorman ensured that they stayed there. This loving homage to the horror genre may be a little basic but it has everything it requires to entertain people of all ages. Full review HERE.

The Lost Boys (1987)

The Joel Schumacher classic remains a seasonal favourite for a reason. Only a director like Joel in a decade like the 1980s could have brought forth something this bizarre, camp and filled with brilliant special effects. Worth hunting down if it continues to escape your watchlist.

Ghostbusters (1984)

One of the best films ever made. Sure, it’s cheesy and the special effects aren’t exactly on par with something like The Terminator, but it has so much character. Every cast member is bringing their A-Game, the effects are still impressive, and it’s tied together beautifully with that ethereal score. Full review HERE.

Ghostbusters II (1989)

A guilty pleasure for many fans, including myself. It feels at times like a rehash of the original and is definitely more geared towards children, but it has just as much fun packed into it. Full review HERE.

Beetlejuice (1988)

A highlight of the season every single year. It’s a special effect, comedy, and acting masterclass all rolled into one package. Relentlessly quotable with a great score, it sticks in the mind all year round. The soundtrack for the Broadway musical gets plenty of playtime too. Full review HERE.

Hocus Pocus (1993)

Only the second viewing for this apparent classic and it’s not difficult to fall in love with. It’s corny in a way that only 1990s Disney Channel movies can be but is held together by some extremely over-the-top performances and a heck of a musical number. Another highly quotable delight.

The Muppets Haunted Mansion (2021)

The Muppets have always rolled with the times and this special is no exception. With a slew of current celebrity cameos and a delightful performance from Will Arnett, it’s honestly just nice to hang out in the Henson realm for a bit. And there’s no better choice for this bizarre season than the oddest of Muppets – Gonzo.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)

I’ve often heard this described as THE definitive version of Dracula but that might just be in reference to the vampiric maestro himself. This adaptation is gorgeous to look at but is often too surreal for its own good when it isn’t being dull. It’s a lot of flair with very little punch.

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Director Henry Sellick’s timeless fantasy continues to delight. It’s all about the visuals and the score, both of which are on point. Though the story and characters are basic, they have a certain amount of charm that makes seeing them once or twice a year totally worth it.

Hocus Pocus 2 (2022)

If the original was corny in a 1990s way, then it makes sense that the sequel would be corny in a 2020s way. Once that’s accepted, it can often be just as wonderful, even if there are perhaps more musical numbers than there need to be. The childhood counterpart for the Sanderson sisters do a particularly wonderful job.

Tucker and Dale Vs Evil (2010)

An underrated classic, which has been on my watchlist for many years now. A hilarious subversion of horrors “killer hillbillies” trope, with a couple of endearing performances from the main pair of bumbling doofuses. It doesn’t skimp on the gore either, leaving it in the same vein as something like Scream.

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