Here's the thing: I don't like scary movies. I know Halloween is supposed to be all "scary" and "lets cuddle in the theater" and "isn't horror as a genre both cathartic and useful to society to reinforce order and security" but frankly, I don't get it. Why be scared when you could be falling in love? Traveling to Paris? On a hilarious romp?
You know WHY I don't like to be scared? I was scary enough as a child.
Ahem. Alright, I'm countin' 'em down... (did I sound like Kasey Kasem? I was going for Kasey Kasem.)
NUMBER FIVE: HALLOWEENTOWN
So, Halloweentown--the unscariest Halloween movie EVAR. Also amazing, because Marnie (not the creepy one from True Blood) is a budding witch, but her mom doesn't want her to be, so she goes all teenage rebellion to save Halloweentown from evil forces. And all before bedtime, where you won't need a nightlight, because nothing is scary.
NUMBER FOUR: THE FACULTY
This is not a scary movie. It's a mystery, ok, a mystery. Like, why do these people seem to be acting like aliens? Why is Josh Hartnett so hot? Why does it rain so damn much in this town?
Really, I just love this movie for a) making the pretty girl evil, b) Josh Hartnett, and c) excellent use of a Pink Floyd song.
NUMBER THREE: THE CRAFT
All you need to know about why I love the Craft is the following:
1. They are Catholic schoolgirls. I, too, was a Catholic schoolgirl.
2. They successfully play Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board. I never achieved success, but damn did we try on sleepovers. Hence this movie is aspirational.
3. To this day, I'm still a wicked sucker for anything with girls being uber powerful and messing with forces beyond their control.
Plus, it's not really scary. Except for the snakes. Bleh.
NUMBER TWO: SCREAM
Actually, this movie was bumped up on the list a few years ago when someone told me, during a discussion of how lame the "Scary Movie" movies are because they rip off Scream, that Scream itself is a parody of older horror flicks.
Really? Because I missed that. But this was like the "coolest" movie of my high school career. I have no idea why, either, though my friend's father definitely used it to belabor the point (right before co-ed dances) that if we had boyfriends, they might in fact kill us.
NUMBER ONE: HOCUS POCUS
Oh god, I LOVE this movie. I DVR it when Disney plays it every year.
First, that's Bette Midler (singing a wicked version of "I Put a Spell on You") SARAH JESSICA PARKER, and Kathy Najimy. Really? Awesome.
Second, the immortal of the two heroes is named Thackery. THACKERY! You just don't meet any men named Thackery anymore.
Third, I'm from Massachusetts, so I have a soft spot for Salem history/witches/lore.
Honestly, I think there's better story telling here than people give it credit for. It's funny AND romantic AND semi-historical AND ever so slightly creepy (just when the children are wandering through the fields) without being actually SCARY.
What are your favorite Halloween movies?
PS, there's a contest going on over on my website! Win a kick-ass graphic novel!
AC Gaughen is the author of Scarlet, a retelling of the Robin Hood legend that reimagines Will Scarlet as a butt-kicking girl. Check it out February 14th, 2012 from Bloomsbury|Walker. Or just come visit her website. Or come stalk her on Twitter.