Your federal election votes are cast. Blue Jays obsession continues to linger on. Don’t forget about the most splendidly ghoulish time of year, the countdown is on for ol’ Halloween. If you’re looking to celebrate this festive season with a healthy dosage of nostalgia and classic film noir, we have you covered for the next thirteen nights.
Please, let us know what we missed in the comments below! Let’s do the timewarp, again?
After learning she is a witch, young Marni helps save a town full of other supernatural creatures. Throw Debbie Reynolds into the mix with a talking skeleton cab driver and may we suggest you simultaneously carve a pumpkin? Commit to the trilogy (Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge; Halloweentown High), but whatever you do – do NOT watch the fourth instalment.
2. NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD
George A. Romero’s horror classic set the precedent for zombie flicks. It’s a must-watch for any cinephile. A total game changer.
Every Hollywood vampire and modern interpretation is rooted in the captivating, cape-donning, phonetic delivery and mannerisms solidified by Hungarian stage actor Bela Lugosi. Lest not forget the essential Bauhauas jam.
4. HOCUS POCUS
Basically tune into ABC at any time over these next thirteen days and you’re almost guaranteed to catch this gem of your childhood. Double! Double! Toil and trouble!
What would Halloween be without the original 1978 classic? Before Rob Zombie transformed the series, John Carpenter set the tone for modern scary film and our cheap, last-minute halloween costume preparations with a classic goalie mask has never been the same.
6. NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS
Nearly any Tim Burton film will do, but if you want to get into the Halloween spirit and still enjoy a full night’s sleep, look no further than his charming stop-motion classic that took nearly seven days to create one minute of film. For good measure: step inside his mind, behind-the-scenes of the film.
7. THE GHOST AND MR. CHICKEN
Legendary comedian Don Knotts perfected the nervous character type on television well before his iconic portrayal of Deputy Barney Fife on The Andy Griffith Show, but it reaches fruition in this often overlooked 1966 classic. One of the most charming parts is the wildly inventive music score by Vic Mizzy. Mizzy also hailed from television, where he had written cues and scores for dozens of show that included The Addams Family.
8. SLEEPY HOLLOW (BOTH VERSIONS)
Double feature with Tim Burton’s 1999 collaboration with his boy Johnny Depp and the 1949 Bing Crosby-voiced cartoon released by the makers of your childhood, Walt Disney. The story of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman, based on Washington Irving ‘s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is also notable for the only Disney Villain to triumph in the end.
9. ADDAMS FAMILY
Originally set to be directed by Tim Burton, the film remains an essential staple of Halloween preparations. Lest please forget MC Hammer’s award-winning theme song from the film.
Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho set the bar most modern movies struggle to reach. “Psycho has a very interesting construction and that game with the audience was fascinating. I was directing the viewers. You might say I was playing them, like an organ,” the director once said.
Spend an evening with Peter Venkman, Raymond Stantz, Egon Spengler and Winston Zeddemore, originally slated to be called the Ghost Smashers. The project was born out of an obsession that Dan Aykroyd has with the spiritual world, his first treatment was 40 pages long and was written with himself and fellow Saturday Night Live alumnus John Belushi in mind. And in case you’ve missed it, the reboot is in the works with SNL ladies Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones.
Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice! Before Birdman and before Batman, Michael Keaton was and shall forever be… BEETLEJUICE!
13. IT’S THE GREAT PUMPKIN CHARLIE BROWN
Charlie Brown couldn’t break his bad luck even on Halloween. When the gang goes trick-or-treating as Linus and Sally wait in the pumpkin patch for the Great Pumpkin’s arrival, Charlie Brown ends up with a bag full of rocks. Some of the kids who watched felt so bad for poor Charlie Brown that they actually mailed candy and other gifts to CBS addressed to Charlie Brown.