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Cosmic Jive: 19 Best Spooky Movies to Watch this Halloween!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, finally!

I have some bad news…Miller’s Nightmare has been officially postponed until next year. Just when we thought it was safe to go back to the haunted house, the stupidest of stupid viruses just had to go and ruin everybody’s fun! But not to worry. Miller’s Nightmare will be back and better than ever in 2021! In the meantime, our road trips will have to conclude a bit closer to home than we planned. So, in honor of Miller’s Nightmare, here are the 19 best spooky movies to watch this Halloween!

I’m sorry, I got a little ahead of myself. There’s just three quick points I need to make before we get started. First, I picked all the movies on this list myself, so that means it’s totally right. Second, (this is kind of a BIGGIE) they are numbered in order of awesomeness. But make sure you’re familiar with the movie because they are not all super appropriate for the little zombies in your family! Lastly, and this is more of a suggestion really, maybe try to somehow hook up the T.V. in your car. This might help with the whole “road trip” vibe. Okie doke, here we go…

Here are the 19 best spooky movies to watch this Halloween!

19. The Addams Family: Da na na nump, snap snap! Do it in your head, it works. (Although now it’s probably stuck…sorry about that.) But at least it’s better than the M.C. Hammer theme song from part 2! “They do what they want to do, say what they want to say…”

All stupid-virus and no Miller’s Nightmare makes Jack a dull boy!

18. The Shining: All stupid-virus and no Miller’s Nightmare makes Jack a dull boy! If anyone should ask you to be the winter caretaker of their big, empty hotel…I say go for it. Did wonders for Jack Nicholson’s career!

17. The Nightmare Before Christmas: There are few who would deny at what I do I am the best, for my talents are renowned far and wide. So don’t ask questions, just watch the movie! Jack Skellington is what happens when you smoosh the Fonz into the Great Pumpkin from Charlie Brown.

Pretty much the Nightmare before Christmas, but for teenagers.

16. Edward Scissorhands: Pretty much the Nightmare Before Christmas, but for teenagers. A brooding Johnny Depp before he was a pirate, and a brooding Wynona Ryder before things got stranger.

15. Beetlejuice: And finally, the Nightmare Before Christmas for grown-ups. Wynona Ryder was still brooding, Michael Keaton was auditioning to be Batman and Alec Baldwin was a dead guy who liked to play with little models. It’s showtime!

14. The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Hands down the absolute best rock-opera in the history of ever…fight me! Tim Curry in drag, and Meat Loaf on a motorcycle! (And that was before he was willing to do anything for love, so he still had some edge to him.)

The most forgotten movie of 1987.

13. The Monster Squad: The most forgotten movie of 1987, (stupid Lost Boys) the Monster Squad taught us all three things: K-Mart does not sell silver bullets, “prescription” and “discrimination” mean two different things, and Wolfmen do, in fact, have nards.

12. The Lost Boys: Jack Bauer and Bill S. Preston, Esq. were evil motorcycle-riding teenage vampires who wore earrings. The two-Coreys’, (probably better if you don’t remember them) and the guy who played Keanu Reeves in Speed 2 had to save the day for 80’s teen-hearthrops! Trust me, it’s way better than it sounds.

11. The Exorcist: This movie came out in 1973 and somehow made $440-million. In today’s money, that’s like, you know, a lot. Must be all those commercials the devil does. The power of box-office returns compels you!

10. Casper: There were a few years back in the 90’s when Cristina Ricci was the princess of family-friendly supernatural movies. After scaring summer-camp kids as Wednesday Addams, her and Lonestar from Space Balls used the Schwartz to fight off a friendly ghost that turned out to be a little blonde-kid with a crush on her. Weird.

The quintessential exploitation slasher-flick…

9. Friday The 13th: The quintessential exploitation slasher-flick that sent a generation of trick-or-treaters out into the night wearing hockey masks! Only true movie-buffs will remember that the first film in the series didn’t showcase the machete-wielding Jason, but instead gave us the swerve-ending that no one cared enough about to see coming! Devoid of pesky nuisances like character development or a budget, this will forever be the film where a young Kevin Bacon showed us how bad of a sore-throat one can get from smoking cigarettes.

8. Hocus Pocus: Okay, full disclosure…I’ve never actually seen this movie. But a lot of people seem to like it. It’s got Bette Midler and the woman from Sex and the City who dumped Iron Man to marry Ferris Bueller. They’re apparently witches or something. The DVD cover shows them riding a flying vacuum, I guess maybe going to a Quidditch tournament, or something along those lines. So yeah, there you go.

7. The Craft: If you were a guy growing up in the 90’s and were also me, then you definitely had a crush on the four main characters in this movie. There was Vicki Vallencourt, that one girl who played in every movie you’ve never heard of, Veronica from Prison Break, and Julia Salinger who screamed through like four other movies because they cancelled Party of Five. I don’t really remember too much more about the film, but the soundtrack had a Letters to Cleo song, and a killer cover of “How Soon is Now?”

6. A Nightmare on Elm Street: Another super-popular 80’s slasher movie that apparently left Johnny Depp so psychologically scarred he eventually decided to put sharp blades on his own hands. In truth, the movie hasn’t aged particularly well. It gets a little hard in 2020 to be scared of a bad guy who can be easily thwarted by Red Bull.

5. Monster House: This is the only animated-flick to make the list, and features the voice-talents of Napoleon Dynamite and the better of the two Rachel Dawes’. This is the movie that teaches us to absolutely be afraid of the creepy neighbor, because his house will probably come to life and try to eat us.

This is the movie that everybody has seen, even if they’ve never seen it.

4. Young Frankenstein: This is the movie that everybody has seen, even if they’ve never seen it. President Skroob gets Willy Wonka to turn Everybody Loves Raymond’s dad into a baby Frankenstein-Monster, and tap dance to “Puttin’ on the Ritz.” If you don’t find that entertaining then I just don’t even want to know you anymore.

3. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: No, not the movie, (real fans don’t acknowledge the movie) the show! And you know what else? It’s my list. So number 3 of the top 19 movies to watch at Halloween, is the top 5 episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer! You’re welcome.

1. Halloween (season 2)

2. Hush (season 4)

3. The Wish (season 3)

4. I Only Have Eyes For You (s. 2)

5. Fear, Itself (season 4)

2. The Twilight Zone: Also the show. And because the publisher of Hashtag Lewisburg is a big fan, number 2 of the top 19 movies to watch at Halloween is the top 5 episodes of the Twilight Zone! You’re welcome, again.

1. Living Doll (season 5)

2. Eye of the Beholder (season 2)

3. Nightmare at 20,000 Feet (s. 5)

4. The Hitch-hiker (season 1)

5.The Obsolete Man (season 2)

There is nothing I could say about Ghostbuster that hasn’t already been said.

1. Ghostbusters: There is nothing I could say about Ghostbusters that hasn’t already been said. By far the best movie about scientists using homemade nuclear accelerators to contain paranormal entities ever made! It also showed us how human beings should never stack books. So when it’s time to pick the top movie to watch at Halloween, who else you gonna call?

0. Halloween: I’ve added this bonus movie to my list for two reasons: first, since my list is way more fun than COVID-19, it has 20 movies on it. And second, how could you have a list of the best movies to watch at Halloween if Halloween isn’t on it? That’s just craziness.

Well anyway, that’s the list. Happy Halloween, and I’ll see you all at Miller’s Nightmare next October!

Oh wait…

I changed my mind about the Monster Squad…

-1. The Burbs: I changed my mind about the Monster Squad, but was way too lazy to go back and switch it. So you get one more little bonus. This is a super-obscure Tom Hanks movie from the 80’s. Don’t worry if you’ve never heard of it. I think the only two people who saw it were me and Rita Wilson. And after the movie came out, Hollywood made Tom Hanks live alone on a deserted island.

Anyway…happy Halloween!

– Matthew Young, Hashtag Lewisburg City Paper #127. October 2020.

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