It’s that time of the year again! AKA the time of the year when I curl up in bed a watch a series of “not-so-spooky” “Halloween” movies. Honestly, I think I’ve said this before but I will say it again, if I celebrated any holiday, it would be Halloween. It’s the only good holiday we have. The others are lame and don’t really make much sense to me, but Halloween—that’s a holiday that makes sense given its origin and how it’s been translated to the present.
And as usual, I have a list of films I like to watch. I’ve decided to update my list from last year as some of my favorites have changed, and this time, I’ve put them in order from 1 – 10, with #1 being my all-time favorite.
So here’s my updated list of 10 of my favorite movies to watch in October.
10. Beetlejuice (1988)
Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice! This is such a fun movie. I think out of all the Tim Burton films, I like Beetlejuice the best. It’s dark, but not too dark, and it has this fun, weird humor about it that I personally enjoy. The entire cast is fantastic too! Nothing can top Michael Keaton as Beetlejuice though. I also have some fond October memories of watching this film with my dad, so there’s that. Gotta keep the tradition alive!
9. Coraline (2009)
I love Coraline. This is an adaptation of a Neil Gaiman novel and it’s amazing. The animation is fantastic—it’s like fake claymation—and it has a little creepy, Tim Burton-esque feel to it, which makes it perfect for the season. The story is also unique. It’s like falling down a very creepy rabbit hole into a perfect world, except the very creepy lady wants to steal your eyes and replace them with buttons! Gotta love Coraline.
8. Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)
Kiki’s Delivery Service is by far the CUTEST witchy movie ever. This Studio Ghibli film is such a joy to watch. It’s definitely an atypical movie for this season—there’s nothing remotely spooky or creepy about it—but you can’t go wrong with a lighthearted witch movie—and a talking black cat!
7. The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009)
So this one is a little different. It’s definitely a bit out-of-the-box, but its magical surrealism is what makes it quite fantastical and I think perfect for the season. With a wonderful cast of characters—and actors!—I always enjoy watching Doctor Parnassus. A traveling theatre troupe, bargains with the Devil, and elaborate imaginations—yes please!
6. The Prestige (2006)
I normally stick to more kid-friendly films, but just like Dr. Parnassus, this choice is a bit different. But what’s not to love about The Prestige? It is a tale of dueling magicians—kind of like The Night Circus, but not—to see who is the best of the best. A fantastic cast of actors and then there’s Hugh Jackman.
5. Hocus Pocus (1993)
I couldn’t possibly write this list without mentioning the OG film of the season. Hocus Pocus is always a fan favorite. This is the film that made me want to move to Massachusetts as a kid. It gives off those fantastic New England autumn vibes that are pure coziness, with something a little sinister on the side. I LOVE IT. I will say, they have overplayed this film in recent years, and I literally can only stomach it once a season, but I can’t pass up singing along to “I Put A Spell On You.” And it’s always such a fun watch!
4. Halloweentown (1998)
It can’t be a spooky season movie list without Halloweentown—or any of the three Halloweentown movies. This film is part of my childhood and I’ve watched it every single year since it came out. I remember constantly wishing for my very own Grandma Aggie and all the witchy powers, but alas I’ll settle for enjoying Marnie’s adventures trying to help save all of Halloweentown.
3. Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)
Maybe a little out-of-the-box, but I’m going more with a magical/mystical spooky theme here rather than a straight up Halloween vibe, and Howl’s Moving Castle fits the bill just fine. Howl is a wizard, you know. While I love the book way more, I can’t pass up watching this Studio Ghibli movie. It’s one of my favorites.
2. Practical Magic (1998)
This one is one of my favorite spooky season watches! Honestly, I love everything with Sandra Bullock in it, but this witchy romance is one of my favorites. It also stars Stockard Channing and Nicole Kidman, two favorite actresses of mine, and it’s just the right amount of witchy—if that makes sense. It’s just great.
1. Stardust (2007)
This is probably by far my favorite movie ever. I have nothing bad to say about it and always look forward to watching it whenever I get a chance. It was the first movie I watched to calm my anxious heart at the start of the pandemic and I watched it a total of three times during that period of my life. I don’t know what to really say about Stardust other than it’s a great film based on a Neil Gaiman novel that’s so enjoyable to watch and it makes me feel good. It’s fantastical in all the best ways, even if it sounds absolutely farfetched when trying to describe the plot out loud to someone who has never seen it. It’s just one of those films that need to be watched and I find it to be a great one for this spooky season.
So there’s my list. If you’re curious to see my full list of films, check out my updated list from a couple of years ago. What are some of your favorite October “spooky-season” films? Let me know in the comments below because I’d love to know!