October is Halloween month and although it’s not as big in South Africa as it is across the globe, we’ve compiled a list of five family-friendly Halloween films that have become cult classics and are certified to get you into the spirit of the day.
This 1988 award winning fantasy comedy was directed by the legendary Tim Burton (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) and stars Michael Keaton as the title character Betelgeuse – pronounced Beetlejuice. The film follows recently deceased married couple Barbra and Adam Maitland (Geena Davis, Alec Baldwin) after they enlist Betelgeuse, who is a poltergeist, to help them scare away the new owners of their house. Through a series of spooky and funny antics the Maitlands realise that they like Deetz family and that Betelgeuse has been using them to try and escape the underworld. With excellent performances from Wynona Rider and Keaton and an iconic soundtrack, the film was a critical and commercial success and has become a cult classic that is sure to entertain the whole family.
Addams Family Values
The 1993 sequel to The Addams Family (1991) was a critical success when it came out and has become a mainstream classic. Starring the likes of Angelica Huston, Christina Ricci and Joan Cusack, the film explores the power of unity in a family using its signature satire and black comedy. If you want a film that has a great message delivered in dialogue that will leave you laughing long after the film has ended, be sure to check this macabre masterpiece out.
This 1993 fantasy comedy film has become popular in recent years through its annual broadcasts during Halloween month. With a cast that includes Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker, the film is the quintessential holiday watch and is great reimagining of how those who were killed for being alleged witches during the Salem Witch Trials (1692-1693) may have imagined revenge if they were reincarnated. With a heartfelt coming-of-age story at its centre and enough magical wonder to make you truly feel the spirit of Halloween, this film is a must-watch if you want to truly experience what the holiday is about.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
This stop-motion animated musical film – which was also released in 1993 and is based on a story by Tim Burton – was nominated for an Oscar and is one of the most acclaimed stop-motion films to be released. The movie centres around the king of “Halloween Town” Jack Skellington’s discovery of “Christmas Town” and his efforts to try and get all the weird and wonderful creatures in Halloween Town to celebrate this new holiday he has come to love. Although the film is animated it’s a great narrative for both adults and children and is the perfect holiday film that encapsulates the spirit of Halloween and Christmas.
Coraline (2009) is a more recently released Halloween movie but is still a classic, nonetheless. The stop-motion dark fantasy tells the story of title character Coraline’s discovery of a parallel universe through a secret passage in her home. At first the parallel world seems like everything Coraline’s ever dreamed of, having had to move to a new city with her parents who seem obsessed with work. However, she soon finds out that this ideal world hides a sinister secret. With enough intrigue, suspense, and all-around spookiness, Coraline is definitely a Halloween classic worth watching.