It's Time To Give These Forgotten Halloween Movies A Re-Watch

by S. Atkinson
20th Century Fox

If you haven't got a movie lineup yet for your pre-Halloween party hangout, then shame on you. Then again, that might just mean that it's time to consider the Halloween movies you totally forgot about. Old is gold, and, if you're looking to surprise your guests, bear in mind that many new movies just recycle old tropes. Heck, the 2017 It isn't even being adapted from the Stephen King novel for the first time; Alien: Covenant is the sequel to Prometheus, the first movie in the Alien prequel franchise, and Cult of Chucky is the seventh installment in the demented serial killer doll story.

As such, if you want to show people something original, sometimes it's better to rewind and think about the movies that you freaking loved — oh, yeah, until you forgot about them. There are films for every taste on the list. Whether you scare easy and want something a little lighter; want to remember the movies Stranger Things were probably inspired by; have weird dreams about Jeff Goldblum; or want to hear one of the world's greatest sci-fi writers narrating a movie, this list has got you covered. Now just add friends, follow that recipe for Witch's Brew Punch, and turn the lights down low.


'The Fly'

The 1986 version, of course, which was a remake of the equally compelling (but less scary) original movie of the same name made in 1958. It stars your forever-crush Jeff Goldblum as Seth Brundle, a scientist who has almost perfected teleportation and starts showing off about his scientific advances to journalist Veronica Quaife (Geena Davis). When a fly gets into one of the telepods during a demonstration, things get creepier and creepier..

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'R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour: Don’t Think About It'

Way back in the crazy, hazy days of 2007, somebody made an adaptation of an R.L. Stine's kids book. It's more than possible that you caught it at a Halloween sleepover. That's because it has all the ingredients for greatness: a goth girl outcast protagonist, one of those Halloween stores that only appear in films so that people can buy supernatural objects that will wreak mayhem on their town, and a great premise (if you think about the Evil Thing, the Evil Thing will become real).

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'Corpse Bride'

Despite scoring a 83 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the Tim Burton movie has never quite made it into the cult classic pantheon. It's hard to say why. The story of a man who practices his wedding vows in the forest and inadvertently finds himself engaged, not to his beloved Victoria, but to the corpse bride of the title, the long-dead Emily, has a lot of charm. But somehow when you think of Burton on Halloween, most people skip to Edward Scissorhands, possibly because he only co-directed this movie (along with Mike Johnson). Give this a re-watch instead.

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'Scary Movie'

If you love parodies and you've got an encyclopedic knowledge of scary movies, you could do worse than re-watching this 2000 comedy movie. After all, if you were young when it came out, then you probably didn't get half of the references. Now that you're 17 years older and wiser — and more of a horror movie buff — the jokes actually make sense.

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'Return To Halloweentown'

You still watch Halloweentown to death, almost 20 years after it first dropped, but you probably forgot about the fourth installment in the series. Much like the Sabrina The Teenage Witch series, this takes us to the logical endpoint: accompanying our protagonists Marnie and Dylan to college. But because it's this series, they don't have their hearts set on USC or NYU, but Witch University in Halloweentown. Be warned: this is the only movie in the series where they recast Marnie. Sara Paxton, not Kimberley J. Brown, takes the role.

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'The Addams Family'

Sure, everyone's quick to dress up as Wednesday Addams for Halloween (which probably has nothing to do with the fact that it's the world's easiest costume: black dress, white shirt, add braids and scowl), but weirdly, this film is totally underrated at the creepiest time of the year. Can you even remember the plot? If not, he son of a lawyer struggling to pay off her debts infiltrates the world's most morbid family in order to find the place in the household where they stash their riches. But the family quickly sense that something isn't quite right with their long-lost Fester...

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"They're not just sisters. They're twitches." How could you forget about Tia and Tamera Mowry starring in this incomparable 2005 Disney Channel Original Movie? Make up for it by re-watching how Camryn and Alex find out that they're twins and better than that — witches, too.

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This classic 1997 evil-genie movie is a hoot on rewatching. A djinn offers people three wishes, but most people don't realize that their third wish will open the gates of hell, releasing tons of djinns into the world. Also, it's one of those deals where whatever you wish for gets twisted and terrible things happen. Like, when one guy wishes for an end to his physical pain, he gets killed.

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'The Halloween Tree'

Did you forget that sci-fi writer extraordinaire Ray Bradbury actually narrates this TV movie adaptation of his novel? This is everything. But it's also worth watching the movie for the poignant story — it focuses on four kids trying to process the fact that their pal, Pip, is seriously sick around his favorite holiday, Halloween. But when they see what looks like Pip's spirit entering the woods, they follow.

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'Practical Magic'

For a film that boasts Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman, this movie doesn't get enough love. They play two witches who are also sisters and who labor under a seriously sucky curse: any dude who they fall in love with ends up dead. Cue a cute state investigator investigating them for murder.

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'The Haunted Mansion'

This movie, in which a greedy realtor (Eddie Murphy) brings his family to Gracey Manor and stays the night (despite the mansion being haunted) came out in 2003. Which is neat, because that makes it exactly 20 years since Murphy had asked onstage, in his comedy sketch "Haunted Houses", "I got a question. Why don't white people just leave the house when there's a ghost in the house? ...Very simple, there's a ghost in the house, get the f*ck out." Anyway, despite the contradiction and the fact that, according to Hypable, The Haunted Mansion was based on a Disneyland ride, it is oodles of fun to watch.

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'Jennifer's Body'

Jennifer Check is a gorgeous cheerleader who girls fawn over and boys want to make out with. She's always been pretty catty, but suddenly she steps it up a notch and starts actually murdering dudes. What gives? If the last time you thought about screenwriter Diablo Cody was when you rewatched Juno, it's time to give her more underrated horror movie a chance.

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'The Monster Squad'

This 1987 movie is all sorts of underrated. Forgotten it? Never even seen it? It centers on a small town that gets invaded by monsters who are on the hunt for an amulet. Luckily for planet earth, there's a plucky group of kids (it's very reminiscent here of Stranger Things) who bond together to form a squad to take the monsters on.

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Halloween is scary, but forgetting about these iconic films is that bit scarier. Organize your movie marathon ASAP.