Spooktacular flick picks for Halloween

Settle in and enjoy some spooky season cinema. Photo courtesy of Unsplash

MADDY BRODERICK | STAFF REPORTER | mbroderick@butler.edu 

Prepare to dim the lights and gather some favorite Halloween sweets. Here is the ultimate Halloween movie guide from fellow Butler students. This chilling list features a wickedly entertaining selection of Halloween night films that are bound to haunt your screen with the spirit of the season. Pop some popcorn and prepare for a cinematic journey into the eerie, intriguing and humorous movies below. 


“It”, based on Stephen King’s novel, is a chilling and iconic horror film that follows a group of childhood friends in the sleepy town of Derry, Maine. The plot is divided into two time periods: the 1950s, when the group encounters a malicious, shape-shifting creature that preys on their worst fears, and the late 1980s, when they return to Derry as adults and encounter the same terror. 

The movie artistically weaves the horror of supernatural evil with the inherent horrors of adolescence. As the menacing adversary Pennywise the Dancing Clown portrayed by Bill Skarsgård gives a spine-tingling performance, “It” explores themes of friendship, trauma and the power of confronting one’s fears. The film has been praised for its compelling characters, terrifying thrills and nostalgic elements that reflect Stephen King’s storytelling in its purest form. 

Savannah Sacino, a first-year criminology-psychology major, is a big fan of the characters and humorous horror aspect of this adaptation. Sacino, who rates the film a 10 out of 10, recommends the movie to anyone who does not mind a little bit of gore. 

“It’s pretty vulgar,” Sacino said. “Older people, teenagers and anyone that likes horror comedies should definitely watch it. It’s not super serious, but it also does deal with some serious topics.” 

“It” is available to stream on Max and Amazon Prime Video


“Coraline”, based on Neil Gaiman’s novel, is a dark and enchanting stop-motion animation film directed by Henry Selick. The movie tells the story of Coraline Jones, an adventurous girl in a family who moves to a — seemingly — dull and desolate apartment. Because of her workaholic parents, Coraline becomes bored, but then she discovers a hidden door that leads to an alternate reality. In this whimsical yet parallel world, everything is perfect, even her “other” parents. 

While this alternate reality at first glance seems amazing, Coraline soon is introduced to her “other mother” who has buttons for eyes. She becomes increasingly possessive and controlling toward Coraline, and Coraline is forced to use her courage and resourcefulness to stop the evil entities that surround her and her real parents. 

This imaginative story explores themes of family, courage and the longing for something better. It is a favorite among animated fantasy movie collections because it offers a beautiful, visually spectacular experience. 

Elise Kruger, a first-year criminology-psychology major, claims Coraline is her favorite stop-motion movie. Kruger, who rates the film a 9.5 out of 10, has seen the film over 20 times yet still finds it to be scary each time she sits down to watch it. 

“The animation is very unique because it’s made with stop motion, and that takes a lot of time to do,” Kruger said. “The colors and the cinematography, it’s quite beautiful in how the sets are [built]. You can tell there’s a lot of thought behind everything, and everything is there for a purpose; everything has a meaning.” 

Streamable on Max or Amazon Prime Video, there are many platforms to use to curl up and indulge in this timeless film. 

The Nightmare Before Christmas” 

“The Nightmare Before Christmas”, directed by Henry Selick and produced by Tim Burton, is a timeless stop-motion animated musical film. The plot follows the main character, Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, who has gotten tired of the same Halloween traditions each year. However, once he stumbles upon a portal to Christmas Town while wandering through the woods, he idealizes bringing Christmas back to his realm. 

While this seems like a good idea at first, Jack’s ghoulish sensibilities do not align with the joyous spirit of the holiday, leading to unintended consequences. As chaos continues to ensue, he must rescue Santa Claus and make things right in his town. 

Another memorable aspect of this film is the enchanting musical score by Danny Elfman, in addition to the carefully detailed stop-motion animation and memorable characters. These characters represent the search for one’s identity and the acceptance of differences. 

First-year exploratory studies major Hunter Stein, who rates the film a 10 out of 10, watches the movie before Halloween and Christmas each year with his family. While there are times when Stein thinks about watching the movie during the year, he tries to save it for the Halloween and Christmas seasons. 

“I just love it because I don’t think it’s supposed to be as scary as it is,” Stein said. “But it is really, really scary. There’s not very many movies that are animated like it is, and it’s just so unique. Anybody can watch the movie; it’s not scary enough for kids to not be able to watch, but it’s also [a good scare] for older people.” 

“The Nightmare Before Christmas” is available to stream on Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video

Because there are so many options available, it can be difficult to choose what movie to sit down and enjoy during the Halloween season. Each student has a distinct preference when it comes to the movie they decide to watch. Nonetheless, many can agree that Halloween should be celebrated by watching a movie with a good scare and an intriguing plot to follow. These movies are an ideal way for students to take a break from their studies and immerse themselves in a world of captivating storytelling.


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