Spooky but Not ~too~ Spooky: A Guide to Wimp Approved Halloween Movies

Watching Halloween movies is a great way to celebrate— here are some for all the wimps out there. Illustration By Oscar Oeding.

Imagine this: you’re ten years old, it’s Halloween, and you’ve just gotten back from a fun night of trick-or-treating with a few of your friends. You are sitting on the floor, dividing up your candy. Who got the most M&M’s? Whose Reese’s haul is the most impressive? In the end it doesn’t really matter because you eat them all night. What next? It’s only 9:00 on a weekend. You’re free to go crazy. But then one of your friends suggests, “What about a movie?”

Now, Halloween movies are not for the faint of heart. You’ve got your horrors, your thrillers… even those weird zombie-apocalypse movies that leave some unphased but give the rest of us horrifying nightmares. But somewhere in between all those genres of scary are some good Halloween movies that even a ten-year-old could watch. And since I know that not all of us out there—myself included—are willing to sit alone in the dark and watch a movie that will give them nightmares, here are some Halloween movies that, thankfully, do not live up to the scary expectations.

If you’re looking for some animated movies, perfect for your ten-year-old self, look no further. Corpse Bride and The Nightmare Before Christmas are both Tim Burton classics featuring spindly characters and fascinating art. They are undoubtedly Halloween movies, but have no fear! No, really. They aren’t scary at all. Monster House is another fun animated Halloween movie about—you guessed it—a house that is a monster. This is one that I watched in fourth grade. If it didn’t give me nightmares then, it probably won’t give you any now!

Now, if you’re an animated movie lover and you don’t love horror movies, but you think you can handle something a little scarier, Coraline is the movie for you. It features a flipside world that turns a child’s dream into a nightmare. If you’re very easily scared, you might have to look away a couple times, but those sewed-on button eyes won’t be haunting you for too long. Hopefully.

You might be thinking, “But Nora! Animated movies are creepy and I don’t like them,” fear not! A selection of live-action Halloween movies are at your fingertips. You might prefer a comedic movie released in the 90’s with production value, spunky characters and special effects to match. In that case, go for a good ol’ showing of Hocus Pocus or Halloweentown—it’ll live right up to your expectations! Ghostbusters, whether you’re watching the new or old one, is another funny movie for all the scaredy-cats out there. 

Now, getting to the actual scary movies. Believe it or not, there are some (not many) out there that even I, a self-professed wimp, can stand to watch. One of those is Sleepy Hollow, a mystery based on the legend of the Headless Horseman (ooh, spooky already!). If you can handle some violence and obviously fake blood, then the mysterious plot and lovably squeamish main character will win you over. Honestly? That’s about the only movie with the “Horror” label that I could bring myself to watch. Maybe this Halloween you’ve decided that it’s time to face your fear of jump scares and serial killers! You’re finally going to choose from the multitude of horror movies starting with “The” (The Ring, The Exorcist, The Shining, need I say more…). My only piece of advice for you would be to watch during the daytime, with a wall at your back and a blanket for comfort (you never know when a serial killer could sneak up on you!) And if you jump at every unexpected movement and have a hard time going to sleep for a while, well… don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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