Film · Halloween Town

Halloween Town: Movies that Get Me in the Mood

There is a huge list of movies that get me in the mood … for Halloween. (What did you think I was talking about?) Ranging from Stephen King’s The Shining to John Carpenter’s Halloween, I spend half the month in front of my television, scaring myself to death. But there are three movies—just three—that really get me going. It’s not because they’re scary; it’s because they remind me of specific Halloweens past. It’s also because each film invokes a feeling of oogie-boogies, and each film looks like Halloween does in my imagination (which includes Tim Curry in drag, of course).

Halloween Film #1: The Nightmare Before Christmas
I already mentioned this film in my Halloween Town intro, because it just looks the part. In the film, Jack Skellington, the pumpkin king of Halloween Town, is bored with doing the same thing every year for Halloween. One day he stumbles into Christmas Town and is so taken with the idea of Christmas that he tries to get the resident bats, ghouls, and goblins of Halloween Town to help him put on Christmas instead of Halloween—alas, they can’t get it quite right.

Director by Henry Selick (Coraline, James and the Giant Peach), Tim Burton’s story and characters come to life in this one. It’s another stop-motion animation films that’s not necessarily for kids, and the music is killer for pumping through your speakers for trick-or-treaters Halloween night. As I’ve mentioned before, I want to live in the world of The Nightmare Before Christmas, so if you’re ready to jump feet-first into the Halloween spirit, check out the opening scene on YouTube.

Halloween Film #2: Sleepy Hollow
I’m talking about the Johnny Depp version, and I don’t care if you thought it was a badly written film. No matter what you think of the acting, it’s a gorgeous film to watch. Again, Tim Burton was involved, as director this time. Ichabod Crane (Depp) is sent to Sleepy Hollow to investigate the decapitations of three people, the supposed culprit being the legendary apparition, the Headless Horseman.

Burton gives you everything you want: fog, glowing pumpkin heads, witches, ghosts, and Depp, looking super sexy as the stereotypically nerdy Crane. Christopher Walken even plays the Headless Horseman! Christopher Walken! Who’s creepier than that dude? Again, Sleepy Hollow depicts a world where I would happily live. I’ve always been interested in Wicca (my interview with a Wiccan priestess will run next week), and I love ghost stories. I find crisp days with an overhead of dark clouds and an underfoot of dead leaves terribly comforting. Don’t get it? Watch the trailer. You’ll understand what I’m talking about.

Halloween Film #3: Rocky Horror Picture Show
Don’t groan at me. I don’t care if you think this film is awful, campy, decadent, whatever. I love this movie, and of all the movies I love, this is one that brings back the most memories. Who’s been to a Rocky Horror midnight show? Who? Don’t tell me I’m the only freak out there. Don’t tell me you haven’t shown up to your local indie theater wearing nothing but underwear. Come on, be honest. I always fancied myself a Magenta.

That's me on the right.
I love when people ask me what this movie is about. It’s about Tim Curry in drag, having lots of sex and booze on a spooky night in a spooky castle in the 1970s. The more official synopsis:  Newlywed couple, Brad (Barry Bostwick) and Janet (Susan Sarandon, who was fabulously hot back then, by the way), encounter a problem when their car breaks down in the rain. They seek assistance at the castle of Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Curry), a transvestite. Overnight accommodations are provided, but will Brad and Janet want to stay the night in the spooky old castle? Especially when a large group of Transylvanians dance to the “Time Warp,” and Dr. Frank-N-Furter builds a studly “monster” for his own gratification.

Back in the day, I used to rock out to every song with my spooky group of friends. We all had black hair, black nails (which I still wear), and Newport cigarettes. We’d sneak out to the Clazel Theater in Bowling Green, Ohio, for the midnight show, and oh, what rapture to be a freak amidst freaks! I watch Rocky Horror Picture Show approximately five times during the month of October. For your consideration, here’s Tim Curry’s rendition of “Sweet Transvestite.” Guess there’s still some freak in me, after all.

What’s YOUR Halloween movie of choice?

7 thoughts on “Halloween Town: Movies that Get Me in the Mood

  1. I would emphatically agree with your choices. Sleep Hollow is the movie I start carving to every year. It is tradition. Of course you know how I rock to the other ones. Hell i have a framed RHPS poster next to my bed while Josh sports Friday The 13th on his side… But I think that there is something to be said about Bram Stoker’s Dracula. I think it is beautiful and so sexual. Even the beasty scene is sexy in it’s own way. I think that these four are my definitive October.

    1. Ooooo, you’re so right about Bram Stoker’s Dracula. We already watched that this year, too. The London scenes (and the creepy scenes in the garden) are perrrrrrrfect for Halloween!

      And you better send me pics of your pumpkins this year. I require it. Too bad you can’t send one in the mail for my porch haha 🙂

  2. I am loving your Halloween posts!! I have been absent for a while and I come back to these posts and I am so excited!!! I love horror films (as weird as that may be!), but I am in good company I now see!

    Some of my favorites include Wax Works (an old, old one with a bit of a cheesy ending, but a GREAT premise!) and Blade (not sure if this can be considered true horror these days!), but there are so many other good ones, including Sleepy Hollow!! Now, if only I could convince my hubby to watch them with me . . .

    1. Ha, Jake doesn’t like horror movies, either! I’ll have to check out Wax Works. I love old horror movies. I’m not overly impressed by special effects. I like the simple, freak-out factor of old ones (aka The Haunting, the original). They use zero special effects, and it makes it all the more creepy. (Also see the more modern Swedish flick, Let the Right One In.) I think Blade counts. Any vamp movie counts … except Twilight, of course 😉 Happy Halloweeeeeen!

      1. I completely agree about the older films! I don’t need the special effects because I have a great imagination. Let that run wild and it’s better than any computer can do!! Another one that is good for this is Night Watch! The power of silence is definitely used in that one!! If you watch Wax Works, let me know what you think!!

    1. Oooo I saw Phantasm!!! Just on a whim. Looked fun, and it was fun. Gotta love 70s horror flicks. I’m also big on the B movies, like Reanimator and Evil Dead!

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