You know what I’m talking about: those movies that instantly launch you back to when you used to curl up in your blanket and watch Disney Channel in fear. On the same note, they’re the same movies you watch today and marvel at how you used to scurry at the faintest sign of rasberry syrup..erm…blood.
Whether you still curl up under your blanket and tremble at these films, or whether you watch for the sake of tradition, somewhere in this list is a Halloween movie or two that brings back an everlasting nostalgic knot in your stomach - every year.
Photo courtesy of TV Guide
: Alright, we all love the Mowry sisters. In this movie, we see them play Alex and Camryn, two twin sisters who were separated at birth from their crumbling magic world and were adopted by two different families. They meet on their 21st
birthdays, discover their magical powers, and try to save the home in which their birth mother still lives. Why do we love it? Because it has three key elements of a cheesy yet successful Halloween flick: 1) Early 2000’s outfits that make you second guess your fashion sense…only because you wanted them so bad; 2) Hilarious mentors: Let’s not forget Karsh and Illeana, the girls’ protectors and the movie’s comic relief; and 3) Relatable family problems that made our everyday trials seem a little bit easier.
Photo courtesy of Disney via Vinylmation Isle
4. Tower of Terror
: This is the point in the list where you go….duh. Tower of Terror
is a Disney classic. It follows Buzzy, a struggling journalist and his niece, Anna, who attempt to uncover Hollywood’s greatest mystery, the disappearance of Sally Shine. In doing so, they discover the secrets of the Hollywood tower and have to deal with all the baggage it comes with. This movie features underwhelming special effects, forced acting, and the occasional evil chuckle. And we love it. Steve Guttenberg and mini Kirstin Dunst are lovingly predictable and animated as they try to help the souls trapped in the hotel. Disney allegedly used this movie to test the waters of making theme park attractions into movies. It was followed by Mission to Mars
and Pirates of the Carribean: the Curse of The Black Pearl.
So, if the late 90’s CGI doesn’t turn your dials up, knowing that you owe Jack Sparrow to this movie surely will.
Photo courtesy of Disney
3. Phantom of the Megaplex
: This movie is amazing. Now, I realize everything in this list is amazing, but this one hits me right in the feels. It follows three siblings as they try to uncover the mystery of who is causing horrific incidents to occur in their local movie theatre on the night of a big premiere. These range from a theatre blacking out, to one experiencing a full fledged cyclone attack. This film is a valentine to the movies. Not only does it pay tribute to the iconic “Phantom of the Opera,” but it spends the entire 90 minutes reminding us of its epitomic phrase, “there’s always magic at the movies.” Did I mention Mickey Rooney is in this? Because if I have not already convinced you that it is deserving of the #3 spot, MICKEY ROONEY IS IN THIS.
Photo courtesy of Cineplex
2. Hocus Pocus
: If you haven’t heard of this one, stop reading this and go watch it on Netflix RIGHT NOW. I mean it. This movie combines three of the best singing voices—Kathy Najimy, Bette Middler, and Sarah Jessica Parker—and a twisted plot where kids are in charge of saving the day and the parents are essentially useless. Admit it, it was the ultimate ego boost for you as a kid.
300 years after the Sanderson sisters were executed for their crimes, they are unintentionally resurrected in Salem on Halloween night, and it is up to two teenagers and an immortal cat to put an end to them. This movie is great not just because it’s a power-surge to preteen disney-ites, but because the Sanderson sisters deliver a phenomenal performance, one that is comedic and creepy at the same time. And let’s be real, you all know the words to “I put a Spell on you.”
Photo courtesy of Fanpop
1. Halloweentown Trilogy
: Well… you all saw this coming. Anyone who is unaware of the incredible Halloweentown
trilogy should consider calling up their parents and asking them why they were robbed of a childhood…It’s that serious. Now, I am choosing to write ‘trilogy’ because the fourth instalment is simply not the same. Sorry Sara Paxton, we love you, but Marni Piper needs to stay Marni Piper. This series let us into the world(s) of the Piper/Cromwell clan, who discovered their magic powers one Halloween night when their eccentric Grandma Aggie comes to visit. Their Cromwell status allowed them to be welcomed into Halloweentown and save it….over and over again. This series is so great for many reasons, and if I took the time to tell you each and every one, we would be here for days. I suppose Halloweentown’s main feat is that is that it welcomed the idea of what is weird and different with open arms. It painted the real world as bland and concerned with looking normal, and painted Halloweentown as a great place, as it always insisted “being normal is vastly overrated.” This is one of the few Halloween movies where witches, monsters, goblins, and werewolves are dealt with like everyday people carrying on with their day. However, I think it’s time we all admit who the star of the series is: anyone else think Benny the skeleton-comedian-taxi driver deserved way more cred than he got? I do.
And there you have it. Whether you agree or disagree with this list, I hope it sends you running over to your TV for a healthy dose of Disney channel cheese.