Halloween movies for the faint of heart

Four movie ideas for those who hate scary movies

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Maria Uminski / Daily Collegian

By Emma Ryan, Collegian Staff

When you think of Halloween, you think of costumes and candy, but you probably also think of scary movies. While there’s a wide range of horror movies to get you in the Halloween spirit, jump scares and killer monsters definitely aren’t for everyone. Luckily, there are plenty of movies that you can watch to get you in the Halloween spirit while still getting a good night’s sleep. 

“Hocus Pocus” (1993) is a Halloween classic that hits close to home since it was set and filmed in Salem. It follows the story of Max Dennison, a Los Angeles native who doesn’t believe in the Salem superstition of the Sanderson Sisters. Despite his protests toward celebrating Halloween, Max has to take his little sister, Dani, trick-or-treating. To Max’s luck, he and Dani ring the doorbell of Max’s school crush, Alison, and the three of them set off on an adventure to prove or disprove the existence of the Sanderson Sisters. To Max’s dismay, the myth of the Sanderson Sisters proves true and he, Dani and Allison spend Halloween night on a wild goose chase running from the witches, trying to make it until morning when the witches are set to lose their powers. “Hocus Pocus” is the perfect movie for those of us who still like the traditional Halloween tropes of witches and spells, but don’t want to be scared out of our minds.

“Frankenweenie” (2012) is an animated spin on Mary Shelley’s classic, “Frankenstein”. It tells the story of Victor Frankenstein, a reclusive young boy whose sole friend is his dog, Sparky. Victor has always had a knack for science, but after some encouragement from his parents to try new things he takes up baseball, leading to a tragic accident that kills Sparky. Victor, determined to bring his best friend back, performs a reanimation procedure he learned from his science teacher on Sparky and brings him back to life. Victor tries to keep his experiments to himself, but is soon discovered by his friends and is forced to share his knowledge. However, not all of his friends use science for good. “Frankenweenie” is a fresh take on a timeless story. It combines the eeriness of mad scientists with the heartwarming bond between a boy and his dog to create a Halloween movie anyone can enjoy.

The Disney Channel “Halloweentown” (1998) movies are the perfect way to relive your childhood. These movies tell the tale of Marnie Piper, a young girl with a fascination for Halloween that her mother resists but her grandmother encourages. What Marnie doesn’t know is that her mother, Gwen, and grandmother, Aggie, are both secretly witches, but Gwen is determined to live a magicless life. Until, that is, Aggie needs Gwen’s help with a problem back home in Halloweentown. Marnie and her siblings secretly follow their mother and grandmother back to Halloweentown, but their cover is quickly blown, and Aggie discovers them. Aggie insists on beginning Marnie’s training to be a witch, but they have to solve the mystery of the missing Halloweentown citizens first. If you don’t want to be scared, a Disney Channel Original movie is the way to go. The “Halloweentown” movies are funny and lighthearted while still centering themselves around the magic of Halloween. Plus, if you’re looking to have a seasonal movie marathon, the “Halloweentown” series totals to four movies, which is bound to keep you busy.

If you’re looking for something not scary, but perhaps a little more mature, “Warm Bodies” might be the right fit. The story takes place in a post-zombie apocalypse world and follows R, a zombie who spends his days wandering around the world of the undead. Being undead, R doesn’t have a heartbeat, until he encounters a group of humans while hunting for food. He’s immediately drawn to Julie, one of the humans, but has to go through her boyfriend to get to her. After feasting on her boyfriend’s brains, R is consumed with memories of Julie, causing his infatuation to escalate. He spares her life and then protects her from his fellow undead by hiding her out in his airplane home. Julie and R go through their ups and downs, but eventually form a bond with one another strong enough to give a zombie a heartbeat. Just because a Halloween movie isn’t scary doesn’t mean it has to be childish, although I think we can all appreciate a blast to the past. “Warm Bodies” manages to incorporate the creepiness of a post-apocalyptic world with the mushiness of a romantic comedy, making for a Halloween love story.

There are Halloween movies that will make you scream, but there are also Halloween movies that will make you laugh. If you’re not in the mood to lose sleep and sanity over a movie but you still love this spooky season, check out one of these Halloween movies for the faint of heart.

Emma Ryan can be reached at [email protected]