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Do you like a good horror movie?
I do. I watch spooky movies all year round if I can. Studies suggest people like horror movies due to the psychological thrill of being scared and the chance to escape reality.
But what if you are one of the people who hate horror movies?
You hate the jump scares, blood and unknowing of which of your favourite characters will die miserably. What if you only like Halloween because of the sweets and carving pumpkins.
I want everyone to enjoy Halloween as much as I do, so I have created a list of my favourite movies, which could be described as spooky, at a push. These won't make you jump, and they aren't filled with blood or gore. But they will fill your tick list for a spooky movie night in!
Classics from Hollywood's Golden age
Probably no surprise that my list kicks off with films from Hollywood's golden age. I love a good 'old' movie, do you? I am always in awe of how put together the women look and how they are effortlessly chic. Perfect for escaping reality on a Sunday afternoon.
The Ghost and Mrs Muir (1947) Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz
This black and white romantic fantasy was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Cinematography, Black and White.
It stars a breath-taking Gene Tierney, who plays the strong-headed and beautiful Lucy Muir and a dashing Rex Harrison as Capt. Daniel Gregg.
The Ghost and Mrs Muir is based in 1900, and Lucy Muir is a young widow who moves into a seaside cottage with her young daughter.
The house is hard to sell because of the spooky goings-on there, but Lucy, being a modern woman, shows that she ain't afraid of no ghost.
I love this film because I can't stop looking at the beautiful Gene Tierney. I adore the relationship between Lucy and the cantankerous Captain, and the ending is perfection. There are some bumps along the way, but the film is pretty, fun and has a ghost, so you can pretend it is a spooky movie. You might need some tissues for the happy ending.
The Blythe Spirit (1945) Directed by David Lean
This British fantasy comedy is in technicolour and has some pretty impressive special effects for the time. It won an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects in 1947 and the Retro Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation in 1996.
The Blythe Spirit is set in 1937 and follows the novelist and socialite Charles Condomine (Rex Harrison), who wants new material for his next novel.
Charles invites the whimsical Madame Acarti (Margret Rutherford), a world-famous clairvoyant and probable fraud, to conduct a séance in his home.
Unfortunately, Charles's previous wife, a glamourous firecracker Elvira (Kay Hammond), had met an untimely death. Charles is settled with his new prim and proper wife, Ruth (Constance Cummings).
Madame Acarti accidentally brings back Elvira's spirit, which only Charles can see. Elvira is less than pleased that Charles has a new wife, and the shenanigans begin.
I like this film because of the larger-than-life characters, fast-paced, witty script and unpredictable ending! It is fun to watch from start to finish and a yearly spooky watch for me. The Blythe Spirit was remade in 2020, and the remake was just as much fun to watch.
If, like me, you like to put the boo into boogie, these spooktacular cult classics will get you singing and dancing along to out of this world murder.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) Directed by Jim Sharman
This fun and fabulous film was the Hall of Fame winner for the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films in 1980, but you don't have to be a sci-fi fan to appreciate this masterpiece.
Janet Weiss (Susan Sarandon) and her boyfriend Brad Majors (Barry Bostwick) have car trouble and call upon a spooky mansion in the rain for help. Dr Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry) greets them along with his freaky staff Riff Raff (Richard O'Brien), Magenta (Patricia Quinn) and Columbia (Nell Campbell).
This eccentric and energetic movie will you get dancing the time warp and wishing you had persisted with those tap dancing lessons when you were young.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show is the classic story of escaping a spooky mansion with some out of this world twists, including a casual murder by pickaxe and Meatloaf for dinner!
I like this movie because it is fast-paced, has a fantastic soundtrack and the outfits are iconic.
The Little Shop of Horrors (1986) Directed by Frank Oz
The Little Shop of Horrors follows the life of a giant, carnivorous plant (voiced by Levi Stubbs) who enjoys a drop of human blood and is a Saturn Award winner for the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films in 1987.
Based in the 1960s, this murderous musical follows Seymour Krelborn (Rick Moranis), a classic nerd who works at Mushniks flower shop on Skid Row.
Seymour has a love interest Audrey Fulquard (Ellen Greene), who is a ditzy blonde bombshell with a kind heart.
Seymour stumbles across a new plant that does not respond to water or plant food but does like human blood. Alas, the murders begin with some exceptionally catchy music along the way.
I loved this film when I was growing up because I loved the lively music and the appealing special effects. It stars Bill Murray, Steve Martin and John Candy, so you are guaranteed a laugh between the homicides.
Who doesn't love a good witchy movie? We love to see witches, good or evil, on the screen probably because there is a little witch in all of us.
Practical Magic (1998) Directed by Griffin Dunne
In her performance for witchy aunt, Aunt Frances (Stockard Channing) won the Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favourite Support Actress for Comedy / Romance.
Practical Magic follows the story of orphaned Owens sisters Sally (Sandra Bullock) and Gillian (Nicole Kidman), who go and live with their eccentric Aunts Jet (Dianne West) and Frances (Stockard Channing) in a small town.
Despite having different personalities, Sally is quiet and homely, and Gillian, who is wild and free, have a unique bond. In their small town, they are outcasts and have a curse hovering over them, preventing them from finding everlasting love. Can they break the curse?
I have easily watched this movie around 100 times, and it was my go-to film to make me feel happy. I always wanted to grow up and be like Aunt Frances! Practical Magic has the ultimate feel-good factor at the end, as well as a gorgeous soundtrack.
Hocus Pocus (1993) Directed by Kenny Ortega
Mary. E Vogt won a Saturn Award in 1994 for best costumes in this family fantasy based in Salem.
Hocus Pocus follows the Sanderson sisters Winifred (Bette Midler), Mary (Kathy Najmy) and Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker), who were executed in 1693 for practising witchcraft.
Of course, the sisters cast a curse before their demise, which would bring them back from the dead if a virgin lights the black flame candle.
In 1993 Max decided to light the candle to show off to his girlfriend Allison and his younger sister, and the Sanderson sisters return to cause havoc and become immortal if not stopped by sunrise.
This film was a firm favourite of mine in the '90s. The wacky costumes and bumbling witches combined with just enough drama to keep an 11-year-old engaged with the plot: a firm, family-friendly favourite.
I love Tim Burton, and I think his work deserves a special mention on this list. I like the bizarre worlds that I get to visit when I watch his films.
Beetlejuice (1988) Directed by Tim Burton
This American fantasy comedy has won a cornucopia of awards, including Best Makeup in the Academy Awards 1989. It won a Saturn Award for Best Horror movie, Best Supporting Actress and Best Makeup in the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror film 1990.
Beetlejuice follows the newly deceased husband-and-wife Adam (Alec Baldwin) and Barbara (Gene Davies).
Adam and Barbara have spent time creating a perfect home, which they are now trapped in; if they try to leave, they may get eaten by the dreaded sandworm.
They have to sit and watch an entitled yuppie family move in, which consists of Charles (Jeffrey Jones), overbearing Delia (Catherine O'Hara) and their teenage daughter Lydia (Winona Ryder).
Adam and Barbara try haunting the new family out of the house but aren't very good at it! They call upon a vile and manic spirit, Beetlejuice (Michael Keaton), to help them get rid of their unwanted living guests, which proves to be a bad idea.
I liked the unusual ghosts and special effects of this film and how funny and bizarre the movie is. The ending made me want to have spirits living in my house because I wanted to fly around to jump in the line!
Edward Scissorhands (1990) Directed by Tim Burton
This is a gothic fairy-tale about a boy with scissors for hands and won a BAFTA in 1992 for Best Production Design and a Saturn Award in 1992 for Best Fantasy Film.
It follows Edward (Johnny Depp), an artificial man created by the inventor (Vincent Price), who dies before finishing Edwards's hands.
Edward leads a solitary life until Avon lady Peg Boggs (Dianne West) calls at the mansion. Finding Edward alone, Peg takes Edward home to live with her family, including her daughter Kim (Winona Ryder), who becomes a love interest to Edward.
Edward Scissorhands is slower-paced than some of my other choices, but I like this movie because the ending is sad and beautiful.
I hope you enjoyed the list, and I hope there is at least one on there that you have not seen. Are there any movies on here that you think should be? If so, add them in the comments below.
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