Your favorite fall flicks, ranked & reviewed

A curated list of must-watch films to get in the autumn spirit

Maria Fonvielle, Staff Reporter

Regardless of record-breaking temperature highs and smoky conditions, there’s no denying it, Seattle is in the midst of fall. The eager anticipation of Halloween, all things pumpkin flavored and colored leaves lining sidewalks have all marked the seasonal transition we have all been waiting on. Though it is generally cooler this time of year, cozying up under a blanket with a hot drink is still mandatory to celebrate the season. Searching for a movie to truly embody the fall spirit? Look no further. Here’s a list of classic fall movies, ranked and reviewed. 

1.“Hocus Pocus” 

The top spot has to go to this 1993 Halloween film. So beloved that a second movie was released this year, this chaotic comedy follows a teen who accidentally summons a trio of eccentric witches from 17th century Salem on Halloween night. Wild and entertaining, it has a little bit of everything: A musical number, talking animals and lovably quirky characters that can be enjoyed alone, with family or with friends.

2. “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”

This nostalgic holiday special features the Peanuts crew. In the 25-minute episode, Linus is waiting for the elusive “Great Pumpkin” to appear on Halloween night to the dismay of his friends. The 1966 animation is a quick and easy watch in the iconic style of director Charles M. Schultz. Including a comforting and distinct jazz soundtrack, this special is truly timeless, as it’s been around for over 50 years and is still widely enjoyed in 2022 by all ages.

3. “The Addams Family”

The first movie in the Addams Family series, this film is based on the sitcom with the same title from 1966, and older viewers can get a reimagined blast from their past. This aesthetically pleasing movie is perfect for viewers with a darker and more mature sense of humor. It follows the wealthy and sophisticated Addams family welcoming a long-lost family member – or so they think.

4. “Halloween” (1978)

This iconic movie is for those looking for a scare to get into the spooky Halloween spirit. The aptly named thriller is liked by so many that at least ten spin-off movies with the same antagonist have been made. If that isn’t a clear indicator of a good horror movie, then what is? In it, an escaped killer targets babysitters on Halloween night, making for a bloody good scare.

5. “Coraline”

An eerie stop-motion movie about a girl who finds a doorway to a parallel universe that is almost identical to her own that can be interpreted in many ways, this movie is a staple film for its distinct visuals of an animated fall. It will leave viewers discussing different theories afterward and offers a plot that is hair-raising in a psychological way rather than being a slasher-esque horror film.

6. “The Witches” (1990)

Based on the children’s novel from the creative mind of Roald Dahl, this movie depicts a witch living in a mundane world, reinventing the classic halloween figure of witches being seen as outcasts. In the movie, these witches despise children, to the point they want to eliminate them globally. When a young boy stumbles across a witch convention, he must remain undercover to save his life. This conceptually creative film reinvents classic Halloween and fall themes, making it a must-watch.

7. “Halloweentown”

Suitable for younger viewers, this Disney movie is a lighthearted and easy watch. The story follows a woman and her children who find out they come from a family of witches that live in “Halloweentown.” For a family-friendly watch, this movie is a top pick for its inclusion of various classic Halloween creatures and characters minus the scares. 

8. “Beetlejuice”

This zany and whimsical film directed by Tim Burton places the concept of death in a new light as it follows the spirits of a couple who died and are trapped in the house they lived in. The story’s plot stems from the fact that they can still interact with the living. When an unbearable family moves into the seemingly vacant house, they must call Beetlejuice, a slightly unhinged spirit, to help them scare the family away. This top-notch film is placed lower on the list only because it can be confusing at times, But I would still recommend it to anyone looking for many unexpected twists and turns.

9. “The Corpse Bride”

Another Tim Burton film, “The Corpse Bride” embodies all of the themes Burton is known for: Gothic style, musical sequences and a dark color palette. Though not directly affiliated with Halloween or even set in fall (placing it lower on the list), the atmosphere of this movie makes it impossible not to crave a cozy space to curl up and watch. One of those films that will leave the viewer analyzing the film well after it ends, the Corpse Bride is about a man who accidentally enters the land of the dead and meets a woman who was killed after her elopement.

10. “The Nightmare Before Christmas”

Yet another Tim Burton masterpiece, “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is only placed at the bottom of this list for its direct mentions of Christmastime – Halloween needs its own time of year to be celebrated and shouldn’t be rushed in anticipation for Christmas. However, this musical still includes the dark gothic aesthetics that viewers know and love, along with catchy musical numbers that viewers of all ages can enjoy. This entertaining plot follows the pumpkin king, Jack Skellington, and his plot to take over Christmastown.