Midterms. Just the name of it makes college students shiver in fright. From test after test to papers longer than our list of credit requirements, midterms can really tire a student out. Halloween lurks right around the corner, fortunately, so that means we have the excuse to sit down, eat some popcorn and watch movies that we probably shouldn’t be watching so late at night. But, who cares?
Here’s the countdown for the best Halloween movies to watch to release that midterm stress.
10. It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!
A classic from years ago, Charlie Brown always seems to bring smiles even to the older crowd. “It’s one of my favorites,” St. Joseph’s College junior John Rodriguez said. “My girlfriend always comes to my place to watch it and we sit down and chill. It’s a kid’s movie, so it’s nice to just release that stress, you know?” I can definitely say I have spent my time in front of the TV watching Linus and Lucy get ready for their festivities. It makes my list of all-time favorites.
Who doesn’t love some twin witches? This kid’s movie from the early 2000’s comes from the original Disney channel most of us grew up with. Every year, at least one day during the month of October, the station plays Twitches and Twitches 2 back to back for the older kids to watch and enjoy. The movie delivers witchy fun with twists and turns; why not relax with some magic?
From the moment they find out about their powers provided by a secret source, these twin witches work together as a team to face the forces of evil. And, you know, with a lot of laughs along the way. No matter what time you watch this, I guarantee an abundance of jokes or gags that will ease away the stress.
8. Halloweentown High
What happens when your favorite witches grow up? They go to high school. Well, this happens to be a different kind of high school. “Oh my god, I used to love Halloweentown High,” Penn State junior Olivia Marie said. “Even now I’ve watched it randomly when it’s been on TV during Halloween time and it’s still so funny. There are some deeper meanings in it too that I didn’t pick up on as a kid.”
Even as an adult, we can’t resist the temptation that the old Halloweentown movies bring. The film captures the brilliant twists of comedy and reality, exposing some hard truths for a childhood movie. Even then, just seeing this movie will calm down your nerves from the reality that awaits you outside your dorm room door.
This friendly ghost will always have your back. No one can deny that this little guy’s laugh and smile will make anyone’s stress melt away at the push of a button. The CGI of the nineties comes with a great amount of laughter, but the silliness of the film overall overrides it. No one can deny that when Casper comes into the main character’s room and says “Can I keep you?” we all developed a little bit of a crush. The cuteness and the comedy delivered by Casper himself serves as a great stress reliever for anyone who wants to escape the stress of midterms.
6. Halloween (horror movie)
Sometimes screaming can lead to stress release too. And that happens to be exactly what happens when anyone watches this classic horror film from 1978. With the official sequel from John Carpenter coming out this month, right now rings in the perfect time to visit the old classic. So kick back, pop some homemade popcorn and relieve the glory days of seventies horror films that capitalize on eerie music and expert camera angles, and not just the jump scares we happen to see today in modern movies.
With a draw like that, any student will procrastinate the paper due in a couple of days. According to several sources, screaming provides major stress relief. People in theaters will band together to yell at the screen to tell the characters what to do and what not to do. Any horror movie – especially this one – will bring a smile and a scare, to a student’s stressed mind.
5. Halloweentown 2: Kalabar’s Revenge
The sequel to the original and probably the darkest one in the series, Halloween 2 brings scary good material for a kid’s movie. The movie combines the brightness and laughs of the Halloweentown we love with a darker tone. It almost feels more mature. Now, the series has transformed for the audience that grew up with the first film, and brings a whole new side to the story. And for a little kid watching this movie? It can definitely scare them with some of the visual effects or the older storyline.
But don’t worry, as an adult, the movie sends nothing more than a blast to the past with some funny-looking costume effects. Laughter is, in fact, the best form of medicine. With Halloweentown 2, your medicine for stress relief will be served in the form of laughing skeletons and funny spells.
4. The Nightmare Before Christmas
No one knows whether this classic belongs with the Christmas movies or the Halloween movies., so why not just watch it both times during the year? Jack the Skeleton singing, “This is Halloween,” will make even the quietest of party guests stand up and dance for The Pumpkin King. This movie starts the revolution of feature-film stop-motion. With the movie originally released in 1993, not only will you be stress-relieved, but educated in film history as well.
Attention to detail of the monsters under the bed don’t disappoint. The love story between Jack the Skeleton and Sally will make anyone smile or sob. Flying witches serve looks to every single person they meet. Zombies roam the streets as friends. This movie brings all the Halloween folklore we loved as children. Watching this as an adult will bring the same amount of joy you felt as a child.
3. Harry Potter Series
Okay, so this may not technically be a Halloween movie, but the eeriness and mystic appearances in Harry Potter can definitely qualify it as a Halloween movie. The series, beloved by many across the world, has proven to be a stress reliever for most. Just take a glance at the conventions and shows that have popped up about The Wizarding World. Or avert your eyes to the theme parks that serve their own version of Butterbeer at Universal Studios. Sequels still appear with their spinoff series, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
Sources say that even learning about the Harry Potter series has saved people’s lives from the start. The adventures of Harry, Ron and Hermione light up the world of the college test-taker. “I always put Harry Potter on in the background,” Alabama University junior Deanna Russo said. “I’m not a crazy fan of it but it’s sort of like a quieter movie I can listen to if I have to study. My roommate also likes it.” As someone who grew up loving Harry Potter, I can say that I have never felt stressed while seeing teen wizards battle with spells. I can guarantee any student will not feel stress.
2. Hocus Pocus
If you don’t know about Hocus Pocus, you truly live under a rock. This movie brings comedy and horror as a classic for most people. It would qualify as sacrilegious to go without watching Hocus Pocus at least once during the Halloween season. I’ve even watched it when studying because it always makes me laugh, no matter how corny the jokes are. Three sisters unite together, even though they aren’t the smartest, and try to work together to get to their gold. But the adventure that happens along the way brings major stress-relief to students.
“I always watch it,” SUNY Old Westbury junior Kristina Morales said. “It’s so funny and always makes me laugh. I can’t get through the Halloween season without watching it once.” I watched this movie for the first time last year during midterms and have loved it ever since. The goofiness of the sisters combined with the creepiness and eeriness of the witch lore serves as a great example of what a cult classic kids movie should be. Laughter comes easily with these characters.
The original, the classic, the beautiful Disney Channel movies that we have always loved: Halloweentown. From a talking skeleton in a taxi cab to funny spells that sound way sillier than they should, Halloweentown makes the ultimate Halloween movie stress reliever. No matter how old you become, no one will ever get tired of Marnie and her siblings learning about the life of their witch grandmother (played by the fabulous Debbie Reynolds). “It’s my favorite,” American University freshmen Brendan Anderson said. “I just watched it a few nights ago because I was procrastinating studying. It’s the one Disney film from my past that’s actually still funny now. One of the better Halloween movies, for sure.”
I used to create Halloweentown notebooks when I was in fifth grade and all throughout middle school because I loved this movie so much. During that time of my life, I had never been more stressed because of the bullying I went through. Halloweentown saved my life because it portrayed people like me as witches who had this type of role in the world of film. Even now, when midterms are getting to me, I always turn off the papers and turn on Debbie Reynolds and listen to her jokes. No matter what time of day, I can easily sit down, watch a skeleton in a taxi cab crack jokes and relax as I feel the stress melt away with childhood nostalgia.