PIONEER PERSPECTIVES: Welcoming spooky season with my top 10 Halloween movies

My favorite part about this time of year is the Halloween-themed movies. Movies have always been a hobby of mine, but I especially love anything by Tim Burton.

Elizabeth Stark.jpg
Elizabeth Stark is a part-time multimedia journalist at the Pioneer.
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What do fall lovers everywhere enjoy during October?

Cozy sweaters, a warm cup of coffee — oh, and Halloween movies. Growing up in the Midwest most know the hype of the fall ambiance.

My love of fall began when was young, I have especially fond memories of trick-or-treating as a kid. The smell of the fresh leaves, the laughter enveloping the air and loads of candy collected — sigh, those were the days.

My favorite part about this time of year is the Halloween-themed movies. Movies have always been a hobby of mine, but I especially love anything by Tim Burton.

I was 6 years old when I watched my very first movie of his, “Beetlejuice.” I remember being obsessed with the big white house on the hill, the music, and young Alec Baldwin of course.


His creativity and passion for creating some of the best fall films made me want to be a part of the arts as I got older. He inspired me with art and photography. From then on, I couldn’t help but keep watching everything he had produced and more.

I spent my first year away from home attending Bemidji State University, and being a major introvert made it hard for me to find friends. And as such, going out was just not in the cards for me.

Instead, I spent a lot of time in my dorm room becoming an expert on which Halloween-themed movies were my favorite. Here is what ranks as my top 10.

Coming in at No. 10 is “Monster House.” This movie was one of my favorites growing up. I loved the art, the colors, just everything about it. As I got older, I realized the movie was not as great as I thought it was, but it still deserves to be a part of the list. It did scare me a little, but I love a good scare when it comes to spooky season. I give this movie a strong 4/10.

Ranking at No. 9 is “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.” This movie had a good flow to it, but the acting was not the best I have seen. The dialogue was pretty decent and it had some good gore aspects to it, so I'll give it a 5/10.

At No. 8 is “ParaNorman.” When this movie first came out, I knew I had to go watch it in theaters. In my opinion, claymation films are by far the coolest to see on the big screen. A Tim Burton vibe with a Hollywood feel is the best way to describe this fall favorite. I give this movie a 6.8/10.

Coming in at No. 7 is “Casper.” This classic is a must-see, no matter your age. I have loved this movie since the first time I watched it. Plus, who didn’t fall in love with innocent Casper the friendly ghost? This movie gets a nice 7.8/10.

No. 6 goes to “Beetlejuice.” I mean who isn’t obsessed with young Alec Baldwin and Winona Ryder? And with my love for Tim Burton films, this one will never get old. No other movie can beat its comedy and hidden jokes. I give this movie a solid 8/10.


No. 5 goes to “Dark Shadows.” Come on, Johnny Depp and vampires? It’s such an underrated vampire movie. You get comedy, drama and action all in one. It's the perfect watch on a gloomy day when you want to curl up with a hot cup of coffee. This movie is underrated in every way and is one of my favorites to watch year-round. I give it an 8.5/10.

At No. 4 is “The Addams Family.” Gomez and Morticia Addams are the best couple in Hollywood film and no one can change my mind on that. Wednesday Addams is by far the best character and creates a family-friendly environment while giving the adults a fun watch as well. I give this movie an 8.9/10.

Coming in at No. 3 is “Edward Scissorhands.” This movie is one of my favorites and shows true creativity from my favorite director, Tim Burton. It comes together in typical Burton fashion but adds a modern twist. I give it a 9/10.

At No. 2 is “Coraline.” This is my go-to movie, as it offers just about everything one could ask for. The art, the creativity, the voice actors — this movie is an inspiration for movie buffs everywhere and so I give it a solid 10/10.

And at long last, my No. 1 Halloween movie is the 90s classic “Hocus Pocus.” I completely fell in love with Max Dennison, as I'm sure many others my age did at the time. It's the holy grail of Halloween movies and a must-see during Freeform's “31 Night of Halloween.” This movie goes over the ranking system and gets an 11/10 in my opinion.

Halloween movies can be funny, scary and are a great way to start getting in the holiday spirit.

Elizabeth Stark is a part-time multimedia journalist at the Pioneer. Readers can reach her at (218) 333-9786 or

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A current Bemidji State University student studying English and Mass Communication, Elizabeth works part-time at the Pioneer as a multimedia journalist. She loves photography and capturing the beauty around her on camera. You can reach her at (218) 333-9786 or
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