Michael Mongelluzzo, Contributing Writer

Provided by IMDB

“The Nightmare Before Christmas”: To me, this movie fits all the criteria of a classic Halloween film. It has memorable music, such as “This is Halloween” which is the best Halloween song (sorry, “Monster Mash”). This, coupled with Tim Burton’s iconic animation and pulling double duty as a Christmas film, makes the movie great to rewatch. I also do not like horror movies, so this fits perfectly for me. Although it does have its creepy elements (literally everything Oogie Boogie-related scares me to this day), it is just a really charming movie overall. Halloween and Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without a viewing of “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”

Patrick Earns, Assistant Arts & Culture Editor

Provided by TV Guide

“It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”: It’s not the spookiest pick, but I’m willing to put down money that it’s the most heartwarming. Despite coming out more than 50 years ago, Charles Schulz’s masterpiece is still required viewing for the Halloween season. It’s difficult to imagine a seasonally appropriate movie with more iconic scenes, from Snoopy’s doghouse-riding airborne battle with the Red Baron to Charlie’s ill-fated attempt to finally kick the football that Lucy pulls away at the last second. I love a good horror movie as much as the next guy, but when the weather gets chilly and the pumpkins get carved, there’s nothing I want to watch more than the Peanuts gang as they spend their night in search of the Great Pumpkin.

Joseph Hili, Contributing Editor

Provided by IMDB

“Scream”: It’s a film that works on so many levels. For first-time viewers, it succeeds as a mystery thriller, keeping the audience constantly engaged with the task of uncovering the murderer’s identity and motive. The film also functions as a slasher film, with all of the genre’s violence and voyeurism in play. But most importantly, the film serves as meta-horror, deconstructing the slasher genre. This is where the film derives its charm: witty commentary on popular tropes and cliches. The film is unabashedly self-aware. Its characters make plenty of references to other horror movies and even entertain the idea that they are living within one. The slasher genre, filled with low-budget exploitation films and appealing to the unrefined tastes of movie-going youths, has always been discounted by critics as a form of cheap entertainment. They’re probably right, but the genre’s undeniable cultural impact, lending itself to the production of dozens of cult films, is quite admirable. The movie’s loving homage to its predecessors shares with its audience a feeling not too common in horror — nostalgia.

Gabriela Iacovano, Arts & Culture Editor

Provided by IMDB

“E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial”: This is a lifelong favorite. While it’s more heartwarming than gruesome, the film’s warm autumnal energies and iconic Halloween night bicycle ride scene make it a great pick for the season, especially if you need a feel-good chaser after binging too many horror flicks. As a child, it gave me a taste of the distinctive atmosphere that I would later grow to appreciate in the era’s slasher films, and it stands as an option for adult viewers who are curious about the roots of ’80s-inspired favorites like “Stranger Things.” I hate to admit it, but the title character’s design also toes the line between cute and creepy. As a child, I was ready to set my own Reese’s Pieces trail in the hopes of luring E.T. to my yard, but I have friends who tell me they were spooked by early viewings.

Calendra Scahill, Assistant Arts & Culture Editor

Provided by IMDB

“Hocus Pocus”: If you’re not into horror movies, this is the perfect Halloween flick for you. Combining comedy, thrill and undeniable spookiness, there is no surprise that “Hocus Pocus” is a popular classic. Featuring witches, zombies, trick-or-treating and a talking black cat, the movie has all of the essentials for Halloween. Even as a college student, I turn to this movie to get me ready for the holiday and the fall season. There’s nothing better than watching this movie while sipping apple cider and curling in bed on a crisp fall night. On par with other Halloween favorites such as “Halloweentown,” “Hocus Pocus” brings you back to your childhood.