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To scare or not to scare

‘Witch’ genre will you watch this Halloween?

Fiona Gillen

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When I was eight years old, my dad decided to show me the classic shower scene from Psycho—cue the screams, the terrifying music and the blood swirling down the drain. In my dad’s defense, he planned for it to be a lesson on Alfred Hitchcock’s incredible cinematography skills.What he didn’t plan on, though, was that I would refuse to shower in our basement bathroom for the next year.

You probably guessed it, I’m not the biggest horror movie fanatic. But, when Halloween season rolls around and the smell of pumpkin spice is in the air, I want to get in the spirit with the help of a few good scares. I’m faced with a question, Halloween’s very own “chocolate v. vanilla” showdown: Do I watch horror or fun Halloween movies to celebrate the holiday?

Photo by courtesy of Warner Bros.

Let’s take a look at some of the best movies from each genre to decide. Up first, horror movies:

If you’re searching for the classic Halloween horror flick, look no further than the original 1978 Halloween (sneak a peek at our review of the remake on Pg. 2). With classic jump scares and one of the ultimate horror villains, Michael Myers, this movie is sure to keep you up at night.

Perhaps you want something a little more recent, so check out the 2017 film adaptation of Stephen King’s It. If Michael Myers didn’t make you terrified, Pennywise will definitely do the trick. And, you won’t want to walk by a storm drain any time soon.

Okay, these horror movies are making a pretty good case. But let’s hear what the fun side has to offer:

Hocus Pocus from 1993 is a Halloween staple. If you’re feeling bold, you can even perform “I Put a Spell on You” alongside everyone’s favorite witch, buck-toothed Winnie Sanderson.

Good grief, you didn’t think Charlie Brown was reserved only for Christmas, did you? Give It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown a watch too. It’s guaranteed to make you want a pumpkin as big as Lucy’s and to dress up as a fighter pilot like Snoopy.

Alright, alright, but which flavor do you choose? The verdict: It depends on what kind of Halloween you want. Scary or not, horror or comedy, you can count on all of these movies to put you in a spooky spirit. As for me, I prefer to settle somewhere in between—not quite as kid-friendly as Charlie Brown but definitely not as terrifying as Pennywise. The Scream or Scary Movie series are personal favorites. And, while I can stomach a horror film every now and again, I’d rather enjoy my basement showers in peace.

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