*Amazing being a totally subjective term.
Every Halloween I break out a few movies / specials to watch, usually while editing, burning gingerspice candles and thinking about how much I loved Halloween as a kid. The movies below are all ones I watched when I was little, but may not be for everyone - I think I had nightmares about Mr. Boogedy for years. But honestly, that's fine because I also thought that Blair Underwood from the Facts of Life was a monster who lived under my bed. Does anyone remember the murder mystery episode of Facts of Life? Because NOPE. (Also, writing this post, and realizing that not everyone may get my Facts of Life reference... makes me feel super old.)
So here's my go-to list for Halloween movies that (might) make you feel super nostalgic!
The Watcher in the Woods. I love this movie! It's classic, unsettling Disney AND it stars Bette Davis. Full movie here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0owgDMDBg4
Bride of Boogedy. Also categorized under movies that terrified me as a child, this movie is a super weird (and not necessarily for super young kids) Disney classic. Wax museums, magic cloaks, movie monsters, it's got it all! You can actually find it (and the original) on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLVBidR-8cU
Ernest Scared Stupid. The trolls are so, so, so gross. Jamie can't watch this movie while eating. Trailer here.
The Monster Squad. Maybe not for little kids (although that's totally when I watched it), this movie is like a movie-monster themed version of The Goonies. My favourite line will forever be: "My name... is Horace." Trailer here.
The House on Haunted Hill. This is the original movie, with Vincent Price. When I was a kid, my parents wouldn't let me rent Nightmare on Elm Street, etc (with good reason) but sometimes I'd be allowed to watch the old classics. I watched a ton of Abbott and Costello + monsters movies. This one still probably isn't great for kids, but it's definitely tame in comparison to the most recent version!
Return to Oz. I think a lot of people thought when this came out that it would be a direct sequel to the Judy Garland Wizard of Oz, but it's really, really not. At all. Nope. The Wheelers are basically handcrafted straight out of nightmares, as is Princess Mombi's gallery of heads. Trailer here.
If you're looking for something really scary, check out Nightmare on Elm Street, It Follows, Insidious, The Conjuring, and the Shining! If you're looking for more specials (that you're likely to find on YouTube), check out Garfield's Halloween Adventure, The Real Ghostbusters: When Halloween was Forever, and the Tower of Terror.
If you have a favourite Halloween special, or something to add about the ones listed above, please leave a comment below!