An Evolution of Halloween in Film

Evelyn Christopher, Staff Writer

One thing that makes a holiday feel so special is its portrayal through the media. At Christmastime, the music makes it special, but for Halloween, most people would agree it’s the movies. Therefore, Halloween movies greatly contribute to the aesthetic that people associate with the spooky holiday. 

“I love the aesthetic Halloween films have. Usually there’s a filter over them. And of course, the over-the-top sets really add to the fall feeling which makes the films more enjoyable,” said Audrey Sadura, ’25. 

Family-friendly and horror are the most popular genres of spooky movies. One of the most beloved family-friendly Halloween movies is It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, which came out in 1966. As time went on, the film industry started to see more inclusion of other Halloween figures, like witches and vampires. 

In the 1970s, society saw a sudden rise and popular gain in scary movies, starting with The Exorcist, which is based on true events. Halloween in 1978 and Nightmare on Elm Street in 1984 were also big box earners. 

The 1990s saw an increase with Disney Channel’s “Monstober” month and other similar networks releasing seasonal movies. The iconic Disney film Hocus Pocus, released in 1993, remains popular with audiences today. Twitches and Halloweentown, while less widely popular, still hold nostalgic value for many. 

Horror movies are also popular with older audiences looking to get into the spooky spirit.“[Horror movies feel] scary in the moment but in reality you know you’re safe behind the screen,” Sadura explained regarding the appeal of scary movies. Widely popular, horror is the most common genre of movie to watch during the month of October. Movies can range from paranormal to slasher. 

The Black Phone is one of my favorite horror movies. It has many intriguing themes and unique characters,” Sadura added. The movie stars Ethan Hawke and follows the story of a young boy being kidnapped and has grown to fame within the past year. 

However, older films remain popular with audiences too. “I saw Friday the 13th this year [and] it was pretty good,” Sadura said. “I don’t think it was too different from movies nowadays, though sometimes there are some cheesy scenes and unrealistic screams which are a little dramatic, but overall I think it was a great movie.” 

Halloween movies will continue on for many years, becoming better and better giving everyone the exact spooky feeling they want.