Our Expert's Movie Picks

Not sure which movies you should watch this holiday season? Our expert Ryan Jay can help point your way to the best Halloween films. Check out more of his work at ryanjayreviews.com.

  • 10. The Wizard of Oz – Featuring the most iconic wicked witch of all time, this is my most beloved movie ever.  It’s hard to imagine making any list in which I wouldn’t include it.  Plus, it has spawned some of the world’s most cherished, perennial Halloween costumes for all ages!

  • 9. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown – There are some movies you can watch over and over again and this TV classic is one of them.  If you loved it as a kid, it’s as lovable revisiting on an annual basis with your own children.  Turn it on, munch some candy corn, carve some jack-o-lanterns and wait with Linus for The Great Pumpkin in the pumpkin patch.

  • 8. ParaNorman – Just released in summer 2012, it instantly became one of my favorites of the year.  Fantastic stop motion animation, packed with themes of family, love and responsibility, it features a sweet message underneath the spooky-good story.  The best family films are those which engage all ages and this will certainly delight young and old alike.

  • 7. The Cabin in the Woods – Released in spring 2012, this horror film features almost every iconic monster you could think of.  Unfolding like a good, classic horror film, it also breaks the heat with perfectly timed bits of genuine comedy, courtesy of the brilliant screenwriter Joss Whedon.

  • 6. The Nightmare Before Christmas – The best Halloween musical! (Perhaps the only one.)  It doubles as a Christmas film but at its heart is all Halloween.  Presented by Tim Burton whose twisted aesthetic and story comes magically to life in stop motion animation.  Original music by the brilliant Danny Elfman – who also provided the singing voice for the lead character, Jack Skellington!

  • 5. The Craft – The best witchcraft movie out there is also one of the best coming of age teen dramas, covering themes from bullying to peer pressure.  Leading lady Fairuza Balk broke into Hollywood as a child playing Dorothy in the poorly-received Wizard of Oz sequel – Disney’s Return to Oz.

  • 4. Drag Me to Hell – I challenge anyone to snack while watching this movie.  It’s equally repugnant and enthralling.  Director Sam Raimi (The Spider-Man trilogy) weaves special effects seamlessly into this story about a supernatural curse, sure to jolt even the toughest stomachs in the audience.

  • 3. Beetlejuice – One of Tim Burton’s finest films.  This creeptastically heartwarming and brilliant comedy stars Michael Keaton, Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis and Winona Ryder.  A black and white striped suit never looked better.

  • 2. The Exorcist – Still the scariest movie ever. Linda Blair as a possessed child leaves such an indelible impression it’s still a challenge falling asleep at night when thinking about it.

  • 1. Hocus Pocus – The black cat’s out of the bag… I love witches! This movie features a cute and clumsy trio of them: Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy. It’s adorbs in a clever, fun and super-funny way.

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