If you’re anything like me, you’re excited that fall is officially here. This is perhaps the best time of the year and its atmosphere is unparalleled. There’s nothing better than curling up in a blanket with a warm mug of tea or coffee, a good book or a nostalgic creepy movie when it’s a cool and rainy day outside. I love horror movies as much as the next person, but sometimes (like late at night) it makes perfect sense to watch fall movies that don’t have tons of gore and scary scenes. Here’s my definitive list of fall movies that aren’t horror movies.
Starting off good, you can never go wrong with the Halloweentown movies. They hit the peak of nostalgia for anyone who grew up watching the Disney Channel (I miss you, Monstober!) and bring me such a feeling of comfort all year round, but especially this time of year. The storylines are actually well written for Disney Channel Original Movies and are great for all ages.
This list would not be complete without including the Harry Potter series. The Halloween scene in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone creates an amazing fall atmosphere, and the soundtrack of all the films provides the best backdrop for any fall cleaning day, with a pumpkin or apple candle burning in the room, making the whole house smell like October.
Beetlejuice is one of those classic films that gets great every year, but its popularity especially varies as the Halloween season gets closer and closer. The film itself is a comedy, but has creepier and darker themes, making it perfect for this season. Oh, and the queen of all things Halloween and horror, Winona Ryder, is in it too.
This is simply not up for debate: the Twilight saga is one of the staples of the fall movies, and nothing can convince me otherwise. The rainy and dark setting seen throughout the films is reminiscent of the season and the music is also exemplary. The indie rock and soft music makes me want to sulk in the rain like Bella does all fall and winter, and I think that was a smart and conscious choice on the part of the filmmakers.
No Halloween or fall movie list would be complete without the incomparable Hocus Pocus. Like Halloweentown, it’s one of those Disney classics that just warms your soul to watch. It reminds me of when my elementary school teachers would wheel out a huge 2000s-era TV on carts and put a literal VHS version of Hocus Pocus on our player before we were sent home.
Most of the films on this list are family-friendly and suitable for children. This probably isn’t the case with The Rocky Horror Picture Show. This is for my audience rated PG-13 and above. Despite the title, there is no horror in the film at all (at least in my opinion), but some viewers may find some scary scenes. The movie itself doesn’t scream fall, but I personally love watching it at this time of year, so I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a new movie to watch every year like I do.
The Nightmare Before Christmas is my next addition because, yeah, who would leave it off a Halloween movie list? While it is widely debated whether this movie is actually a Halloween or Christmas movie, I say forget labeling it and just enjoy it all year round as it was intended because it is a fantastic movie. Who doesn’t get excited about fall when they see Jack Skellington open Christmas for the first time or hear the song Oogie Boogie? Exactly.
I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself if I left Adam Sandler’s Hubie Halloween off this list. While this is another thing I would add to the PG-13 rating, it is still a fun and enjoyable Halloween watch. Once again, Sandler recruits many of his famous friends to participate in the project and is happy to make a film based on the most ridiculous scenario.
Obviously everyone has their own tastes and preferences when it comes to movies, but I truly believe there is something for everyone on my list. There’s a good mix of comedy, children’s fiction, cult classics and teen drama, so there’s a lot of ground covered. Most, if not all, of these films are available on streaming platforms, so if you’re experiencing any downtime this Halloween season, be sure to check them out!