Fall is that time of year when you want to cuddle up by the fire, hot apple cider in hand, and watch a movie. My hubby and I have a list of movies for Fall and Winter (see my list of favorite Christmas movies in this blog post) that we watch every year.
Since we’ve been traveling the past +8 days, we missed out on some of our normal seasonal movie time, so now we’re playing catch up. We try to watch one of our favorite films every night in October leading up to Halloween. It’s become a yearly tradition that we look forward to each year.
It’s no secret that I’m a classic film lover. My love for the golden era of cinema has rubbed off on Matt and it’s become a hobby that we now enjoy together. As you can see by my list below, there are quite a few classic films, maybe even a few that you’ve never heard of before.
I’m not a fan of horror films. I’ve been known to get nightmares from movies like Jumanji and even certain episodes of Game of Thrones… I know, I’m a chicken. I just don’t find it enjoyable to get scared. So if you’re a scaredy-cat like me, then rest assured that this list is Angela-approved… Not one of these movies gave me nightmares lol!
Favorite Fall Movies:
As you can see, the majority of these picks are Halloween related, so I’m going to separate them out for you below by category.
Halloween Movies for the Classic Film Lover (Not Scary):
- Arsenic and Old Lace. I’m a big Cary Grant fan. In my opinion, he’s the definition of a gentleman. I love this film because we get to see a silly side of him not often shown in his work. This movie begins with a Halloween introduction, but it’s not your typical horror flick. It’s fun and goofy; it makes you laugh at the characters wild antics all the way through. Matt and I already watched this last week and loved it all over again.
- Two on a Guillotine. This lesser-known 1964 thriller is definitely more on the serious side compared to “Arsenic and Old Lace” but it still doesn’t classify as scary in my book. It’s a fun movie about a magician’s house that is booby-trapped with all sorts of creepy fun traps. Honestly, the scariest part is the background music.
- Young Frankenstein. Another goofy one, but such a classic! This one has adult humor at moments, but it’s really the Monty Python of Halloween films. I found myself laughing pretty hard in a couple of scenes. Gene Wilder is brilliant in this movie.
- The House on Haunted Hill. A 1950’s classic that is meant to be scary, but the effects are pretty bad, so you won’t be scared at all. The story is creepy and fun, it’s the perfect black and white Halloween flick. It’s the first movie we watched this season; it actually streams for free on YouTube.
- Escape to Witch Mountain. A Disney movie from 1975 that isn’t scary in the least. This movie made Kim Richards of RHOBH a child star. This is just a fun one to watch. I’ve yet to see the sequel, but maybe this week we’ll get a chance to catch it.
- Meet Me in St. Louis. I’ll take any chance I can get to watch a Judy Garland movie. This movie is also on my Christmas list, but it has a really fun Halloween scene that depicts how the holiday was celebrated in the early 1900’s. It’s the perfect film to watch during Fall to help gear you up for both Halloween and Christmas.
- Whatever Happened to Baby Jane. Bette Davis and Joan Crawford starring in the same movie, need I say more? I think Bette Davis’ performance is incredible in this film. My guess is you’ve probably already seen this one, but if not, then you’ve definitely heard of it. The “scary” moments also have such bad effects (compared to our movie standards nowadays) so you probably won’t find yourself frightened. It’s still a fun, creepy one to watch if you enjoy psychological thrillers.
- Stand By Me. Probably the most popular movie on this list. This flick from the 1980’s is not really meant for Halloween, but the creepy-ish moments make it worth adding.
Fall Movies and Film Noirs:
- To Kill a Mockingbird. Surprised that this one made the list? Well, if it’s been awhile since you’ve seen it, then think back to the Halloween scene. It’s October in the 1930’s in a sleepy Alabama town. I love the deeper message of this film and think it shows Gregory Peck’s finest work.
- Legends of the Fall. This is my favorite Brad Pitt movie, with “Meet Joe Black” being a close second. It embodies Autumn in every way. It’s heartbreaking and raw, so get your tissues ready… But it’s a great seasonal flick. Matt has never seen this before so we’re planning to watch it as soon as Halloween is over.
- Double Indemnity. One of Matt’s all-time favorites. Double Indemnity is the reason he loves Barbara Stanwyck. It’s such a smart, snappy film and Barbara Stankwyck shines in it. Her character is strong, independent and downright sneaky.
- The Rope. My favorite piece of Hitchcock’s work. This psychologic thriller meets film noir is so smart. It feels like the entire movie is just one continuous scene. It’s not scary, but it is very smart and you’re guessing the entire time how the plot is going to play out.
- Laura. My mom was named after this movie! It’s a classic noir and it’s the reason why I now love Gene Tierney. It’s another smart script that leaves you guessing till the very end.
- Nobody’s Fool. We’re big Paul Newman fans at the Lanter house. This is one of our favorite pieces of his work. It’s gritty and shows a side of Paul Newman that you wouldn’t necessarily expect, unless you’ve also seen “Hud.”
- Harry Potter. Matt and I rewatch all of the Potter films each year between October 1st and Christmas. We love the magic of Hogwarts. So far, we’ve only watched the first movie this year, so we have some catching up to do.
Not-so-Scary Halloween Movies:
- Hocus Pocus. My favorite! It’s not Halloween until we see the Sanderson Sisters.
- Addams Family. Another must-see each October.
- Hotel Transylvania. This animated film is sweet, lighthearted and funny. We really enjoyed this one.
- Nightmare Before Christmas. Another one we make sure to watch between October 1st and Christmas.
- Corpse Bride. I think this animated movie is totally underrated. Perfect for just a little bit of spooky, family night in.
- Casper. Two words: Devon Sawa. He was the only reason I wanted to see Casper (holy huge crush!) but I ended up really loving this movie as a kid.
- Death Becomes Her. This is another one of Matt’s favorites. Not truly a Halloween movie per-say, but still fun for this time of year. I love any movie with Goldie Hawn and Meryl Streep is an added bonus! One of my favorite things about this movie is the Old Hollywood tie-in… It also stars Isabella Rossellini, who is Ingrid Bergman’s daughter. Yep, I’m that big of a classic cinema nerd lol!
Fall TV Shows to Binge Watch:
- Gilmore Girls. Where my GG fans at?! You already saw this one coming, didn’t you? You know how much my heart loves Lorelai and Rory. We’re planning to watch Season 1 because it’s the perfect show to gear you up for the holidays.
- Stranger Things. To say that we’re excited for Season 2 would be the understatement of the year. This show is creepier than I would like, but the 1980’s nostalgia sucks me right in. So good!
- The Adams Family (series). Because they’re creepy and they’re kooky. Duh.
- The Munsters. I grew up on Munsters reruns on TV Land. Just a lighthearted and fun tv show.
- Bewitched. My mom loved this show as a kid and then turned me onto the reruns as a little girl.
What are your favorite Fall movies and tv shows to watch each year? Do you think I left a must-see off this list? Leave a comment below and let me know!
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