So this is actually not about the Halloween franchise itself, but movies that embody the holiday itself. Let's jump right in.
10. Casper - Yep, starting this off with a pretty controversial opinion. The climax does take place on Halloween, but otherwise it's a ghost movie, a friendly ghost movie at that. Yet still, I find a lot to like. Bull Pullman paling around with the Trio always gets me, and it's got a bit more adult humor than most kids movies of the time. Plus, that Dan Aykroyd cameo.
9. Tales of Halloween - Honestly, I kind of had a back and forth about this one. I liked it...mostly. It's a Halloween film for sure, but I don't love every one of it's ten stories. I'd say I liked about half, so if Casper was controversial for not being a well loved movie by others, this one is controversial for myself on really loving about half the film.
8. Halloween II (!980)- The first, but not last film from the actual Halloween series on this list. This follows up the first film well, but uses Jamie Lee Curtis surprisingly little. It adds one classic twist that would follow the series all the way until the sequel coming this year, which will ignore that. There's some interesting bits, like the kid who accidentally bites into a razor blade and is in the emergency room, playing on that common Halloween myth. Still one of my favorites.
7. Invader Zim Halloween Spooktacular of Spooky Doom - One of two specials I'm putting on this list. I just love Invader Zim, but if ever there was an episode parent slikely found too scary for kids, it was this one. Zim's nemesis, Dib, thinks he might be crazy, and it turns out there's an entire dark mirror universe that wants to use a portal through his head to invade our world. Zim gets invovled. Also GIR battles trick or treaters. It's a glorious, fun, stupid, kind of spooky episode.
6. Gravity Falls: Summerween - This is the other TV episode, and honestly, while it does not actually take place at Halloween, it still feels spot on. The basic premise is Gravity Falls celebrates Summerween, basically Halloween in summer, and the carve Watermelons and such. There's a legend about a monster that comes out on Summerween when the last Jackomelon goes out, and you better have candy to give him, or he'll do something terrible. Great episode, and perfect for summer, of the Halloween season.
5.Scooby Doo and the Witch's Ghost - This one isn't actually set at Halloween, but it is set in autumn in New England. The animation is gorgeous showing off the fall colors. Meanwhile, the film has a good plot that goes beyond the normal "man in a mask" Scooby Doo plot, good songs by fictional band The Hex Girls, and Tim Curry being awesome as Stephen King-like author Ben Ravencroft.
4.The Nightmare Before Christmas- Argue if you will it's a Christmas film. Even acknowledging the far less superior holiday greatly, NBC is a fun movie, and Jack reminds me of a lot of us that wait patiently every year for Halloween to come back, and wish it came more than just once.
3. Halloween III: Season of the Witch - This is hit or miss for most people. For me it hits pretty well. It feels like the Halloween season. Yes there is weird witchcraft stuff. Yes there is robots. Even so, it's a fun film that was hated for simply not having Michael Myers.
2. Halloween (1978) - Yeah, you probably knew this would be here. The original by John Carpenter is a staple of the season. It's a slow build slasher film, that really kicked off the genre (Texas Chainsaw Massacre did come before.).
1. Trick 'R Treat - This movie is Halloween. An anthology of horror, all taking place in a small town on Halloween night. This movie feels like Halloween, and it gives us Sam, who really should be a horror icon at this point, despite the single film appearance. This has become a Halloween staple for me.
Make the Sayles JP IV script into an animated series! Admit it, you'd watch it.
"We'll use the Force."- Finn
"That's not how the Force works!"- Han Solo