As Halloween approaches, it’s time to bring out the seasonal classics we all know and love. And, if you’re like me, you probably watch these movies year-round anyway. But there’s something special about watching these movies during the month of Halloween, which is why I chose 35 of my favorite Halloween-themed (or just good movies to watch around Halloween) movies.
So checkout my list of 35 Halloween favorites below that you have to watch (or rewatch) this Halloween season. Also remember to check Disney Channel and ABC Family during the month of October, as they play a lot of the movies listed below!
Disney and Pixar Classics:
“The Nightmare Before Christmas” (1993)
“Monster’s Inc.” (2001)
Disney Channel Original Movies:
“Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century” (1999)
“Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge” (2001)
“Zenon: The Zequel” (2001)
“Halloweentown High” (2004)
“Zenon: Z3” (2004)
“Return to Halloweentown” (2006)
“Twitches Too” (2007)
“Donnie Darko” (2001)
“Paranormal Activity” (2007)
“Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” (2007)
“Friday the 13th” (2009)
“My Super Psycho Sweet 16” (2009)
“The Cabin in the Woods” (2011)
“World War Z” (2013)
“The Purge: Anarchy” (2014)
ABC Family Movies (not actually by ABC or ABC Family, but played rather frequently on the station):
“It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” (1966)
“Edward Scissorhands” (1990)
“The Addams Family” (1991)
“Addams Family Values” (1993)
“Hocus Pocus” (1993)
“Sleepy Hollow” (1999)
“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” (2005)
“Corpse Bride” (2005)
“Monster House” (2006)
“Alice in Wonderland” (2010)
“Warm Bodies” (2013)
Parks and Recreation is one of my all-time favorite shows. I know virtually every episode by heart (with the exception of season 7, where I’ve only each episode once or twice). It was very difficult to narrow down my favorite episodes, since they are all wonderful in their own ways. I tried to choose my favorite overall episodes instead of episodes containing my favorite moments (which would be all of them if we’re being honest).
Below are my 21 all-time favorite episodes from the series. I’ve tried to get at least one from each season, and I limited some seasons to only a couple, especially seasons 2-5 since those are my favorites!
21. “The Banquet” (S1E5) - “Leslie attends a banquet and discovers what it takes to get what you want in the political arena. Tom and Mark go to a bar and pick up some women.” While season 1 was a bit of a bust, this is my favorite episode from the season, mainly because Leslie and Ann are mistaken for a lesbian couple.
20. “Sex Education” (S5E4) - “Leslie tries her hand at teaching a sex-education class after an STD outbreak. Ron attempts to show Tom how to enjoy life without technology.”
19. “The Cones of Dunshire” (S6E8) - “Leslie and Councilman Jamm clash over a park proposal; Ben gets a hobby, then a job; Tom, April and Donna help Ron sell his cabin.”
18. “Women in Garbage” (S5E11) - “Leslie focuses on women’s equality in government by becoming a garbage collector for a day with Ann. Tom wants to learn how to play basketball.”
17. “Eagleton” (S3E12) - “When the neighboring city of Eagleton puts up a fence around one of their parks, Leslie must convince her former best friend to take it down.”
16. “Pawnee Rangers” (S4E4) - “To fight the inequality of Ron’s boys-only wilderness group, Leslie takes her girls-group, the Pawnee Goddesses, on an adventure weekend.” This episode is also birth to Treat Yo’ Self Day.
14 & 15. “One Last Ride Pt. 1 and 2” (S7E12/13) - “In the last day in Pawnee, Leslie rallies the entire team for one last Parks Project: fixing a swing in a park. A series of flash-forwards show bits of what will happen to the characters over the next years and decades. Typhoon and Craig get married, Andy and April become parents, Donna sets up a non-profit with her husband, Tom becomes a best-selling author, Garry serves as Mayor until his death at age 100, and Ron finds happiness in a job as a park superintendent for the National Park Service. Ben is elected to Congress, and he and Leslie are separately courted to run for governor of Indiana. After considering who should run, Ben decides that Leslie would be a better candidate. The two then visit the Parks department and see all of their friends once more. Ann and Chris reappear and decide to move back to Pawnee. In the future Leslie serves two terms as governor, and hints at a "new, unknown challenge" in a speech; at Garry's funeral (depicted earlier in the episode, but occurring further in the future), she and Ben are accompanied by what appears to be a Secret Service detail, in a scene left intentionally ambiguous.” (taken from Wikipedia).
13. “Ron and Tammys” (S4E2) – “Leslie intervenes when Tammy One begins controlling Ron’s every move. Ben tries to help Tom balance the books, while Ann makes a PSA starring Chris.”
12. “The Debate” (S4E20) - “Leslie faces off with Bobby Newport in a televised debate. Ann, Tom, and Chris work the media spin room, while Ron saves a party for Leslie’s donors.” The best part of this episode is Andy acting out his favorite movies when the cable is shut off during the viewing party of the debate.
11. “Andy & April’s Fancy Party” (S3E9) - “Andy and April host a dinner party for all their friends. Ben asks Leslie for some career advice, while Ann tries her luck at a singles party.”
10. “Jerry’s Painting” (S3E11) - “Jerry’s contribution to Leslie’s community art show causes a stir. Ben moves in with April and Andy and attempts to teach them how to be adults.”
9. “Ron and Tammy” (S2E8) - “Leslie learns that the library department wants to take over her lot. The library is run by Ron’s ex-wife, who still has an emotional hold on him.”
8. “Ron & Tammy II” (S3E4) - “Tom tries to get back at Ron by going out on a date with Ron’s ex-wife, Tammy, while Leslie tries to protect Ron from falling prey to her charms.”
7. “Leslie and Ben” (S5E14) - “Leslie and Ben have two hours to complete a yearlong project. Meanwhile, Ron lands in trouble when his temper gets the better of him.” Leslie and Ben finally get married, that’s all you need to know.
6. “Lil’ Sebastian” (S3E16) - “Leslie and the parks team put together a memorial service for a dearly departed friend. Meanwhile, Tom makes a big life decision.” This episode introduces Andy’s song “5,000 Candles in the Wind,” along with Tom’s new business, Entertainment 720.
5. “Hunting Trip” (S2E10) - “Leslie invites herself on Ron’s annual hunting trip, but things don’t go as planned. Andy and April bond in the office while everyone is away.” Ron gets shot in the back of the head. If that doesn’t make you interested in this episode, nothing will.
4. “Animal Control” (S5E18) - “Leslie takes charge of the stoner-run animal control department. Ron resists medical treatment for Ann. Ben and Andy seek help from Dennis Feinstein.”
3. “The Treaty” (S4E7) - “Leslie enlists Ben, Andy, and April to host a Model U.N. for Pawnee Central High School. Chris asks Ann for advice when a date cancels on him.”
2. “The Stakeout” (S2E2) - “Leslie and Tom discover someone planted marijuana in the new community garden. Hoping to catch those responsible, they pull an all-night stakeout.”
1. “Park Safety” (S2E19) - “After Jerry gets mugged, Leslie meets with the park ranger in hopes of improving park safety. Everyone tries to be nicer to Jerry once he returns.” And who guest stars as the park safety officer? Andy Sandberg!
Why You Should Avoid Watching “Stonewall,” the Movie Portrayal of the 1969 Stonewall Riots By Allison Pinski
The Stonewall riots of June 27-28, 1969 marked the beginning of the LGBT movement. These riots marked a very violent clash between New York City police officers, and the gay and trans party-goers at the infamous Stonewall Inn (a prominent gay bar). Members of the New York LGBT community clashed with police, starting the gay liberation movement that is still alive today. Protesters (many of the forerunners being PoC and transwomen) aimed for sexual orientation rights and liberties, free of persecution from the predominantly white and cishetero American society during the 1950’s and 60’s. More information on the riots can be read through Columbia University’s webpage and this PBS piece.
The Stonewall riots are one of the most important events in the history of the American LGBT movement. Many would assume that a movie adaptation of the events would bring more attention to the cause, and reach an audience not otherwise affected by LGBT concerns (i.e. the cishetero community). Many survivors of the riots should be ecstatic to see Sylvia Rivera, and Marsha P. Johnson, two very important transwomen of color who heavily advocated for LGBT and WoC rights throughout their lifetimes. Rivera and Johnson, alongside many men and women, risked their own lives to fight for their neglected rights as U.S. citizens (despite being gay, transgender, and/or PoC). Stonewall shows a diverse group of people (both cis and trans, white and PoC) uniting to fight for their rights and the LGBT movement.
But that is not “Stonewall,” the film adaption set to be released on September 25, 2015 according to its IMDb page, the two most important figures of the riots (Rivera and Johnson), are not even the main focus of the films. Instead, Hollywood will revolve around Trevor (played by white cisgender Jonathan Rhys Meyers), and his fictional involvement in the riots. White men will portray transwomen characters (instead of actual transwomen PoC actresses?). While Rivera isn’t even mentioned in the list of characters on the IMDb page, at least Johnson is. Except Johnson, a transwoman of color, will be played by male actor Otoja Abit (at least he’s African-American, right?).
I’ve gone through the IMDb list of actors/actresses to determine just how much artistic liberties Hollywood took. The first ten actor/character pairings are listed below;
-Jonathan Rhys Meyes (white male actor) will play Trevor (assumed white male character)
-Ron Perlman (white male actor) will play Ed Murphy (assumed white male character)
-Joey King (white female actress) will play Phoebe (assumed white female character)
-Jeremy Irvine (white male actor) will play Danny (assumed white male character)
-Jonny Beauchamp (PoC male actor) will play Ray Castro (assumed PoC male character)
-Caleb Landry Jones (white male actor) will play Orphan Annie (assumed White female character)
-Matt Craven (white male actor) will play Deputy Seymour Pine (assumed white male character)
-David Cubitt (white male actor) will play Coach Winters (assumed white male character)
-Atticus Mitchell (white male actor) will play Matt (assumed white male character)
-Mark Camacho (white male actor) will play Fat Tony (assumed white male character)
Based on these actors/actresses and characters alone, the majority of the film is composed of white male actors and white male characters. Abit, who plays Johnson, barely made the top twenty characters list on IMDb.
In addition, the director of the film Roland Emmerich, released a statement on his Facebook page explaining his decision to use a white cisgender male as the lead in the movie. The post can be read from his page, or here below where I’ve pasted it.
“When I first learned about the Stonewall Riots through my work with the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, I was struck that the circumstances that lead to LGBT youth homelessness today are pretty much the same as they were 45 years ago. The courageous actions of everyone who fought against injustice in 1969 inspired me to tell a compelling, fictionalized drama of those days centering on homeless LGBT youth, specifically a young midwestern gay man who is kicked out of his home for his sexuality and comes to New York, befriending the people who are actively involved in the events leading up to the riots and the riots themselves. I understand that following the release of our trailer there have been initial concerns about how this character’s involvement is portrayed, but when this film - which is truly a labor of love for me - finally comes to theaters, audiences will see that it deeply honors the real-life activists who were there — including Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, and Ray Castro — and all the brave people who sparked the civil rights movement which continues to this day. We are all the same in our struggle for acceptance.”
I find it strange that Emmerich says the film will honor the real-life heroes (a lot of whom were transgender), but fails to both incorporate these trans heroes, and cast transgender actors and actresses to play them. If Emmerich really wanted to honor them, he would actually include Rivera and Johnson as the leads, and have them played by transwomen of color. It’s 2015, this isn’t a radical idea.
Why should you boycott this film? While it is good Hollywood has chosen to develop a movie around an event so vital to the LGBT community, the characters and actors/actresses chosen for the film completely undermine its message. I am not surprised by the complete erasure of the transmen and, more importantly, the transwomen who were so heavily involved in the riots. To make matter worse, the few transwomen who will be shown in the movie appear to be played by men instead of actual trans actresses (they’re out there!). AND there are very few PoC characters, which is not true of the actual Stonewall riots at all.
I don’t expect Hollywood to make a movie with 100% historical accuracy, but this interpretation of the riots is entirely unacceptable. It erases the very important voices that worked so hard to further the LGBT movement, namely Rivera and Johnson. And without these two women (as well as all the other transwomen and PoC involved in the actual event), what is the point of creating the movie? Why tell a story that is just going to be whitewashed, as well as cisgenderized? This type of historical revisionism just cements the mistreatment of these marginalized people.
Instead of watching “Stonewall,” consider watching (and donating) a more representative and accurate movie based on the riots; “Happy Birthday Marsha” . This independent film project desperately needs help raising the remaining funds to make the film, so consider donating here if you believe in the cause.
***NOTE: Below are a list of my sources, and other articles/pages you can read if you are interested in this topic. The opinion expressed in this post is entirely my own, and I have no affiliation to the “Stonewall” movie or IMDb or "Happy Birthday Marsha,"
The Stonewall Riot and Its Aftermath from Columbia University
“Stonewall Riots: The Beginning of the LGBT Movement” from The Leadership Conference
Introduction: Stonewall Uprising from PBS
The Sylvia Rivera Law Project
“Meet the Trans Women of Color Who Helped Put Stonewall On the Map” by Jamilah King
Happy Birthday Marsha