My Go-To Halloween Film

Halloween seems to be the only thing I like about autumn – part of the appeal behind this time of year, for my age group in particular, is watching Halloween films. Whether you’d prefer a horror like The Conjuring or something more nonchalant, it adds to the feel of Halloween.

I am a huge horror movie fan, but I generally watch them throughout the year. However at Halloween, I tend to turn to the genius that is Tim Burton. My go-to Halloween film is Corpse Bride and has been for many years now. If you’re unaware of Corpse Bride, it’s a stop-motion animation that came out in 2005 – the film used 11-inch sized puppets to create Burton’s eerie visuals. Set in the Victorian era, the story revolves around Victor, who’s about to enter an arranged marriage with Victoria, but accidentally ends up raising a corpse back from the dead and begins his journey back from the ‘Land of the Dead’ to the ‘Land of the Living’.

I was four when this film came out, and I remember watching it a few years later. It was my older cousins who introduced me to the mysterious world of Tim Burton and Johnny Depp for that matter – from that point, I was instantly mesmerised by his work. Whether he directed or produced them, Burton’s films are the perfect watch for the Halloween season – from Edward Scissorhands to Beetlejuice, Sweeney Todd, or even Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – his distinct film style is what makes his work so spectacular. Burton was also behind the story for The Nightmare Before Christmas, another stop-motion animation – some might consider this a Christmas movie, others a Halloween. It was hugely successful and kickstarted a cult following around this iconic aesthetic and filmography.

The ghostlike appearances of the Corpse Bride characters, as well as the cinematography, set and music, composed by Danny Elfman, another frequent collaborator of Burton, is what draws so many viewers in. Some people say that the animation in Burton’s films is what broadens the demographic – younger kids can enjoy his art as much as older audiences. However, during my obsession with Burton at a worryingly young age, I watched Mars Attacks! which absolutely traumatised me. But in fairness, I shouldn’t have been watching that film in the first place – it’s not really for kids.

I’m not sure whether it’s the nostalgia or the aesthetic that makes me watch this film every Halloween, but either way this Corpse Bride is a Halloween classic!

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Sienna Norris

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May 2022
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