The student news site of Corona del Mar High School


The student news site of Corona del Mar High School


The student news site of Corona del Mar High School


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Relax, Rewind, Rewatch
PictureLux / The Hollywood Archive / Alamy Stock Photo
Scene from Hocus Pocus (1993). Photo courtesy of

As the month of October has closed, the students of CdM experienced yet another year of Halloween and all that the famous holiday holds– thrilling parties, alluring festivals, and football frights (too soon?). But, one repeated tradition of this “spooky season” is the world’s tendency to rewatch classic Halloween movies, leaving them with ample nostalgia. This article is a movie overview for those curious as to what movies one might expect to see watched during this time, and perhaps provide inspiration for the following October. 

One of the classics, and most rewatched movies during this time, is Hocus Pocus (1993). The story follows a young teenager and his little sister, Max and Dani Dennison, as they move to the town of Salem, Massachusetts for the new school year. There, Max is tasked with the responsibility of watching over his sister as she trick-or-treats around the neighborhood. Accompanied by his fellow classmate, Allison Watts (whom he is attracted to), they stumble upon a black flamed candle. This candle, coincidentally, is the same one that was used to curse the Sanderson sisters– witches from Salem who seek eternal youth– three centuries earlier. Upon a virgin lighting the candle, the sisters would be released once again to roam the town in attempts to continue their mission (only attainable by secreting the life force out of young individuals).

Aired the same year as Hocus Pocus, another movie that has been watched time and time again is The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993). There is much debate surrounding this film, as some claim that it falls on the side of Halloween and others on Christmas. However, the movie is still a popular watch as it covers both holidays in a different way than before. “Nightmare Before Christmas is probably one of the go-to Halloween movies,” says senior Reid Mallon, skeleton enthusiast. In this film, the plot follows “Pumpkin King” Jack Skellington, his boredom with the Halloween routine, and his adventure into unknown realms– which is where he discovers the realm of Christmas. Peaking his curiosity, Skellington is opened to a new world and desires it for himself. Ultimately, his venture is a path of self-discovery, reigniting his love for his holiday and sending him on a new mission to save Christmas. When questioned on any movie recommendations she had for readers, eighth grader Kairi Roby notes, “If you haven’t seen The Nightmare Before Christmas, definitely The Nightmare Before Christmas”.

Another hit movie of its time, and still to this day, Halloweentown (1998) is among the seasonal favorites. Halloweentown follows the tale of three siblings (Marnie, Dylan, and Sophie Piper) who are exposed to the mystical world under the guidance of their grandmother. The eldest child, Marnie, soon discovers that she, her mother, and her grandmother are born witches and destined to assist the citizens of Halloweentown as they gradually begin to disappear. The children and grandmother are faced with great resistance from their mother Gwen, though, as she desires to lead mortal lives and separate her kids from the world of magic. In a complex journey to save the town, the family tries to rid Halloweentown of this unknowing and anonymous evil. 

On the topic of controversial classics, Coraline (2009), is a frequently watched stop-motion horror. Young, angsty eleven-year-old Coraline Jones builds resentment towards her parents due to a recent move from Michigan to Oregon. Still trying to adjust to her new life (with a lack of attention from her parents), she uncovers a secret door that leads her to an alternate universe with “loving parents”. The only issue? In order to stay in that world, Coraline must succumb to the idea of replacing her eyes with buttons. On a whirlwind of adventures, and the reveal of a beast-like mother who desires to steal the “windows to Coraline’s soul”, Coraline attempts to end the mother’s reign of terror once and for all, and revert back to her old life. “I mean everyone kind of likes Coraline,” says senior Rex Daily, talking about the movie– said in contrast to Mallon’s, “I think Coraline is kind of overrated”. While opinions are subjective, the fact remains: Coraline is one of the most popular movies watched during fall. 

These movies, and much more, are considered staples among the Halloween collection. Featured yearly on numerous cable marathons and streaming services, they have the capability of providing nostalgia to many students here at Corona del Mar— and are highly recommended to watch during this time of year.


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