With Heinrich Seilick‘s new stop motion horror Wendel & Wild With releases on Netflix on October 28, we’ll see once again that animation isn’t a genre just for kids. It will be so exciting to see another horror film that harnesses the unlimited creativity that animation can offer, but while we eagerly await, there are more animated films out there that will get you in the spooky mood. Here are some animated films to enjoy yourself at a Halloween movie marathon, trick-or-treat with the family, or watch unwisely alone in your room in the middle of the night.
Monster House (2006)
The legacy of Robert Zemeckis‘Motion capture animated films are certainly messy, though monster house is by far the strongest feature. A haunted house movie taken to the next level follows a mismatched trio of kids investigating the spooky mansion across the street that appears to be eating both belongings and people.
A great horror film for older children – it might scare the little ones a bit too much – it has an incredibly original and at times quite moving story. It also has a sardonic sense of humor, and the house itself is one of the most creative monsters in horror cinema. This film isn’t talked about enough, and if ImageMovers’ other animated films had this standard of quality, it could still be around today.
It was really a challenge to choose between this film and coral in an effort to show as many filmmakers as possible and avoid repetition, but while coral is a stunning dark fantasy with its share of scary moments, paranorman is the one to get you in the Halloween spirit. It has everything a good Halloween movie needs: a misunderstood boy with supernatural powers, a witch’s curse, a zombie uprising and a small town with a dark past.
We can see many of the elements that Laika Studios would perfectly use in her next film, Kubo and the two strings: Creative mixes of stop motion and computer animation, as well as mixes of funny adventures and moments that will take your breath away. paranorman was overlooked during the 2012 awards season, but it deserves far more acclaim than it got.
Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island (1998)
You can’t celebrate Halloween without the gang at Mystery Inc, and there are tons of movies to choose from. The monster franchise of animated Scooby-Doo films has an unreal quality range from one star to five, and there is much debate in the fandom as to which film is the strongest. There are some people who love for ironic or nostalgic reasons, and some who are just surprisingly good but are a great place to start Scooby Doo on Zombie Island. The story follows Scooby and the gang, fed up with the constant costumed crooks, and investigating an island in the middle of the Louisiana bayou where the monsters are a little more real than they’re used to.
This was the film that revived the characters before the new millennium, and with good reason, as this film’s tone and story maintain the camp of classic Scooby while increasing the humor, horror, and mystery. If you liked the series Scooby-Doo: Mystery Incorporated or gravity fallsdefinitely go back and check this one out.
Edgar Alan Poe is the king of gothic horror, with tales of madness, death and murder that have captivated the public for nearly two centuries. Many of his classic stories have been translated to the big screen, largely thanks to Roger Corman and VincentPricebut Extraordinary Stories tells many of them all in an anthology. Anthologies are great for horror, a murderous array of creative talent telling stories, or in this case adapting stories in their own style.
“The Telltale Heart”, “The Pit and the Pendulum”, “The Fall of the House of Usher”, “The Facts in the Fall of M. Valdemar”and“The Masque of the Red Death” are all performed in different styles with the voices of Guillermo del Toro, Christopher Lee, Julian Sands, and Bel Lugosi. This is a fun, gothic time that gives smaller creators a chance to shine with the voices of industry giants backing them. If you like Poe, watch this movie.
The Wolf House (2018)
This is the scariest movie on this list and the author wouldn’t advise watching it alone based on experience. The wolf house tells the story of a young woman who takes refuge in a secluded house in the woods to escape a colony of religious fanatics, and it really shows the potential animation must have to unsettle.
While not a jump scare center, the house twists into a nightmare around the fear felt by the protagonist, painting the walls into emptiness, moving across the floors and furniture, creating shadows and monsters from everything inside that Camera looks almost like a poltergeist, candles flicker and objects shift. Chilean directors Joaquin Cocina and Cristobal Leon Using the whole house to its absolutely terrifying advantage, the stop motion is intentionally rough to create a surreal, inhuman and unsettling feel throughout. This film is a horror masterpiece and if you can tolerate more disturbing and eerie visuals then this is a top recommendation.
Mad God (2022)
This film is an insane labor of love by Phil Tippetwhich took 30 years to make and was only released on Shudder a few months ago, but the time and care he put into it was well worth it. crazy god is a surreal, orphic tale of descent into the underworld, the scale of this feverish dream of war, death and destruction is like nothing seen in streaming before.
Tippett is considered a master of monster design and that mastery is on full display here, with the stop-motion making everything even more visceral and tactile. The demons and tormented souls of his world are lovingly and expertly crafted. There’s not much to say without revealing the compelling and abstract descent, so I urge you to watch this film, even just to appreciate the effort it took. It is Ray Harryhausen on LSD, a disturbing and existential trip through hell, a showcase of immense creativity and endurance, and it’s like nothing else in streaming right now.
The Corpse Bride (2005)
That was even bigger than my fight in between coral and paranorman, Tim Burton has three wonderful Halloween movies to choose from. The nightmare before Christmas is legendary but was actually directed by Henry Selick, Frankenweenie is wildly underrated and a labor of love by Burton based on an early short, but The Corpse Bride represents everything we love about Tim Burton.
It’s like a mixtape, combining all his best work into one film: The Unlikely Love Story of Edward with the scissor hands, the creative underworld imagery of bug juicethe characteristic protagonists of Sweeney Todd, Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carterthe over the top Gothic styles of Sleepy Cave and of course the musical arrangement of Danny Elfman. This is the most Tim Burton film, and Emily, the Corpse Bride herself, has become an iconic character and the subject of many Halloween costumes, and with good reason. This is an immensely fun watch.
Fear of the Dark (2007)
Another anthology, this time from France, fear of the dark is a mix of 2D and 3D animation that covers the ideas of fear, trauma and paranoia. Renowned graphic designers and comic artists have come together for this film and written their own short stories in black and white. Short-form horror is incredibly effective at instilling fear in audiences, and the fact that each short is black and white unifies and varies the style.
The horror stories are also incredibly diverse, with human-shaped beetles, haunted Japanese burial sites and giant crocodiles galore. This is a whimsical, aesthetically pleasing film and a brilliant performance by brilliant artists, French animated films have a reputation for greatness and that certainly helps.
The Haunted World of El Superbeasto (2009)
this is that Rob Zombie A film for people who can’t stomach its hardcore tunes, this film thrives on heaping irreverent cartoon humor on top of the usual gratuitous sex and violence. The Haunted World of El Superbeasto follows an exploitation filmmaker and lucha wrestler (tom dad), with his loyal sidekick Suzi-X (Sheri Moon Zombie) while battling against werewolves, zombie Nazis, and the nefarious Dr. bad (Paul Giamatti) in a heavy metal gore fest.
It’s as stupid and crazy as it sounds, and the film knows exactly how stupid and crazy it is. It’s an obscenely raunchy cult classic of horror animation and horror musicals that, as always, sees Zombie pushing the limits of what he can get away with. It’s ridiculous, it’s over the top, and it’s a hell of a time for any horror night.
The Halloween Tree (1993)
Ray Bradbury Fans unite for the most underrated movie on this list. Based on his 1972 novel, The Halloween Tree follows a group of kids as they embark on an adventure through time to save their friend’s soul while learning about the origins of Halloween hallmarks like witches, demons, mummies, and the holiday itself. This film is a delight and perfect for watching with the family.
It has a very warm and nostalgic feel, backed by the singing talent of Leonard Nimoy and narrated by Bradbury himself, it’s a little Halloween tale about friendship, tradition and even the concept of mortality. It’s a comfort movie sure, little fear, just a nice movie to watch with the kids in your life while you settle down and eat your trick-or-treat plunder that makes you learn and feel.