Ahhhh it’s Halloween. A day of wonder, tricks, treats, spooky frights, and well, Tim Burton (don’t even try arguing with us in this aspect — you sure do know it’s true).
I don’t think there’s ever been a Halloween day — or night rather — where I haven’t slumped on the couch, grabbed some stuff to eat, and plug in a Tim Burton movie on our television or laptop. It’s been a Halloween tradition I just can’t miss since I’ve got used to it ever since I’ve been welcomed into the world of Tim Burton.
You may be wondering though: what’s so good about his movies? Well honey, EVERYTHING is. From the stop-motion stuff to the pale people (and most of the time, Johnny Depp and Helena-Bonham Carter — like seriously, they’re in almost every Tim Burton movie).
Oh and let’s not forget those huge eyes in the animated movies he directs and the consistent dark themes in all his movies, including a live-action version of Disney’s Alice In Wonderland. The appeal of his movies was what got me to like Halloween, especially since he didn’t just simply make movies to scare people. There was always a good story behind his films that would make you smile, laugh, cry, gasp in shock, and tap your feet to. It had, has, and will forever have quality. This is what makes Tim Burton’s movies make you think, “Hey, Tim Burton made that!” And if you haven’t begun watching his movies at all, then you might as well start now with this special list I prepared for you to enjoy more of that thrilling Halloween spirit!
1. Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Nightmare Before Christmas has been the first Tim Burton movie I’ve ever watched. It may be a Disney film, but with Tim Burton directing it, it’s sure enough to give 5 year old kids the creeps (in a really good way).
The film follows the story of Jack Skellington (a skeleton character known as the “pumpkin king” of Halloweentown, the setting of the movie) who finds himself getting bored of the usual Halloween routine of tricks and treats. In an attempt to get rid of his boredom, he finds himself in the world of Christmas and eventually plans to kidnap Santa Claus and keep Christmas for himself.
The movie left a strong appeal to me and ever since then, I’ve been looking forward to every single Tim Burton film. It’s a great movie to start with when you want to relive your childhood or try getting your younger siblings or cousins to get into that Halloween thrill.
2. Beetlejuice (1988)
Beetlejuice is now a timeless classic. Starring Michael Keaton in the titular role, Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, and Winona Ryder, the film tells the story of the Maitland couple who after who dies, tries to scare away the Deetzes, a family who has found themselves buying the Maitlands’ estate after their untimely death. After quite some failure, they befriend Lydia Deetz, the Deetz’ goth teen daughter, who is the only one who can see them and who enlists the help of a troublemaker spirit who comes by the name of “Betelgeuse”, pronounced as “Beetlejuice”, hence the name of the film.
Showing off the casual stop-motion sequences, dark themes, and gothic makeup, Tim Burton has proved himself as a director through this movie which overtime, has probably become one of his biggest hits if not his biggest. This is the movie that has totally got me trapped in his world and no doubt, it’ll do the same to you.
3. The Corpse Bride (2005)
It’s another animated Tim Burton movie and it’s certainly one of the best — honestly, the best for me and it’s still my favorite Tim Burton movie because there’s nothing else both magical and enchanting than marrying the dead and also, it stars Johnny Depp and Helena-Bonham Carter.
Victor and Victoria are arranged to be married to each other which doesn’t really seem to be a problem since they fall in love and hit it off right away. The only thing is that while at rehearsal, Victor unleashes his awkward and clumsy personality and ends up messing things up while they’re at it. Frustrated after the rehearsals, having not done anything right, he practices his vows in a forest, finding himself accidentally marrying exactly what the title says — a corpse bride.
The movie proves itself to be more than just a film displaying horror. It’s bound to remind you that you still have a heart and soul with all those feelings everywhere. I’m sure I sort of cried while watching this.
4. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)
If you’re into the music and the scare, then the adventures of Sweeney Todd who is played by Johnny Depp is just for you.
Based on the famed broadway musical, it centers on Sweeney Todd who has come back to London as a barber for revenge after he had lost his family a long time ago. He teams up with a pie maker, Mrs. Lovett who makes pies out of the men Sweeney kills with a razor blade. The film has some social themes and real catchy tunes (that will honestly have you lose your breath).
One fun fact is that Lea Salonga had just finished playing as the infamous pie maker for the Manila play last October 27. If you haven’t watched it, you could always catch this film with Helena-Bonham Carter in the role.
5. Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children (2016)
I was in the fourth grade when this book reached the peek of its popularity. Almost all the 9 year olds in my class had this book around with them. We all enjoyed the thrilling story and the fun pictures they had inside. You could say that this book was a huge part of my childhood so you could just imagine the look on my face when I found out Tim Burton was directing the film version of it.
It’s one of the latest Tim Burton movies I quickly fell in love with. Though it’s pretty recent, you could say that Tim Burton has still kept the concepts he has been known for and it’s just absolutely thrilling.
Like the book, the film centers on Jake trying to figure out the true reason behind his grandfather’s death, finding himself discovering a home all for “peculiar children” as he tried uncovering his dear grandfather’s clues.