By: Amy Kawa
“Boo to You!” It’s a wonderful time of the year! Now, I am not a fan of scary movies. Never have been and never will be. Disney Channel Original Movies (DCOMs) are the right amount of a little scary and a whole lot of nostalgia and fun! Below you will find my rankings of all of the Halloween DCOMs that will really help get you in the Halloween mood.
*Twitches Too (2007) and The Scream Team (2002) were not seen in their entirety, so in fairness I could not include them in a ranking but still wanted to pay homage to the pantheon of Halloween DCOMs.
- Return to Halloweentown (2006)
The title makes it sound like an epic return to one of the best franchises in DCOM history – 5 years after the most recent installment. What the audience actually got was a Kimberly J. Brown-less rip-off with Judith Hoag (Gwen) being the only holdout to carry the Hallweentown torch.
- Don’t Look Under the Bed (1999)
I was six years old when this movie came out, and it scared the living daylights out of me! While this movie is more frightening than most DCOMs, it is really just a story of the importance of childhood and friendship. In other lists, it would be higher, but there are just so many good Halloween DCOMs.
- Halloweentown High (2004)
In this traditional fish-out-of-water story, some kids from a high school in Halloweentown come into the human world to go to school thanks to an initiative to prove the human world is more accepting of monsters and other creatures than they were in the olden days. The audience watches the Halloweentowners adjust to life in this new world, and of course, things go awry and the Cromwell witches must put their heads together to save the day. This is the last true Halloweentown movie, as it is the last one to feature Kimberly J. Brown as Marnie and Debbie Reynolds as Aggie.
- Twitches (2005)
Take Sister Sister, make Tia and Tamera Mowry witches, and add in some dark all-powerful being and you have Twitches. In this incarnation, Tamera is Camryn and Tia is Alex, sisters separated at birth by an evil power, the Darkness. The sisters eventually find each other and realize they have magical powers, learn how to use them, take down the Darkness who is really their uncle who killed their father (soap opera-ish, right?), and restore their old kingdom. It is a very entertaining movie, and the Mowry sisters are at their best in this one.
- Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge (2001)
In the second instalment of the Halloweentown series, we learn more about the Cromwells and what Marnie, a witch in training, is capable of. Marnie gets herself a love interest – well two actually. When we head back to Halloweentown we see that a gray spell is overtaking the town, making everyone forget who they are, as they become boring versions of their once colorful selves. When Marnie and Aggie go to investigate, we quickly learn that Marnie’s heartthrob is the first movie’s villain’s, Kalabar’s, son- Kal (original, right?). He wreaks havoc in both the human world and Halloweentown, threatening to turn humans into what they dress up as for Halloween and leaving Marnie and Aggie in Halloweentown, helpless to get back to the rest of the Cromwells. This is a classic!
- Under Wraps (1997)
Disney’s first Disney Channel Original Movie is definitely one of its best. A group of friends find themselves in possession of a mummy who comes to life and name him Harold. If the friends don’t get Harold back into his coffin before midnight, he will no longer exist. Harold’s clumsy, lovable nature makes Under Wraps a very funny and enjoyable movie.
- Phantom of the Megaplex (2000)
Phantom of the Megaplex is the perfect “whodunit” flick. A crazy hot movie theater employee (Taylor Handley) is working long hours and moving up the corporate ladder when his boss puts him in charge of a big movie premier. Of course, everything goes wrong that night, and it is up to the audience to try and figure out which of the disgruntled employees, family members, or movie goers is the phantom responsible for all of the fiascos.
- Mom’s Got a Date with a Vampire (2000)
Caroline Ray stars in this DCOM as a single mom of three kids. Her kids decide it’s time for her to start dating again, essentially to get her out of the house so they can sneak out. So, they fix her up on an online dating website. Little do they know her date is a vampire named Dimitri, looking to claim his new vampire queen. The kids find out that mom’s date is not who he seems and see him walk on walls and expose his fangs. They try to break her away from him the whole night, but Dimitri is always one step ahead of them. They eventually join forces with vampire hunter Malachi Van Helsing to take Dimitri down. This movie is always one I think of when I name my favorite all-time DCOMs.
- Halloweentown (1998)
The ultimate Halloween movie, Halloweentown is not only one of my favorite DCOMs of all time, it is also one of my favorite Disney movies of all time. We meet Marnie and the Cromwell Family, living a typical, somewhat dull life in suburbia. Marnie’s grandma, Aggie, comes to town to visit every Halloween and spices up life for the Cromwells, much to Marnie’s mom’s, Gwen’s, dismay. Little does Marnie know that Aggie can only visit on Halloween because she lives in Halloweentown, an entirely different world, for which the passage to the human world is only open on Halloween. Aggie asks Gwen to come back to Halloweentown with her to help because dark forces are at work, threatening to destroy the town. Gwen is completely against it, claiming she has left that world behind.
Naturally, Marnie overhears the two talking and decides to follow Aggie back to Halloweentown. Once there, Marnie learns she comes from a long line of witches, and Aggie begins to train her. Gwen quickly finds out and takes her other two children to Halloweentown to get Marnie back. While there, they meet the mayor, Kalabar, an old fling of Gwen’s, who is still clearly hung up on her. While the Cromwellls are still in Halloweentown, they notice something is wrong with the town, as residents are disappearing, and eventually Aggie and Gwen do too, and it is up to the Cromwell kids to save the day from the villain of Halloweentown… No spoilers! There are no words… This. Is. My. Childhood.