Top 3 best Tim Burton Halloween movies

Art by Laurel Seidensticker

Laurel Seidensticker

The art depicts scenes from the three Tim Burton films

*warning: minor spoilers may be included 

Halloween is almost here, and that means it might be time to cozy up by the fireplace and watch a movie guaranteed to send shivers down your spine. But if you stray away from horror flicks, Tim Burton’s eerie and comedic films can be a great alternative. Whether stop motion or live-action, Burton’s inventive vision and similar dark tones make these movies a perfect watch for the spooky season. Here are the three best Tim Burton Halloween films ranked, but all of these choices are recommended for the remaining October nights. 


1. “Beetlejuice”

Beetlejuice. Beetlejuice. Beetlejuice.” It’s a cult classic with an amazing cast of 1980s stars and quick, witty humor that has dark undertones. The somber comedy follows a married couple, Barbara and Adam Maitland, after they die in a car crash and mysteriously reappear back at their home. They realize they’re ghosts haunting their house when they see they are invisible and notice a mysterious book called “Handbook For The Recently Deceased.” When an abnormal family moves into the Maitlands’ home and begins remodeling, the Maitlands call freelance bio-exorcist Beetlejuice to help scare the family away. The characters and scenes are iconic, especially the ones including the songs “Day-O, The Banana Boat Song” and “Jump In The Line.” This movie has a happy ending, laugh-out-loud characters and is “strange and unusual.”


2. “Corpse Bride”

“Corpse Bride” is a beautiful family movie with a great musical score by Danny Elfman and stunning stop-motion claymation. It’s sure to warm your heart and make you fall in love with its characters. The film takes place in a grim and gothic  Victorian-era England. Victor Van Dort is set to have an arranged marriage to Victoria Everglot, who he falls for upon meeting. After he forgets his vows and ruins the wedding rehearsal, he runs to the town’s graveyard to try and practice. When finished, he places a ring on a branch which transforms into the corpse bride, Emily. She then says they’re now married, and takes him into the underworld. Emily is an eerily dazzling character who you sympathize with immediately. You learn how she became the Corpse Bride and has a story that makes the ending feel bittersweet and satisfying. This movie is great for a cold Hallow’s Eve night with your friends or family from the land of the living.

   If you choose to watch any of these movies, my tip for you is this: come into it with an open mind and a sense of childlike wonder.

3. “Edward Scissorhands”

“Edward Scissorhands” is a tragic but unique Tim Burton film about Edward, an inventor’s creation without human hands, who learns what life is like outside his gothic mansion. When door-to-door makeup saleswoman, Peg Boggs, visits Edward’s home, she takes him in after discovering he lives there alone. Edward is brought back to Peg’s home in her idyllic suburban neighborhood with her family, and everyone in the neighborhood begins forming their own opinions of Edward — but Edward focuses on Peg’s daughter, Kim. He wants to be with her so badly that he lets his love get out of control toward the end of the movie. Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder shine in this classic film with a brilliant ensemble and great contrasting visuals. 


If you choose to watch any of these movies, my tip for you is this: come into it with an open mind and a sense of childlike wonder. Though the cinematography is usually dark coloring and mood, the stories reflect Burton’s creative and unending imagination shown through his vast unique filmography. The characters mirror his feelings of being an outsider and curiosity of discovering things new and exciting. Burton has made many films that are perfect for this time of year, but these three are the best of the selection.