A musical trip for Halloween

Since Halloween is fast approaching, what can be better than enjoying the holiday with a little musical extravaganza?

Thus, here’s a list of five musicals that will make your Halloween night quite enjoyable:

  • 5: Corpse Bride (2005, Burton)

A recent classic of animation, Corpse Bride is a fun start for a night of horror where the dead walk amongst the living –and you’ll see plenty of that in the film. With music penned by one Danny Elfman, you can expect unsettling yet delightful tunes, as well as hauntingly humorous lyrics to go with it. And with the musical interventions of Helena Bonham Carter, Jane Horrocks, Enn Reitel, Albert Finney, and even Mister Elfman himself as the enchanting Bonejangles, you’ll be in for a joyous Halloween night.

  • 4: Little Shop of Horrors (1986, Oz)

A classic of horror musicals, Little Shop of Horrors is a fun yet disturbing tale of a carnivorous plant that simply wants to eat…humans. It’s cheesy, sometimes absolutely ridiculous, but you’ll have quite a lot of fun watching Seymour trying to control his awful little friend: Audrey II. Howard Ashman’s music is equally campy yet often amusing, and the musical interventions of Levi Stubbs and Steve Martin, the latter incarnating one of the most psychotic villains of all times: a dentist; will leave you hungry for more.

  • 3: Repo! The genetic opera (2008, Bousman)

A recent musical pastiche in which the typical slasher film mixes up with the musical to build the sinister and disturbing tale of GeneCo, a corporation that will gladly give the survivors of an epidemic of organ failures the appendages they need to live, but, come the time, if the clients cannot pay the bill, they’ll make sure of having their organs back through their ruthless assassins: the Repomen. With an operatic style, a gothic visual aesthetic, great performances, and an absolutely demented tale, Repo! The genetic opera is a must-see in Halloween.

  • 2: The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975, Sharman)

Now a well-known and beloved classic, The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a parody of both musicals and horror films that you can’t forget. Very much like the previous two films in this list, the movie mixes murder, love, sex and music with delicious skill. Musical performances by the then star rocker Meat Loaf, as well as Richard O’Brien, Patricia Quinn and Nell Campbell, are just the right blend of sensuality and madness. Yet, no one steals the show like Tim Curry in fishnets and wearing red lipstick, looking astoundingly handsome and larger-than-life as the fascinating Frank-N-Furter. If you are looking for nonsensical, lighthearted fun on Halloween night, then this is it!

  • 1: The Nightmare before Christmas (1993, Selick)

Many will point outthis item of the list as a flick for the Christmas season, but the outlandish and shady aesthetic of the film and its’ music make this movie a must-see for Halloween. The story, based on poems and drawings from director Tim Burton, tells the story of Jack, the Pumpkin King, whom has been preparing the Halloween season for the citizens of Halloween Town for ages. Now, tired of the routine, he looks for a little inspiration in the forest, only to stumble across the next holiday season’s village: Christmas Town. A series of amusing events unfold, and all through the tale you’ll be accompanied by Danny Elfman’s majestic music. Elfman, Paul Reubens, Catherine O’Hara, and Ken Page, perform the unforgettable and unearthly songs of this animated musical made through the stop-motion technique. If you’re not into gore, The Nightmare before Christmas is one of those classic, cheerful musicals that shall help you enjoy the season without guts and blood splashing around.


Other memorable mentions: The Wicker Man (1973, Hardy), Phantom of the Paradise (1974, De Palma), The Phantom of the Opera (2004, Schumacher), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007, Burton).


Any other Halloween musical you like? Recommend it in the comments section, below!



V. Wonka.




2 thoughts on “A musical trip for Halloween

    1. vwonka says:

      Oh, well. It’s a very recent musical, and its’ structure makes it quite alienating for audiences and critics alike. It might seem too operatic for some, whilst others despise the lyrics although they praise the visuals of the film. It’s an either-you-hate-it-or-you-love-it kind of thing. Do check it out, though!

      Also, if you do enjoy it, the director has recently teamed up with some of the cast and crew members from Repo! to create another musical: The Devil’s Carnival; which has already been released in DVD and Blu-Ray. Since I haven’t been able to see it yet, I can’t tell you if it maintains a design similar to Repo!’s, but the premise does look interesting.

      Happy Halloween! 🙂

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