Ranking Every Halloweentown Movie, Becuase Spooky Season!
By: Colleen Joyce
Make no mistake- spooky season is by far the best season of the year (I’m sorry, Christmas fans). There is nothing better than when the leaves begin to change, the air is crisp, sweaters and sweatshirts are ready to go, and pumpkin-flavored coffee is an everyday essential. With the spooky season comes some of the greatest films ever made, and it becomes increasingly challenging to choose what movie to watch (paired with Pillsbury ghost cookies, of course). Some days, you may be in a Hocus Pocus mood to put a spell on you. Other days, it is tempting to watch every single The Conjuring and its affiliated The Nun, because what is taking a shower or coming upstairs without looking over your shoulder, filled with the paranoia that something or someone is following you?
One series that can always be agreed on, though, is this: any of the Halloweentown movies. This may be biased- but Halloweentown is by far the most remarkable Halloween series ever made. And while watching them in chronological order is by far one of my favorite Halloween traditions, I have seen each one so often that it can be exciting to switch it up and watch them in different orders. With that being said, here are the four films, ranked by worst (worst being not as great, because each of these movies is fantastic) to best, as told by a Halloween enthusiast.
Number Four: Return to Halloweentown
This ranking is not a hot take by any means, but that does not mean that it is an invalid one. I love the concept of this film- Marnie as a college student, absolutely rocking it at Witches University? Yes, please! One of the best parts of this plotline is Marnie rediscovering even more family history- any specifics would be considered spoilers, but just know, the twists and turns of this film are wildly exciting. By no means is the movie inadequate or unworthy of viewing, but I must mention the exact reason as to why it is dead last on the list. Before this film, Kimberly J. Brown played Marnie for the initial three films. As a result, audiences grow to love her as an actress and are excited to see her and Marnie grow as the series continues throughout the years. Considering this, it is unsurprising that audiences would be disappointed to see that another actress, Sarah Paxon, had replaced the loveable Marnie and Brown. While Paxon serves the role well- her portrayal is just as charming, friendly, and exciting as Brown’s- it is difficult to come to terms that the fourth and final installment of the series does not include a central individual of its original cast. Additionally, the younger sister, Sophie, is mentioned only briefly and does not appear, despite her iconic roles in previous movies. As a result, this movie is last out of the ranking for this series.
Number Three: Halloweentown
Don’t kid yourself- the first of these movies is absolutely iconic. I could write pages and pages about how influential this movie was on my childhood, and how desperately I wish my grandmother would come to visit to reveal that I belong to a family of witches. Of course, the pressing plotline and the proper introduction to Halloweentown as a town itself are the best qualities of the film. It is incredibly difficult not to love this one- quite literally, the only reason it isn’t number one, though, is because I find the two following it are simply even more fun and exciting. However, I do think that the film should be watched first if it is your first time viewing the series, solely because it introduces most of the essential characters.
Number Two: Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge
The top two of this series was incredibly difficult to choose, mainly because I could watch the top two every single day for the rest of my life. However, it is only fair to put Kalabar’s Revenge as a close second. The chaos of this film is the perfect sort of fun for Halloween. Every single scene is shockingly exciting, particularly as the initial plot twist includes an unexpected return of a loveable but evil character. To top it all off, it is super easy to relate to Marine’s struggle of trusting a cute boy a bit too quickly- we’ve all been there, so seeing it happen to our favorite character makes her all the more relatable, and thus fun to watch.
Number One: Halloweentown High
The long-awaited top movie- and Halloweentown High ranks the highest. I absolutely adore this movie. The best part of each Halloween is watching this movie. The knights’ plotline, the romance timeline between Marnie and new cutie Cody, and the adorable characters from Halloweentown attempting to pretend to be human makes for a fantastic 82 minutes. And, of course, the message of fighting societal norms to create harmony (between the mortal world and Halloweentown, but still) is truthfully inspiring. The story of corruption among certain characters makes for quite the relatable tale and is still relevant to our present day. On a more fun note, though, this movie provides the perfect amount of nostalgia and excitement for any audience. For college kids, especially, this movie can bring us back to our olden days.
To the witches and warlocks- happy viewing! May you have the spookiest of seasons, and be sure to check out these films- and maybe even Kimberly J. Brown’s Halloweentown-theme Etsy shop, when you have the chance!