UW Oshkosh students love scary movies


Liam Beran / The Advance-Titan– Watching Halloween movies is a tradition many UWO students take part in during Halloween.

Liam Beran, Staff Writer

The trees are turning colors, the temperature is lowering. Pumpkins are beginning to pop up near doorways, and if you keep your eyes peeled, you may even see something… spectral. It’s spooky season, and that means that Halloween traditions are in full force.

Carving out pumpkins (or gourds) is back in fashion, as are costume workshopping and decoration-making. And what better activity could accompany these activities than a good old-fashioned scary movie?

Whether you’re marathoning horror series prior to Halloween or indulging in a post trick-or-treating sugar coma alongside a spooky film, Halloween movies have cemented themselves as a quintessential seasonal tradition. Watching a movie wrapped up in a blanket with some steaming hot cocoa in hand – nothing else quite encapsulates the season’s spirit.

To learn more about what makes Halloween movies so great, I took to the mean streets of the UW Oshkosh campus to better understand what spooky movies resonate with our student population, and reader beware, you’re in for a scare.

From my interviews, I could categorize students into three main camps. There were those who enjoyed non-scary Halloween-themed movies, those who preferred scary Halloween-themed movies, and those who viewed non-Halloween-themed scary movies as being tied to Halloween.

Many of the students identifying with the first camp made mention of nostalgia or “classic” status when talking about their favorite Halloween movies. Lindsey Puetz, a freshman, said her favorite movie is Halloweentown. “I like it because it’s been my favorite movie since I was little and I watch it every Halloween.” With her was Chelsey Puetz, a graduate student in Professional Counseling, who said her favorite Halloween is Hocus Pocus because “it’s a classic and it’s the only one I’ve watched this year.”

Jaden Cook, a senior Criminal Justice major, said her favorite movie, The Nightmare Before Christmas, is also a classic. “It’s a classic children’s film with adult humor and great character development. It’s a genre bending movie that has stood the test of time — and who doesn’t love a good Tim Burton stop motion? That movie slaps.”

For fans of more mature films, a multitude of reasons existed. Ben Leasum, a sophomore RTF major, said his favorite Halloween movie is Michael Dougherty-directed anthology film Trick R’ Treat, “because it’s the most Halloween movie to ever be.” Noting that it’s a decidedly adult movie, he said that “if you want a more kid-friendly movie… I’d watch the 1930s Frankenstein or Dracula because they’re very tame by our standards.”

Some had simpler reasons. Ally Poss, a senior English major said, “I like the movie Halloween because of Jamie Lee Curtis.”

No matter what your favorite Halloween movie is, take some time to engage with some spooky cinema this time of year. It’s a great way to relax, connect with friends and truly immerse yourself in the spirit of the season.