The student news site of Amarillo High School

The Sandstorm

The student news site of Amarillo High School

The Sandstorm

The student news site of Amarillo High School

The Sandstorm


This poll has ended.

How many AP tests are you taking this year?


Sorry, there was an error loading this poll.

Curl Up With A “Scare”

A review of the family Halloween favorites

Fall welcomes pumpkin spice lattes, bucket loads of candy, brittle leaves, and poorly carved pumpkins, but the one thing that really helps set the mood of the season is curling up in a warm blanket on a cool autumn evening and indulging in a good Halloween movie. Halloween movies have entertained the masses for decades, with many implementing Halloween movie marathons into their yearly spooky season festivities. Cinematic classics like “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” from 1966 and more modern titles like “The Nightmare Before Christmas” from 1993 have all taken their spots on the list of the greatest Halloween movies of all time. 




Hocus Pocus (Disney+):

After moving to Salem, a small town in Massachusetts famed for its horrific past, teenager Max Dennison, his younger sister Dani, and their new friend Allison go out on Halloween night and explore the famed Sanderson sister house. Their curiosity, mixed with an old town superstition, ultimately leads to Max accidentally freeing the spirits of the Sanderson sisters, allowing them to wreak havoc on the town of Salem once more. Many consider Hocus Pocus as their all-time favorite Halloween movie, and I never really understood why for some reason. But after giving it a go and watching it in its entirety, I regret not watching this movie as a kid.  It had me fully enthralled with its plot, and the actresses who portrayed the Sanderson Sisters truly immersed themselves into the role and understood the assignment. Also, the Binx siblings deserved better! Overall, I give this movie 9 cauldrons out of 10.


Nightmare Before Christmas (Disney+): 

The Nightmare Before Christmas tells the tale of Jack Skellington as he battles with his identity, and he slowly loses his passion for his role as the Pumpkin King. This internal conflict mixed with general curiosity eventually leads him to the Christmas realm, leaving him in awe of the jolly festivities taking place there. This eventually leads to turmoil in Halloween town as Jack attempts to convert the townsfolk to a more merry and bright lifestyle. In all honesty, this movie terrified me for, what feels like, the entirety of my childhood. I’m not sure if the grotesque character designs that gave the movie its “charm”, or if the plot’s always left me feeling an overall sense of uneasiness, but I definitely switched the TV to a different channel when it came on ABC Family. Movies like The Nightmare Before Christmas and Coraline have made me appreciate and acknowledge the immense effort put into stop motion films, with the animators truly putting in their all in every single frame. Overall, I rate this movie 7.5 Oogie Boogies out of 10.


BeetleJuice (Peacock):

BeetleJuice depicts the story of a recently deceased couple, Adam and Barbara Maitland, who died tragically in a car accident, as they scramble to get rid of the Deetzes that move into their beloved home. But when abiding by the ‘The Handbook for the Recently Deceased’ does not seem to work for them and their current situation, they hire a boisterous, unruly, and troublemaking spirit named Beetlejuice, who swiftly gets to work at trying to ward off the unbearable Deetzes. This results in only more trouble for the couple as it seems they bit off more than they could chew after hiring the problematic spirit.

This movie has the charm and wit of a classic film from the 80s, making it feel nostalgic and comforting while simultaneously feeling like an intense fever dream. But one major qualm I have with this movie relates to how much of a creep Beetlejuice is. I would honestly feel really uncomfortable around him. But aside from that, I find this movie above all else severely bizarre. I did admire the precision in prosthetics and set design, it really gives the movie its…unique character. Overall I give this peculiar movie 7 Beetlejuices out of 10.


Halloweentown (Disney+):

Halloweentown centers around a girl named Marnie, her two siblings, Dylan and Sophie, as well as her grandma and mother. It entails the adventure the siblings go on after they follow their grandma back home to Halloweentown. This shocking discovery only uncovers more familial secrets, like how they come from a bloodline of witches and warlocks. But trouble only follows the group as they come face to face with the evil named Kalabar, whose only desire pertains to taking over the world. As a kid, I just remember being fully enthralled while watching the movie. I guess the concept of a whole new world existing around our own infatuated me because I would watch it every time it came on Disney Channel. My only qualm with this movie relates to how underappreciated Sophie is. She helped the group with so many obstacles, like how she easily unlocked the lock on Grandma’s front gate by simply using her mind and wishing it turned into a frog, and how she remembered the entire spell needed to power Merlin’s Talisman while everyone else struggled to even remember the first syllable of the spell. Overall, I rate this movie 8.5 giant pumpkins out of 10.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Raina Burusnukul
Hello! My name is Raina Burusnukul, and I am a senior this year. I’m apart of NHS and Student Council here at AHS and am passionate about playing a part in bettering our community. I was also a part of last year’s newspaper staff, and am ecstatic to be an editor this year. I can’t wait to see what this year has in store!