The Hustler’s definitive ranking of the most iconic Disney Channel Monstober movies

Grab your favorite candy, blast China Anne McClain’s “Calling All the Monsters” and prepare yourself for a ranking of all your favorite Halloween Disney Channel Original Movies.

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Emery Little

The Hustler’s favorite Monstober movies (Hustler Multimedia/Emery Little)

Matthew Jones, Staff Writer

With Halloween right around the corner, Disney Channel is once again hosting its Halloween-themed programming block: Monstober. Over the years, Monstober has given us plenty of amazing TV specials and spooky songs, but its true highlight is its movies. Nothing gets the Hustler staff in the spooky spirit quite like a Disney Channel Original Movie (DCOM), so here’s our definitive ranking of the best Halloween movies to watch by yourself or with your boo.

10.  “Return to Halloweentown” (2006)

What the hell, Disney Channel? The Halloweentown franchise was nearly perfect until this film came out and tarnished its good name. There are so many issues with it, but my biggest bone to pick is the recasting of the series’ protagonist, Marnie Piper. While her portrayal of a mermaid in “Aquamarine” was undoubtedly mystical, Sara Paxton will never be Marnie. That role belongs solely to Kimberly J. Brown, and real fans should not claim this trash as a part of the official Halloweentown canon. 

9. “Girl vs. Monster” (2016)

Is this movie good? No. Have I seen it several times anyways? Yes. “Girl vs. Monster” centers around seemingly fearless 15-year-old monster hunter Skylar Lewis, who finally meets her match: stage fright. Why would you fear deadly monsters when the threat of PowerPoint presentations lurks in the distance? Overall, this movie is pretty awful, but there is one positive aspect—Olivia Holt’s “Had Me @ Hello” is a musical masterpiece, and it’s the perfect bop to get you into the spooky season mood.

8. “Halloweentown High” (2004)

This film is the third installment in the Halloweentown franchise. Admittedly, it’s not as great as its predecessors, but unlike its follow-up, it deserves to call itself a Halloweentown movie. It takes place two years after the events of the second movie, meaning there is no longer a barrier between Halloweentown and the mortal world. So, Marnie obviously has to invite her monster friends to the mortal world to attend her high school, because what could possibly go wrong? While this is the most forgettable of the Halloweentown movies—it is neither as good as the first two films nor as horrendous as the final one—it does star Lucas Grabeel, aka Ryan Evans from “High School Musical,” so if that intrigues you, it’s definitely worth the watch.

7. “The Little Vampire” (2000)

It feels like a crime to place a movie of this caliber so low on the list. However, its ranking serves only as a testament to the quality of the following films, for they are even better than this great movie. “The Little Vampire” is a film about an innocent boy named Tony and his vampire best friend Rudolph. The relationship between Tony and Rudolph is so adorable and brings me joy every October. To this day, the final scene in which Rudolph recognizes Tony after his amnesia is cured is the only movie scene that has brought me to the verge of tears. 

6. “The Ghost of Suite 613” – “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody” (2005)

Although it is technically not a movie, this episode has peak Monstober energy and thus deserves a spot on this list. The episode follows the typical structure of a “Suite Life” episode but adds a bit of a spooky twist, making it everything you could want from a Disney Channel Halloween special. Fans of the series love everything about this episode, especially possessed Esteban. In fact, its success greenlit “Suite Life” for two more seasons. 

5. “Twitches” (2005)

They’re not just twins. They’re not just witches. They’re Twitches, meaning double the fun, double the laughter and double the magic. The film focuses on two twin witches, Cam and Alex, who were brought to Earth and separated in order to protect them from the evil that awaits them in their home dimension. Then, on their 21st birthday, instead of going out for drinks, they perform cross-dimensional travel in order to destroy the darkness plaguing their homeland. You know, as one does. Sure, the plot is a little bit ridiculous, but watching “Twitches” is undeniably a great experience and a total DCOM classic.

4. “Halloweentown” (1998)

The CGI? Horrendous. The dialogue? Cringey. The charm? Unforgettable. “Halloweentown” tells the story of Marnie Piper, a young girl who learns one Halloween night that she is a Cromwell, a prominent family of witches in the magical world of Halloweentown! However, Marnie soon realizes that being a witch is not all fun and games, for she must prevent Kalabar, her mom’s seriously bitter ex-boyfriend, from destroying the mortal world due to his break-up-induced rage. We’ve all been there, Kalabar, but attempting to commit mass genocide is not a healthy way to fix a broken heart. In all seriousness, this is some of Disney Channel’s best work, for although some aspects are not up to par with today’s standards, the sense of magic and wonder that this film provides has yet to be replicated.

3. “Twitches Too(2007)

“Twitches Too” is somehow even more ridiculous and chaotic than the first movie, and I love every second of it. This time around, the Twitches must delve deep into the Shadowlands to save their father, who is presumed to be dead. One night they see a shadow near a painting of him and decide to track him down. After going into the Shadowlands and fighting off Thantos, an powerful evil wizard, they find him, showcasing the power of girlbossing and manifestation. What I love so much about this film is that the audience gets to learn more about the lore of the Twitches cinematic universe after just a brief exploration in the first film. Additionally, Cam gets a love interest in this film, leading to some spicy romance. Ultimately, “Twitches Too” is a wild ride that you need to go on.

2. “Halloweentown 2: Kalabar’s Revenge” (2001)

Although it is no longer the best Halloween DCOM, for many years “Halloweentown 2” was the reigning champion of Monstober. The film capitalizes on everything that made the first film great while also adding a fresh twist in Kal, Marnie’s new love interest and the son of the ultimate toxic ex, Kalabar. The stakes feel much higher than those presented in any other Halloweentown movie, for if Marnie does not stop Kal, hundreds of innocent human beings will be transformed into horrific monsters. Thus, the dramatic end scene where Marnie finally defeats Kal by severing the portal between Halloweentown and the mortal world will live forever in my memory.

1. “My Babysitter’s a Vampire” (2010)

This film is the undisputed king of Monstober movies. Not only would I rank it as the best Monstober movie, but I’m willing to go on record naming it the best DCOM of all time. I revisit this film every October and it has never failed to delight me. Starring Vanessa Morgan, who has since gone on to star in the highly acclaimed TV drama “Riverdale,” the film centers upon Sarah, a teen vampire who refuses to drink human blood, and the two kids she is babysitting, Ethan and Benny. It has its seriously scary parts, but much of its greatness can be attributed to its jokes mocking the “Twilight”-induced vampire craze of the early 2010s. It was so popular at the time that it even sparked a spin-off series of the same name, which I would argue is even better than the source material. Plus, the show’s theme song provides a Monstober banger that rivals “Calling All the Monsters.” Unfortunately, the series ended on a massive cliffhanger, leaving fans uncertain as to the fate of Sarah, Ethan and Benny. Regardless, the My Babysitter’s a Vampire franchise is fantastic, and you won’t regret making it your go-to Halloween binge watch.