Harry Potter on Halloween

Horse-drawn carriages can be seen making their way to the black castle of Hogwarts, drenched in thick fog and a glimmer of moonlight. Sheaths of rain torrent down into sloshing puddles on the cold earth. A single crow emerges into the scene and perches atop a sign in-frame that reads “Hogsmeade.” “Something wicked this way comes,” a choir of witches and wizards trills in unison, cradling big fat toads that croak along with the haunting, but jubilant tune.

Indeed, something wicked does come quite quick in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, a major franchise installment so drenched in distinct silky style laden with the comforts of a crisp fall day, it is regarded by many as the best film in the series due to director Alfonso Cuarón’s unique vision and genuine artistic flair. With the only director of any Harry Potter film to really lean into the standard sensibilities of a narrative marked by magic and ghosts, the film ends up reading as a love letter to October, to Halloween, and to the entire season of autumn. 

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