Halloween movies range from comedic gems to horrifying thrillers. Depending on what you’re in the mood, there is always something to watch.
We’ve compiled a list of 29 of the best Halloween movies, from family-friendly classics to films that require you leave the lights on.
All of these movies are available to rent and buy through companies like Amazon and Apple, but if it’s streaming, we’ve included a link.
“Halloween” launched a successful franchise spanning 11 movies — two of which were a reboot and a sequel.
Michael Myers is introduced as a troubled man who escapes from a sanatorium to hunt and murder teenage babysitters. Wearing a terrifying mask, the serial killer maniac stalks Laurie Strode and her friends on Halloween.
“Sleepy Hollow” is a Tim Burton masterpiece.
Johnny Depp plays constable Ichabod Crane who goes to the town of Sleepy Hollow to investigate decapitations. Stories say that the murders are being committed by an undead man known as the Headless Horseman, and Crane soon learns that the stories are true.
“Hocus Pocus” is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.
Max, his little sister Dani, and his crush Allison find themselves on the run from the resurrected Sanderson sisters– Winifred, Mary, and Sarah – after Max, a virgin, lit the Black Flame Candle. The witches are surprised to wake up in a modern world 300 years after being killed, but their hunt to suck the life out of kids is still the same. There’s also an immortal black cat named Thackery Binx.
“The Exorcist” was the first horror movie to get nominated for an Oscar for best picture.
There have been a number of movies about exorcisms, but the 1973 movie was the first of its kind. The movie follows 12-year-old Regan, who becomes possessed by a demon after playing with a Ouija board. Priests perform an exorcism in an attempt to save the young girl.
“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is a cult classic and is so beloved by audiences that it’s still screened at midnight showings around the world and performed by shadow casts 43 years later.
The movie follows newly engaged couple Brad Majors and Janet Weiss as they seek refuge in a castle after their car breaks down. There they meet a zany cast of characters including the true star of the film Dr. Frank N. Furter and his new creation, Rocky.
“The Addams Family” is a dark comedy about a truly bizarre family.
The 1991 film centres on the Addams family believing their long-lost family member Fester Addams, Gomez’s brother, is back. The zany and grisly family add a splendid amount of humour to Halloween festivities. Also, Morticia and Gomez have an iconic relationship.
“A Nightmare on Elm Street” is now a franchise, but Wes Craven’s 1984 slasher movie started it all.
Freddy Krueger is a terrifying villain who is scarred from burns and wears a bladed glove. Pair that with his ability to kill people in their dreams, which also kills them in real life, and you’ve got a seriously frightening killer.
“The Craft” has grown into a cult classic.
“The Craft” flips high school cliques and drama on its head by introducing four teen girls who turn to witchcraft to improve their high school experience. But their aspiration for power doesn’t come without consequences.
“It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” is a Halloween special featuring the popular characters from the “Peanuts” comic strip.
Linus believes in the Great Pumpkin and writes a letter to the being every year despite everyone else’s disbelief. He posts up in the pumpkin patch to await the arrival while everyone else goes trick-or-treating and celebrates with a Halloween party. But even with all of his disappointments, Linus doesn’t stop believing.
Wes Craven was behind the success of “Scream.”
Ghostface’s mask has become synonymous with Halloween and the movie itself was a smash hit. “Scream” subverted the horror genre by picking up on tropes featured heavily in horror films and using them as discussion points for the characters who were trying to escape from the murderer. There’s been a total of four movies so far.
“Ghostbusters” is a supernatural comedy about a group of ghost hunters.
These parapsychologists create a ghost hunting service after losing their jobs at a university and venture around New York City in an effort to eliminate all of the paranormal creatures.
“The Nightmare Before Christmas” brings a Christmas celebration to the Halloween Town.
Jack Sellington is the King of Halloween Town, but when he stumbles into Christmas Town, he decides to bring christmas to the residents who only know how to celebrate the spooky holiday of Halloween every year. But Skellington doesn’t quite understand how Christmas is supposed to work.
For those who are looking to bridge the gap between Halloween and Christmas, this movie is for you.
The success of “The Conjuring” has led to an entire cinematic universe.
The movie follows real-life paranormal investigators Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) and Ed Warren (Patrick Wilson) as they try to assist a family experiencing horrifying events in their Rhode Island home. The real Warrens also inspired the Amityville Horror movies.
“Donnie Darko” wasn’t a box-office smash, but it was critically acclaimed.
Donnie wakes up one morning after hearing a voice that belongs to a figure in a creepy rabbit costume. The figure tells him that the world is going to end in 28 days and Donnie tries to understand what is happening.
“Coraline” is about a girl who discovers a parallel world in her new home.
Coraline thinks the new world she discovers is better than the real one, but she soon learns that not everything is as happy as it seems.
“The Ring” was a successful American remake of a 1988 Japanese horror film called “Ring.”
Legend has it that whoever watches a cursed videotape dies seven days later, and as those in the film learn, there’s no way to escape from death. The image of a creepy, filthy girl crawling through a TV screen will stay in your mind after watching.
Stephen King’s “Carrie” was brought to life in a 1976 film.
Carrie is a 17-year-old girl who develops telekinetic powers. Bullied at school and raised by a harsh and fanatically religious mother, Carrie suffers everywhere she turns, but all she wants is to be accepted and loved.
Disney Channel original movie “Halloweentown” was such a hit that three more movies were made in the series.
Marnie Piper is a normal teenage girl who loves Halloween but whose mother refuses to let her and siblings celebrate the holiday. But when her grandmother Aggie visits, Marnie discovers that the family are all witches and her grandmother lives in a place called Halloweentown where goblins and skeletons roam freely.
Marketing for “The Blair Witch Project” listed the actors as deceased or missing, prompting confusion over whether the film was real or fake.
“The Blair Witch Project” centered on students who went into the woods to film a documentary about a legend called the “Blair Witch.” The students find themselves lost in the woods, unable to get home.
The film was marketed in a way that made people question whether it was real or not. Actors were listed as “deceased” on IMDb and people today sometimes mistake the fictional documentary as “real.”
“We were specifically not invited to the Cannes premiere and, for a while, were listed as deceased on IMDb,” actor Joshua Leonard told The Guardian. “Our parents started getting condolence calls. There are people who still don’t believe it’s fiction.”
Stream: Amazon and Hulu
“The Cabin in the Woods” is somehow hilarious and terrifying at the same time and not at all what you expect.
Five college students spend a weekend in what appears to be a deserted cabin only to be manipulated for a mysterious project. There are zombies, mermen, werewolves, gods, and a lot of death.
“Shaun of the Dead” is a zombie comedy.
Shaun and his friend Ed wake up one morning and are unaware of the zombies taking over London until they are forced to kill two in their garden. This starts a chain of events where Shaun and Ed go to save Shaun’s mum and his ex-girlfriend all while trying to avoid the zombie apocalypse.
Stanley Kubrick brought Stephen King’s “The Shining” to life in this 1980s horror film.
Jack becomes the caretaker of a hotel during its off-season, but he descends into madness while there due in part to supernatural forces. His son Danny has “the shining,” the ability to see these forces.
“Psycho” is a psychological thriller about a horrifying hotel manager.
Norman Bates appears to be a normal man who lives and works at a motel with his mother, but viewers soon learn Norman is not what he appears. Guests are in for a horrifying stay at the Bates Motel.
“Poltergeist” became a successful franchise and was remade in 2015.
In the first film, a family is attacked by a group of ghosts who kidnap the youngest daughter. A group of people who study the paranormal work to save the daughter from the evil spirits.
“The Omen” introduced the world to Damien, a child who was the Antichrist.
An American diplomat and his wife raise a child they name Damien. Once the child’s fifth birthday arrives, horrible events begin to take place around and to the family.
“The Babadook” became an unexpected cultural icon despite being from a horror film.
After finding a book about Mister Babadook, a little boy becomes scared that there is a monster in his house. Though his mother tries to tell him that nothing is wrong, the creature arrives and torments the family.
“The Silence of the Lambs” was based on a novel of the same name.
The FBI turns to a cannibalistic serial killer to help track down another serial killer who skins his victims.
“It Follows” is a critically acclaimed horror movie, sitting at 97% on Rotten Tomatoes.
A young high school girl starts to be pursued by a supernatural creature that only she can see after having sex with a guy who passes the problem onto her. He warns her that if it catches her, it will kill her.
Stephen King’s “It” hit the big screen in 2017 and a sequel is already on its way.
Seven kids are terrorised by a being that can transform into someone’s worst fears, though he is often seen as Pennywise the clown.
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