As the days grow shorter and the nights get colder, we find ourselves looking for pumpkin spice flavored everything, our one flannel shirt that we own, and any movie that is guaranteed to put us in the Halloween mood. From serial killers and ghosts to zombies and witches, Halloween movies are filled with both tricks and treats. We’ve compiled 31 movies for you to watch–ranging from family friendly comedies to blood bath slashers–to get you in the Halloween mood.
31. Sleepy Hollow
While not the best rendition of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, this film starring Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci is campy while still dishing out some good scares. And blood. Lots and lots of blood that only the Headless Horseman can deliver.
30. Corpse Bride
Yet another Tim Burton/Johnny Depp collaboration, this movie tells the story of Victor, who accidentally proposes to a dead bride. It has a great mixture of cold, gothic style in the living world and bright colorful parties in the afterlife. Admittedly, a guilty pleasure.
One of the scarier films on this list, this film series has five movies (currently) as well as a spin-off. It tells the story of a family being stalked by a demon. It uses the “found footage” style in unique ways through each movie and each one has some pretty good jump scares.
Based off of a black and white short by Tim Burton from the 1984, this remake tells the story of Victor and his attempt to bring his beloved dog, Sparky, back to life. Personally, I prefer the ’84 version but this is just as spooky and endearing.
While not about Halloween, a movie starring Dracula, his daughter, and a whole slew of classic movie monsters is perfect to get you and your family in the Halloween spirit. Beautiful animation with a heartwarming story (and an all star cast to boot), this has become a new Halloween classic.
They’re creepy and they’re spooky and the perfect family to get you in the Halloween spirit. Follow Morticia and Gomez and the rest of their family as they try to fit in (but not really) with “normal people.”
25. Halloween (2007)
Good luck getting through the Halloween season without hearing the Halloween theme song at least a dozen times. Rob Zombie remade the classic horror film with just a bit more blood and violence. If you’re looking for a slasher film, you’ll probably get what you’re looking for… and then some.
Universal’s monsters have defined horror and Halloween for generations. Bela Lugosi as Count Dracula is one of the most iconic performances from the golden age of monster movies and it’d be a sin to leave him out of your Halloween movie marathon.
23. The Witches
Angelica Houston strikes again on this list! Based on the equally terrifying book by Roald Dahl, it tells the story of a group of witches and their scheme to turn (smelly) children into mice.
I don’t care if this was a straight to TV movie from Disney. Ask any kid who grew up in the ’90s and they’ll tell you all about Halloweentown and Kalabar and the Cromwell witches. The story follows Marnie, a young girl obsessed with Halloween who learns that her grandmother (and all the women in her family) are witches.
If you’re looking for a Halloween movie that has both laughs and scares, then look no further than this treasure! It’s the story of a young man traveling through Britain who soon finds out that he’s been transformed into a werewolf.
Not really a Halloween movie at all, but one of the most intelligent horror films in recent years. A young man is released from a psych hospital after years of accepting the fact that a cursed mirror was not the cause of his parents’ deaths… only to learn that his sister has spent those same years hunting down the mirror to prove that it did kill their parents.
Again, not a Halloween themed film but a great horror film filled with story and scares to get you in the mood. A young boy’s soul is trapped on the other side after he astral projects too far. Learning that he once had the gift as well, his father ventures in to find him and comes face to face with some terrifying monsters from his past.
“They’re here…” Fewer horror movies have such a memorable moment as that. A family’s house is plagued by a noisy spirit, but when their little girl suddenly disappears, they learn the spirit is a bit more malevolent than they thought…
Based on the equally creepy book by Neil Gaiman, (similar to Corpse Bride) Coraline does a brilliant job at mixing together the bland and dark with the colorful and bright flawlessly. Bored with her life in a new home, Coraline discovers a little door in her house that leads to the Other World where she meets her Other Mother. Life is fun there until she learns the wicked truth about her Other Mother.
Now some people might be up in arms that this one is right in the middle of the list and not at the top. But here’s the age old debate: is it a Halloween movie or a Christmas movie? Either way, it’s an awesome movie that tells the story of Jack and his search for something more in his life.
Considered the birth of the modern day zombie film, George Romero’s first film in the Living Dead series has stood the test of time. It’s a simple story: a group of humans are hiding in a house, trying to fight back against the zombies that continue to push in closer and closer.
14. Saw (series)
This movie is so tied to Halloween that it became a part of it’s marketing. Halloween rolled around and you knew a new Saw movie was coming. It’s the story of Jigsaw, a serial killer who forces his victims to complete gruesome tasks if they hope to survive his game. There are currently seven films in the series with a new one coming out this Halloween (of course).
Both a parody of the horror genre and a love letter to it, this film will get you in the Halloween mood instantly. And with one of the best twist endings I’ve seen in a long time, it’ll definitely find a place on your annual Halloween marathon.
Whether you’re a Mel Brooks fan, a horror buff, and you’re just looking for some laughs and chills at the same time, this movie is the perfect fit. A parody of the classic story Frankenstein, this movie is now a classic with memorable lines, hilarious spoofs, and an old fashioned chilling style that is perfect for Halloween.
Part of the trinity of slasher films, this film tells the story of Freddy Krueger, an entity that haunts the dreams of teenagers and kills them in their sleep. One, two, Freddy’s coming for you…
10. The Exorcist
Quite possibly one of the most terrifying movies at the time it came out, it tells the (true) story of a child possessed by the Devil and the epic battle for the child’s soul begins. Just try to watch Reagan come down those stairs bent over backwards without cringing, I dare you.
Another member of the trinity of slashers, it’s the story of a bunch of teenagers at a summer camp who one by one are killed by Jason Voorhees with his hockey mask and machete.
Another Tim Burton film rears it’s head on this list! Both scary and hilarious, this tells the story of a young (dead) couple who look to get the living out of their house. So they call on a human exorcist. You know his name: Beetejuice! Beetlejuice! Beet–you know what? I’d better not risk it…
One of the darkest stories ever written, it looks at what makes men and what makes monsters. While the Universal classic differed greatly from the book (so much so that the Creature doesn’t speak and everyone thinks that the Creature’s name is Frankenstein, forgetting the doctor… but I digress…), it’s still a chilling film to watch whether it’s Halloween time or not.
From horror mastermind, Dario Argento, this film is both grotesque and gorgeous. It’s the story of an American ballerina in Germany where she learns her dance school is just a facade for something sinister and supernatural.
Forget that awful version with Owen Wilson, this film is the definition of psychological thriller. It’s the story of a group of people brought to a haunted house to take part in a paranormal investigation and it is downright spooky.
While maybe not the best movie, it is nothing but Halloween. An anthology that follows four or five stories that all intertwine this is like A Christmas Carol but for Halloween nuts. Guaranteed to put you in the mood, make you laugh, and maybe even scream.
3. Hocus Pocus
Both a cult classic and a guilty pleasure, Hocus Pocus is the story of three witches from Salem who accidentally get resurrected on Halloween night. It’s campy, silly, and just fun.
If you don’t watch this movie on or around Halloween, then you’re doing it wrong. It’s the classic story of Michael Myers, the final member of the slasher trinity, and his return home on Halloween night. The homecoming brings a whole lot of murder, blood, and sequels with the newest one on its way next Halloween (currently, 2 and H2O are great)
1 . ParaNorman
Now I might be getting some dirty looks from people with this one but seriously: watch it. It’s the story of Norman, a boy who can see the dead and it’s up to him and his ragtag team of friends (but not really because he doesn’t have any) to stop the Witch’s Curse. The writing is brilliant. The imagery is gorgeous. And the story goes a lot deeper than you’d expect from a family film.
So there you have it! 31 movies for 31 days of October to get you pumped for the greatest holiday of the year (don’t even try to argue). What surprised you? Any movies you would add? Let us know in the comments!
Amanda Woomer-Limpert is a writer for the Geekiverse and a Halloween nut. She’s been counting down the days since November 1, 2016.
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