A Guide To The Best Halloween Movies
Witches, ghosts, creepy crawlers and monsters all unite on the annual celebration that is Halloween. Besides simply trick-or-treating and visiting haunted houses this Oct. 31, give yourself a ghoulish scare by watching one of our top Halloween movie picks. Choose from several subcategories, such as classic for an old-school favorite; great for parties for a fun adult get-together; or family-friendly for a children-appropriate gathering.
Psycho (1960): Directed by the renowned Alfred Hitchcock, the Academy-Award winning “Psycho” remains an esteemed pioneer in the suspense and horror film category. The plot focuses on a secretary named Marion Crane, who stays at a secluded motel after embezzling money from her employer’s client. Upon meeting the motel’s disturbed owner Norman Bates, she soon becomes a victim to his lunacy.
Frankenstein (1931): “Frankenstein” is a horror film based on the original novel by Mary Shelley. An obsessed young scientist named Henry Frankenstein and his loyal assistant Fritz work to piece together various body parts from unearthed corpses. With the help of electric machines, they create a new form of human life: Frankenstein’s monster.
Dracula (1931): “Dracula” depicts an ancient vampire called Count Dracula in his deadly excursions of feasting on human blood. He unapologetically aims to turn one unsuspecting victim after another to join his bloodthirsty kind, in spite of others’ insufficient efforts to hinder his actions.
Great For Parties
Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975): “The Rock Horry Picture Show,” adapted from a British rock musical, openly parodies the science fiction and horror films before it. A newly engaged couple, Brad Majors and Janet Weiss, happen upon an Annual Transylvanian Convention and the world of Dr. Frank-N-Furter, a place everything turns out to be sexually bizarre.
Ghost Busters (1984): “Ghost Busters” follows four parapsychologists: Peter, Raymond, Egon and Winston, as they offer a paranormal exterminator service of combating and capturing ghosts. One case ends up being more they had initially bargained for, and the group valiantly fights to keep the world safe from life-threatening ghosts.
Shaun Of The Dead (2004): “Shaun of the Dead” tells the tale of the unambitious, 29-year-old Shaun who struggles in strained relationships with disrespectful work colleagues, a unhappy girlfriend and a tough stepfather. He vows to try and turn his life around, but first, he must survive a zombie uprising.
Hocus-Pocus (1993): A Halloween Disney classic for children, “Hocus Pocus” is the story of three witches who were sentenced to die in Salem, Massachusetts after practicing witchcraft on helpless children. 300 years later, the curse is carelessly broken, thanks to town newcomer Max Dennison. The three witches are free to practice their dark magic again, with the town’s young population at risk once more.
Casper (1995): Comedy fantasy film “Casper” depicts paranormal therapist Dr. Harvey and his daughter Kat during their stay in the haunted Whipstaff Manor. But, the manor is already occupied by friendly ghost Casper and his obnoxious uncles named Stretch, Stinkie and Fatso. Despite lasting friendships that form between the Harvey family and the ghosts, greedy Carrigan Crittenden is only interested in the house’s supposed treasure and will do whatever it takes to find it.
It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1996): Based on popular comic strip “Peanuts,” American television special turned film “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” revolves around the Peanuts gang as they celebrate Halloween. Linus stays behind to await the Great Pumpkin, Charlie struggles with his trick-or-treating loot, and Snoopy dons World War I flying ace gear—all making for one unforgettable night for the Peanuts gang.
Beetle Juice (1988): The ghostly Maitland couple is unfortunately faced with new residents as the Deetz family moves into their beloved home, depicted in Tim Burton’s “Beetlejuice.” Barbara and Adam Maitland turn to troublemaker ghost Betelgeuse for help in getting rid of the obnoxious human residents, but the havoc quickly spirals out of control in this comical horror film.
The Addams Family (1991): In this classic comedy film based on the Addams family cartoons, “The Addams Family” features ghoulish family members who are up to their typical mischief. But along comes long-lost Uncle Fester who attempts to shake things up. To his dismay, the Addams family reacts with delight at his efforts to steal their fortune.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993): Tim Burton presents another creepy masterpiece through “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and its Halloween Town of residential ghosts, vampires, werewolves and more. But one day, the town’s great leader Jack Skellington stumbles upon a portal to Christmas Town and becomes inspired to take over Christmas, including a plot to abduct Santa Clause.
The Ring (2002): Psychological horror film “The Ring” follows a cursed videotape that makes its rounds through television sets. Once watched, the tape unleashes a series of horrifying events upon its viewer, all beginning with a girl’s voice announcing a seven-day, literal deadline. Journalist Rachel Keller resolves to solve the mystery of the tape, but becomes a target of the sinister curse in the process.
Paranormal Activity (2007): In supernatural horror film “Paranormal Activity,” young couple Katie and Micah move into a suburban home, but are distressed by the presence of something eerily supernatural. Micah sets up a camera to film whatever paranormal activity has been disturbing his girlfriend, and his findings lead to demonic and unexplainable results.
The Shining (1980): Upon settling in an isolated hotel with his family, despite others’ warnings and his psychic son’s premonitions, writer Jack Torrance soon encounters several supernatural beings. Slowly but surely, Jack becomes entirely consumed by bizarre madness in this psychological horror film.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003): A remake of the 1974 original, horror film “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” portrays five teenagers and their chilling journey after stopping in a small town to help a hitchhiker. The teens attempt to escape from the sadistic Leatherface, a merciless killer who endlessly hunts humans as food for his family.
Saw (2004): A serial killer named Jigsaw traps his victims into a sequence of games with a virtually nonexistent chance of survival in the first film of a seven-part series titled “Saw.” Two men, Adam and Dr. Lawrence Gordon, realize they have become pawns in Jigsaw’s unhinged mind when they wake up in his lair with a dead body between them.
House Of 1,000 Corpses (2003): “House of 1000 Corpses,” a 2003 horror film, depicts two teenage couples whose research for writing a book on urban legends leads them to picking up a hitchhiker named Baby. They unwittingly become prisoners of Baby’s family of deranged serial killers and are faced with tragedy after tragedy.
Whether you choose to enjoy a funny, kid-friendly flick, or watch a terrifying marathon of gore and thriller films, you’re bound to have an extra spooky Halloween with the help of this top Halloween movies list!