While you can always watch the best Halloween movies year-round, there is nothing quite like curling up on a crisp autumn night and getting scared out of your mind. Whether you’re a fan of getting completely freaked out or you prefer your movie scares mild, there's a Halloween movie out there for you.
If you’re looking for a good Halloween movie recommendation, stop searching and start scrolling because we have a ton (no, really) of great ideas for your next spooky binge sesh. From classic horror movies that have been scaring audiences for generations to new scary flicks that are instant hits to nostalgic features that warm you up better than a cup of cider, there’s a Halloween movie here for everyone. No matter what you’re in the mood for, if you pick one of the following Halloween movies to watch, you're going to have a frighteningly good time.
Ahead, check out the 73 best Halloween films of all time.
1. Carrie (1976)
Honestly, we don’t know which version of Carrie we love more: the original 1976 movie starring Sissy Spacek or the 2013 revival starring Chloé Grace Moretz. No matter which option you take, you’re still watching an incredible adaptation of a Stephen King novel, which is essential for the Halloween season. Nothing like celebrating the scariest night of the year by watching Sissy and Chloé get pig blood poured on their heads.
2. Hocus Pocus (1993)
This movie needs no introduction... and might just be the single best Halloween movie of them all. Basically, what Home Alone is to Christmas, Hocus Pocus is to Halloween. Yes, the early part of the movie does the “teenagers entering an abandoned house” cliché, but then they accidentally free three evil witches, including Bette Midler and a pre-Sex and the City Sarah Jessica Parker. The kids have to stop the witches from becoming immortal, and it’s a thoroughly entertaining, annual must-watch movie every October.
3. Donnie Darko (2001)
In Donnie Darko, Jake Gyllenhaal plays the titular character, a teenager who is being influenced to do bad things by a figure in a rabbit costume named Frank. Early on, Frank warns Donnie that the world will end in 28 days. Gyllenhaal delivers one the best performances of his career in a movie that is basically a mind-blowing, perfectly eerie story that should be watched before the end of the Halloween season.
4. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Jack Skellington is the king of Halloween Town in this charming, yet spooky, stop-motion animated feature. When Jack opens a portal to Christmas Town, he and the other Halloween Town residents experience a culture shock unlike any other and sends everyone on a wild adventure. The Nightmare Before Christmas is a classic, and possibly the only movie that can contend with Hocus Pocus as the best Halloween movie of them all.
5. Children of the Corn (1984)
Children of the Corn is one of the most horrifying franchises of all time, and we mean that in a good way. We love all seven movies, but our favorite is definitely the original, which follows a rag-tag group of kids who start worshiping a demon and murder all the adults in their hometown in exchange for a great corn harvest — because if there’s one thing kids passionately care about, it’s corn. Creepy children are a Halloween movie staple, and there’s no creepier group of kiddos than the ones in Children of the Corn.
6. Practical Magic (1998)
Fiercely independent women taking matters into their own hands? Amazing '90s fashion? A rustic New England home with the perfect witchy accoutrements? A soundtrack that includes Stevie Nicks and Faith Hill? Practical Magic is everything you could want from a Halloween movie. Born into a magical, matriarchal family in a small town, two sisters played by Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman band together to break an ancient family curse—and get rid of an abusive boyfriend along the way.
7. Twitches (2005)
In this Disney Channel Original Movie, Tia and Tamera Mowry play twin witches with polar opposite personalities. Born into royalty in the magical kingdom of Coventry, the sisters are separated at birth and adopted by two different families on Earth. On their 21st birthday, the twins finally meet, discover their powers, and team up to save Coventry from otherworldly evil.
Stream Twitches on Disney+.
8. Casper (1995)
If you're in search of one of the best Halloween movies that will inspire a good cry, look no further than Casper. This tender ghost tale follows a lovable but lonely spirit who befriends Kat, the 13-year-old daughter of a paranormal psychologist. When a greedy woman inherits the mansion Casper haunts, Kat helps him protect his home and uncover secrets from his past. Keep some Kleenex on hand for this one.
9. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
Over-the-top in every way, Rocky Horror Picture Show is the ultimate campy musical. Rocky Horror sweeps you up in its glamorous embrace for nearly two hours as it tells the story of a newly engaged couple who are stranded at the extravagant home of Dr. Frank N. Furter, an alien mad scientist. (Tim Curry is literally the MVP of this movie, friends.) It's loud, dramatic, and interactive—and we're here for it.
10. A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
This original 1984 slasher film introduced the world to Freddy Krueger, a madman with knives for fingers who stalks teenagers in their dreams and kills them before they can wake up. Freddy has become one of the most iconic horror villains since his mid-’80s debut. While the original Freddy was quite literally the stuff of nightmares, the version seen in the 2010 reboot starring Rooney Mara serves up the kind of Halloween scares we want this time of year.
11. Sleepy Hollow (1999)
Make sure to check out Sleepy Hollow and Johnny Depp's unforgettable portrayal of Ichabod Crane. Of course, this Tim Burton feature is the ultimate Halloween vibe check, too, with the titular town of Sleepy Hollow presented as basically the rustic goth cottagecore village of our dreams. Yes, Sleepy Hollow is scary (the Headless Horseman doesn't mess around, y’all!?) and it’s gory (see our previous note about Mr. H. Horseman), but it's also surprisingly romantic. Who says Halloween movies can’t have a little romance?
12. Fun Size (2012)
This Halloween rom-com stars Victoria Justice and Thomas Mann from Me and Earl And The Dying Girl. Here, Victoria plays Wren, a smart high school senior who gets distracted by a text from the hottest boy in school and accidentally loses her little brother in a sea of trick-or-treaters on Halloween (totally relatable). Recruiting two nerds and her sassy best friend, Wren goes on an epic search for her sibling. It’s basically Sixteen Candles meets Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist with Halloween costumes. Yes. Please!
13. The Addams Family (1991)
Here's another classic Halloween film that has inspired countless Halloween costumes. Follow the story of the Addams, a spooky but loveable clan. There are three Addams Family movies, and this first one centers around an imposter claiming to be Gomez Addams' missing brother.
14. Addams Family Values (1993)
Revel in Wednesday Addams (played by Christina Ricci) and her lethal one-liners in Addams Family Values. Remember when she delivers a scathing takedown of American colonialism before setting fire to a summer camp? Iconic. Or, if romance is more your thing, then you can always indulge in the undying love of Gomez and Morticia, who are probably the coolest set of Halloween movie parents to ever grace the screen.
15. Ernest Scared Stupid (1991)
Ernest Scared Stupid will hit a sweet spot for Millennials who like their Halloween movies to be real goofy. In the 1993 pic, Ernest awakens a troll capable of turning kids into wooden dolls. While that might sound terrifying, the movie — the fifth installment in the Ernest movie franchise — is definitely more of a comedy.
16. Halloweentown (1998)
On her 13th birthday, Marnie Piper discovers she is descended from a long line of witches. Determined to learn more about her powers, she follows her grandmother Aggie home to Halloweentown, where vampires, ghosts, werewolves, witches, and more supernatural beings all live peacefully — until residents start mysteriously disappearing. Halloweentown is not only an all-time great Halloween movie, it’s a DCOM Hall of Fame pick. If you don’t watch this movie by midnight on October 31st, we’re going to send Kalabar to haunt you.
17. Beetlejuice (1988)
We can't get enough of this surrealist, screwball comedy. In Beetlejuice, a recently deceased couple summon an eccentric, green-haired demon named Beetlejuice to help them scare away the new tenants in their home. But Beetlejuice’s unorthodox services come at a heavy personal price, and things quickly escalate from wacky afterlife antics to total pandemonium. Did we mention the whole movie has a cybergoth vibe? Did we also mention this movie features Catherine O’Hara in a pre-Schitt’s Creek performance that serves up serious Moira Rose vibes?
18. Edward Scissorhands (1990)
If there’s one Tim Burton movie you watch this Halloween season, make it Edward Scissorhands. This atypical fairy tale centers around a strange, almost-human man brought to life by an inventor who died before he could give his creation a pair of hands. For years, Edward lives alone in his creator’s dark, abandoned home. That is, until a nice Avon sales lady invites him to move in with her suburban family.
19. The Craft (1996)
Possibly our favorite movie on this list, The Craft is about a group of '90s teenage witches who spend their time wearing knee-high socks and chokers, performing love spells, and being generally flawless. Until their magic takes control of them and they start accidentally-on-purpose murdering people, that is. This flick is a cult classic, but keep in mind that side effects of watching include an urge to wear black lipstick, break out your vintage butterfly clips, and play the Ouija board.
20. The Blair Witch Project (1999)
Grab a pint of comfort ice cream and start spoon-feeding it to yourself, because The Blair Witch Project is a completely and utterly terrifying film about friends who are murdered while shooting a documentary about—you guessed it—The Blair Witch. Many unsuspecting viewers (guilty!) thought the documentary was based on true events thanks to the movie's amazing publicity campaign and its use of found footage, aka handheld footage shot by the actors that made the horror feel even more visceral. But, real or fake, one thing's for sure: you'll be quivering under your Snuggie by the final 10 minutes of The Blair Witch Project.
21. Scream (1996)
Scream is about a terrifying masked murderer affectionately referred to as "Ghostface" who decides it's probably a good idea to wander around stalking a group of high schoolers, as one does. The movie features an all-star cast of '90s gems including Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, Drew Barrymore, David Arquette, and Riverdale alum Skeet Ulrich. Scream is just as scary as it is campy, delivering slasher movie thrills alongside fun, meta commentary about the nature of horror movies. It's worth watching for the amazing circa 1996 floral prints alone.
22. Rosemary's Baby (1968)
Rosemary's Baby might be old-school, but it'll definitely have you reaching for the nearest light switch. This '60s classic is about a housewife who unwittingly gives birth to Satan's heir after her husband sells her out to their posh, devil-worshiping next-door neighbors. This is a great one to watch with your parents, and while you're at it, check out the mini-series starring Zoe Saldana.
23. The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
So, you loved Chris Hemsworth in basically every MCU movie he’s appeared in, but you want to branch out? ? Well, Cabin in the Woods is unlike any MCU movie Hemsworth has made before or after — and we mean that in the best way possible. Instead of flexing his biceps and being generally hunky, Hemsworth spends most of his time in this flick trying not to get murdered by a group of backwoods zombies while hanging out in a creepy forest. And if you think that’s surprising, just wait until Cabin in the Woods drops its biggest plot twist in your lap. In other words, this movie is amazing and Halloween isn't complete without at least one viewing session.
24. World War Z (2013)
The zombie apocalypse is in full swing during World War Z, and only one person can save us: Brad Pitt and his free-flowing hair. Pitt’s stint as a zombie-slayer is totally unmissable. World War Z is a fascinating entry in the zombie genre, with Pitt dodging fast-movie zombies as he travels the globe trying to find a cure to the pandemic creating hordes of undead victims.
25. Halloween: Resurrection (2002)
Jamie Lee Curtis, Busta Rhymes, and Tyra Banks headline the eighth installment in this scream-inducing horror film franchise, where iconic serial killer Michael Myers goes on yet another killing spree (you'd think he'd have found a different hobby by now, but whatever floats his boat). This time Halloween revolves around an internet reality show directed by Tyra and Busta, so yes, it's even more amazing than its predecessors.
26. Trick 'r Treat (2007)
There are multiple stories being told in this movie — think of it as the Halloween version of Crash, but not quite profound enough to win an Academy Award. It’s a surprise this isn’t more popular, but it all takes place in the same area, on the same evening, and is more than capable of putting you in the Halloween spirit.
27. Idle Hands (1999)
Idle Hands is a horror comedy film in which a teenager’s hand becomes possessed and does evil things. It begins with the main character’s hand killing his parents and best friends on Halloween, but it’s not nearly as depressing of a movie as it sounds. Also, Jessica Alba is in it, and therefore it’s automatically worth watching.
28. Let the Right One In (2008)
Let the Right One In isn't your average vampire movie. For one, none of the characters are covered in body glitter, and for another, they don't scamper up trees like spider monkeys. Instead, this critically-acclaimed Swedish coming-of-age story follows the childhood romance of a boy and his crush, who also happens to be a very old vampire. If you like a hefty dollop of melancholia and romance with your fear (thank you, Sweden), this is the movie for you.
29. Paranormal Activity (2009)
Audiences could barely get through Paranormal Activity without flailing around in a fit of fear-induced hysteria, and we challenge you to watch the whole thing without screaming. The premise is simple: A couple moves into a haunted house and documents the supernatural activity with a simple home camera. The results? Pure, unadulterated horror. This is a found footage must-see, with special effects so convincing, you’ll believe the filmmakers actually caught a haunting on camera. Truly, the simple act of trying to get a good night’s sleep has never been so stressful, thanks to Paranormal Activity.
30. The Babadook (2013)
Lovers of storybooks, beware — the Babadook is coming for you. This Australian thriller follows a recently widowed woman (Essie Davis) as she and her young son, Sam (Noah Wiseman), deal with the grief of losing her husband. But when Sam begins to read a book that mysteriously finds its way into the house, Mister Babadook, the line between fiction and reality becomes blurred. And just as the story warns, "If it's in a word, or if it's in a book, you can't get rid of the Babadook.”
31. The Faculty (1998)
Great scary movies contain three key elements: A tenacious troop of teenagers trying to survive, unassuming adults who fall victim to the supernatural, and Josh Hartnett — because, well, Josh Hartnett. Even though Josh hasn’t lit up the silver screen in a while, back in 1998, he stole audiences’ hearts in The Faculty. Set in Ohio, the story follows a group of students at Harrington High who are dealing with much more than studying for their SATs. When the school’s staff starts acting strangely, it’s quickly realized that the faculty’s bodies are being inhabited by alien invaders. Lots of action, snappy dialogue, and Josh Hartnett’s signature pouty face make this movie a must-watch.
32. The Evil Dead (1981)
If horror movies have instilled any wisdom into society, it’s not to venture into the woods for spring break. Sadly, the cast of The Evil Dead didn’t get the memo. The story follows five college students who retreat to a cabin looking for a little fun. Soon after arriving, the group finds a mysterious book and tape recorder loaded with ritualistic chanting. Mayhem breaks loose when the spring breakers realize the incantations they listened to unleashed a plague of evil spirits into their domain. Will these coeds be able to fight off the demons, or will they end up possessed themselves?
33. Ju-On: The Grudge (2003)
If you watched The Grudge and have managed to stop having nightmares about its notorious staircase scene, it might be time for a refresher. Ju-On is the Japanese film that inspired The Grudge. You’ll have to commit to reading subtitles, but processing words at the bottom of the screen might help you cope with the terror that’s unfolding in front of you. Complete with a murderous family, a cursed house, and loads of innocent bystanders, Ju-On is a film that will keep you on the edge of your seat (and out of strange houses).
34. The Omen (2006)
There have been many captivating adaptations of The Omen over the years, and the 2006 retelling of the story is no exception. After losing their child, a young couple adopts a baby boy, Damien. Strange things seem to happen whenever Damien’s around, but his adoptive parents can’t put their finger on what’s causing these sinister instances. That is, until a priest tells Damien’s adoptive mother that her son is the Antichrist. Shocked and in disbelief, the woman (Julia Stiles) must find a way to put an end to her son’s evildoing — if she can do so before it’s too late.
35. American Psycho (2000)
Patrick Bateman is steadfast with his routines. Whether it’s ordering the most expensive item on the menu, engaging in his ritualistic workout, or killing people and masterfully covering up the evidence. This gruesome satire stars Christian Bale as unhinged yuppie Patrick Bateman, and Reese Witherspoon as Bateman’s unsuspecting girlfriend. Released in 2000, American Psycho proves that evil comes in all forms, and sometimes evil even demonstrates an exceptional taste in business cards.
36. The Exorcist (1973)
Chris MacNeil (Ellen Burstyn) is a fledgling actress living on location with her daughter, Regan (Linda Blair). The two get along quite nicely until Regan plays with a Ouija board and begins to act strangely, like, “Oh shoot, I think I got possessed by a demon” strangely. Convinced her daughter is battling an evil spirit, Chris brings a priest into their home to perform an exorcism. One of the most iconic horror movies of the 20th century, The Exorcist toys with the concepts of religion and the supernatural and examines what the two have in common.
37. Oculus (2014)
From the producers of Paranormal Activity and Insidious comes a psychological thriller that will have you frantically googling “baby animals” after it’s over in an attempt to comfort yourself. Scarred by the untimely and ill-explained passing of their parents, two siblings reunite after a decade spent apart. Eager to explore what really happened on the night of their parents' death, the pair search for answers in an antique mirror that they believe houses a dark secret. But as the siblings get closer to finding out the truth, they must question reality and each other’s sanity.
38. Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (2018)
Two best friends encounter the unthinkable: a fictitious dummy named Slappy (from an unpublished R.L. Stine novel) has come to life and is out to wreak havoc. The friends must get to work to save the entire town. If you grew up reading the Goosebumps books and have a hankering to revisit Stine’s pleasantly spooky world, this Halloween movie is the one for you.
39. Zombieland (2009)
This is a zombie movie that is 10 times more hilarious than it is scary, which makes it quite perfect. Not only do you not get to scream throughout the movie, but you get to laugh. Like, a lot. Zombieland follows a group of zombie apocalypse survivors living in a nation overrun by the flesh-craving undead. Turns out, surviving in a world full of zombies is easier said than done, especially if you’re searching for a single, unsullied Twinkie or a safe haven.
40. Hotel Transylvania (2012)
Hotel Transylvania isn’t just funny, it’s animated, which means the fear factor here is non-existent. The voice cast includes Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Andy Samberg, and Kevin James. This animated movie is a story about Count Dracula running what is essentially the Four Seasons of resorts that cater specifically to every monster imaginable. Mummies? Check. Werewolves? There’s a whole litter of ‘em here. Frankenstein and his bride? They’re both checked in and ready for a long stay. But life for the monsters at Hotel Transylvania takes a turn when a human comes along, leading to lots of drama that only Dracula can fix.
41. Frankenweenie (2012)
In Frankenweenie, a young boy’s precious dog dies, and of course, he brings it back to life. If you couldn’t tell by this single sentence, yes, this is a Tim Burton flick, so it’s somewhat aesthetically creepy. But, you can most certainly handle the scares it serves up in black-and-white, even if you yourself are a weenie when it comes to scary movies.
42. Shaun of the Dead (2004)
Another zombie movie that is more funny than stressful is Shaun of the Dead. Directed by Edgar Wright, this horror comedy is about a regular guy and his buddy trying to survive the apocalypse. Of course, that’s all the more difficult as Shaun (Simon Pegg) and Ed (Nick Frost) quickly discover they have zero survival skills and a lot of jokes. You’ll laugh, you’ll feel like a part of the Halloween festivities, you’ll sleep soundly without a nightlight.
43. Coraline (2009)
A young girl discovers another world that’s mad sketchy in Coraline, a stop-motion feature that is as dreamy as it is nightmarish. Sure, you’ll likely spend the entire time slightly distracted, wondering, “How is this a kid’s movie?” But you’ll also be endeared to Coraline as she goes on a quest to save her parents.
44. ParaNorman (2012)
This is a family-friendly version of The Sixth Sense, in which the people are stop-motion animated, and the “I see dead people” concept is much less terrifying. Plus, Anna Kendrick offers her voice to the flick, playing the main character’s older sister. And you know anything Kendrick touches is movie gold.
45. Ghostbusters (1984)
This 1984 classic about a ghost-catching squad is another Halloween movie that's fun for the whole family. It’s got supernatural entities and it’s got lots of comedy (good for those who hate scary). Oh, and did we mention it stars '80s comedy heavyweights Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd? In short, Ghostbusters is the best of the classic Halloween movies, which is probably why it was picked for a 2016 remake that is also worth checking out!
46. Sharknado (2013)
Sharknado is about a tornado full of sharks. We repeat: this is a movie about a tornado that also happens to be packed with flesh-eating sharks who fly through the air trying to eat humans. Or, to quote the movie's actual slogan, "Enough said!" Sure, the hilarious flick is crammed with blood, guts, and gore, but again: It's about a tornado full of sharks, guys.
47. Anaconda (1997)
Not to be confused with the Nicki Minaj song of the same name, Anaconda is a ’90s horror flick about Jennifer Lopez fighting off a giant snake who wants nothing more than to eat her. It also stars Ice Cube, so yeah… it’s completely amazing. There’s no way this movie will scare you — unless you’re terrified of enormous mutant snakes, in which case you will not be pleased.
48. I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)
This movie stars Jennifer Love Hewitt, Freddie Prinze Jr., and Sarah Michelle Gellar as teens who accidentally murder someone. The problem? There's a killer stalking them, and he totally knows what they did last summer. If you like your slasher movies with a hefty dose of ‘90s teen angst, I Know What You Did Last Summer is your kind of Halloween movie.
49. I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)
We're still recovering from Ryan Phillipe's character being attacked with a hook in I Know What You Did Last Summer, but the 1997 sequel is unrelenting with its slasher horror energy. Luckily, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer is almost as hilarious as the original is horrifying, plus it stars Brandy, along with OG cast members Jennifer Love Hewitt and Freddie Prinze Jr.! How can you go wrong? Answer: you can't.
50. The Wicker Man (2006)
Starring Nicolas Cage, The Wicker Man is a cult classic about a policeman who searches for his daughter on a creepy island, only to be attacked by a fleet of insane pagans who want to sacrifice him in the hopes of producing honey. And speaking of honey, the best part of this movie is when Nicolas Cage gets attacked by a horde of bees and screams "NOT THE BEES" repeatedly.
51. I Know Who Killed Me (2007)
Lindsay Lohan tried as hard as she could to make this movie scary (bless her heart!) but at the end of the day, I Know Who Killed Me is a total camp-fest with creative high schoolers, twins, alter egos, and more. Just imagine LiLo's first blockbuster The Parent Trap, only with murderers.
52. The Haunting (1999)
Trust us: Even people who can't handle Troll 2 can handle The Haunting. There's almost nothing scary about this movie, except for how lovably bad it is. Starring the likes of Catherine Zeta-Jones, Owen Wilson, and Liam Neeson, this movie was nominated for a whopping five Razzie Awards and is about a group of paranormal pros who shack up in a haunted mansion. Unfortunately, Casper is not a resident of said mansion, but if he were perhaps this movie would be slightly more legit.
53. Fear (1996)
One of our favorite movies on the list, Fear stars Mark Wahlberg as a hunky bad boy who turns into a creepy stalker after he starts dating Reese Witherspoon. Our favorite scenes include the moment Mark prison tattoos "NICOLE 4 EVA" across his stomach, and of course the part where he muses "I'm hip to your problems" and then punches himself in the chest repeatedly. Good times!
54. Obsessed (2009)
If you're in the mood to watch Beyoncé and Ali Larter fling each other around a spooky house for an hour and a half while whipping their hair back and forth and being generally sassy, then Obsessed is the movie for you. Also, it revolves around Ali Larter's character being obsessed with Beyoncé, which — let's be honest — is something all of us can relate to.
55. Ghost Ship (2002)
We know the thought of a ship full of ghosts is somewhat terrifying but fear not. Ghost Ship isn't as scary as its title implies. Yes, the film will definitely gross you out (spoiler alert: the opening mass-death scene is especially gruesome), but it knows how to balance out its scares with intrigue as it tells the story of a salvage crew trying to evade the clutches of all the undead passengers stuck on a — you guessed it — ghost ship.
56. Piranha 3D (2010)
Piranha 3D is perfect for those of you who prefer to scream with laughter than with fright! The movie is technically a horror/comedy, which means there are just as many LOLs as there are scares, plus it stars one of our favorite Gossip Girl alums, Jessica Szohr. Just keep in mind that the side effects of watching this movie include thinking your pet goldfish might try to eat you.
57. Cabin Fever (2003)
Eli Roth's Cabin Fever has all the hallmarks of the horror genre, but don't stress—it's technically a dark comedy. Of course, that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of gory gross-out moments: the movie is about a group of college grads who get attacked by a flesh-eating virus, after all. And heads up—you might want to avert your eyes during the scene where Marcy's skin falls off while she's shaving her legs in the bathtub, or you'll never be able to look at a razor again.
58. The Babysitter (2017)
Teens and supernatural hijinks are a match made in Halloween movie heaven. As such, The Babysitter, starring the always wonderful Samara Weaving, is an ideal flick to watch, especially if you’re in the mood for a young teen trying to evade his murderous babysitter and her devil-worshipping clique as they try to sacrifice him for clout. Come for the gory thrills, stay for Bella Thorne’s fascinating performance as a cheerleader who dreams of becoming the next Barbara Walters.
Stream The Babysitter on Netflix.
59. Troll 2 (1990)
Welcome to the first day of the rest of your life: the day you watch Troll 2. This might just be the best worst movie ever made, and it's about—you guessed it—a bunch of deranged trolls! Only these aren't normal trolls. These little goblins are vegetarian and try their hardest to transform an innocent family into plants so they can feast on them. Because apparently store-bought veggies just won't do.
60. The Shining (1980)
Talk about a slow burn. Pressing play on Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining will earn you major points with cinephile and horror fan friends alike. Although author Stephen King feels differently, we think this is one of the strongest adaptations of any work penned by the prolific author. Jack Nicholson’s singularly unhinged performance breathing chaotic life into the picture that will keep your eyes glued to the screen.
61. The Sixth Sense (1999)
M. Night Shyamalan is, arguably, the king of the perfect Halloween movie. If you want thrills, chills, and genuinely shocking plot twists, you needn’t look any further than Shyamalan’s filmography for a good pick. But if you really want to spice up your Halloween, check out The Sixth Sense. It’s not only a visceral, affecting ghost story, but it also features scary good performances from co-leads Bruce Willis and Haley Joel Osment.
62. Unfriended (2014)
Fans of found footage-style horror should add Unfriended to their Halloween movie marathon watch list. This screenlife horror movie, which follows a group of teens who encounter a deadly spirit during an otherwise chill Skype hangout, crams a lot onto the screen. Over the course of Unfriended’s tight 83-minute runtime, we watch protagonist Blaire (The Secret Circle alum Shelly Hennig) bounce between private text messages with her boyfriend, her Facebook message inbox, a haunting Google search, a string of disturbing YouTube videos, and the live feed of her group Skype call from hell and learn why she and her friends are being targeted. Whew, did you feel a shiver run up your spine, or is it just us?
63. It Follows (2014)
Very much in the vein of John Carpenter and Wes Craven horror flicks is the indie fright-fest It Follows. Teens hooking up in a horror movie always spells doom. But, in It Follows, a casual hook-up is a death sentence for Jay (Maika Monroe), who must do everything she can to avoid the deadly specter relentlessly stalking her that is being spread amongst teens in her quiet suburban neighborhood.
64. Get Out (2017)
If you’re in the mood to have a more highbrow Halloween movie night, then you should press play on Get Out, Jordan Peele’s Oscar-winning directorial debut. This creepfest is packed with hidden meanings and strong themes that will keep viewers actively engaged as the movie keeps twisting the metaphorical knife.
65. Freaky (2020)
Big Little Lies alum Kathryn Newton makes a great case for being crowned our favorite new scream queen with her performance in Freaky. Mixing the slasher antics of Scream with the comedy of Freaky Friday, Newton gets to let loose as a shy teen who accidentally swaps bodies with the serial killer running around her town. Sure, Vince Vaughn shows up as the killer, but it’s hard not to love Newton sinking her teeth into a role that lets her be both the villain and the hero in 102 minutes.
66. The Conjuring (2013)
There are haunted house movies and then there’s The Conjuring. Yes, The Conjuring is a haunted house movie, but it’s also so much more than that, too. Director James Wan’s movie balances frightening practical effects with shocking horror movie setpieces in this haunted house tale based on a shocking true story. Plus, The Conjuring introduces audiences to the fictional Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga), a horror franchise couple worth rooting for.
67. Hereditary (2018)
Director Ari Aster’s quietly unnerving Hereditary is a modern horror classic. Troubled families battling supernatural forces while working through their own issues is a common feature in the horror genre. However, the Graham family’s problems in Hereditary are on another level. Unsettling dreams, ghosts emerging from the shadows, nerve-wracking séances, and the supernatural manipulations of a demon-king and his devout cult — it’s all there in Hereditary, a movie you’ll want to watch with the lights on.
68. Jennifer’s Body (2009)
Megan Fox and Amanda Seyfried are an unbeatable onscreen duo; that’s just the truth. Jennifer’s Body is both a potent exploration of female friendship and a crackling body horror movie. Every scene in this flick is instantly memorable and the one-liners — penned by none other than Diablo Cody — are even more killer than Jennifer Check’s (Fox) demon succubus impulses.
69. What We Do in the Shadows (2014)
In 2014, comedy duo Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi delivered to audiences the frightfully funny mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows. Part Interview with the Vampire, part MTV’s The Real World, this comedy horror follows a group of centuries-old vampires living together in Wellington, New Zealand. Here, watching a group of hapless vampires try to blend in while living their undead lives opens the door for great in-jokes about vampire lore and showcases Waititi’s skills as a comedic presence.
70. Double, Double, Toil & Trouble (1993)
If there is one universal truth in this life, it’s that Halloween doesn’t officially start until Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen show up. Specifically, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen in Double, Double, Toil & Trouble. If you’re looking for a nostalgic Halloween watch, this ‘90s classic, which sees the Olsen twins team up to battle their nasty aunt with supernatural abilities, is the kind of light entertainment you’ll want to check out.
71. Psycho (1960)
Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 classic Psycho is a horror movie must-see. Not only does the movie forever change your perception of taking a relaxing shower, but Psycho’s big bad, Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins), will leave you thoroughly unsettled with his nice guy façade that hides a scary alter-ego. Plus, if you’re looking for a movie that will make you flinch in fright, Psycho’s plentiful jump scares and plot twists will definitely do the job.
72. The Fear Street Trilogy (2021)
What’s better than one scary movie? Three scary movies, duh. Netflix’s Fear Street trilogy arrived earlier this year, delivering three times the chills and thrills as it unspooled one terrifying tale. Fear Street is based on the series of the same name from beloved YA author R.L. Stine. These three movies — spread across 1994, 1978, and 1666 — primarily follow a group of ‘90s teens who try to destroy an evil force responsible for serial murders throughout their hometown’s history. What they soon discover is that the origins of this evil are as old as the town itself, and it will take a lot of smarts, some clever traps, and a hefty dose of the past to understand how they can save the day. Close the blinds, grabs your popcorn, and settle in because the Fear Street trilogy is a must-see this Halloween season.
73. Us (2019)
Jordan Peele coolly swerved past the dreaded sophomore slump with Us, the second feature he both wrote and directed. Starring Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, and Elisabeth Moss, Us turns up the freaky when a family’s vacation is interrupted by the sudden arrival of their doppelgängers. These unnerving doubles are here for revenge and their plan to exact it sends the family on a terrifying journey. Us will have you white-knuckling it from the minute the opening credits start, but Peele’s most recent movie is so thematically and visually engaging that you will gladly go on this very wild ride.
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