It is officially time for Halloween. That time of year where spicy fall drinks are stocked everywhere and orange becomes the most exciting color anyone can wear. But we know that what’s most important this spooky season (and every spooky season to be honest) is the scary movie night. Whether your getting together with a group of friends or you’re going it alone in the dark, we have compiled the ultimate reference sheet for finding the makings for whatever Halloween horror night your little black October heart desires.
And if you’re looking for something for those spooky October car rides, check out the 9 best horror podcasts.
Classic Monster Movies
There is an illustrious charm to the monster movies of old, especially around Halloween time. When the mood around horror movies becomes a little more reverent. There is an old school type of theater that doesn’t exist in modern horror movies these days. From Bela Lugosi’s captivating portrayal of Dracula to Claude Rain’s as the Invisible Man.
Check out the the best classic monster movies if you want to spend this Spooky Season paying homage to them.
Before John Carpenter, before Wes Craven, before Jordan Peele, David Cronenberg, James Wan, Ari Aster, or Sam Raimi , there was another master of cinematic horror who predated all of them and probably influenced all of them as well, Alfred Hitchcock. A name perfectly suited to be the credit in front of many classic and timeless horror movies such as The Birds, Vertigo, and Rear Window.
Learn more about the the best Hitchcock films to fully round out your Halloween movie playlist this year.
Which Witch to Watch
Maybe you want a little more magical realism this holiday season. Thankfully our list of the the best witch movies encompass both the mischievous family friendly witches like in Hocus Pocus (and the new sequel both available on Disney+) and old witchy classics like I Married a Witch and Roald Dahl’s The Witches. And if you’re looking for a witch movie that gives you all the cozy feelings of Autumn without the scares of Halloween, you can never go wrong with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
Also, my horror movie conscience wouldn’t let me rest if I didn’t add the most terrifying witch movies to your Witch Watch List – Robert Egger’s 2015 film The Witch.
Cheesy, Bloody, Fun
Of course nothing is quite as fun for a Halloween movie night with friends than a pulpy, low-budget B-Movie or a roaring 80s slasher film. Something that you and your friends can cheer at, laugh at, and still get scared by. Movies like Child’s Play, John Dies at the End, or Chopping Mall come to mind. We have a list for all the best websites you can use to watch cheesy horror movies, so that you can explore the best bloody romps that cinema has to offer.
And sites that Tubi and Now TV both have their own Halloween selections so expansive that they required their own separate lists so we could bring you the absolute best of the best.
Not so Spooky Halloween
For the horror averse, or horror fans that have a kid in the house who isn’t quite ready for The Exorcist or Hereditary; there are still plenty of options for you as well. After all, Halloween is for everyone.
If you’re looking for gothic, spooky aesthetic that won’t have you hiding behind your hands or shielding the eyes and ears of a child, you cannot go wrong with Tim Burton. Corpse Bride, Beetlejuice, and Edward Scissorhands are just a few of your options in that realm, but of course other family friendly spooky movies include the likes of Paranorman, Coraline, and Halloweentown.
Another horror mastermind who deserves a category all to himself is none other than Wes Craven. You would recognize the name from genre-subverting franchises like Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream. The latter being so iconic that an entire list could be made just on those films alone (and we did! It’s right here!).
But there is more to Wes than just killers like Kreuger and guys like Ghostface. The other side of Craven’s canon involves much darker films like The Hills Have Eyes and The People Under the Stairs which may not be as fun but are still expertly crafted thrillers. Here’s a list of the the best Wes Craven movies.
Alright, buckle up, game faces on. I can tell you’re looking for something a little darker, maybe something a little more cerebral and dread inducing. Blood geyser-ing out of beds and pale kids with knives for hands are cool and all, but what about something with abstract symbolism?
You’re looking for some psychological horror, some real smart horror movies. Well some excellent choices from our list include The Babadook, Get Out, and Jacob’s Ladder. I’d say “Look no further” but you should always be looking further.
And finally, we will round out our list with horror recommendations from the other side of the world. Japan and Korea are two countries well known for their horror movie output. A very plausible reason we may have for being so attracted to them may have to do with a difference in cultural norms. Japanese and Korean horror movies feel fresh because they don’t play off of the tropes typically found in Western horror movies.
Out of some of the best J-horror and K-horror movies out there, our specific recommendations include Battle Royale, The Eighth Night, and Audition.
Keep up the spooky by diving into these Creepy Real-Life Subreddits to lose some sleep over