Here’s a list of excellent movies to watch around Halloween.
How I rank them may change based on mood, but this is where they landed in the hierarchy this time.
Keep in mind that this is a ‘Best Halloween Movies’ list, not a ‘Best Horror Movies’ list. Movies that would be high on that list may not even be on this list at all. If the movie is fun and/or gothic, that counts for more with the quality of a good Halloween movie than with a good horror movie.
10: Braindead (1992)
An early film from director Peter Jackson, this film is much more insane than what you would expect from the golden child of New Zealand.
“I kick ass for The Lord!”
9: The Shining (1980)
A haunted hotel…or is it? Creepy as all hell no matter how you look at it.
8: Scream (1996)
This movie went meta before it was cool. Damn hipster horror!
But it’s still a damn good slasher on its own too.
7: Paranorman (2012)
This stop-motion animated movie from Laika Entertainment is about a boy who sees and speaks to dead people. And then the dead start coming back to life. It is wonderful and life affirming, and it absolutely deserves your attention.
6: Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
The mood, the visuals, the songs! This movie is Halloween distilled!
I have seen this every Halloween after I started dating my girlfriend six years ago, and she started doing so years before that. It is now a tradition in our household.
5: Evil Dead 2 (1987)
I like the third Evil Dead film (Army of Darkness) better than this one, but that one is not a Halloween film in my book. It is a fantasy film! So much so that you can clearly see how it influenced the Helm’s Deep battle in LOTR: Two Towers.
Evil Dead 2 may just be a complete retelling of the first Evil Dead with a few changes, but who cares? It so wonderfully improves upon the first film, and is absolutely bonkers! Groovy!
4: The Thing (1982)
A bunch of scientists are stuck with a body-snatcher in their base in Antarctica.
What follows is some of the most inventive body-horror you will ever see, gloriously spawned with practical effects.
3: Coraline (2009)
A very sweet and slightly scary stop-motion animated movie based on the Neil Gaiman book of the same name. It was made by many of the same people who made Nightmare Before Christmas and went on to make Paranorman.
2: Crimson Peak (2015)
Four of the ten movies on this list heavily features snow in some way, I wonder why. Because I’m Norwegian?
Crimson Peak is the ultimate haunted mansion movie. Directed by the great Guillermo del Toro, this movie features great practical effects, a wonderful gothic feel, fantastic sets and really compelling human drama.
1: Cabin in the Woods (2012)
Why watch one horror movie when you can watch them all?
This movie is the brainchild of Joss Whedon, the man behind The Avengers (2012), Buffy and Firefly. I don’t need to say anything else, and I really don’t want to spoil it. Go watch it as soon as possible.
What movies do you like to watch around this time of year?
Did any of these films peak your interest?
Read Universal Monsters for more Halloween movies to watch this October!
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