10 Spooktacular Halloween Movies

10 must-watch movies for the Halloween season

by Haley Hausam, Reporter

With Halloween fast approaching, it’s great to get into the spooky spirit with a good Halloween movie. So pop your popcorn, grab your favorite blanket and get cozy, because the Halloween season is upon us.

Nightmare On Elm Street, 1984

“Nightmare On Elm Street” is a true classic Halloween film. Freddy Krueger is one of the most iconic horror movie murderers ever. This film is about Krueger tormenting a group of teenagers’ dreams. Now I can’t say I enjoyed this movie for the scary aspect because it simply just was not scary. If the purpose of this movie was to be scary they definitely missed it. I found myself laughing at the “scary” parts because of how ridiculous they looked. I was able to find humor in the acting and Kruegers inability to be creepy. I gave this movie a 3 out of 5 stars because it wasn’t great, but I did like it.

The Nightmare Before Christmas, 1993

“The Nightmare Before Christmas” is a one-of-a-kind Halloween movie. Jack Skellington is the Pumpkin King and is widely known as the scariest guy in Halloweentown. But after hundreds of years of fame, he grows bored and tired. Then, he learns about Christmas and plans to take over the holiday. Now, I know that there’s that debate about whether or not this is a Christmas movie but I firmly believe this is a Halloween movie. I feel as though there isn’t enough Christmas to call it a Christmas movie. I mean, the main character is the Pumpkin King, not Santa Claus.  I gave this movie a 3.5 out of 5 stars because it was better than “okay” but did not qualify as “amazing” for me.

Knives Out, 2019

Now although this movie isn’t the first thing I think of when asked “What movies should I watch for the Halloween season?” I still recommend it. “Knives Out” is a mystery/crime movie about a family competing for the inheritance of their late father. It has so many unexpected twists and great characters. I call this a Halloween movie because it’s set in the fall and it’s just a really good mystery. “Knives Out” has color schemes throughout the movie that gives you the cozy fall/Halloween season feel. I gave this movie 4 out of 5 stars mainly for the plot twist that I was not expecting.

Zombieland, 2009

“Zombieland” is one of the only horror-comedy movies that was done right. The humor is never too much or not enough, it’s just the right amount for a zombie movie. This movie is about a group of survivors navigating their way through the U.S. after it’s been infested with zombies. I would say this is a feel-good Halloween movie. The main reason I classify this as a Halloween movie is… the zombies. Watching movies about ghosts, ghouls and zombies is what Halloween is all about.  It always makes me wish I were a survivor of the zombie apocalypse.  I gave this movie a 4 out of 5 because of its good script and how quickly it can put me in a good mood. 

Trick ‘r Treat, 2007

“Trick ‘r Treat” is a modern take on Halloween movies. This movie revolves around the Halloween tradition and shows you what the consequences are for breaking those traditions. But in all seriousness, this movie is a treat. It demonstrates all kinds of traditions such as always giving candy to trick or treaters, respecting the dead and wearing a costume. It’s great for putting you in the Halloween mood. I gave this movie a 4 out of 5 because it’s not my absolute favorite movie for the Halloween season but I still thoroughly enjoyed it.

Scream, 1996

“Scream” is another classic, and is most well known for its hard-to-beat opening. Scream is a self-aware horror film about a serial murderer named Ghostface who terrorizes high school students in the suburbs. “Scream” is unique because the characters know about other Halloween movie murderers. Ghostface even goes so far as to quiz his victims on horror movies before killing them. Its originality is what makes this movie stick out to me – the references to other horror movies makes everything feel more real. I gave this movie a 4 out of 5 because of how silly and unnerving it was at the same time, truly a memorable Halloween movie. 

Coraline, 2009

Based on the novel by Neil Gaimen, “Coraline” is a must-see movie for the Halloween season. This film is about a girl named Coraline who after moving to a new home is feeling neglected by her busy parents. She then finds a hidden door that leads to a world where everything is perfect, but it still has some sinister secrets. “Coraline” is a great watch for the Halloween- it takes place in the middle of a downpour which adds to the fall vibe of the movie. I gave this movie a 4 out of 5 stars because of the plot, characters, and the effort that had to go into making it.

The Conjuring 2, 2016

“The Conjuring” movies are all great horror movies, but I’m going to talk about the second one specifically. After watching all three of the movies I believe the second one is the best. Not just with the overall eeriness but the characters and the plot stand out to me. “The Conjuring 2” is based on a true story about the Enfield Poltergeist case that took place in 1977. This case was actually worked on by Ed and Lorainne Warren, who also worked on the Annabelle case. This one is more on the paranormal side of spookiness but still a great watch for Halloween time. I absolutely loved this movie and gave it 5 out of 5 stars because of how well put together it is. 

The Shining, 1980

If you enjoy the psychological horror genre and have not seen “The Shining” yet, you have to. The Shining is about a father, mother and a child who become the caretakers of The Overlook Hotel. The father becomes plagued by psychic premonitions and lets the isolation get to his head. I had not seen this movie until 2020 and boy was I missing out. The facial expressions, the shot angles and even dialog that seems out of place. Everything has a meaning. The cinematography is just phenomenal and it just gives you the creeps. I also gave this movie a 5 out of 5 stars for its undeniable perfection.

Halloween, 1978

Obviously I can’t make a Halloween movie list without the movie “Halloween.” This movie is as classic as classic can get, and definitely a must-see. “Halloween” is about a boy named Micheal Myers who is sentenced to 15 years in prison after murdering his sister. He breaks out of prison October 30th and returns to his home town to begin searching for his next victims. I gave this movie a 5 out of 5, the eeriness, the acting and the cinematography were all done so well and I would consider it my Halloween season favorite.

Honorable Mention: Over The Garden Wall, 2014

Although this isn’t a movie, it’s an easily bingeable show because of its runtime of an hour and a half. This show is about two brothers who find themselves lost in the woods on Halloween night  without any recollection of how they got there and no idea how to leave. This is my highest recommendation when it comes to Halloween media because of its fantastic soundtrack, storytelling, underlying themes and fantastic plot. I gave this show a 5 out of 5 stars for its absolute perfection.