Would you survive a movie marathon with these scary picks?
Halloween is on its way, which means our TV queue is about to start filling up with spooky flicks.
However, not all October 31st-based films are created equal, and choosing the right one can all depend on what kind of mood you’re in.
The horror genre has, at times, been pushed aside by cinema heads. But, despite entire eras in which the format was written off by the serious art consumers, real fright-fest films never met their demise.
Why? Because they’re, quite literally, haunting! Emotionally manipulative! Perhaps the most visceral movie watching experience around. Ask any critic about the scariest movie they’ve ever seen, and it’s always one that they will never forget, whether they like it or not.
Best Halloween Movies of All Time
Whether you are up for a traditional monster movie or perhaps more of a murder mystery genre, we compiled a complete list of our all-time favorite films to get you in the mood.
Plus, it doesn’t even have to be Halloween for you to love these films. These movies are sure to leave you and your friends scared by the end of the night.
1. The Sixth Sense
Can we mention spooky films without The Sixth Sense?
Proudly sitting at the top of any Halloween must-see list, the frightening flick follows a young boy who refuses to share a supernatural secret with anyone besides his psychologist.
2. Fantasy Island
A group of strangers believe they just won the vacation of their dreams, but soon find themselves in the middle of their worst nightmares and must find a way to go back home before it’s too late.
3. Ready or Not
On her wedding night, Grace finds herself fighting for her life after she is forced to play a deadly game of hide and seek by her new in-laws.
File under, creepiest films ever!
Candyman follows a graduate student as she uncovers the legend of a hook-wielding, bee-swarming murderer who appears when you repeat his name.
There are horror flicks, and then there’s Gremlins! These creepy creatures wreak havoc on a small town after a salesman completely disregards warnings not to feed them after midnight, and expose them to bright light and water.
6. The Dead Don’t Die
A small town police force must deal with a sudden zombie apocalypse and try to get to the bottom of what initially sparked it.
7. Escape Room
A group of strangers are invited to take part in an escape room with a special grand prize, but they soon find out that it’s all part of an elaborate plan and they have to survive.
8. I Know What You Did Last Summer
This cult classic ushered in a brand new era of slasher flicks!
Four friends find themselves on the wrong side of a hook-wielding stalker one year after they covered up a hit-and-run accident, where they killed a man and dumped his body.
Don’t let the beautiful colors fool you, this film is absolutely terrifying.
When a couple decides to go to a pagan festival in Sweden, things don’t end up going exactly as planned as the festival’s true colors come to life.
10. It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
What’s Halloween without something fun for the entire family?
Based on the classic comic book strip, It’s The Great Pumpkin follows Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanut gang as they anxiously anticipate Halloween.
A group of kids think they found the perfect spot when an older woman allows them to use her basement for parties, but things start to change when they notice her mysterious behavior.
12. Little Shop of Horrors
This beautiful musical doubles as an equally frightening horror flick, where a floral shop worker finds that his beloved Venus flytrap — affectionately named Audrey II — needs human blood to blossom after a solar eclipse.
13. The Strangers: Prey at Night
A family vacation to see loved ones turns awry when a group of masked murderers suddenly appear. When they realize that they are the targets, they try to escape the trailer park they are currently in and get back home safe and sound.
14. Truth or Dare
A group of friends have their vacation in Mexico turned upside down when they end up involved in a supernatural version of Truth or Dare.
After a few turns, the game turns deadly and they must find a way to survive against the odds and stop it before they all end up dead.
A family’s vacation turns upside down when a group of doppelgängers suddenly attacks them with mysterious motives.
16. Pet Sematary
A family moves into a new home, but suddenly find themselves drawn to the mysteries of the graveyard that they live in front of.
17. The Haunted Mansion (2003)
Based on the theme park ride, The Haunted Mansion follows the Evers family as they try to go on vacation together until Jim Evers (Eddie Murphy) forces them to check out a mansion that he wishes to sell.
The family must stay the night after a storm causes them to be stuck in the old house where they encounter the story of two former lovers who died before they could get married and try to figure out the mystery behind the old mansion and its paranormal activity.
A young boy discovers his superhero powers and where he really comes from after the spaceship he came in sends out a signal.
Things start to go wrong as he figures out who he is and how to control his powers.
19. The Perfection
A cello prodigy, who was forced to leave a prestigious music academy, returns in hopes of reconnecting with her previous professors. However, after seeing the new student who has taken her place, she tries to fight her way back into their good graces, no matter the cost.
20. Halloweentown (1998)
Halloweentown is a Disney Channel Halloween classic in which three siblings who aren’t allowed to celebrate Halloween run away with their Halloween-loving grandmother and discover that she’s a witch from a town called Halloweentown!
Have a Halloweentown marathon this year— it has three sequels!
21. Hell Fest
A group of friends gets excited as they explore the brand new theme park, Hell Fest. However, after a mysterious figure appears and starts killing attendees, they must try to survive and get out before it’s too late.
22. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Jack Skellington (the voice of Chris Sarandon), the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, becomes bored with the town’s namesake holiday, which the townspeople prepare all year for.
When he accidentally finds himself in Christmas Town, he decides to take over the holiday and kidnap Santa. He doesn’t do the holiday quite right, though — Jack’s Christmas involves shrunken heads as toys and skeletal reindeer.
With all of these scary additions, this Christmas story is also a fun Halloween tale!
23. Invisible Sister (2015)
Rowan Blanchard and Paris Berelc star as sisters who are completely different from one another.
When Paris’ character Molly accidentally starts to go invisible due to Cleo’s (Blachard) science experiment, Cleo and her friends try to figure out how to reverse the process before midnight and Molly stays invisible forever.
After a shocking death, the Graham family suddenly discovers strange and mysterious things that happen to them.
While trying to figure out the cause, they soon find out that their family had a lot more secrets hidden than they originally thought.
25. Twitches (2005)
Disney has several classic Halloween movies and this is one of them.
Featuring Tia and Tamera Mowry who are also known for their roles in Sister, Sister, these twin sisters were separated after their original land was taken over by the darkness.
On their 21st birthday, the two find each other and learn of their magic powers. Together, they try to save their world before it’s too late and try to find out who they really are in the process.
26. Would You Rather (2012)
This film takes the classic sleepover game and turns it into a nightmare.
Iris (played by Brittany Snow) and seven other people become trapped in a creepy mansion. There, a lunatic forces them to play a sadistic game for a large sum of money, but the game gets more and more twisted as the night goes on.
27. ParaNorman (2012)
Norman’s ability to talk to the dead has made him more comfortable with ghosts than with the living.
This, however, is pushed to the limit when a witch’s curse takes over Norman’s town, forcing him to use his talents to take down hoards of zombies and put an end to the curse.
28. Paranormal Activity (2009)
One of the biggest sleeper hits in horror, Paranormal Activity follows young couple Katie and Micah in their own home.
Katie opens up to Micah about a demon presence that has haunted her ever since she was a young girl. Micah decides to record the couple at night to figure out what’s wrong.
As the nights go by, the evil presence gets worse and Katie and Micah must try to survive and get rid of the presence that seems to want more than just to haunt them.
29. Harry Potter Series
This childhood favorite series isn’t your standard Halloween fare, but with witches, wizards, trolls, and a nearly headless ghost, it serves as endless inspiration for your next Halloween costume. And that’s all that matters, right?
30. Coraline (2009)
Coraline (Dakota Fanning) and her parents move from Michigan to Oregon, where they work jobs that cause her to be home alone the majority of the time.
After receiving a mysterious doll from one of her new neighbors, Coraline discovers the Other World, which includes Other Mother and Other Father, parents who are much more attentive to Coraline than her own.
Coraline soon discovers that the world is not what it seems and tries to make her way back home and to her real parents.
31. Zombieland (2009)
In the near future, mad cow disease mutates into mad human disease and causes everyone affected to turn into zombies.
Hoping to travel home with the possibility of reuniting with his parents, Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) travels the country along with Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson).
Along the way, they meet up with Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) who throw a wrench in their plans as they try to survive in this new world they call Zombieland.
32. Battle Royale (2000)
Imagine going on a field trip with your classmates only to be taken to an island where you all have to kill each other and only one can survive.
Welcome to the world of Battle Royale.
Before The Hunger Games was even a book, Battle Royale was first released in Japan in 1999. It was then turned into a movie that later made its way to the United States and became a horror film success despite controversy over children killing each other in order to survive.
33. A Quiet Place (2018)
John Krasinski’s first film as a writer and director, A Quiet Place takes place in 2020 after most of the Earth’s population has been killed off by mysterious creatures that hunt humans based on sound.
Lee Abott (Krasinski) and his wife Evelyn (Emily Blunt) try to protect their family by living in silence.
A series of events causes the family to try to find a way to survive or be killed by the mysterious creatures that will kill them at all costs.
34. Hotel Transylvania (2012)
Mavis (Selena Gomez) and her father Dracula (Adam Sandler) run a 5-star hotel in Transylvania just for monsters.
When Mavis explores the human world for the first time, her father has zombies follow her and scare her from ever going back there again.
Along the way, Jonathan (Andy Samberg), a human, accidentally ends up in the hotel and must try to blend in, but he is found by Dracula who tries to kick him out.
Realizing the human and his daughter have fallen in love, Dracula tries to stop the two from getting together in fear that human can never love his vampire daughter.
35. Repo! The Genetic Opera
This crazy and gory film is perfect for any musical lover who is looking for the two genres to blend.
36. Scream (1996)
The Sceam franchise is now up to four movies, but the original Scream movie is a Halloween classic.
The Ghostface killer that reappears in the subsequent movies makes its first apperance in this movie, killing teenagers living in a small town.
A girl and her friends set out to find him, but not everone survives!
37. Hocus Pocus (1993)
Three witches (played by Sarah Jessica Parker, Bette Midler and Kathy Najimy) return 300 years after being hung for their spellwork in 17th-century Salem, Massachusetts.
To hold onto immortality, they have to take the life of a child, and the three kids who accidentally resurrected them are doing all they can to stop the witches from returning Salem to the way it was when they first lived.
This over-the-top comedy has witchcraft, black cats, and lots of laughs, and it’s sure to make your Halloween a blast!
38. Carrie (2013)
Chloe Grace Moretz’s movie looks so creepy, and so good. Chloe plays an outcast named Carrie who is confronted with the meanest of mean girls. But she gets her revenge using telepathic powers.
A young girl goes to check in on her father during a hurricane, however, soon must try to survive after a group of alligators block them from escaping.
40. The Craft (1996)
A newcomer to a Catholic prep high school falls in with a trio of outcast teenage girls who practice witchcraft, and they all soon conjure up various spells and curses against those who even slightly anger them.
It’s like a more creepy version of Mean Girls.
41. Casper (1995)
No list of Halloween movies is complete without Casper!
On the surface, the movie’s about a paranormal expert and his daughter, Kat, moving into an abandoned mansion to get rid of the ghosts haunting it for a greedy heiress who wants to bulldoze the mansion in search of buried treasure.
But anyone who loves this classic knows that when it comes down to it, the movie’s about Kat and Casper the Friendly Ghost’s beautiful friendship as they help each other come to terms with tragedies in their respective lives.
The dance scene is everything! *sob*
42. Get Out (2017)
When it comes time for Chris to meet his girlfriend’s parents, he’s a little nervous how they’ll react to their daughter dating a black man.
Although at first her fam seems perfectly cool and polite, Chris soon realizes he shouldn’t have just been nervous about meeting this family — he should have been dead scared.
The family has a dark secret that could cost Chris his life.
This movie isn’t only a scary AF movie — it’s also an on point commentary on race relations in America today.
43. Beetlejuice (1988)
After dying in a car crash, the ghosts of Adam and Barbara Maitland are informed that they have to remain in their house for 150 years. This is fine, until their house is sold to a family they can’t stand.
The Maitlands love their beautiful home — and they don’t want the yuppie Deetz family living in it! The couple hires freelance bio-exorcist Beetle Juice to scare the Deetzes away (Adam and Barbara just aren’t scary enough ghosts themselves!), but the job is stalled when Beetle Juice makes it his priority to marry the Deetzes’ daughter, Lydia, so he can return to the land of the living.
44. Halloween (1978)
You might want to keep the lights on when watching Halloween — it’s seriously scary! It’s about a murder who killed his brother and sister when he was little, so he was institutionalized. But then he escapes and starts stalking someone. Told ya it was scary!
45. Ghostbusters (2016)
How do you make a pretty much perfect Halloween movie like Ghostbusters even better?
How about a reboot where the classicly male gang are a bunch of kickass ladies and their sidekick is a ditzy Thor, I mean, Chris Hemsworth? Yassssss, please.
46. The Addams Family (1991)
They’re creepy and they’re kooky, they’re all together kookie … so they’re perfect for Halloween!
Gomez Addams, head of the Addams family, tells his lawyer, Tully, that he has not spoken to his brother, Fester, in many years. When a loan shark demands that Tully pay her, her son poses as Fester in an attempt to break into the Addams family’s vault.
However, it’s difficult for the Fester-impostor to fit in with the Addams. Their home is full of dark magic, and the Addams find it equally hard to adapt to the outside world when they are forced out of their home.
If Wednesday (played by Christina Ricci), the disturbed Addams daughter, doesn’t creep you out, then Thing (who’s just a hand) definitely will!
47. Warm Bodies (2013)
Warm Bodies is the perfect Halloween movie for hopeless romantics!
In it, JLaw’s ex, Nicholas Hoult, plays an unusual zombie who saves a living girl instead of eating her and their budding relationship might just be what it takes to bring some life back into their post-apocalyptic world!
Did we mention Dave Franco also stars? #SWOON
48. The Possession (2012)
When a young girl buys an old antique box at a garage sale, some pretty weird stuff starts happening. It turns out, the box has a spirit living in it!
49. Corpse Bride (2005)
Somehow, the young (and alive!) Victor Van Dort (the voice of Johnny Depp) ends up marrying not his intended bride-to-be, but the Corpse Bride, a skeletal woman who also happens to be dead.
Now Victor has to make a choice between his new Corpse Bride and his once-fiancé, Victoria. Oh, the drama!
50. Suspiria (2018)
A remake of the 1977 horror classic, Dakota Johnson plays Susie Bannon, an American dancer who ends up joining a prestigious dance group in Germany.
However, she soon discovers that the school is run by witches that have their own wicked plans for the students.
51. Ghostbusters (1984)
Who you gonna call? How about three parapsychologists (ghost scientists) who started a New York ghost-busting business to rid Manhattan of all its spooks?
Ego, Ray, and Peter lose their research grants at their university and open Ghostbusters, and they soon find themselves investigating the possession and abduction of a woman who Peter was planning on going on a date with.
It turns out, ghosts aren’t as rare in New York as people think.
Halloween’s the perfect time to catch up on the original before you go pick up the all-female remake on DVD!
52. Fun Size (2012)
Victoria Justice stars as Wren, who is basically having the worst Halloween ever. Her crush is throwing a Halloween party and she’s all pumped to go, but then she has to babysit her little brother.
Things take a turn for the worst when he goes missing. Will she lose her brother and her crush for good? You’ll have to watch to find out.
53. The Conjuring (2013)
Scary movies are especially creepy when they’re based on true stories. This one is based on the real investigations of noted paranormal experts, Ed and Lorraine Warren.
In The Conjuring, the Perron family moves into a truly freaky-looking house in Rhode Island (which should have been a dead giveaway that it was haunted, guys) when increasingly strange things begin happening to them. Desperate to get rid of their tormenter, The Perrons call on the Warrens to investigate.
What they find is straight out of your nightmares!
54. Edward Scissorhands (1990)
An inventor dies before he can finish his greatest invention — a perfect human named Edward.
Edward is left stranded in a castle on top of a hill with metal scissors as hands. Edward’s life changes when a kind lady named Peg discovers him and welcomes him into her home.
At first, he’s welcomed into the community with open arms, but despite his gentle, kind personality, his scissor hands make him an outcast — especially when he begins to fall in love with Peg’s daughter.
If you’re looking for a Halloween movie that will make you cry rather than scream in fear, this is the one for you.
55. Matilda (1996)
Matilda follows the story of a young smart orphan girl who wishes to go to school despite her foster parents wishes.
As a mix of unlucky things continue to happen to her parents, they eventually allow her to go to school after finding a harsh principal who Matilda doesn’t like.
Matilda learns that she actually has telekinetic powers and tries to learn how to use her powers for good as she tries to survive with her parents and new school.
56. Fright Night
When a high school teen Charley, suspects his new neighbor Jerry is a vampire after witnessing unusual activity of course no one believes him. So he sets out one night to destroy him himself watch to find out who makes it out alive.
57. What We Do In The Shadows
Take a break from the fright with this hilarious movie about a group of vampire friends. Watch as Viago, Deacon and Vladislav struggle to cope with the mundane activities of modern day life like paying bills, roommate conflicts, and getting into night clubs.
This Korean horror movie won an Oscar for best picture in 2019, and you will get why at the halfway mark.
The impoverished Kim family starts working for the wealthy Park family, and what happens next is something neither family could predict.
59. Mostly Ghostly
If Horror movies aren’t your jam this Halloween movie is for you.
When a young magician discovers his basement is being a haunted by two lost ghost he offers them help in exchange for their help in the love department.
Starring a young Madison Pettis this movie won’t just put you in the holiday spirit but might just bring back some nostalgic feelings.
60. Ghost Stories
Don’t go looking into things you don’t want answered. When the lead of this film, Professor Philip Goodman finds himself on a horrifying journey to uncover supernatural secrets, you’ll see why.