I’m going to let you in a not-so-secret secret.
I LOVE HALLOWEEN!
Nothing is more fun that dressing up, watching scary movies, and eating candy! And the decorations! The spiderwebs, the spooky window scenes, and the theme food you can serve!!
This list was created with love and pure joy from Halloween and all things scary. Most of them are not strictly Halloween themed, but they are supposed to be scary or spooky.
1) Beetlejuice (1988)
With the highly anticipated sequel rumored to be underway I thought Beetlejuice would be a great way to kick off the Halloween season. Tim Burton’s ability to contrast light and darkness is very beautiful in this film. Plus, Michael Keaton’s performance is classic and disgusting (and one of his few roles where I think he is unattractive). The teenage angst is spot on, especially when dealing with her very self-centered mother and unattached father. PS. Ghosts that don’t know how to ghost.
2) House on Haunted Hill (1959)
It wouldn’t be a spookfest without Vincent Prince, one of the Kings of Horror. Although, if you watch the remake, that’s cool too. The story is basically about the ultimate dare: You stay in my house for one whole night (sundown to sunup) and you’ll get many dollar bills. Except of course, his crazy wife is also inside the house and she likes to play pranks. It’s wacky classic fun and even better in black and white!
3) Carrie (1976)
Excellent coming of age story for a late bloomer, Carrie, who has been slightly traumatized by her mother and bullied by her classmates for her entire life. When she discovers that she has telekinetic powers and the cruelest prank involving Prom occurs, the whole town is not safe.
4) 28 Days Later (2002)
This movie came out in right before the zombie craze swept the nation (and I don’t mean people got infected). There is a beautiful sense of minimalism in the movie to me and it starts with bright colors and it goes onto sweeping countryside shots. I love that it shows how “inhuman” some of the humans can be compared to the zombies of the show. Plus, who doesn’t love Cillian Murphy’s bright blue eyes?
5) Scream (1996)
I am a huge fan of Wes Craven films and Scream is my generation’s slasher flick! Ghostface Killer (which is probably one of the silliest and coolest names for a murder) is stalking the main character, Sydney, and killing her friends, and it might have something to do with her mother’s death. The stars of the film are phenomenal and a personal favorite of mine.
6) The Thing (1982)
The Thing is a psychological thriller mixed with a unknown creeper creature. It is set in the Antarctica, at an isolated research center, so most of the crew members are already stir-crazy and probably mentally unstable. When someone dies after looking into a mysterious frozen creature they found things go way south after — especially since whatever that mysterious frozen creature is can shape shift! It can get a little gory gross, but it’s definitely not too over the top for an 80’s scary movie.
7) Jeepers Creepers
This is a classic road trip movie gone wrong! There is a creature out in the middle of nowhere that has nested and feasts annually on humans. It’s got creaky leathery wings and does not like to be disturbed. It’s not my favorite of movies but it seemed appropriate. Plus I rather enjoy the title.
8) Children of the Corn
Sometimes children can be so creepy. This movie involves a super religious children cult that is all about eliminating adults so when a pair road tripping through town have to stop to get something fixed on their car, the children see it as an opportunity to eliminate more old folks. I can only imagine what would happen to one of them once they reach 18 years old.
9) The Haunting (1999)
While some people will prefer the original, I rather enjoy this remake. This movie revolves around a group of individuals who agree to take place in a sleep study in mysterious and spooky old mansion that has a creepy past. The house itself has a ton of booby-traps and secrets which make it an exciting character all on its own. When the hands and faces start pressing through the walls — it creeps me out!
10) I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)
When an accident gone terribly wrong comes back to haunt this small group of friends, you’ll get, what I would consider to be the less popular — second best, slasher flick of the nineties. I find that the only enjoyable character is the main character, besides of course, the killer with his yellow rain slicker and the hook that which he uses to murder.
11) Night of the Living Dead (1968)
This is probably actually the first zombie movie I ever saw and for good reason. I was young and my parents thought I could handle it. Which is true, as far as zombies movies go, this is legitimately the less INTENSE SCARES zombie film. However, I rather enjoy the classics and this, black and white version, makes me so happy to see how the genre really got its start.
12) the Evil Dead (1981)
Spoilers! There is a kind of quite squeamish rape scene in the movie. I don’t like to spoil things but to be fair, this movie, despite its cult following, is not for the faint of heart. It’s a college film making assignment between Sam Rami and Bruce Campbell. It’s a great story of friends who stay in a cabin and read latin in front of books and bad things happen. The remake (2013) can be just as difficult to watch sometimes.
13) Sleepy Hollow (1999)
First of all, the cast is spot on stellar in this film. I love the gritty feel of the town, that is experiencing the crazy legend of the Headless Horseman. I love the feel of the fog and mist and the unknown that comes with it. With a main character whose name is Ichabod Crane, which I love to say, you can’t go wrong!
14) the Exorcist (1973)
Wouldn’t be a spooky movie list without at least one film about possession. And why not go with a classic? The film revolves around a young girl who becomes possessed by an evil spirit and so, naturally, a priest is called in to perform an exorcism. The words that come out of the possessed young girl are probably shocking but can be given a pass due to evil spirit.
15) the Craft (1996)
Okay, I know what most of you are thinking: Why is the Craft on the list? While it is probably one of the tamest movies on the list, it does have some excellent moments in which I would be terrified. Plus… witches! Basically, the main character discovers she’s got witchy powers, joins a coven, and they rule the school with their witchy ways. But one of the coven members takes their powers a little too seriously and naturally, chaos ensues.
16) See No Evil (2006)
I love wrestling! And I love Kane (Glenn Jacobs)! So it’s no surprise to me that I love his creepy thriller film! He plays a serial killer who was abused as a kid living in the walls of an old abandoned hotel. When some young men and women get work release from the jail to help clean the hotel up before it gets renovated.
17) Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (2010)
Guillermo del Toro only produced this film, but its got his signature all over. While exploring the new house, this little girl unleashes these little creatures that are some kind of spectacularly twisted version of tooth fairies. Plus, Bailee Madison plays the little girl and I adore just about everything she’s done.
18) Saw (2004)
I don’t usually do tons of gore too well, which is why I can only handle the first two from the series. I like the spooky puppet and his tricycle (so much that I actually have a Jigsaw and puppet on tricycle figureine set). This movie is about a game about choices and consequences. Plus Tobin Bell has an amazing voice.
19) the Amityville Horror (1979)
This movie is based on the real life story of a family who moved into the home of a former mass murder crime scene. The house creates fear within the family members and they start seeing things that slowly make the man of the house go slightly mad. The remakes are okay but the book was the best of all.
20) House of Wax (2005)
I can guess what you’re thinking. Anna, with your love of classic movies and Vincent Price, why didn’t you choose the original. And the answer is because I simply have not yet viewed the original. Road tripping young adults go camping, get a sabotaged car, go to the nearest town and then it gets really weird. I’ve always been the edge on whether wax figurines were cool or creepy (sometimes both) so this movie might make you believe the latter.
21) Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
Of course I need to include a classic monster flick and one of my favorites is the story of Dracula. He entraps humans and hypnotizes young women. Dracula is one of my favorite vampires (Spike being number one) and it’s probably because he’s so much fun.
22) Ghost Ship (2002)
Although hunky Karl Urban is in this film, it is not the ONLY reason why I love it. The idea of a ship being in a perpetual haunting that is based off of an old mass murder in the middle of the ocean is pretty cool. At least, in my head. In real life it’d be rather frightening. It’s also got a young Emily Browning, whom I adore.
23) Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Third best slasher series in my opinion, because I find the idea of someone murdering through their nightmares highly unbelievable. However, it wouldn’t be a horror movie marathon without at least one Freddy Krueger’s films. The most recent re-imagining is also a good one, but it doesn’t have Johnny Depp’s first major movie role. Also, another Wes Craven classic.
24) the Conjuring (2013)
This movie is wonderfully based off of real life paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren, who also investigated real life Amityville, and their insights into a haunted farmhouse. Also, I’m in love with Vera Farmiga.
25) Cabin in the Woods (2012)
The list wouldn’t be complete without one of my favorite dark comedies — horror films. It’s about a group of college students who decide to stay the weekend at a cabin in the woods (hur hur) and unbeknownst to them, their every decision/move/action is being manipulated and controlled. Creeped out by the Big Brother type setting yet? I am.
26) Urban Legends (1998)
The first time I ever saw this movie, the only urban legend I had really ever heard of was the Bloody Mary mirror game. The big reveal still gets me every single time. Another, less popular but just as fun, nineties slasher flick.
27) Poltergeist (1982)
A child that is enticed into a place between realms by a malevolent poltergeist and a team that is hired to get her back. That just about describes the movie without giving anything away. As great a this movie is, it was plagued with all kinds of “accidents” on and off sets and tragically, the young actress in the film only lived to be 12 when she died. Some say it was a doomed production all along.
28) House of 1,000 Corpses (2003)
A group of film students are traveling cross country, investigating urban legend sites and old murder tales when they come across an urban legend murder house run by a bunch of delightfully crazy murders. I absolutely adore the bad guys (even more so in the sequel the Devil’s Rejects) but sometimes Rob Zombie’s yin for gore/disgusting can be a bit much.
29) Friday the 13th (1980)
The second best slasher film series starts out about a young boy who drowned because the camp counselors were too busy making out. Years later the camp is reopened and the new counselors start to get picked off one by one in excellently gruesome deaths. The surprises at the end will really get you!
30) Trick ‘r Treat (2007)
This movie is about four different stories all taking place on Halloween night including a serial killer principal and a mean prank. I personally think that the sack head with the orange jumpsuit is rather adorable but if witnessed in real, would probably be intrigued and a little weirded out.
31) Halloween (1978)
A young kid by the name of Michael Myers escapes his mental institute (after being there for 15 years because he killed half his family) and beings to hunt down his baby sister to finish the job. This is my favorite, number one, classic slasher flick series. Jaime Lee Curtis is phenomenal and Michael is amazing! Must be watched on Halloween for full effect.
After including a well rounded list of classic slashers, modern slasher, hauntings, and creature features, I’m going to also suggest a few less murdery, family friendly films:
The Monster Squad
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Nightmare Before Christmas
the Addams Family & the Addams Family Values
What do you think? What are some of your favorites?