What are the best Halloween movies? For TV and movie fans, nothing beats celebrating the spooky season, then curling up on the sofa with a bowl of popcorn and enjoying a themed movie marathon on our small screens. But, with a spooky ocean of horror movies, comedy movies and even Disney Halloween movies to pick from, you may be wondering, where do you even start?
Well, unlike the slasher victims or demon-possessed heroes trying to stay alive in our favourite flicks, you don’t have anything to worry about, dear reader. After doing some deep digging into our crypt of films, and consulting the cinematic terror gods, The Digital Fix is here to help you plan your movie night for old hallows eve, giving you the treat of the best of the best films to celebrate with.
From scream-inducing titles to campy and light-hearted feel-good movies, we’ve made sure that there is something for everyone to enjoy come October 31st. So sit back, relax and beware the ghouls – here are the best Halloween movies of all time.
What are the best Halloween movies of all time?
- Trick r Treat
- The Exorcist
- Hocus Pocus
- Evil Dead 2
- The Shining
- The Addams Family Values
When it comes to the best Halloween movies, of course, John Carpenter’s classic slasher has to be in the conversation. Halloween follows the murderous antics of the masked killer Michael Myers, who, after escaping a mental institution, goes on a killing spree during the night of the spooky holiday.
While we love nearly all the Halloween movies in this beloved franchise, you just can’t beat the original at the end of the day. The story is straightforward and gripping, and Michael stalking his victims and hiding in shadowy hallways with a knife in hand is just downright terrifying, no matter how many times you rewatch it.
Halloween is a classic horror movie, has an iconic fictional villain, and is set on October 31st. In short, it is the perfect choice for your spooky movie night.
Trick r Treat (2007)
Directed by Michael Dougherty, Trick r Treat isn’t just one of the best Halloween movies of all time; it is also one of the best horror anthology movies ever made. Following four stories which are all connected through the appearance of the spooky trick-or-treater Sam, wearing orange pyjamas with a burlap sack on his head, the film is a joyous tribute to the season that is easily rewatchable and tons of fun.
Different residents of a small Ohio town experience unique horror movie scenarios one Halloween night. All the stories have surprises, great payouts, and of course, plenty of scares to keep you terrified. But what makes Trick r Treat so special is that it has something for everyone. It has creature feature elements, is a slasher, and has supernatural antics too. No matter what kind of horror fan you are, Trick r Treat doesn’t disappoint.
The Exorcist (1973)
Often considered the best horror movie of all time and the first horror movie to ever receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture, The Exorcist had to be on this list. But even without its reputation and accolades to back up our decision, it’s impossible not to admit that in terms of Halloween choices, this 70s film is hair-raising and will terrify you.
The film tells the story of a young girl who is possessed by a demon. In order to save her body and soul, her mother calls some catholic priests, and as the film’s title suggests, an exorcism takes place. When it first released, there were reports of audiences vomiting and even having heart attacks due to how scary this movie is… so yeah, definitely worth a watch, right?
But what really makes it stand out is its incredible tone and atmosphere. Halloween is the time of year when we celebrate horror and all things spooky, so it’s time to schedule a rewatch of this bonafide masterpiece.
Hocus Pocus (1993)
So far, all of our entries have been horror movies, and while the holiday is filled with spooky frights, sometimes you just want to relax and laugh come Halloween night. Hocus Pocus is the perfect Disney movie for all our readers who are looking for a feel-good, and themed film over a terrifying horror movie.
Telling the story of three evil witches, the Sanderson sisters, who are resurrected after 300 years, Hocus Pocus is a fun family movie complete with songs, snappy one-liners and plenty of occult mischief. A group of kids must work together to stop the witches’ schemes and save the children of their town before it is too late.
Seeing the witches trying to navigate the modern world is downright hilarious, and our heroes’ tight race against the clock keeps us on our toes.
Evil Dead 2 (1987)
Are you after a “groovy” time this Halloween? Well, look no further because Evil Dead 2 is here to scratch your itch. While The Digital Fix is fond of the entire Evil Dead franchise, the 1987 film Evil Dead 2 holds a special place in our hearts thanks to how dang enjoyable it is.
Ash Williams and his girlfriend decide to embark on a romantic getaway; however, it turns out that choosing to vacation in an abandoned cabin in the woods wasn’t the best idea. Que some demonic foes, ancient scriptures, noisy chainsaws, and some incredible practical effects too!
When it comes to black comedy and horror crossovers, Evil Dead 2 always hits the sweet spot. It is violent, sometimes delightfully unhinged, and has plenty of self-aware cheesy lines and kills to keep you smiling throughout its runtime. Here is the perfect mood setter for any Halloween celebration.
Horror and Halloween fun isn’t limited to live-action. There are plenty of scary animated movies, too – our seasonal favourite being the stop-motion zombie movie ParaNorman. Directed by Sam Fell, and Chris Butler, ParaNorman is genuinely funny, well written, and is complete with some ghouls and zombies too.
Norman has a gift; he can talk to ghosts. While this often means he is shunned by those around him, his powers come in handy as he sets out to save his town from the curse of a 300-year-old witch looking to avenge her death.
Halloween isn’t just filled with terror, it is colourful, a holiday of laughter, candy and imaginative trick-or-treaters. ParaNorman may be seen more as a scary movie for kids, but it’s also a great film for all ages that captures the spirit of the holiday.
The Shining (1980)
The Shining (loosely inspired by the Stephen King novel of the same name) is a bona fide classic and, let’s be frank, a perfect film no matter the occasion. However, it is particularly a banging choice come any film fan’s Halloween movie night. Not only is it masterfully performed, written, and shot, but it’s also deeply psychological and intimidating.
Jack Torrance takes ‘stir crazy’ to a whole new level once he and his family find themselves stranded in the ominous Overlook Hotel. A supernatural force begins to target their minds, and ghostly visions and nightmares haunt the hotel’s halls.
Directed by legendary auteur Stanley Kubrick, every time you watch The Shining, you discover some new detail. There is a reason why so many horror fans cite this film as their favourite flick and why even decades since its release, people are still posting conspiracies and analysing every frame in it. It is just that good.
When it comes to horror comedies, who are you gonna call? The 80s ghost movie, Ghostbusters, is another stellar pick for those looking for laughs over blood-curdling screams for their Halloween movie of choice.
The film follows a bunch of university professors whose fascination with the occult leads them to starting their own ghost-catching business in New York City. However, soon the fate of the world rests on their ghost vacuum-packed shoulders once the gateway of “Gozer the Gozerian”, the god of destruction, is unleashed.
With a stacked cast featuring the likes of Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Sigourney Weaver, Ghostbusters is a masterclass in comedy and has enough big stunts, light-hearted humour, and action to keep us endlessly entertained. It is also a great choice for those who aren’t the biggest fan of horror movies since you won’t be getting any nightmares after enjoying this flick.
One of the earliest slasher films to ever hit the big screen, Psycho is one of horror’s most important milestones and is still a pop culture phenomenon. Directed by the master of suspense himself, Alfred Hitchcock, it tells the story of a serial killer residing in the Bates Motel.
After a woman on the run checks into said motel one rainy night she is murdered while taking a shower by a mysterious figure. It turns out that the charming and seemingly harmless man Norman Bates is a murderer, whose traumatising relationship with his mother led to some pretty wild developments.
When it first released, Psycho’s twist ending and killer reveal shocked the world, so much so that the film became famous with the character Norman Bates the subject of long-running fascination. The thriller movie is still anxiety-inducing and unnerving, making it an ideal choice to spook yourself silly with from the comfort of your own couch.
The Addams Family Values(1993)
They are hooky, they are spooky, and they are the perfect family to celebrate Halloween with. The ’90s movie The Addams Family Values is the sequel to the hit 1991 comedy movie The Addams Family, which is based on the characters from the cartoon of the same name.
Despite being a sequel, don’t panic, friends; you don’t need to watch the first movie to enjoy this stellar flick. The Addams Family Values presents a new problem that the charming yet macabre gang must overcome – Uncle Fester marries a suspicious nanny with a taste for murder.
The film is hilarious, has some of the best and most quotable one-liners in existence and demonstrates gothic aesthetics aren’t always serious. In fact, we goths can be self-aware and silly sometimes too.
For more scares, here is our guide to the best horror series of all time.