Halloween is just a few days away, meaning that doorsteps have been adorned with pumpkins, children are excitedly preparing their costumes (and possibly some nasty tricks), and the nights are becoming longer, colder, and darker. In order to enter into the spirit of things, many people will be settling down in the evenings to enjoy some appropriately spooky films. Whether you’re looking for some spine-chilling thrills or a wholesome family flick, there’s a suitable Halloween film out there. If you are yet to find the right one, then read on to learn about some of the best Halloween films of all time.
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If you enjoy the nostalgia of black-and-white footage, Alfred Hitchcock’s movie Psycho (1960) is a brilliant place to start. The tension in this film is palpable. It’s not just the jump scares; it’s the anticipation, the music, and the unsettling feeling that something is not quite right.
However, if you’d prefer a classic that leans towards dark comedy, Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice (1988) is for you. A young Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis play a recently deceased couple navigating the afterlife. Add in an eccentric Michael Keaton as Beetlejuice, and you have yourself a solid Halloween film.
For those who are watching with children or just prefer something light, Disney’s Hocus Pocus (1993) is a true delight. Three witches brought back to life in Salem, Massachusetts, create chaos as they attempt to stay alive forever. It’s not Oscar-worthy, but it sure is fun.
Another option for the younger crowd is Monster Family (2017), where a family falls under a curse and transforms into monsters. They set out on an adventure to reverse the curse and discover the value of family along the way.
If your idea of Halloween fun involves huge amounts of fake gore and buckets of blood, slasher films such as Halloween (1978) or Friday the 13th (1980) are perfect. While the films often use similar plots, such as masked villains and confused teenagers, there is something truly atmospheric about these films that is seldom found today.
However, if you’re more interested in psychological thrillers, A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) is the place to start. The villain, Freddy Krueger, attacks teenagers in their dreams, resulting in a terrifying blurring of dreams and reality.
Another modern favourite is A Quiet Place (2018), which takes a family-centred approach to a post-apocalyptic world haunted by creatures sensitive to sound. It’s as much a movie about familial love as it is about terror.
If you’re looking for something a bit different, why not consider a horror film from a different culture? Japanese horror films such as Ring (1998) or Dark Water (2002) are absolutely fantastic and bring you something different from what you have likely seen before.
There are also several films that are hard to categorise but are certainly suitable for Halloween. For instance, Donnie Darko (2001), which combines elements of psychological drama, science fiction, and horror into a unique blend. It’s as unpredictable as a night of bingo, where you’re not quite sure what’s going to come up next, but you’re along for the ride anyway.
Hopefully, one of the above Halloween films appeals; however, even if none do, there are many more out there and with a little further research, you are sure to find some tantalising options. Whether you want to bring the family together for laughs, revel in blood and guts, or be scared witless by an evil genius, there is a Halloween film out there for everyone.