Halloween is beloved by many as the spookiest time of the year — a night for candy, costumes, and most notably, scary movies. Although there are hundreds of great horror movies worth watching any time of the year, there are only a few that are best suited for the Halloween season and Halloween night in particular. Of the hundreds to thousands of options available, these are the eight best movies to watch on Halloween night:
The 8 Best Movies to Watch on Halloween Night: Movies for Families
8. Hocus Pocus (1993)
While many may opt for something truly terrifying on Halloween night, Disney’s Hocus Pocus is one of the best options for families. The movie itself is a little cheesy and not necessarily scary. However, the great performances from Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy as a group of witches back for revenge against mankind help make this movie worth watching. Whether you are six or sixty, there is something in Hocus Pocus everyone can enjoy.
7. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)
Although it is the shortest entry on this list, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is a Halloween classic for a number of reasons. The jazz is great, the characters are wonderful, and the story is a great mix of myth, humor, and empathy. For families who may be looking for something Halloween-themed without any blood, violence, or supernatural elements, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is the best option.
The 8 Best Movies to Watch on Halloween Night: The Classics
6. House on Haunted Hill (1959)
For those looking for something a little different this Halloween, something a little more classic, House on Haunted Hill is the movie for them. This film is not only a classic but one of horror legend Vincent Price’s best movies. Though the scares may seem tame by today’s standards, the story and characters will continue to keep this film interesting for decades to come. It has also served as a horror movie blueprint for a number of other haunted house-style movies, including one of the most recent additions to Disney+, Muppets Haunted Mansion.
5. The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
Many critics and film fans consider The Bride of Frankenstein to be a masterpiece. Unlike 1931’s Frankenstein, the sequel is far more shocking, clever, and rewarding on repeat viewings, largely because it is a film rich with subtext and insinuation. Overall, The Bride of Frankenstein contains dozens of moments of satire, excitement, humor, and horror — some of which surprisingly made it past the strict censors of the day. It is essential viewing for horror movie fans and undoubtedly one of the best movies to watch on Halloween night.
The 8 Best Movies to Watch on Halloween Night: The Ones with the Most Halloween Spirit
4. Night of the Demons (1988)
Much like the movies from the Halloween franchise, 1988’s Night of the Demons and its sequels also take place on Halloween night. But aside from taking place on October 31, there are several other reasons why this movie is one of the best movies to watch on Halloween night. Night of the Demons tells the story of a group of ten teens who decide to spend Halloween night partying in a funeral parlor. After they attempt a seance, the group unintentionally releases a demon. Naturally, all sorts of supernatural antics ensue in this totally 80’s horror movie that is stuffed with all of the stereotypes of the decade. While it may not be the best horror movie of all time, Night of the Demons is an 80’s affair full of sex, drugs, rock n’ roll, and demonic possession all happening on Halloween night.
3. Halloween (1978)
John Carpenter’s original Halloween is not only one of the greatest horror movies of all time but one of the greatest in the slasher sub-genre. The story follows Laurie Strode, a teenage girl living in Haddonfield, Illinois. However, after stopping by the infamous Myers house, she becomes the main target in a series of murders by Michael Myers, a light-footed killer with a white mask and affinity for kitchen knives and killing babysitters. As the title tells, this movie takes place on Halloween, the day when the boogeyman strikes, and this boogeyman strikes hard and much, much more than once considering how many Halloween sequels there are. Despite this, there is only one other movie from the Halloween franchise that is perfect for viewing on Halloween.
#2. Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)
If someone wants to watch any other entry from the Halloween franchise on Halloween night, it has to be Halloween III: Season of the Witch. Though Michael Myers has returned to slaughter Haddonfield residents for numerous Halloweens since 1978, this Michael Myers-less entry is one of the best in the series. The story focuses on a doctor who finds himself investigating a company that manufactures Halloween masks. Although the company appears to have goodwill, Tom Atkin’s character, Dr. Challis, quickly discovers something is rotten at the heart of the Silver Shamrock factory. It is up to him to get to the bottom of it before Halloween night when it seems whatever sinister plans Silver Shamrock has will come to fruition.
1. The Best of the Best Movies to Watch on Halloween Night: Trick ‘r Treat (2007)
Of all the Halloween-themed movies, Trick ‘r Treat is the best of the best movies to watch on Halloween night. As an interconnected anthology, this movie has it all: thrills, chills, kills, and ill will toward anyone who disrespects Halloween. Above all else, the reason Trick ‘r Treat is the best movie to watch on Halloween is because it celebrates Halloween. It explores the history and the traditions and insists that they must be respected — or else! Unlike any other entry on this list, Trick ‘r Treat uses its scary stories to teach, terrify, and ultimately give viewers something to enjoy as they munch on popcorn and Halloween candy — just be sure to check your candy first!
No matter which movie you may choose to watch, each of the movies on this list of the eight best movies to watch on Halloween night can help make your Halloween a little more… Halloween-y. For more news and lists about movies, TV shows, video games, and more, check back in here at The Nerd Stash!