Arthur is an avid television and movie fan with horror being his favored genre. If you can name it, he has probably seen it. Twice.
If you are a seasoned horror fan, you have probably seen a bulk of these Halloween themed horror movies, but I hope that at least one has escaped you until now. If you found this by searching for Halloween movies, you are in luck! These are not just your run of the mill horror movies that somebody has thrown a Halloween label on. These are actual Halloween-themed horror movies, and they don't all have Halloween in their name. So, enjoy, and happy Halloween!
1. Night of the Demons
In my opinion, Night of the Demons may be one of the most underrated horror films of all time. That doesn't mean that it is the best; it is just leaps and bounds better than what people give it credit. The practical effects that they used to create the gore were top notch and much more realistic and enjoyable than today's CGI.
The story follows a group of kids on Halloween night who break into an abandoned mortuary to party. Little do they know, the rumors that they have heard about Hull House are true. The house is haunted by demons looking to inhabit a host that will take them beyond the grounds of Hull House and free them from their eternal prison.
Demon possession is a messy thing, and most of the partiers don't make it out alive. If you love Night of the Demons, there are two sequels, but the third is relatively hard to find. There is also a remake starring Shannon Elizabeth and Edward Furlong, but it is nowhere near the quality of the original.
I had zero expectations that this movie would be any good when I rented it, but I did it anyway. Most of the time, my instincts are spot on, but in this case, I was off with Trick. The film was well written, and the acting was better than you would expect for a direct to DVD Halloween movie.
After a college student goes on a murderous rampage at a Halloween party, he is taken to a hospital in police custody. A botched escape attempt lands him in a river after being riddled with bullets. Although his body is never found, police believe that there is no way he could have survived. A year later, Trick returns to wreak havoc on the town he terrorized last Halloween, but this time he seems supernatural.
Trick has a few recognizable faces, including Omar Epps and a cameo from Jamie Kennedy. It's not an award-winning movie by any means, but if you are looking for some Halloween-themed fun, you could do a lot worse than this film.
3. Trick 'r Treat
If you are a horror fan, you have probably seen this one by now, but if you haven't, this is where you should start. The film is based on the comic of the same name, and they curate a few intertwined stories to bring one hell of a good time. Multiple short stories weave in and out of each other, each as terrifying and gruesome as the next. There is not a single weak link in this film, and it will quickly become one of your go-to Halloween films.
Each story is unique and written thanks to a plethora of source material fantastic, but the under the radar movie gets boosted by a cast of well-known faces, including Leslie Bibb, Dylan Baker, and Brian Cox, and Anna Paquin. Honestly, the only complaint about this movie is that producers have yet to give us the sequel that has been teased for years.
4. Tales of Halloween
Tales of Halloween is one of my personal favorites. This 2015 anthology film mixes gore and comedy in a perfectly irreverent blend. They manage to fit ten stories into the hour and forty-minute runtime, but none of the stories feel like they have been cut short.
This movie is weird, crazy fun, but lodged in the middle of all of the fun is a short that should have won all kinds of awards. "Ding Dong" is a short that perfectly showcases the horrors of domestic abuse. There aren't weak segments in this anthology, but this one is far and above my favorite.
Tales of Halloween also deserves some attention for being as good as it is without any real star power. The most famous person in this collection is Adrienne Barbeau, and she is only a voice on the radio. The only other person who may be easily recognizable is Greg Grunberg, but he is an infamous "that one guy from that one thing." Still, this is a must-watch movie every time the holiday rolls around.
5. Hell House LLC
Hell House LLC is a Shudder original that is surprisingly good for a worn-out found footage subgenre. One of the many ways they make this more than just another Blair Witch Project is by mixing in realistic interviews and news stories about the fictitious event. There is also a clown that would be scary Pennywise out of Derry.
A group of people set out to create a spooky haunted house in the abandoned Abbadon hotel. As things tend to do in movies like this, spooky occurrences begin to happen while setting up the attraction. It all comes to a head on opening night when things go haywire, and not everyone makes it out alive.
Like most found footage films, there is no star power to be had in this film. The acting is great, but you won't recognize anyone. So far, this film has led to two sequels, and it would not be surprising if Shudder had a few more in the works.
6. The Houses October Built
This is a slow-burn movie that needs to be watched in entirety to enjoy fully. Unlike Hell House LLC, this is a pretty straight forward found footage film that will get a little boring if you are not invested. The last act of this film makes all the boring parts worth sitting through.
A group of friends hop in an RV and travel the country looking for the most extreme haunts in the country. While interviewing actors, they learn about a group called Blue Skeleton, which allegedly goes to extremes to scare their guests. The group sets off to find Blue Skeleton but quickly learns to be careful what they wish for.
As is common with found footage films, there are no recognizable faces in this film. The acting does not suffer, though, and there is great on-screen chemistry. The group made a sequel that is just as good as the original so if you like this one, definitely check out the sequel.
7. All Hallow's Eve
All Hallow's Eve is for those gore porn lovers out there. This film is filled with grotesque practical effects that will make most people squirm. It also introduced us to the terrifying and highly underrated Art the Clown.
When a brother and sister find a VHS tape in their trick or treat bag, they convince their baby sitter to watch it. What they find is a collection of disgusting and scary shorts. They want them to be fake, but the babysitter has a feeling that they might be entirely too real.
I don't love movies that use gore just for shock value, and this movie teeters dangerously close to that, but some decent writing helps it straddle the line. It spawned a sequel and a stand-alone Art the Clown film with a sequel in the works. That should tell you that people enjoyed this movie, and there is a desire for more of Art's brand of terror.
8. Boo (2005)
This movie is far from perfect, and it is definitely a product of its time, as you can tell from the nondescript hard rock in the trailer. It barely earns its R rating making it a good one to watch with people who aren't seasoned horror fans.
A group of kids break into an abandoned hospital for some Halloween night fun. Unfortunately for them, not everyone, or every thing, left when the hospital closed down. This one combines horror with mystery and the reveal is pretty decent.
Horror fans will recognize B movie Queen Dee Wallace among a cast of otherwise forgettable actors. Boo is great for mixed crowds or something to watch when you have run out of other Halloween options.
9. Trick or Treat
Not to be confused with Trick 'r Treat, Trick or Treat is the kind of movie you should watch to say that you have seen it. At first glance, you can tell that this movie was a product of the mid-eighties from the style to the production.
A young metal-obsessed boy named Eddie doesn't fit in at school and idolizes rocker Sammi Curr. When Curr dies in a hotel fire, Eddie is lost. He goes to a local DJ who gives Eddie an unreleased vinyl from Curr. It turns out that Curr's spirit haunts the vinyl, and Eddie is unknowingly raising a vengeful ghost.
I can't find this movie anywhere but YouTube, and for the life of me, I don't understand why. You would think that a movie about a Rockstar's ghost shooting electricity out of his guitar that also stars Gene Simmons and Ozzy Osbourne would be easier to find. Once is enough with this one, but gain some bragging rights by sitting through it.
10. The Terror of Hallow's Eve
I watched this movie because it was free on Showtime and I didn't expect much from it. Maybe that is why I didn't think this direct to video offering was too bad.
An outcast who loves all things creepy a little too much makes a wish after some local boys bully him. The wish evokes The Terror of All Hallow's Eve, a humanoid creature who speaks in rhymes. The boy manages to get the bullies back to his house, and The Terror takes it from there.
This is another direct to video movie without any star power. The movie is still inventive and will keep you guessing until the end. If you are looking for something new to watch other than the same old Michael Myers movies, this is a viable option.
None of these movies are Halloween, you may not even consider them Halloween 3, but they are Halloween-themed movies. In a season where everything from Friday the 13th to Saw is considered a Halloween movie, it is hard to weed out the everyday horror movies. Hopefully, my fellow horror fans will find this list helpful in deciding their next movie night.
Nuzhat Tabassum from Bangladesh on October 14, 2020:
Great recommendations! I am going to watch Boo. I haven't heard about it before. Thank you!
Ivana Divac from Serbia on October 13, 2020:
Great article! I definitely have to watch some of these.