Top 20 Horror Movies Perfect for Halloween

Updated on February 19, 2020
Dean Howard profile image

Dean is a new online writer. He usually writes movie and music reviews.

Halloween is the perfect time to microwave some popcorn, grab a blanket, and cuddle up on the couch to watch a scary movie. However, there are so many movies nowadays that you will end with never finding the right one. That is why I have complied together my top twenty horror movies that are perfect for the Halloween season.

This list consists of scary movies to family-friendly ones. With that being said, let's get started talking about horror movies.

#20. 'Halloween' (1978)

The perfect movie for the Halloween season. 'Halloween' is a creepy movie right off the bat because it is revealed that the killer is a child. He grows up to be the famous Micheal Myers, however, the beginning of this film has the perfect start to any horror film. And it only gets better from there. This film is the stereotypical horror movie, however, it rises above the rest because it is truly scary. It does not rely on cheap jump scares. It creates a Halloween type atmosphere that is central to the spooky season.

#19. 'Friday the 13th' (1980)

Any film within this franchise could qualify for this list, but you cannot beat a classic. The first 'Friday the 13th' does not even have Jason in the film, but that does not hold the film back. This film also has the mystery of who is killing the children that will send shivers down your spine.

18. 'Beetlejuice'

For the first family-friendly film to make the list, we have the one and only 'Beetlejuice'. Michael Keaton is barely in this film, but he still brings a fun, goofy vibe to the film that makes this film so enjoyable. Tim Burton brings his usual bizarre vision to the screen creating an uncomfortable atmosphere. This film brings back the nasolgic feeling of Halloween as a child mixing fun and scary.

17. 'Halloweentown'

This film holds a special place in my heart as it would play on the Disney channel ALL THE TIME when I was growing up. This film has so many unique characters interacting with a girl experiencing this for the first time. We feel as if we are visiting Halloweentown with the main protagonist. Just like 'Beetlejuice', 'Halloweentown' is great for the whole family to enjoy during Halloween.

16. 'Dawn of the Dead' (2004)

'Dawn of the Dead' beat out the original for this list because of how great it is. Zac Snyder brings his unique skill to the screen, creating the fear of zombie roaming outside. The characters are trapped inside a mall so we get the claustrophobic atmosphere which creates truly scary scenarios.

15. 'Ernest Scared Stupid'

'Ernest Scared Stupid' is a ridiculous film just like all the various other Ernest centered films are. This is another movie that we can enjoy with our families to get into the spirit of the season. This film is not scary, but it is enjoyable. You will surely have some fun watching this one.

14. 'The Evil Dead' (1981)

'The Evil Dead' is another great pick for a Halloween binge-watching. Sam Raimi creates a goofy yet terrifying movie by portraying some adults releasing a spell. 'The Evil Dead 2' could have made this list, but I decided to go with this entry because of its gross nature. Who wouldn't want to be scared while also enjoying the over the top shenanigans of Raimi?

13. 'Get Out'

'Get Out' speaks for itself. This film is mysterious and creepy. It also has some great social commentary. However, why it makes this list is because it is just uncomfortable. Jordan Peele made a nearly perfect film that just so happens to be perfect for this list.

12. 'Hocus Pocus'

'Hocus Pocus' is another film in which I grew up watching. I have always loved this film. Now as an adult, I can pick up on all of the sexual innuendoes throughout the film. The three witches play off of each other so well that makes this film an incredible watch. It also does a great job of creating a Halloween themed movie while also making it light-hearted.

11. 'Insidious'

'Insidious' is one of those films that defy expectations. What begins as a haunted house story turns into something incredibly unique. There is also that song that plays throughout the film that will creep you out every time you hear it. This film has so many scares within the runtime and none of them feel pushed upon you.

10. 'It' (2017)

A throwback movie of the ages. Referencing back to coming of age films such as 'Stand By Me', 'It' creates a story while also being a horror movie. We get to feel for the characters and what makes them tick so we are rooting for them by the end of the film. Bill SkarsgÄrd plays the character of It to a tee, and because the children are kids, he transforms into terrifying creatures that will haunt your dreams.

9. 'Monster House'

A funny-as hell ride, 'Monster House' feels completely perfect for a list like this. This film is full of great laughs, some tear-jerking moments, and a truly creepy house that comes to life. With some amazing voice acting from the cast and unnerving visuals, this film works great to get into the mood of Halloween.

8. 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' (1984)

Nothing quite beats Robert Englund's portrayal of Freddy Kruger. He gives the character some charisma while also being the psycho killer that haunts your dreams. That is what makes this film great. It makes you fear to fall asleep... and who doesn't love sleep? I promise, once you see the basement of Kruger, you will never want to go to bed again.

7. 'Pumpkinhead'

'Pumpkinhead; is a very underrated horror movie that gets lost in the mix of Jason and Freddy. However, this film depicts a story of revenge after a young boy is killed by a group of teenagers. This film is great because of it's amazing practical effects. the character of Pumpkinhead is so scary that he is hard to look at but you cannot look away.

6. 'Scream'

A fun, self-aware film that plays on the horror movie tropes, 'Scream' is great for any Halloween movie watching. It can get goofy after multiple viewings, but because it is so self-aware it is hard to hate on it. You will get a lot of good laughs if you hate the cliches of horror movies.

5. 'Terrifier'

Now, this is a film that no one is talking about when it comes to Halloween themed movies. I came across this film one night while looking for a movie on Netflix. 'Terrifier' feels like a throwback horror movie that delivers a terrifying villain. Where this film fails is that the story is very predictable and the characters are as boring as cardboard. However, the actor who portrays Terrifier is one-hundred percent in this role and makes this film so enjoyable.

4. 'The Conjuring'

'The Conjuring' could have been just another haunted house film, however, James Wan puts a unique spin on this film, making it one of a kind. He creates the characters in the film to be fleshed out so that it is not just another dumb horror movie. We don't want these bad things to happen to these characters. Wan knows how to deliver true jump scares without them feeling forced.

3. 'The Ritual'

Another film that I happened upon while scrolling through Netflix, 'The Ritual' is a mysterious story of a group of hikers in a foreign land. The uncomfortable atmosphere and the mysterious creature lurking in the woods creates a terrifying story. The film will leave you questioning everything by the time the credits roll.

2. 'The Witch'

A movie that does not rely on really any scares at all, 'The Witch' trusts its story to unfold the true creepy nature of the film. This is a slow burn horror movie that is not for the faint of heart. However, this film is perfect for any true fan of horror. It will make you feel so uncomfortable that you will probably only watch it once. Why not give it a shot for Halloween?

1. 'Trick 'r Treat'

Do not overlook this film thinking it will be dumb. 'Trick 'r Treat' tells a few stories throughout the film that are connected with each other. It is unique, to say the least. Just find this film, give it a watch, and thank me later. This film is all about Halloween and is creepy as hell!

What Do You Think?

Is there a favorite Halloween movie that you watch to get in the spooky season mood that didn't make the list? This list was in no particular order, I enjoy them all too much to be able to rank them from worst to best. This is just a compile of all my favorite horror movies. With that being said, this is just my list so it does not mean it is the right one. These are the movies that get me in the right mindset to fully get into the creepy Halloween mood.


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