As Halloween approaches, horror movies will be everywhere you look. Though most people associate the Halloween season with horror movies, there are movies in every genre—from cartoons to comedies—that take their inspiration from the spookiest time of year, either in a pivotal scene or as an overall theme. Halloween has long inspired some of the scariest films of the year; here 10 best scary Halloween movies to get inspired from this Halloween.
10 Best Halloween Movies to get inspired from this Halloween
This movie’s inclusion on any and all Halloween lists is a no-brainer. Not only does it namecheck the holiday in the very title, but it’s a standard bearer in the horror genre. Directed by auteur John Carpenter, Halloween tells the story of child psychopath Michael Myers, who is locked away after murdering his 15-year-old sister at the age of 6. He breaks out 15 years later, hell-bent on murdering his other sister, Laurie, played by preeminent scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis.
Three witches (played by Sarah Jessica Parker, Bette Midler, and Kathy Najimy) return 300 years after being a hunt for their spell work in 17th-century Salem, Massachusetts. To hold onto immortality they have to take the life of a child, and the three kids who accidentally resurrected them are doing all they can to stop the witches from returning Salem to the way it was when they first lived. This over-the-top comedy has witchcraft, black cats, and lots of laughs, and it’s sure to make your Halloween a blast!
A group of teens is stalked—and slowly picked off, one by one—by a masked and hooded killer who just happens to have an obsession with horror movies. Sure, it’s partially a postmodern satire of ’80s slasher movies with a crew of ’90s heartthrobs, but at its core Scream is still one of the scariest movies ever made thanks to the direction from horror master Wes Craven.
If horror movies aren’t for you, get in the holiday spirit with The Nightmare Before Christmas, a Tim Burton stop-motion classic which explores what happens after the adorably creepy denizens of Halloween Town stumble upon Christmas.
Another stop-motion treat from Tim Burton, this film follows a young man (Johnny Depp). He accidentally marries a dead woman (Helena Bonham Carter) the night before his wedding day.
This legendary movie features three kooky college professors who lose their university jobs. Naturally, they opt for careers in the ghost-busting business, and they team up to de-haunt houses and save people from the supernatural.
Have a good laugh with this Frankenstein tribute, which pays tribute to the original 1931 film. Dr. Frankenstein’s son, played by Gene Wilder, creates his own monster in his late father’s lab with the help of hunchbacked Igor and not-too-bright Inga. It’s a comedy classic you just can’t miss this Halloween.
If you ever run to a ghost, fingers crossed its Casper, the world’s friendliest spirit. The kind ghost, along with his mischievous uncles, has haunted a mansion in Maine for 100 years. Their lives are turned upside down when specialist James Harvey comes to connect with the spirits. He also brings along his daughter Kat who ends up having a budding yet complicated relationship with Casper.
The rare all-out Halloween comedy on the list, this Wayans Brothers film spoofs/spooks the Scream series and I Know What You Did Last Summer most directly, but leaves no horror mark unscorched. Featuring Regina Hall and Anna Faris, Scary Movie is laugh-out-loud funny, even if you’ve forgotten half of the movies it skewers.
Described by Stephen King as “deeply disturbing and highly recommended,” The Babadook sees a single mother (Essie Davis) attempt to rid her home of a frightening monster borne from a storybook found on her son’s shelf. It’s easily one of the best Halloween horror movies of all time.