The Top 8 Halloween Movies to Watch This October


Image via Looper

Rachel Ehly

What is the best Halloween movie? 


There are many opinions that follow this topic as there are hundreds of horror and supernatural movies that fit into this category. From classic films like It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown to newer ones like The Conjuring, everyone’s love for spooky movies comes in different forms. These are my top 8 movies that always put me in the mood for Halloween. 


  1. The Shining (1980)

Based on the novel by Steven King, The Shining is one of the most well-known horror movies ever made. The film was released in 1980 and has maintained its popularity ever since. The story follows Wendy and Jack Torrence and their son Danny as they move from Vermont to maintain the creepy Overlook Hotel in Colorado for the winter. We learn that Danny is the only one that can see the terrifying supernatural spirits that reside in the hotel. As the story progresses, Jack starts to be influenced by these spirits and slowly becomes homicidal with a determination to kill his family. The Shining captures an unnerving story that is woven through the constant chaos of the movie. 


  1. Ghostbusters (1984)

Ghostbusters is a classic. From the easily recognizable theme song to the funny quips made throughout the film, there is something for everyone to enjoy. The famous movie tells the story of four scientists who just lost their jobs as professors at a college in New York City. Looking for a solution to their problem, the group of friends decides to become “ghostbusters” and hunt and capture the paranormal entities that have been haunting the city. As the group starts their new career, they discover a secret gateway to another dimension that could wreak havoc on the city if opened. The Ghostbusters realize they have to find a way to save the city from the ghouls trapped in this other dimension.


  1. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

The Nightmare Before Christmas is a beloved film that follows the story of Jack Skellington, the pumpkin king of holiday-themed Halloweentown. In the movie, we see Jack become bored of his annual routine of fright and scaring people in the “real world” every Halloween. Jack is looking for something to make him excited about the holiday again, and he eventually finds it in Christmastown; a happy town full of everything there is to love about the holiday. Jack stumbles upon it and instantly falls in love with Christmas. He decides that he wants to be the new Santa Clause. When he goes back to Halloweentown he tells his friends about his plans to kidnap Sants and take his place. He soon discovers when his plans go awry, that Christmas is not all that he dreamed it would be. 


  1. Halloween (1978)

The first installment in the 13-movie Halloween Franchise was released in 1978. The movie marks the film debut of Jamie Lee Curtis in one of her most popular roles as Laurie Strode. The movie depicts Michael Myers, an escaped patient from a mental hospital who killed his entire family when he was a child. When Michael escapes he heads to Haddonfield, Illinois where he kills multiple people in order to get to Laurie. But he doesn’t kill her as she is able to eventually outsmart him. Michael’s motivation to kill Laurie isn’t disclosed until Halloween II, when it is revealed that they are closely related. 


  1. Scream (1996)

The first chapter in the Scream franchise sets the tone for the movies and shows that came after it. Some say this movie “reinvented” the horror genre with its witty humor and shocking twists. The film shows the stalking and murder of many high school students by a masked figure. The costume of the stalker has become one of the most popular Halloween costumes today and can be seen every Halloween. Scream is a beloved film that combines horror and comedy perfectly, and the original movie comes with a twist that many never see coming. 


  1. Friday The 13th (1980)

The first stage of the 12-movie-long Friday The 13th franchise tells the fictional story of Camp Crystal Lake and the murders that took place there in 1979. Years prior to the setting of the movie, a little boy named Jason drowned in the lake. The death of her son drove Jason’s mother, Pamela, to kill the two camp counselors who let her son drown by not supervising him in the water. After these murders, Camp Crystal Lake closed down. Although it didn’t last forever as many years later the camp reopened. This led to more people being killed as Pamela vowed to never let people enjoy the camp where her son died. She killed a group of campers and chased the last one alive. This camper managed to kill Pamela, yet the murders don’t stop. Another person is killing these kids, and it is revealed in Friday The 13th Part 2 who the killer is. 


  1. Halloweentown (1998)

As the ninth movie on this list and a favorite of many children who grew up watching movies on the Disney Channel, Halloweentown depicts the life of Marnie Piper and how she found out she was a witch. Marnie and her siblings follow their grandmother one night after she comes to visit them on Halloween. Suspiciously, she only ever visits on Halloween. Curious as to where their grandmother goes every year after October 31st, the siblings follow her all the way to her home, in Halloweentown. Halloweentown is a town full of monsters and witches, ghouls and goblins. Halloweentown is magical. The siblings go on an adventure to save Halloweentown from the evil warlock Kalabar with the only power they need, family. 


  1. Hocus Pocus (1993)

Hocus Pocus is one of my favorite Halloween movies of all time. It tells the story of three kids and how they stopped three witches, the Sanderson Sisters, from becoming immortal. The main character, Max Dennison, and his sister Dani just moved to Salem, Massachusetts with their parents. The siblings along with their new friend Allison decide to explore an abandoned house on Halloween night, the house belonged to the most popular witches in the area, the Sanderson sisters. While in the house, Max accidentally resurrects the sisters and sets them free to terrorize the community and achieve their ultimate goal of immortality. Along with the help of one of the sisters’ previous victims, Thackery Binx, the friends find a way to defeat the Sanderson sisters once and for all.