Best Halloween Movies of All Time

Watching a scary slasher movie, a weird supernatural comedy or maybe a family adventure flick is a great Halloween tradition. There are many movies ideal for this purpose, with ghosts, goblins, witches, wizards and other fantasy creatures that will make your hair stand on end and give you goosebumps. However, as always, some are simply better than others and if you are looking for the best Halloween movies, this list can certainly help you choose the right film for you.

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30. Casper (1995)

Casper is probably the single most recognizable ghost in the entire world. Even though it’s been more than two decades since this animated gem came out, it is still hard to find a kid who doesn’t know about this good ghost. Voiced by Malachi Pearson, Casper is a good-natured young ghost who falls in love with a teenage girl Kat (Christina Ricci). As you can probably guess, their love is not really possible – because he is a ghost, duh.

29. Halloween (2007)

What better movie is there to get you into Halloween mood than, well, Halloween? Filmed almost 40 years after the original, this slasher film brings the famous Michael Myers (Tyler Mane) back to the big screen. Yes, there were many failed parts of the story that tried to build on the success of the original, but this flick comes closest to replicating the well-known horror of the first Halloween. It is basically a remake imagined by writer and director Rob Zombie. So, once again, with a few changes, Michael escapes from a mental institution and goes after his younger sister Laurie (Scout Taylor-Compton), after he already killed his older sister and his stepfather many years ago.

28. Night of the Demons (1988)

This old gem probably went under the radar for many, but if you are a true fan of Halloween movies, you shouldn’t miss this flick. The movie is based on a simple premise – a couple of teenage girls hold a Halloween party at an old mortuary, which is considered cursed. Yeah, things spiral out of control very quickly from this point. What a surprise.

27. The Craft (1996)

When four teenage girls start practicing witchcraft, things are about to go south. In this classic horror flick directed by Andrew Fleming, one girl, Sarah (Robin Tunney), has telekinetic powers and she is not afraid to use them. Other girls cast spells that in the end come back to haunt them. This movie was a huge hit when it came out and has since gained a cult following, not without a reason.

26. Child's Play (1988)

Another classic slasher movie, Child’s Play gave birth to one of the most recognizable toys of all time – Chucky. This murderous toy and its exploits caused a lot of controversy back in the day, which didn’t stop the movie from becoming a true franchise with six sequels coming after it. In the original, the soul of a murderer is transported into Chucky, an ominous-looking red-haired toy. I guess Cartman was wrong when he claimed that gingers have no soul because Chucky obviously has one.

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25. Hush (2016)

Not to be confused with 1998 movie of the same name, this slasher flick directed by Mike Flanagan takes place in woods where a deaf writer Maddie Young (Kate Siegel) lives a solitary life. Well, if you live alone in woods I guess you can expect some weird things to happen to you. However, a masked killer is not one of those things, which is exactly what Maddie has to deal with in this movie. And trying to get away from a murderer is not a walk in the park, particularly when you are deaf.

24. The Nightmare (2015)

If you ever had an episode of sleep paralysis, then you know how scary this phenomenon can be. That is the reason why we included this extraordinary documentary in our Halloween movies list. You can feel the terror that those who have the sleep paralysis feel, so don’t miss this documentary if you want to understand how a nightmare can scare you more than any movie you ever saw.

23. Hocus Pocus (1993)

Halloween movies are not only horror movies. There are quite a few comedies on our list as well and Hocus Pocus is one of them. It is a hilarious flick starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy as three witches who were freed after three centuries by a teenager Max (Omri Katz). Max and two girls, along with an immortal cat, are now the only ones who can stop the witches.

22. Trick 'r Treat (2007)

Directed by Michael Dougherty, this ambitious movie tells five different but related stories that happen on Halloween. It is an unusual but extremely entertaining mix of comedy, thriller and horror, and it is all about Halloween, trick-or-treating, demons, ghosts, etc. If you are looking for an exciting flick to watch on Halloween, this movie should be one of your top choices.

21. Halloweentown (1998)

With adorable Debbie Reynolds in one of the leading roles, this adventure movie is the best choice to watch with your family. It is funny, exciting and has a lot of action. The story follows one seemingly ordinary family. However, Marnie (Kimberly J. Brown) and her grandmother are not ordinary at all. They are witches and they fight evil! Marnie, who is just a girl, learns the truth on her 13th birthday and she quickly comes face to face with a bunch of supernatural creatures.

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20. The Addams Family (1991)

Ah, the “sweet” Addams family and their antics. Even those who were not born when this cult movie came out surely know all about this eccentric family and their free-wandering severed hand, which is actually a part of a hideous creature called Thing. Originating from The New Yorker cartoon dating back to 1938, The Addams Family was turned into TV series, animated TV series and a few movies. However, if you want to get to know this family, it is probably best to start with this flick, starring Anjelica Houston, Raul Julia, Christopher Lloyd, Dan Hedaya and Christina Ricci, among others.

19. Hotel Transylvania (2012)

Is there a better way to spend Halloween than to watch an animated movie about Count Dracula, Frankenstein and other famous characters from the Halloween folklore? And when these characters are voiced by some of the well-known Hollywood names like Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Steve Buscemi, David Spade, Fran Drescher and helped by Selena Gomez and CeeLo Green, it gets even better. With a comic look at the classic Dracula, this movie can make you laugh quite a few times.

18. The Worst Witch (1986)

If you saw the TV series of the same name from 2017, then you should definitely check out the original movie. Even if you didn’t, you shouldn’t miss this funny and adventurous TV movie about Mildred (Fairuza Balk), a young girl starting her academic life at a renowned witch academy. However, she is a bit clumsy and not really a great student of witchcraft. Nonetheless, she will get her chance to shine during the course of the movie and show that she is worthy of being a witch.

17. Scream (1996)

One of the horror movies that outgrew the genre and became cult all around the world, Scream spurred a few sequels and a few parodies as well. Known best for the iconic mask worn by the killer, this famous flick directed by Wes Craven with Courtney Cox, Neve Campbell and David Arquette in leading roles, gained international popularity almost instantly. The story revolves around a teenage girl whose mother has been killed and a new killer who goes after her and uses horror films as a part of his killing “game”.

16. Corpse Bride (2005)

One of quite a few movies from famous director Tim Burton on our list, this animated flick is a good choice for a family movie to watch on Halloween. Once again Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter are Burton’s choice for leading roles (like in Sweeney Todd) since they give voices to Victor and Corpse Bride, the two leading characters. The plot revolves around the marriage between Victor and Victoria (Emily Watson), which never happened since Victor was dragged to the underworld and has to fight to get back to his girl.

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15. Sleepy Hollow (1999)

As promised, here is another Burton (and Depp) movie. Based on the novel by Washington Irving, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, this movie mixes romance, horror and fantasy into a beautiful, dreamy adventure. Besides Depp, the movie also stars Christina Ricci, Miranda Richardson and a bunch of well-known names like Christopher Walken and Christopher Lee who appear in minor roles. The story follows Ichabod Crane as he goes to Sleepy Hollow to investigate decapitations supposedly done by the Headless Horseman, the legendary ghost.

14. Beetlejuice (1998)

Yeah, at this point you can just turn your Halloween into a Tim Burton movie marathon. And you wouldn’t be wrong, that much is for sure. After all, his movies can all find a place on any list of Halloween movies. In this classic, a ghost couple hires another, irritating ghost to get rid of the new, obnoxious tenants. Starring Geena Davis, Michael Keaton and Alec Baldwin, this hilarious flick quickly gained a cult following. There are even rumors of a sequel going around the Internet, although nothing has yet been confirmed.

13. It (2017)

In a long-awaited adaptation of the famous Stephen King novel, first after the 1990 mini-series, we are quickly reminded why so many people have a fear of clowns. What most people regard as funny and innocent costume for children, in King’s mind easily becomes the stuff nightmares are made off. With Bill Skarsgård, Jaeden Lieberher, and Finn Wolfhard in leading roles, this movie got great reviews, both from the fans and the critics. That means that Pennywise is ready to scare another generation of kids and teenagers. And some adults, for sure.

12. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

This is another Wes Craven’s entry on our list, and another classic slasher film that became a cult classic everybody knows about. Of course, this movie gave us one of the most memorable movie characters, the infamous Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund), a unique killer who preys on teenage boys and girls in their dreams, which kills them in reality. And if you haven’t had enough of Johnny Depp already, here you can see how he looked like when he was only 20 years old.

11. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001)

This is the first movie about the kid with a lightning-bolt scar on his forehead that set up one of the most successful movie franchises in motion and propelled into stardom kid actors Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint. Based on novels by J.K. Rowling, this and subsequent movies about young wizards and their famous school were watched and anticipated by millions of people. If you still haven’t seen this movie, don’t miss your chance to do it now. And if you did, well, it surely won’t hurt to refresh your memory.

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10. Ghostbusters (1984)

If there’s something strange in your neighborhood, who you gonna call? Ghostbusters! Well, this oldie sure is evergreen, so much that it spurred a remake in 2016 – albeit with one big change since it was all female cast this time. However, the original, starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Sigourney Weaver is one of the best comedies of all time, not just when it comes to supernatural beings and Halloween. Truly a masterpiece of the genre that shouldn’t be missed.

9. Halloween (1978)

Well, we had the remake already on the list, but now it is time for the real deal. Directed by one of the masters of the genre, John Carpenter, this horror flick is one of the best of its kind. The story is the same as we already mentioned before and the main character, Michael Myers (Tony Moran and Nick Castle) will always be a part of the horror Hall of Fame. Get ready to be frightened like never before!

8. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

The most famous alien, or at least one of them, E.T. is well-known to all generations. And many kids cried when the lovable extraterrestrial went home. Directed by Steven Spielberg, this family movie will leave you as emotional as possible. With Henry Thomas as Elliot, a kid who finds and befriends E.T. and helps him get back to his planet, this movie yielded one of the most iconic scenes in the history of cinematography.

7. Edward Scissorhands (1990)

What would you do if you had scissors instead of hands? Go to a killing spree, become the ultimate villain or superhero or maybe seclude yourself from the world, trimming bushes to pass your days? In this classic Tim Burton movie, Edward (Johnny Depp) lives in isolation until he is one day discovered and brought into the community. He is welcomed at first, but that certainly doesn’t last long as doubt starts to creep into people’s minds. After all, a man with scissors for hands must be dangerous, right? Yeah, he also falls in love in the meantime, so there’s that as well.

6. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

You thought we were done with Tim Burton? Well, think again. Although Burton didn’t direct this animated feature film, he wrote the story for it. The director’s seat was given to Henry Selick, who managed to portray Burton’s vision perfectly. It is a story of Jack Skellington (Chris Sarandon), who is the king of Halloweentown. But Jack is a dreamer and when he discovers Christmastown, he dreams of getting Christmas under his control. That, however, is not as easy as he imagined.

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5. Young Frankenstein (1974)

The prolific duo of Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder (Blazing Saddles, The Producers) will have you crying out of laughter with this iconic movie. And Marty Feldman, who plays Igor, will make you wonder how can a man stick his eyes out so much. The plot revolves around the Frankenstein’s grandson, who goes to Transylvania where he creates his own Monster (Peter Boyle), proving that his grandfather was not crazy. Well, kind of proving.

4. Monsters Inc (2001)

There aren’t any bad movies made by Pixar, so that alone should be enough to get you to see this animated flick. However, that is just the beginning. A great cast is also present, with Billy Crystal, John Goodman and Steve Buscemi leading the bunch. The story follows a couple of monsters who deliberately scare children in order to make them scream and generate power for the city. However, children are toxic to monsters, or at least that’s what they’re told. So, when a kid comes at them, chaos ensues.

3. It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)

Old, but gold. This animated movie based on the Peanuts comic by Charles M. Schulz, follows the exploits of Charlie Brown (Peter Robbins) and the rest of the gang as they celebrate Halloween. Of course, there’s Snoopy as well. And the kicking of a football that ends the same way as it always does. Basically, everything you would expect from Charlie Brown and the rest of the ensemble.

2. The Halloween Tree (1993)

Based on the Ray Bradbury’s novel of the same name, The Halloween Tree is a sweet animated fantasy flick often featured on Cartoon Network at Halloween. Narrated by Ray Bradbury himself, the movie tells a story of four kids who learn all about the origins of their favorite holiday, its customs and everything else about it. They go to ancient Egypt, Stonehenge, Notre Dame Cathedral and Mexico, learning a bit about Halloween’s history on every stop.

1. The Shining (1980)

Who could forget Jack Nicholson’s frozen face at the end of the movie? And who could forget his crazy eyes when he finally starts his rampage in an attempt to kill his own wife and child (Shelly Duvall and Danny Lloyd)? Or the famous “Here’s Johnny!” scene, with his head sticking out through an axe-made hole in the door? Based on the novel by the prodigal son of horror Stephen King and directed by the master of the big screen Stanley Kubrick, The Shining is probably one of the best horror movies of all time and one of the must-see movies at Halloween time.

Final thoughts

We hope you like our choices and that you saw all the trailers so you can choose the best Halloween movie for your mood. However, if you think that we missed a movie or you have a favorite Halloween movie you want to share with us, leave us a comment.

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