The 72 Best Halloween Movies of All Time
Halloween is on its way, which means our TV queue is about to start filling up with spooky flicks. (Though to be honest, but here at PureWow we practically watch classic Halloween movies all year round).
However, not all October 31st-based films are created equal, and choosing the right one can all depend on what kind of mood you're in. Are you up for a traditional monster movie? Or perhaps more of a murder mystery genre? Whether you’re into stringing spider webs or visiting haunted houses, we compiled a complete list of our all-time favorite films, including The Shining, Coraline, Beetlejuice and more. Here, the 72 best Halloween movies to get you in the mood.
1. “Practical Magic” (1998)
Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman are primo on their own. Together? Playing nonpracticing witches who try to use their hereditary gift for magic to fix their love lives? Solid gold. (Same goes for the Stevie Nicks soundtrack.)
2. “Hocus Pocus” (1993)
More witches! These—played by Kathy Najimy, Bette Midler and a pre-Sex and the City Sarah Jessica Parker—are resurrected after three centuries and just in time for trick-or-treaters.
3. “Twitches” (2005)
When twin sisters (Tia and Tamara Mowry) are reunited on their 21st birthday, they use their magical powers to defeat the forces of darkness.
4. “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” (1975)
This cult musical about a couple (Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick) forced to rap on the door of a wacky scientist (Tim Curry) after their car breaks down is a must-watch for the soundtrack and costumes alone.
5. “A Babysitter's Guide to Monster Hunting” (2020)
A high school student is recruited by a secret society of babysitters, who are battling a Boogeyman slash kidnapper.
6. “Ghostbusters” (1984)
If you loved the 2016 version, you will definitely love the hilarious 1984 classic—starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Sigourney Weaver—about a group of professors turned ghost removers.
8. “Hubie Halloween” (2020)
The movie takes place on Halloween night in Salem, Massachusetts. When a man suddenly finds himself in the middle of a real murder investigation, he’s forced to get creative as he tries to convince the police that monsters actually do exist.
9. “The Addams Family” (1991)
Anjelica Huston was nominated for an Oscar for her role in this film about a group of con artists who try to pull a fast one on the famously eccentric family.
10. “Escape Room” (2019)
Six strangers are thrown into a deceiving maze. Can they find the exit before time runs out?
11. “Casper” (1995)
Christina Ricci is back at it when a friendly ghost falls in love with her. Too bad Casper's also-transparent relatives don’t approve.
13. “Get Out” (2017)
Chris is finally ready to meet his girlfriend’s parents. They seem overly accommodating at first, but things take a horrifying turn when he discovers the family’s haunting past.
14. “Room on the Broom” (2012)
Based on Julia Donaldson’s best-selling book, it introduces children to a generous witch, who invites several animals to ride on her broom (despite the large crowd). Oh, and did we mention Room on the Broom is only 27 minutes long, making it the perfect pre-bedtime flick?
15. “Corpse Bride” (2005)
The other animated Halloween movie from Tim Burton, this one is about a shy groom (voiced by Johnny Depp) practicing his wedding vows in front of a dead woman (Helena Bonham Carter) who, confused, assumes she’s now his bride.
16. “Halloween” (1978)
As the first movie in the Halloween franchise, it introduces viewers to serial killer Michael Myers (Nick Castle) as he terrorizes the innocent residents of Haddonfield, Illinois.
17. “Halloweentown” (1998)
On her 13th birthday, Marnie (Kimberly J. Brown) learns she’s a witch. Join her as she follows her grandma to Halloweentown, a magical city where warlocks, trolls and zombies reside year-round.
18. “A Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984)
Director Wes Craven incited fear with this classic slasher film, which follows Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) as he stalks teenagers in their dreams.
19. “Demon Knight” (1995)
An ex-soldier holds the power to unlock a tremendous evil. Although he’s been on the run for 90 years, he’s finally ready to face off against the Collector.
20. “Scream” (1996)
A small town is on edge after someone commits a series of murders while wearing a Ghostface costume. The slightly comical horror scenes make it the perfect introduction to slasher films.
21. “The Shining” (1980)
When a struggling writer becomes a caretaker at an isolated hotel, he uncovers secrets about the property’s dark past. (Creepy children included.)
22. “The Monster Squad” (1987)
Five kids are tasked with protecting their small town from the ultimate Halloween foursome: Dracula, the Mummy, the Gill Man and Frankenstein’s Monster.
23. “Carrie” (1976)
Based on Stephen King’s namesake horror novel, the movie follows Carrie as she discovers her supernatural powers.
24. “The Exorcist” (1973)
When Regan (Linda Blair) starts acting bizarre, her parents seek medical attention only to realize she’s been seized by the devil.
25. “Hotel Transylvania” (2012)
Introducing Hotel Transylvania, a lavish resort run by Count Dracula that serves as a vacation-like escape for monsters.
26. “Night of the Living Dead” (1968)
The O.G. zombie movie. It’s filmed in grainy black-and-white, which automatically makes everything 100 times scarier.
27. “The Haunted Mansion” (2003)
Jim (Eddie Murphy) and his family visit a mansion that’s unknowingly haunted by Master Gracey (Nathaniel Parker).
28. “Night of the Demons” (1988)
In an attempt to scare their friends, two teenage girls host a Halloween seance in an old funeral parlor. Need we say more?
29. “Paranormal Activity” (2007)
Katie (Katie Featherston) and Micah (Micah Sloat) move into a new home only to discover they’re not the only residents.
30. “The Babadook” (2014)
A single mom is trying to help her son get over his fear of monsters—that is, until she comes face-to-face with the sinister presence itself.
31. “Monster House” (2006)
Three kids are convinced there’s a creature living in the house next door...but no adults will believe them.
32. “The Craft” (1996)
When Sarah (Robin Tunney) transfers to a new school, she meets a coven of witches who are keen on taking advantage of her telekenetic powers.
33. “Poltergeist” (1982)
The members of the Freeling family are in for a scare when they learn ghosts can access the house via their television set.
34. “Haunt” (2019)
Join a group of friends as they visit a legendary haunted house. The problem? The spooky tales they’ve been told are no match for the horrors that await them.
35. “The Invitation” (2015)
When a man (Logan Marshall-Green) attends a dinner party, he soon learns that his ex-wife (Tammy Blanchard) is planning revenge against the guests (including himself).
36. “Boogeyman” (2005)
As a child, Tim (Aaron Murphy) is haunted by the memory of his father being dragged away by the boogeyman. Years later, he’s forced to face his fears as an adult (Barry Watson).
37. “It: Chapter 2” (2019)
It’s been 27 years since the first Pennywise encounter. Watch The Losers Club reunite in this terrifying sequel.
38. “Sleepy Hollow” (1999)
Based on Washington Irving’s classic tale, it follows Ichabod Crane (Johnny Depp) as he investigates a series of murders in the small village of Sleepy Hollow.
39. “Pet Sematary” (1989)
Another Stephen King adaptation. The movie is a modern-day take on the fictional story about a couple who discovers a haunted burial ground near their home.
40. “Trick 'r Treat” (2007)
The lives of several strangers become intertwined on Halloween. Can they extinguish the Jack-o-Lantern before midnight?
41. “The Nun” (2018)
When a nun takes her own life, the case is sent to the Vatican for investigation, where they uncover an unholy secret. Dun dun dun.
42. “House on Haunted Hill” (1999)
Stephen Price (Geoffrey Rush) is offering a million dollars to anyone who can stay the night in a former insane asylum. He soon learns the haunted tales are more fact than fiction.
43. “The Sixth Sense” (1999)
Cole (Haley Joel Osment) is too scared to tell anyone about his supernatural abilities. That is, until he meets Dr. Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis), who uncovers the truth.
44. “The Blair Witch Project” (1999)
Through archived footage, three film students embark on a wild journey as they search for answers about a local murderer named Blair Witch.
45. “The Witches” (1990)
When Luke (Jasen Fisher) accidentally eavesdrops on a convention of witches, he’s forced to flee before they turn him into a test subject.
46. “The Little Vampire” (2000)
Tony is struggling to make friends at his new school, so he befriends a kid vampire who indirectly teaches him about bravery. (Think of it as the Dracula version of Casper.)
47. “Scooby-Doo: The Movie” (2002)
Meet Mystery Incorporated, a group of four adults (plus one dog) who reunite to investigate a series of incidents at a popular resort.
48. “The Witch” (2015)
It’s 1630 in New England. A family encounters a dark force near their home after the youngest son, Samuel, suddenly goes missing.
49. “Us” (2019)
Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o) returns to her childhood home with her family only to be greeted by masked strangers who look exactly like them.
50. “Under Wraps” (1997)
Three children find themselves in a race against time after they stumble upon a mummy who’s been out of commission for 3,000 years.
51. “Beetlejuice” (1988)
Before she was a mom spooked on Stranger Things, Winona Ryder was a teenager spooked by ghosts (Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin) in this comedy about a husband and wife haunting the new owners of their beloved house.
52. “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (1992)
No, not the TV show. This 1992 teen hit is what inspired the TV show. Kristy Swanson plays a flighty teenager who discovers she’s blessed with vampire butt-kicking powers. (Beverly Hills, 90210 heartthrob Luke Perry also stars.)
53. “Double Double Toil and Trouble” (1993)
In an attempt to save their family home, the Olsen twins team up to outsmart their evil aunt (Cloris Leachman), who’s after a magic moonstone.
54. “The Pumpkin Karver” (2006)
After a Halloween prank gone awry, Lynn and Jonathan move to an all-new town for a fresh start. However, they soon find themselves reliving a similar version of that fateful Halloween night.
55. “The Conjuring” (2013)
Two paranormal investigators are enlisted to help a family who recently moved into a new house. The problem? It has a supernatural presence. Cue the nightmares.
56. “Rosemary's Baby” (1968)
A young couple is desperate to conceive a baby. When they finally do, the young mother suspects an evil cult is plotting to steal the newborn.
57. “Spooky Buddies” (2011)
Air Bud meets Halloween in this family-friendly flick about a group of dogs, who must stop Warwick the Warlock before time runs out.
58. “Goosebumps” (2015)
Zach Cooper (Dylan Minnette) is thrilled when he learns that his neighbor’s dad is a renowned sci-fi author. Things take a dramatic turn when he accidentally unleashes the franchise’s fictional monsters.
59. “The Perfection” (2019)
Charlotte (Allison Williams) is a talented young cellist, who’s forced to drop out of her prestigious music school to care for her ill mother. Years later, she heads down a sinister path after becoming reacquainted with the girl who replaced her.
60. “The Nightmare Before Christmas” (1993)
It’s one of Tim Burton’s best: When Jack Skellington, the king of Halloween Town, gets bored scaring people every year, he moves on to Christmas Town—and his plan goes awry.
61. “Hell Fest” (2019)
Paying tribute to ’80s slasher flicks, the movie follows three couples as they visit Hell Fest (a traveling carnival). The night turns deadly when a masked serial killer transforms the theme park into a real-life Hunger Games.
62. “Coraline” (2009)
A family flick that follows a young girl named Coraline (voiced by Dakota Fanning), who ventures into an alternate world after discovering a secret door.
63. “Young Frankenstein” (1974)
In Mel Brooks’s masterpiece, Dr. Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) inherits his grandfather’s estate in Transylvania and resumes his monster-making experiments with the help of servants Igor (Marty Feldman), Inga (Teri Garr) and Frau Blücher (Cloris Leachman).
64. “Tales of Halloween” (2015)
It features ten short stories about ghosts, ghouls and monsters. While it’s an anthology film, each tale revolves around the spooky holiday, so grab the popcorn candy bag.
65. “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” (2019)
Young Stella (Zoe Colletti) loves telling scary stories about her spooky home—that is, until they become all too real for her small hometown.
66. “Little Shop of Horrors” (1986)
Rick Moranis plays Seymour, a flower-shop assistant pining away for his coworker Audrey (Ellen Greene), who happens to have a boyfriend (Steve Martin). But when he discovers a plant that prefers to feed on human flesh and blood—boom, problem solved.
67. “Children of the Corn” (1984)
Based on Stephen King’s namesake story, the movie examines a gory ritual in which the town’s children murder all the adults. *Grabs nightlight*
68. “Ernest Scared Stupid” (1991)
Seriously, the ’90s knew how to do Halloween. In this silly take on the holiday, Ernest accidentally unleashes an army of trolls on a small town on October 31. And to be honest, it holds up.
69. “Teen Witch” (1989)
When a high schooler named Louise (Robyn Lively) suddenly discovers her magical abilities, she uses them to achieve her life-long dream of being popular. *Cue the coming-of-age story*
70. “Truth or Dare” (2018)
It’s the childhood game we all know and love. But this time, it triggers an evil demon that forces a group of friends to confront their biggest fears.
71. “Candyman” (2021)
In this sequel to the 1992 classic, a young artist gets more than he bargained for after exploring the history of the infamous Candyman. We promise, you won't look at mirrors the same way again.
72. “His House” (2020)
Two refugees escape their war-torn country and seek asylum in England—but the place where they end up turns out to be even more terrifying than the place they left...