Halloween is not too far away making now a perfect time to indulge in all things spooky. Sure, you can go to a haunted house and be frightened by ghouls and ghosts. Or you can just stay home in your comfy pajamas, pop some popcorn, and settle on the couch for a night of watching scary movies. To help you get into the Halloween spirit, we put together this list of 12 must-watch movies to check out before October ends.
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1. Hocus Pocus (1993)
Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy play three sister witches from the 17th century who are accidently conjured to present-day Salem, Massachusetts on Halloween night. A group made up of teenager Max, his little sister Dani, and new friend and instant crush Allison, with the help of an immortal black cat named Binx, set out to put a final end to the evil coven. Released by Disney in 1993, Hocus Pocus flopped at the Box-Office, but has since become a Halloween classic.
2. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
One of horror film history’s most celebrated films, Night of the Living Dead initiated pop culture’s zombie obsession. In this 1968 classic, flesh eating corpses rise from their graveyard to terrorize a group of individuals who have taken refuge in an abandoned house.
3. A Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Tim Burton’s A Nightmare Before Christmas is a Halloween favorite appealing to kids and adults alike. Bored with the spooky happenings around him, Jack Skellington, the “Pumpkin King” of Halloween Town escapes through a portal to Christmas Town. So taken by the merry holiday (and a lovely rag doll named Sally), Jack decides to take over Santa Claus’ job, but his good intentions have disastrous results.
4. Halloween (1978)
Directed and scored by horror genius John Carpenter, Halloween introduced us to Michael Myers. Committed to Smith Grove’s Sanitarium after murdering his sister on Halloween night in 1963, Myers escapes 15 years later to kill again. He places his homicidal obsessions on high school student Laurie Strode, played by Jamie Lee Curtis in her film debut.
5. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)
2016 marks the 50th anniversary of this Halloween favorite. Created by Charles M. Shultz as an animated TV special for primetime, it follows the Peanuts Gang on Halloween night. Believing the Great Pumpkin will visit, Linus waits in the local pumpkin patch while the others make fun of him and head out trick-or-treating.
6. Casper (1995)
An adorable, kind-hearted ghost named Casper peaceably haunts a Maine mansion. A paranormal expert comes in to investigate, and brings along his teenage daughter Kat played by Christina Ricci. Casper falls for Kat and they become friends. However, Casper’s uncles, who go by the Ghostly Trio, are dead set on scaring away their unwanted guests.
7. Trick ‘r Treat (2007)
If you are looking for a serious Halloween scare, Trick r’ Treat is the movie for you. It presents four Halloween-related horror stories with one common link – Sam, an incredibly creepy child trick-or-treater dressed in raggedy orange pajamas and a burlap sack of his head who appears whenever someone breaks from Halloween tradition.
8. Halloweentown (1998)
In this Disney family film, a girl named Marnie finds out that she is a witch on her 13th birthday. After learning about her ties to Halloweentown, a community inhabited by ghouls, ghosts, vampires, trolls, and ogres is in danger, Marnie travels there with her grandmother, who is also a witch, to save it.
9. The Haunting (1963)
For when you just want a good old fashioned scare that messes with your head. Dr. John Markway is interested in studying the paranormal activity at Hill House, a 90-year old mansion with a haunted reputation. He enlists two young women with supernatural connections to accompany him. Warning: You do not want to watch this one alone.
10. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
Let’s be honest, this cult classic is great to watch all year round. After their car breaks down, an innocent, young couple finds their way to the mansion of Dr. Frank-N-Furter, a transvestite scientist played brilliantly by Tim Curry. There, they meet a cast of outlandishly creepy characters and begin to shed their pure demeanor. The film is laced with stellar musical performances including The Time Warp.
11. Drag Me To Hell (2009)
This supernatural horror film centers on Christine, a young loan officer who learns she has become victim of a curse that will ultimately send her to the fiery pits of Hell to burn for eternity. Directed by Sam Rami, who wrote the script in collaboration with his brother Ivan, Drag Me To Hell received critical acclaim and the Award for Best Horror Film at the 2009 Scream Awards.
12. The Monster Squad (1987)
Imagine if the Goonies were obsessed with monsters. A group of kids fascinated with monster movies learn that during one day out of every century, the balance between the forces of good and evil becomes unstable. Soon after, Count Dracula, the Wolf Man, the Mummy, the Gill-man, and Frankenstein’s monster show up in their hometown. It is up to the Monster Squad to battle these undead visitors and restore the balance between good and evil.
Everyone loves a good scare around this time of the year. Whether you are looking for a bloody fright fest or Halloween-themed family fun, this list has a movie for everyone.