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The Best Halloween Movies to Watch Right Now

Close out spooky season the right way

screen-shot-2020-04-02-at-8-50-16-am.png
Allison Picurro

Happy Halloween! Don't let the fact that the spookiest day of the year falls on a Monday take away from the fact that you deserve to treat yourself to a scary movie marathon. It doesn't matter what kind of mood you're in; whether you want to be terrified or you're looking for some animated fun, our list covers it all.

Our updated list for 2022 includes all your favorites and where to stream them this year, including movies for the family like Hocus Pocus and Beetlejuice, as well as classics like Ghostbusters and Scream and new films like Halloween Ends and Barbarian

Barbarian

Georgina Campbell, Barbarian

20th Century Studios

Barbarian

Barbarian did something clever by releasing something of a bait and switch trailer, which makes itself out to be a standard story about a woman (Georgina Campbell) spending the night in the same house as a crazy man (Bill Skarsgård, unparalleled at playing crazy men) who lures her down into a creepy basement after they get double-booked at the same Airbnb. And that is what it's about at first, sort of, before quickly revealing that it's about something else entirely, which I won't spoil here. It might stealthily be one of the best horror movies of the year. -Allison Picurro [TRAILER]

Halloween Ends

Halloween Ends

Halloween Ends

The final (yeah, sure) movie in the Halloween franchise and the third in the reboot trilogy from David Gordon Green, Danny McBride, and others brings Michael Myers back AGAIN to terrorize Haddonfield with some very creative murders. The film promises to kill off Michael for realsies this time, but we've been hearing that for decades now, so find the biggest grain of salt you can. This is the big new horror film release of the month though, coming to theaters the same day it streams on Peacock. The second movie in the trilogy, Halloween Kills, is available on HBO Max, but the first, Halloween, is only available for rent or purchase. -Tim Surette [TRAILER]       

Ethan Hawke, The Black Phone

Ethan Hawke, The Black Phone

The Black Phone

This adaptation of Joe Hill's short story has all the hallmarks of his dad Stephen King's books: a clear setting and place (Denver suburbs in the late 1970s), young kids coming of age who also have weird powers, and genuinely creepy vibes. In The Black Phone, a teen boy (Mason Thames) is abducted by a creep (Ethan Hawke) but is able to communicate with previous victims through a mysterious phone. Unlike the recent horror shlock that's been massively popular, The Black Phone doesn't rely on jump scares and gore to rile up its audience. Some good direction from Scott Derrickson and likable performances have made it one of the better-reviewed horror films in recent years. -Tim Surette [TRAILER]      

Jamie Lee Curtis, Halloween

Jamie Lee Curtis, Halloween

Compass International Pictures

Halloween (1978)

It's all right there in the title: Halloween movies don't get any more iconic than the original Halloween. Jamie Lee Curtis, following in her mother Janet Leigh's scream queen footsteps, makes her film debut as Laurie Strode, a high school student whose babysitting gig goes to hell when she's stalked by an escaped killer who murdered his sister 15 years earlier. From director John Carpenter's chillingly minimalist score to Michael Myers' haunting, expressionless mask, Halloween takes a straightforward slasher premise and makes it art. -Kelly Connolly [TRAILER]      

Jamie Lee Curtis and Judy Greer, Halloween Kills

Jamie Lee Curtis and Judy Greer, Halloween Kills

Halloween Kills

Like Michael Myers, the Halloween franchise will not die. The film saw its biggest revival yet starting in 2018 when David Gordon Green, Danny McBride, and Scott Teems relaunched the series with Halloween and continued it in 2021 with Halloween Kills. Look, Halloween Kills isn't as good as Halloween, but it does feature a masked maniac lumbering through people's houses and killing them in inventive, brutal ways. Halloween (2018) isn't streaming for free, so you can watch this one instead before Halloween Ends, the "final" movie in the new trilogy, which is now out on Peacock. -Tim Surette [TRAILER]       


More Halloween recommendations:

Beetlejuice

Beetlejuice

Warner Bros.

Beetlejuice

Much like many Halloween movies, Beetlejuice is most notable for its villain. This one is played by Michael Keaton, having an absolute blast as the titular Beetlejuice, a mischievous and malevolent spirit who agrees to help a deceased couple haunt the family trying to buy their home, quickly escalating the situation to scary and fun heights in the process. [TRAILER]       

Trick 'r Treat

Trick 'r Treat

HBO Max

Trick 'r Treat

The 2008 film Trick 'r Treat, which has become a modern Halloween cult classic, is actually four short movies in one, all tied together by a creepy (and somewhat adorable) trick-or-treater who shambles through each of the tales of terror in a small town on Halloween night. It has the feel of a horror classic of the 1980s, mixing campy comedy, genuine scares, gore, and a tiny bit of gratuitous skin, making it a perfect Halloween pre-party date night flick before you generate your own mayhem on the streets. -Tim Surette [TRAILER]

Neve Campbell and Rose McGowan, Scream

Neve Campbell and Rose McGowan, Scream

Getty Images

Scream

The slasher movie to end all slasher movies, Wes Craven's self-aware '90s classic centers around a California high school being targeted by a masked killer. There are so many reasons this movie remains iconic -- that terrifying opening phone call scene, to name just one -- and if you enjoy it, there are three more movies in the series (some of questionable quality, to be fair). [TRAILER]      

Hocus Pocus

Hocus Pocus

Buena Vista Pictures/Freeform

Hocus Pocus

Yes, there's a plot here -- a group of kids have to stop a trio of evil, kooky witches from becoming immortal -- but it's barely worth noting, since the witches themselves (played by Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy) are the best part of the whole movie. We aren't still talking about Hocus Pocus all these years after its release because of its riveting story, we're still talking about it because of the "I Put a Spell On You" scene! A sequel 29 years in the making just hit Disney+ for this Halloween season. [TRAILER   

Anya Taylor-Joy, The Witch

Anya Taylor-Joy, The Witch

The Witch

If your idea of getting into the Halloween mood is watching a movie so scary that you need to wear four pairs of underwear, you can't do much better than The Witch (or The VVitch, if you're cool). Robert Eggers' 2016 film is arguably the best horror film of the decade, and tops the list of A24's incredibly strong scary lineup that includes Midsommar, The Lighthouse, and Hereditary. Set in 1630, Anya Taylor-Joy (The Queen's Gambit) stars as a teenager whose family relocates to a remote countryside where a strange presence lives in the nearby forest (can you guess what it is?) and threatens to turn the family against itself. The unnerving film is a masterclass in mood, rattling viewers to their core through Eggers' impeccable direction. I LOVE this movie. -Tim Surette [TRAILER]

Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out

Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out

Universal Pictures

Get Out

Jordan Peele's horror film has become a modern classic, telling the story of a young Black photographer whose white girlfriend brings him home for a weekend to meet her family, only for him to quickly discover that there's something much more sinister going on underneath the wealthy, Obama-voting surface. [TRAILER]        

Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters

Getty Images

Ghostbusters

A trio of disgraced scientists decide to try their hand at taking out the paranormal entities terrorizing New York City -- get it? They're busting the ghosts! -- which makes them the city's only line of defense when they happen upon a doorway to an evil dimension that could destroy everything. I can't imagine there are very many people out there who haven't at least heard the Ghostbusters theme, a song absolutely impossible to escape during the month of October, but I'm sure they exist! [TRAILER   

Jack Nicholson, The Shining

Jack Nicholson, The Shining

Getty Images

The Shining

This adaptation of Stephen King's novel is a psychological trip, starring Jack Nicholson as a writer who accepts a job as a winter caretaker at a remote hotel, bringing along his wife and young son. As time passes, he slowly begins to unravel as the supernatural forces that exist on the property begin to make themselves known. [TRAILER]     

Halloweentown

Halloweentown

Disney

Halloweentown

Disney adults, gather round. A teenage girl discovers she's descended from witches and bound to help protect the supernatural community of Halloweentown, where skeletons drive cabs and goblins walk among humans. It's charmingly low budget and co-stars Debbie Reynolds, what more could you want? [TRAILER]      

The Addams Family

The Addams Family

Universal Pictures

The Addams Family (2019)

This is admittedly not the best Addams Family film, but it should entertain any kids you have in your life. In this one, which is somehow the first time this source material has gotten the animation treatment, the dark, eccentric Addamses move to a bland suburb, quickly becoming the focus of the town's confusion and ire. [TRAILER]     

Casper

Casper

Universal Pictures

Casper

One of the only sweet-hearted movies on this list, Casper is, of course, about the titular friendly ghost, who strikes up a friendship with the teen girl who's just moved into the house he haunts. [TRAILER]     

It

It

Warner Bros.

It

A group of young kids from a small town in Maine are terrorized by a demonic entity who takes on the form of the creepiest clown you've ever seen, which is saying something. Nothing says Halloween like a good old-fashioned Stephen King adaptation. [TRAILER]      

Tim Curry, The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Tim Curry, The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Getty Images

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

The best way to watch this cult classic musical about a young couple who get stranded at a mysterious mansion full of deranged characters during a storm is in a theater packed with other super fans, but you'll get plenty of enjoyment out of watching it at home too. [TRAILER]     

Fear Street Part Three: 1666

Fear Street Part Three: 1666

Netflix

The Fear Street movies

R.L. Stine, the guy who wrote the Goosebumps books, set his sights on a slightly older crowd with his Fear Street novel series, which are now the foundation for one of Netflix's biggest film experiments yet. The three teen-slasher horror films, which all tell the origin story of a cursed town, were each released over three consecutive Fridays in July 2021. Each film is set in a different year (1994, 1978, and 1666), culminating in a flashback to witch trials in the 1600s, and feature carryover cast members and plenty of gory deaths. Let's just say that after watching this you'll be extra careful around a bread slicer. -Tim Surette [TRAILER]      

Toni Collette, Hereditary

Toni Collette, Hereditary

A24

Hereditary

After the death of their secretive grandmother, a family begins to notice a series of disturbing incidents that leave them trying to escape the fate they've inherited. This is an excellent, truly horrifying movie, but the main reason to put it on is Toni Collette, who gives an absolute powerhouse performance as the mother of the family. [TRAILER]       

Suspiria

Suspiria

Amazon Studios

Suspiria

Luca Guadagnino directs this remake of the 1977 Dario Argento horror classic. Dakota Johnson stars as Susie, a seemingly fresh-faced dancer who travels from Ohio to Berlin to study at an elite dance academy and is quickly named head dancer. As Suspiria unfolds, and as more students and teachers are found dead or go missing entirely, it becomes increasingly clear that something very sinister and supernatural is going on underneath the surface. Also, Tilda Swinton plays three roles, and for one of them she gets to dress up as an old man. It's kooky, it's campy, and it's also very, very scary. [TRAILER]       

Megan Fox, Jennifer's Body

Megan Fox, Jennifer's Body

Twentieth Century Fox

Jennifer's Body

Despite being utterly panned when it was first released, time has been kind to Jennifer's BodyKaryn Kusama's 2009 teen horror film earned cult classic status a few years ago, largely thanks to its voracious internet fandom, who rightfully pointed out all the ways this movie was not only very good but also very ahead of its time. Megan Fox stars as Jennifer, a high school girl who gets (spoiler) possessed and has to feed on boys in order to stay alive, with her best friend Needy (Amanda Seyfried) the only one able to stop her. It's infinitely quotable, incredibly funny, and so, so smart. [TRAILER]      

Midsommar

Midsommar

Amazon Studios

Midsommar

Even if you haven't seen Midsommar, you've probably at least seen the memes or heard someone quote its most iconic line: "Do you feel held by him?" This is the break-up movie to end all break-up movies, starring Florence Pugh as a girl who, while emotionally recovering from a devastating family tragedy, tags along on a trip to Sweden with her terrible boyfriend and his terrible friends to attend a festival that only occurs once every 90 years. And because this was directed by Ari Aster, the guy whose twisted mind also brought us Hereditary, it naturally devolves into a story about a neopagan cult, flower crowns, and unspeakable horrors occurring in broad daylight. [TRAILER]      

Joel Edgerton, It Comes at Night

Joel Edgerton, It Comes at Night

A24/Netflix

It Comes at Night

While an unidentified illness ravages the world's population, a man holes up inside his secluded home in the woods with his wife and son. Their tenuous peace is disturbed by the arrival of another family, also looking for a place to stay safe from the disease. If this one seems a little, um, on the nose for you right now, we understand. [TRAILER   

The Nightmare Before Christmas

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Disney

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Is it a Halloween movie? Is it a Christmas movie? Why not both?! Jack Skellington, the unhappy pumpkin king of Halloweentown who's become bored with his repetitively spooky life, discovers a new passion when he accidentally learns of the existence of Christmastown. He decides to kidnap Santa Claus and take over his role, but as you can imagine, things don't go exactly as planned. [TRAILER]     

Child's Play

Child's Play

Child's Play

A kid discovers his new doll has been possessed by the spirit of a serial killer named Chucky. While I've always found this to be one of the dumber horror franchises, it sure has endured through the years, hasn't it? [TRAILER]     

Pet Sematary

Pet Sematary

Paramount Pictures

Pet Sematary (2019)

Stephen King's supernatural horror novel about a family that discovers an ancient burial ground behind their house was adapted once before in the '80s, but this most recent one is worth checking out if you want a cheap scare. [TRAILER]     

The Omen

The Omen

YouTube

The Omen (1976)

The Omen was famously remade in 2006, but have you seen the original film it was based on? Gregory Peck stars as a politician who begins to suspect his adopted son might just be the Antichrist. [TRAILER]     

The Craft

The Craft

Columbia Pictures

The Craft

The new girl at a Catholic high school befriends three outcasts who regularly practice witchcraft. When their spells appear to be working, the four begin to go mad with power. [TRAILER]     

Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

Ben Rothstein

The Conjuring

Two paranormal investigators (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) are called on to investigate a haunted house, quickly discovering the malevolent presence lurking around them. The weirdest part of this whole movie is that it claims to be based on a true story. [TRAILER]     

Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th

Warner Bros.

Friday the 13th

The character of Jason Voorhees has been through many, many iterations throughout the decades, but this film, about a summer camp being targeted by a killer disguised behind a hockey mask, gives us his origin story. [TRAILER]     

A Nightmare on Elm Street

A Nightmare on Elm Street

New Line Cinema

A Nightmare on Elm Street

Much like Jason, Freddy Kreuger (Robert Englund) is at this point such a legendary film character that it's almost difficult to imagine a time when he wasn't around. This film, though, takes us back to the beginning, revolving around four teenagers who are attacked and killed by Kreuger in their dreams and in real life. [TRAILER]     

What We Do in the Shadows

What We Do in the Shadows

Paramount Pictures

What We Do in the Shadows

In this horror-comedy, three vampire roommates are the subjects of a mockumentary about the hardships and daily pitfalls of modern-day life as a member of the undead community. This is one of those "Halloween movies for people who are scared of Halloween movies" movies, and once you finish it, you can go check out the excellent FX comedy series based on the film, which is just as much fun (if not even more) as the source material. [TRAILER]       

Adam Sandler, Hubie Halloween

Adam Sandler, Hubie Halloween

Scott Yamano/Netflix

Hubie Halloween

Adam Sandler threatened that if he wasn't nominated for an Oscar for Uncut Gems, he'd make the "worst movie ever." While this was his direct follow up to Gems, it's not the worst movie ever! It's actually goofily charming, starring Sandler as Hubie, the bumblingly earnest resident punching bag in his hometown of Salem, Massachusetts, who somehow finds himself involved in a very real murder case on Halloween. [TRAILER   

Wunmi Mosaku and Sope Dìrísù, His House

Wunmi Mosaku and Sope Dìrísù, His House

Aidan Monaghan/NETFLIX

His House

A refugee couple from South Sudan find their new housing in England is not what it seems in this chilling and stylish horror movie from writer-director Remi Weekes. If you love ghosts and grief but are ready for a little more intensity, His House is a must-watch; it's a haunted house story that blends serious scares with thoughtful commentary on immigration and trauma. Plus, it's anchored by unmissable performances from stars Wunmi Mosaku and Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù. -Kelly Connolly [TRAILER]      

Paranorman

Paranorman

Laika/Focus Features

ParaNorman

This inventive animated movie follows Norman, a kid with the ability to communicate with the dead, as the only person who can save his town from a centuries-old curse. [TRAILER]