With the Halloween season finally here, moviegoers everywhere are looking to get their Halloween movie fix. Despite all the horror movies out there, though, there aren’t many that actually take place on Halloween. Here are the top 10 movies that do.
10. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Yes, technically this could also be a Christmas movie, but that’s the beauty of it! Jack Skellington decides that he’s tired of living in a Halloween world and sets off to investigate a new, more exciting holiday universe: Christmas. One of Tim Burton’s most-loved stop motion films, The Nightmare Before Christmas is sure to please adults and children alike. Oh, and did we mention it’s also a musical?
9. Ginger Snaps (2000)
What happens when a girl turns werewolf around Halloween? Everyone thinks it’s a costume, naturally. A new spin on werewolf mythology, Ginger Snaps tells the tale of two sisters who are obsessed with death. They stage photographic death scenes and have even made a death pact together. When Ginger, the older sister, is bitten by a werewolf, her younger sister must race against time to find a cure, but not before Ginger has already gotten out of control.
8. Hocus Pocus (1993)
More of a comedy than a horror movie, Hocus Pocus is a live-action Disney fan favorite about three witches who are brought back to life by the new kid in town (of course; who saw that coming?), who try to cope with the strange modern traditions of Halloween. They soon realize that Halloween is the worst night to try and take over any place, because let’s face it: Everyone claims to be a witch that day.
7. Casper (1995)
Like Hocus Pocus, Casper is a family-friendly Halloween-themed movie. With the events leading up to the climatic Halloween party, we see how Casper the Friendly Ghost struggles to make friends and find his place. After a greedy heiress discovers that her late father’s mansion is haunted, she hires afterlife therapist James Harvey to come and investigate. He moves in with his daughter, Kat, who in turn meets Casper. The three of them work together against the greedy Carrigan and Casper’s three “uncles,” who are determined to drive them all out.
6. Night of the Demons (1988)
Doesn’t anyone learn that séances are never a good idea, especially on Halloween? And any fool watching this movie would realize it was doubly stupid for Angela and her friends to try holding a séance in an abandoned morgue. When they release evil demons into the world, they must fight to survive or risk going to hell themselves. What a bad night.
5. May (2002)
For those seeking a more mental thrill this Halloween, May is the perfect movie. It’s centered around a weird young girl with an odd personality, May, who finds it very difficult to make friends. Her only true friend is a freaky-looking doll given to her by her mother. Shifting between a bizarre love affair with a gruff mechanic and another with her lesbian colleague, May still struggles to find a true human connection. So when her beloved doll gets broken, she sets about making her own. It’s a very creepy tale with a strangely heartwarming twist.
4. Donnie Darko (2001)
A cult classic, Donnie Darko revolves around a troubled young man and his giant rabbit friend, Frank. After Donnie nearly avoids dying in a freak plane accident, he begins to notice strange events around him. A string of supernatural and untimely events causes Donnie to see the aforementioned giant, rather creepy man in a rabbit costume. Watching this movie, you can tell it’s building toward something, but the twist at the end is even better than expected. Dealing with the theory of time travel and parallel timelines, Donnie Darko can be a head-scratcher for those who want to read too far into it, but it’s a great movie that shouldn’t be missed.
3. Trick ‘r Treat (2007)
Trick ‘r Treat is an interesting movie that intertwines five stories that all take place on Halloween. One couple discovers they shouldn’t be blowing out the jack o’ lanterns before midnight; a high school principle masquerades as a serial killer by night; a college-aged virgin thinks she’s met the perfect guy; a group of ill-meaning teens takes a Halloween prank a little too far; and a hermit is visited by a not-so-average trick-or-treater. Oh, and did we mention there’s a school bus full of dead children? There’s enough Halloween packed in to please any Halloween movie lover.
2. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
A heartwarming family classic, E.T. is known for the climatic bicycle scene across the moon on Halloween. A troubled child finds connection and companionship in a lost alien, and he and his siblings must find a way to get him home before the government tries to capture him for their sinister scientific testing. Though this movie is more family friendly than many on this list, there are some scenes that may scare young children. Still, this is must-see for any movie lover, and the ending will tug at anyone’s heartstrings.
1. Halloween (1978)
Even though there was a remake, the original Halloween is cited as the one that started the slasher movie trend. Where would this list be without it? An psychopathic killer escapes from an institution and stalks a young girl. Michael Myers is the antagonist, and this movie catapulted him straight to horror movie icon status. It’s a classic slasher movie that all horror buffs know and love, and a must-see for Halloween.
While there are many more wonderful and gory movies that have been released around Halloween, these are the 10 best ones that actually take place on Halloween. Whether you decide to watch one or even all of them this Halloween season, know you’ll be in for… a treat.