Top 10 Halloween movies

Cayden Osborn, Howler Staff Writer

Looking for good Halloween movies to get you into the holiday? Check out this list. 

10 – The Shining (1980)

The Shining, produced by Stanley Kubrick, has become a cult classic horror movie that deserves to be seen at least once in everyone’s’ lifetime. Although my mind can’t fully comprehend the meaning behind the movie, the cinematic components more than compensate for the plot confusion. I may not be a physiological horror movie enthusiast, but I do have an irrational fear of Jack Nicholson. He was by far the scariest thing in the movie. 

9 – The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

The Nightmare Before Christmas is the perfect Halloween movie that suits not only Halloween but Christmas as well. The soundtrack is top tier, and Jack and Sally are relationship goals. Another good character is Boogieman; the villain in the story, but it’s hard not to like him. The claymation is done very well and the incorporation of the other holidays is a unique feature. The best, and by far cutest, scene is when Jack and Sally sing “Jack and Sally’s song” atop a hill.

8 – The Conjuring (2013)

A movie loosely based on the real-life experiences of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren follows their journey through the Enfield poltergeist case, while also depicting the investigation of the Amityville haunting. The movie is scary in itself, but knowing it’s based on a true story adds an extra level of terror to the story. The story is straightforward, gore-free and jump-scare-filled. This is the perfect classic haunted-house horror movie.

7- It (2017) 

It gave me spine-chilling nightmares for two years. The story follows a group of friends who band together to battle a demonic clown that returns to their town every 27 years. The actors played their characters perfectly and it was one of the few movies that was able to hold my attention the whole time. I love that it was not only a horror movie, but also a thriller and comedy movie. 

6 – Halloweentown (1998)

After three siblings follow their grandmother home from a visit, they end up in Halloweentown. Up until the age of 8, I thought seeing this movie was a universal experience, but it’s not and it should be. It’s a movie that gives you the feeling of fall and pure nostalgia. Who realistically didn’t ever want to visit Halloweentown? 

5 – A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

When teenagers begin to be tortured by the twisted Freddy Krueger in their dreams, they attempt to take action. I love the fact that A Nightmare on Elm Street makes me laugh uncontrollably rather than scaring me. It’s hard to believe that at one point this was a genuinely scary horror movie. Freddy Krueger is iconic, young Johnny Depp was hot and this movie is a cultural reset. 

4 – Beetlejuice (1988)

When two ghosts stuck in their previous home make attempts to scare off the new residents, Beetlejuice appears. Beetlejuice, another iconic 80s movie that takes a unique approach. Beetlejuice shows an inventive point of view of the afterlife and does it in a funny way. As a kid, this movie felt like a fever dream because of how chaotic it is, but now I just laugh at how bad the special effects are. The whole movie is so outlandish that while watching you question why you’re watching it and then Michael Keaton appears and you forget all of your worries. 

3 – Scream (1996)

Scream, now a renowned cult classic Halloween movie, has had possibly the biggest influence on Halloween and Spooky culture in general. Ghostface is a staple Halloween costume and is found in almost every Halloween costume store around America. The incredible acting in conjunction with the uncomfortable and eerie plot makes it easily one of the best slasher films to date.

2 – Coraline (2009)

After Coraline moves into a new house and discovers a small door hidden, her life is flipped upside down.  Coraline is an amazing film through and through. It’s appealing to the eye and has a fantastic plot twist for those who haven’t seen it a thousand times like myself. Coraline does a fantastic job of constructing scenes that perfectly coincide with the life lesson that “Everything is not what it seems”. This movie will forever be on my top 10 list. 

1- Hocus Pocus (1993)

On Halloween night, Max Dennison lights a black candle bringing back the Sanderson sisters for one whole night. With the release of Hocus Pocus 2, it seems only fitting to put this family-friendly, goofy Halloween movie at number one. A movie that will make you audibly laugh despite how cheesy it truly is. The Sanderson sisters make this movie a must watch. When I think of Halloween, I think of this movie and that’s why it’s at the top of my list.