Halloween is officially here, Hamilton. After weeks of preparation, the candy has been purchased, the costumes have been made and the trick-or-treaters will be knocking on our door any hour now. As the evening winds down and the kids are off to bed, we can’t wait to get cozy and watch some classic Halloween movies.
There’s plenty of great Halloween movies to chose from, but we’ve narrowed them down to what we think should be on everybody’s watch list.
Here’s out 2018 list for the 10 best Halloween movies.
Kicking off our list at number 10 is Ghostbusters (1984). The film follows three former parapsychologists after losing their jobs due to a ghost investigation gone wrong. The three men band together, creating high-tech equipment to capture ghosts and rid New York City of paranormal activity.
This 1980’s classic is a fun, light-hearted film that’s equal parts comedy and supernatural. If you’re looking for laughs instead of scares tonight, we recommend watching Ghostbusters.
Twenty-five years after its initial release, Hocus Pocus (1993) continues to be a Halloween staple across North America. The film takes place in Salem, Massachusetts, where three witches have cursed their town for over 300 years. In a young boy’s attempt to impress a new crush, he accidentally resurrects the witches and chaos ensues.
While the film was not a critical or commercial success when it was first released, Hocus Pocus has gained a cult following – you’ve probably caught it on the Family Channel or the Disney Channel at least a few times this month.
Hocus Pocus is a great film to put on if the kids can’t fall asleep – it’s whimsical, family friendly and a Halloween classic.
Be careful – if you say his name three times, he’ll appear!
Directed by Tim Burton, Beetlejuice (1988) follows a recently deceased young couple that become ghosts that haunt their former home. When a new family moves into their home, the couple works alongside another ghost named Betelgeuse (pronounced Beetlejuice) to scare the new family away.
Beetlejuice is the perfect mix of all things comedic, horrifying and bizarre. To this day, the film still stands as a highly original concept and is a creative masterpiece. If you’re looking for something a little creepy that’ll still make you laugh, Beetlejuice is an excellent choice.
Coming in at seventh place is Donnie Darko (2001). Set during the month of October, the film follows the title character after he encounters Frank, a figure in a terrifying rabbit costume, who warns Donnie that the world will end in just over 28 days. The rest of the film follows Donnie as he seeks the meaning behind Frank’s doomsday message and his corresponding visions.
While Donnie Darko isn’t necessarily scary, its intricate plot and dark subject matter is a lot to take in. If you prefer movies that don’t give you all the answers and make you think, Donnie Darko is the perfect film.
Scream (1996) is slasher film set in the fictional town of Woodsboro, California. The film follows Sidney Prescott, a high school student who becomes the target of a mysterious killer known as Ghostface.
Scream is thought to have single-handedly revived the horror genre in the 1990s. Due to its combination of black comedy, mystery and violence, as well as its ability to satirize the clichés of most horror movies, the film was considered incredibly unique at the time of its release.
If you’re looking for a good “whodunit” horror film to watch tonight, we recommend Scream.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) is a musical science-fiction horror-comedy film that is a Halloween staple across the world. The film follows Brad and Janet, a young couple whose car breaks down in the rain. After finding a near-by castle and asking to use their telephone, the couple is swept into the world of Dr. Frank N. Furter and their lives become changed forever.
This bizarre and wild ride of a film was created as both a parody and tribute to many science fiction and horror films from decades past. Rocky Horror is regarded as a cult classic, continuing to be shown at midnight screenings across the world. Still in limited release four decades after its premiere, Rocky Horror is the longest-running theatrical release in history.
Looking to laugh, dance, feel confused and have your life changed forever? We recommend watching The Rocky Horror Picture Show tonight.
The Sixth Sense
The Sixth Sense (1999) is a supernatural horror film that tells the story of Cole Sear, a troubled young boy who is able to see and talk to the dead, and his psychologist who tries to help him. The film boasts a twist conclusion that audiences will never see coming.
While horror films are usually snubbed during awards season, The Six Sense was nominated for six Academy Awards. Up until last year, The Sixth Sense was the highest-grossing horror film of all time.
If you haven’t seen The Sixth Sense and love a good twist ending, there’s no better film than this one.
Friday the 13th
Friday the 13 (1980) is one of the most quintessential Halloween movies. The slasher film tells the story of a group of teenagers who are killed one by one by a mysterious killer while trying to re-open an abandoned summer camp.
The film spawned a popular franchise, seeing the creation of 11 more films involving Jason Voorhees. Friday the 13 played a prominent role as inspiration to many slasher films that would be released throughout the 1980s.
If you’re looking to get scared, or never want to step foot into a summer camp ever again, we recommend watching Friday the 13.
A Nightmare on Elm Street
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) is a Wes Craven slasher classic. The plot focuses on four teenagers who are killed in their dreams – and later in real life – by a killer with a bladed glove. While the teenagers are unaware of why their friends keep dying, their parents hold a dark secret from long ago.
While staying true to many attributes of the slasher genre, the film carves out a spot for itself in history due to its ability to toy with audience perceptions. As the film flips back and forth between dreams and reality, the boundary between what’s real and what’s imaginary is often blurred.
Whether you’re familiar with Freddy Krugar or not, A Nightmare on Elm Street is always worth a re-watch during the Halloween season.
Coming in at number one is Halloween (1978). The film tells the story of Michael Myers, a serial killer who stalks and murders teenage babysitters on Halloween night. Not much is known about Michael Myers, with the exception of him being committed to a sanitarium for the childhood murder of his older sister.
The film has spawned a long and successful franchise; the latest and eleventh instalment of the films was released this month. Outside of the films, Halloween has lived on over the years through novels, video games and a comic book series.
There are many reasons as to why Halloween earned its rightful place as our top pick for Halloween movies. Halloween’s direction, cinematography and score played a great deal in our decision, but there’s no denying that this movie is a classic, through and through.
What changes would you make to our list? Let us know in the comments!
Whatever movies you decide to watch tonight, you’re bound to have a great time. Happy Halloween, Hamilton!