It's Official: These Are the Best Halloween Movies of All Time

Get ready for chills.

halloween movies


This article is updated monthly with our latest picks.

It's never too soon in the year to begin indulging in all things spooky. Whether that entails finalizing a costume choice or beginning to incorporate autumnal persuasions—like pumpkin-flavored everything—into your quotidian life, readying for Halloween can be just as much fun as the big night.

For those looking to get a head start on the frightening festivities, we've rounded up the 30 best Halloween movies of all time to add to your queue. From classic Hitchcock to '90s cult slashers, this lineup is guaranteed to get you in the Halloween spirit. Count down to October 31 with the haunting films every scary movie lover should have in their arsenal.

Here are our picks for the best Halloween movie of all time.

01 of 30

Poltergeist (1982)

A family moves into a new home, but then strange things start happening in the original, 1982 Poltergeist. It's the first film in a trilogy, plus Poltergeist was remade in 2015. We recommend the original.

02 of 30

Psycho (1960)

psycho film

 Everett Collection; ORIGINAL ART: Viviana Duron

When it comes to scary movies, Hitchcock can always be counted on. He's the mastermind behind the most classic thrillers and laid the groundwork for scary movies to follow. Psycho is about the spooky Bates Motel and those who die there.

03 of 30

Halloweentown (1998)

Marnie learns she's a witch in Halloweentown. She and her family must fight against an evil that is threatening to take over the world in this beloved Disney film.

04 of 30

The Exorcist (1973)

the exorcist

 Everett Collection; ORIGINAL ART: Viviana Duron

Few horror films are as chilling as this adaptation of the 1971 novel of the same name. The Exorcist is one of the most profitable horror movies ever made and is unfortunately loosely based on true events. As its name may imply, the film is about a young girl who has been ordered to get an exorcism.

05 of 30

Halloween (2018)

Jamie Lee Curtis returns in the 2018 sequel to 1978's Halloween. Killer Michael Myers escapes his institution once again, but this time Laurie is ready for him. 

06 of 30

Young Frankenstein (1974)

young frankenstein

Everett Collection; ORIGINAL ART: Viviana Duron

This Mel Brooks comedy parodies the classic horror film genre in black and white while delivering laughs and feel-good fun. It's about medical lecturer Dr. Frederick Frankenstein who has inherited the Frankenstein estate in Transylvania. Once there, he begins recreating his famous grandfather's experiments.

Available On: Amazon

07 of 30

Pet Sematary (2019)

Pet Sematary is based on a Stephen King novel, so you know it's spooky. A doctor and his family relocate to Maine, where they find a mysterious burial ground near their home. And then, an unspeakable evil is released.

08 of 30

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

the rocky horror picture show

 Everett Collection; ORIGINAL ART: Viviana Duron

A cult classic enjoyed year-round, The Rocky Horror Picture Show is especially relevant around Halloween. Two sweethearts stumble across an eerie mansion when they get a flat tire during a storm, and once they enter they meet quite the cast of characters.

09 of 30

Trick 'r Treat (2009)

Ghosts and goblins come out to play on Halloween in a small town in Trick 'r Treat. This is a slasher film you may not want to watch alone.

10 of 30

Halloween (1978)

halloween film

Everett Collection; ORIGINAL ART: Viviana Duron

Not for the faint of heart, this slasher film stars a young Jamie Lee Curtis in her film debut as she tries to survive Halloween night in 1978. A murderer escapes a sanitarium and wreaks havoc on a small town.

Available On: Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, Vudu

11 of 30

Goosebumps (2015)

A teen boy finds that his beautiful new teen girl neighbor's father is the author of the Goosebumps book series. The boy accidentally releases the monsters from the books, and the begin to terrorize the town. He must team up with his neighbors to return the beasts to their books.

12 of 30

The Shining (1980)

the shining

Everett Collection; ORIGINAL ART: Viviana Duron

In one of the most suspenseful classic horror films, Jack Nicholson steals the show while director Stanley Kubrick serves up some of the most iconic scary movie scenes we know today. The Shining is about a man who unravels and terrorizes his family.

13 of 30

Double, Double, Toil and Trouble (2009)

There's nothing like a Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen film to bring the nostalgia. In Double, Double, Toil and Trouble, the twins must trick their evil aunt out of a magic moonstone over Halloween in order to save their family home.

14 of 30

Ghostbusters (1984)


Everett Collection; ORIGINAL ART: Viviana Duron

Who ya gonna call? This supernatural comedy became an instant classic. A team of New York City scientists become ghostbusters, waging a battle against the supernatural, and stumble upon a gateway to another dimension.

15 of 30

Sleepy Hollow (1999)

Catch Johnny Depp as investigator Ichabod Crane in Sleepy Hollow, who must stop the Headless Horseman. Set in 1799, this film based on Washington Irving's tale The Legend of Sleepy Hollow remains spooky yet romantic.

16 of 30

Beetlejuice (1988)


Everett Collection; ORIGINAL ART: Viviana Duron 

Tim Burton is a director to turn to for Halloween thrills. His 1988 comedy-fantasy Beetlejuice is the epitome of a spooky spectacle that serves up some scares. Ghosts try to scare away a family who has moved into the home they're haunting, and they enlist the spooky spirit Beetlejuice for help.

17 of 30

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Freddy Krueger preys on teenagers in their dreams in A Nightmare on Elm Street, which kills them in reality. Nancy and her boyfriend Glen must find a way to help in this classic slasher film.

18 of 30

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

the nightmare before christmas

Everett Collection; ORIGINAL ART: Viviana Duron 

Tim Burton also has his hand at crafting impeccable stop-motion animated features. This dark musical fantasy holds a special place in the hearts of many. In The Nightmare Before Christmas, Halloween's pumpkin king Jack Skellington accidentally stumbles upon Christmastown, and plots to take over Christmas.

19 of 30

Monster House (2006)

Three friends find that a neighborhood house is a living, breathing monster, but nobody believes them in the animated film Monster House. Halloween is approaching and the friends must destroy the house before it swallows up innocent trick-or-treaters.

20 of 30

Edward Scissorhands (1990)

edward scissorhands

Everett Collection; ORIGINAL ART: Viviana Duron

Yet another Tim Burton masterpiece, this dark romantic fantasy is the director's personal favorite. Johnny Depp stars as Edward Scissorhands, an outcast man with scissor blades instead of hands.

21 of 30

E.T.,The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

If you've never seen this classic, now's the perfect time. A gentle alien stranded on Earth needs to phone home (and is helped by some local kids). May sound odd, but we promise E.T. is a real tear-jerker.

22 of 30

Hocus Pocus (1993)

hocus pocus

 Everett Collection; ORIGINAL ART: Viviana Duron

For a witchy good time, this early '90s cult classic is a favorite for one-liners. Teenagers explore an abandoned house and accidentally free a coven of angry witches in Hocus Pocus. The kids must ensure that these witches don't become immortal.

23 of 30

IT (2017)

If you're scared of clowns, watch out: IT is about a clown named Pennywise terrorizing a town. Children are disappearing, so a group of kids must square off against Pennywise in this film inspired by a Stephen King novel of the same name.

24 of 30

The Addams Family (1991)

the addams family

Everett Collection; ORIGINAL ART: Viviana Duron 

Based on characters from the cartoon of the same name, this comedy became something of a cult classic with its on-point casting (not to mention MC Hammer's Addams Groove). A man claiming to be Gomez Addams' brother arrives at the Addams house, but he is soon suspected to be a fraud.

25 of 30

Carrie (1976)

Carrie is another film adaption of one of Stephen King's books. High school outcast Carrie finds revenge on the classmates who cruelly bully her, using her telekinesis to punish them at prom in this classic.

26 of 30

Scream (1996)

scream film

Everett Collection; ORIGINAL ART: Viviana Duron

This '90 slasher film revitalized the horror genre and spawned a fear of the iconic ghost costume worn by its killer "Ghostface." It became the highest-grossing slasher film in the U.S.

27 of 30

Tim Burton's Corpse Bride (2005)

Here's another great stop-motion animation Tim Burton film. In Corpse Bride, a young man goes to the underworld to marry a corpse bride, but his real bride is waiting for him in the land of the living.

28 of 30

Donnie Darko (2001)

donnie darko

Everett Collection; ORIGINAL ART: Viviana Duron 

Though from the early aughts, this dark science-fiction film has become something of a classic in its own right. In Donnie Darko, a demonic-looking rabbit tells a teenager that the world will end in 28 days. Is it true?

29 of 30

The Sixth Sense (1999)

"I see dead people" ring a bell? The famed line comes from The Sixth Sense, a suspense film about a scared eight-year-old boy in therapy. You won't believe what's haunting him.

30 of 30

The Witch (2016)

What's Halloween without witches? A family unravels in the wilderness of New England in 1630 in this horror film about witchcraft, black magic, and possession.

Available On: Amazon Prime Video, Netflix

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