10 Best Halloween Movies of all Time
Best For Film has selected some of the best Halloween movies out there – provided you understand we are scouting solely for the best Halloween movies, not the best horror films. There’s a difference. Ranging from classic eighties screamfest slasher films to spooky family-friendly affairs, our top 10 Halloween films are guaranteed to make you appreciate the frothy grand guignol of All Hallows Eve. We want scout camp ghost stories, razorblades in pumpkins, skellingtons, screaming teenagers and even more skellingtons, this time dancing the fandango. You’ll not find Rosemary’s Baby, or Night of the Living Dead, or The Exorcist on our list – wonderful and terrifying horror films that they are. Quite frankly, they’re too good, and too disquieting. Without further ado, here are the top 10 best of the worst of the very best Halloween films to settle down to on October 31st whilst ignoring the pitiful mewing of the costumed children outside.
ScreamRated R. Scream was the first movie to go meta and play with all the tired conventions of teen slasher flicks by working your expectations into the plot then deftly derailing them. Scream‘s deserved success spawned a million imitators. Like Wolverine, it’s still the best there is at what it does. The plot? Oh yeah. A psychopathic serial killer is stalking a group of teens… just like in the movies!
Jumps galore. Scream may be satirising slasher films but it still aims to deliver the same thrills.
Not that spooky, to be honest. It’s all quite modern and meta.
Scream plays up the sexy factor for genuinely amusing reasons.
SILLY HAIR Factor
Generic teenagers never have silly hair. They’re far too generic .
Not related to Halloween as such – but Scream is a great film for watching in company.
Sidney Prescott: You sick f*cks, you’ve seen one too many movies!
Billy: Now, Sid. Don’t you blame the movies. Movies don’t create psychos. Movies make psychos more creative.
Trick ‘R’ TreatRated R. Trick ‘R’ Treat is honestly one of the best Halloween movies out there for its charming almost-cleverness sidling alongside the silly, using the thrill of traditional scout camp ghost stories to turn slasher flick conventions on their head. The serial-killer high school principal, the college virgin who’s holding out for Mister Right, the teenagers who pull a mean prank and a woman who loathes the night… These four Halloween stories culminate in one intriguing little sweet-sour twist. It’s pure pumpkin froth – enjoy.
It works mostly on suspense, but there are plenty of eek-jump moments and some creepy elements of suspense. Introverted kids and children with big heads are always frightening.
Serial killers and misty marshes IN YOUR FACE.
It’s got the whole sexy cheerleaders pouting and screaming thing. Some of them are sex-mad hotties, some of them wear chastity rings… all of them aren’t quite as they seem.
SILLY HAIR Factor
It was made in 2007 so the hair will look quite modern and normal. Watch it in ten years’ time – then you’ll think it’s got silly hair.
Sky high. This was a movie made specifically to tie in with Halloween. You want scary pumpkins? You got scary pumpkins.
Trick ‘r Treat Quotes
Chip: You must really like Halloween.
Rhonda: You mean Samhain?
Rhonda: Samhain, also known as All Hallows’ Eve, also known as Halloween. Pre-dating Christianity, the Celtic holiday was celebrated on the one night between autumn and winter when the barrier between the living and the dead was thinnest, and often involved rituals that included human sacrifice.
Rhonda: I like your eye patch.
Fright NightRated 18. When a teenager discovers his next door neighbour is a vampire, no-one will believe him. Don’t be put off by the idea of a vampire movie created in the mid eighties. Don’t think “Urrr, it has a rhyming title, that bodes ill”. A splendid idea and a great cast, coupled with SFX ahead of their time (and not too many of them) make Fright Night a clever, cool Halloween film that even self-confessed pretentious lovers of foreign films will delight in. This is an offbeat and sexy eighties vampire film that will surprise you with its chutzpah.
The 18 rating should give you a clue. The comedy and romance are underpinned by fear. This is real Halloween horror.
Fright Night is held in renown for its spooky atmosphere. Again, don’t get fooled by the name.
Romance doesn’t weaken this film – it tempers it.
SILLY HAIR Factor
High. But isn’t that at least partially why people watch films from the eighties?
Fright Night is an ideal Halloween movie to watch with company, with a loved one or on your own. A lesser-known gem with great acting all round and an atmosphere to die for.
Fright Night Quotes
Charley Brewster: That bastard! Why didn’t he tell us there was going to be a pop quiz?
Evil Ed Thompson: That’s the point of a pop quiz, Brewster… to surprise you.
HalloweenRated 18. How could we not include this 1978 indie Halloween classic? Psychotic murderer Tony Moran rampages after Jamie Lee Curtis wearing a scary white mask. Yes, it’s a slasher flick, but these are two actors who know what they’re doing. When Jamie Lee Curtis runs around screaming with her tits nearly falling out it’s not like some candyfloss-haired understudy doing it. You can feel those screams.
One of the earlier slasher films, this bad boy set a precedent. As a result, the jumps are more integral, more adrenalin-fuelled. The suspense is more harrowing. As slasher films go, Halloween is excellently done, and a real heart pounder.
Murderous Michael’s Halloween mask is really quite unpleasant.
Jamie Lee Curtis. Nuff said. Although that rather depends how much you like Jamie Lee Curtis.
SILLY HAIR Factor
The hairstyles are quite restrained. Subterranean laboratories dedicated to the creation of hairspray with extra shimmer did not get built until 1982. Even then, the government didn’t admit to it.
This is a Halloween film about Halloween that originally came out in time for people to watch it at Halloween. Clue: It’s not an Easter movie.
Sheriff Leigh Brackett: It’s Halloween; everyone’s entitled to one good scare.
Nightmare On Elm StreetRated 18. Oh, go on then. There’s a serial killer called Freddy Krueger who’s got holes in his jumper, and he was born of the seed of a million mass murderers, and he comes to kill you in your dreams. In this slasher film, the saddo teenagers who dream of him somehow manage to be more imaginitive than you’d initially give them credit for. Freddy Krueger has got slashy fingers and his jumper is stripy.
Shocks and not too dated grimness galore. Slashy slashy!
Plenty of suspense of the teenage horror kind. Also, little girls saying nursery rhymes in floaty white dresses. Nobody likes that.
Robert Englund is no Justin Timberlake.
SILLY HAIR Factor
Bedhead. ‘Tis why Krueger wore a hat.
An absolute classic of its kind that is nothing to do with Halloween whatsoever, but will still get you in the mood.
Nightmare on Elm Street Quotes
Children: One, two, Freddy’s coming for you. / Three, four, better lock your door. / Five, six, grab your crucifix. / Seven, eight, better stay awake. / Nine, ten, never sleep again.
Rod Lane: [to Tina] Guys can have nightmares too ya know. Ya ain’t got a corner on the market or somethin’.
Fred Krueger: I’m your boyfriend now, Nancy.