The best Halloween movies will give you goosebumps and good scares

Watching spooky Halloween movies is as much a fall tradition as carving jack-o-lanterns and sipping apple cider

TUNNEY,BALK,TRUE,CAMPBELL, THE CRAFT, 1996, Halloween movies
(Image credit: Allstar Picture Library Ltd. / Alamy Stock Photo)

Wicked witches, paranormal forces, sinister slashers—these Halloween movies have all that and more. 

When October rolls around, all we want to do is stock up on copious amounts of Halloween candy, light a few moody candles and settle in for a spooky movie night, and these festively freaky flicks are perfect for your watch list.

Whether you want the scariest movies on Netflix or a '90s throwback that your inner kid will love, here are the best Halloween movies to watch before October 31st rolls around. 



The best Halloween movies for a spooky marathon

1. 'Scream'

What's your favorite scary movie? This modern-day horror classic directed by Wes Craven and starring Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, and David Arquette is definitely up there. Dare to enter the world of Woodsboro yourself? This year, you can actually Airbnb the iconic Scream house for only five bucks a night!

2. 'Practical Magic'

Not a huge fan of horror but still want to get into the spooky Halloween mood? Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman as two witch sisters with romance issues—the men they fall in love with are doomed to an untimely death—should more than do the trick. 

3. 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show'

Let's do the Time Warp again! Don't worry if you don't know the moves by heart—it's just a jump to the left, and then a step to the right and, well, you'll figure out the rest. This cult-favorite 1978 musical is a midnight movie classic, so gather your gang for a 12:00 screening at your house and get ready to shiver with antici..............pation. 

4. 'It'

It's not Halloween without a little Stephen King. Based on King's 1986 novel of the same name, the 2017 movie adaptation starring Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise and a gaggle of kids led by Stranger Things star Finn Wolfhard is as bone-chilling as the source material. If you're feeling brave, make it a devilish double feature with It: Chapter Two. 

5. 'Hocus Pocus'

It's not whether or not we'll watch this 1993 Disney classic during the Halloween season—it's more how many times will we watch it. The hilarious hijinks of the evil Sanderson Sisters (the epic trio of Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy) truly never get old. 

6. 'A Nightmare on Elm Street'

Has an address ever sparked so much fear? A Wes Craven classic starring Robert Englund as the nightmare-inducing Freddy Krueger, this 1984 slasher flick will make you not want to go to sleep at night—especially since the movie sees Krueger invading folks' dreams to kill them. Eek!

7. 'Beetlejuice'

Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! Well, you know the rest. Starring the undisputed Queen of Halloween, Winona Ryder, as well as Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Catherine O'Hara and Michael Keaton as the titular poltergeist, this fantastical comedy from Tim Burton will have you snickering in between the spooks.

8. 'The Craft' 

A goth-girl classic (those outfits though!), this 1996 teen horror movie sees Robin Tunney, Fairuza Balk, Neve Campbell and Rachel True as four California high schoolers who discover the power—and danger—of witchcraft. It'll make you want to pull out those Doc Martens and that 90s slip dress, but maybe leave the spellbooks alone, eh?

9. 'Carrie'

Another Stephen King adaption—he is horror royalty, after all—this 1976 Brian de Palma classic features an Academy Award-nominated turn by Sissy Spacek as Carrie White, a shy high schooler with telekinetic powers. That famously gory prom scene is proof, there's nothing scarier than high school. 

10. 'The Addams Family'

Angelica Huston as Morticia. Christina Ricci as Wednesday. Raul Julia as Gomez. What more could you possibly need? Spend an entire night with that killer campy cast by making it an Addams double feature of 1991's The Addams Family and 1993's Addams Family Values

11. 'Get Out'

A satirical spooker based on the real-life horrors of casual racism, this 2017 Jordan Peele thriller starring Daniel Kaluuya and Allison Williams is one of the scariest flicks in recent memory. You'll never stir a cup of tea the same way again. 

12. 'Halloween'

One word: duh. 

Christina Izzo
Christina Izzo

Christina Izzo is the Deputy Editor of My Imperfect Life. 


More generally, she is a writer-editor covering food and drink, travel, lifestyle and culture in New York City. She was previously the Features Editor at Rachael Ray In Season and Reveal, as well as the Food & Drink Editor and chief restaurant critic at Time Out New York


When she’s not doing all that, she can probably be found eating cheese somewhere.