We are edging into October and my favourite time of year is in full swing. Of course I like the pagan holiday at the end of the month but I also really love secular Halloween. One thing that I try to do every year is celebrate the month by watching a movie every day that has some connection to either Halloween itself or a wider theme I associate with the time of year: ghosts, the dead, monsters, or witches. It’s just a nice way to keep in the Halloween frame of mind and have fun with it all.
Starting out the month I’d like to offer my suggestions for a variety of movies to watch across a few genres. If you’d like, please add your own suggestions in the comments. Obviously you can tailor any category to your own taste or just stick to one specific one if you don’t like the others – after all not everyone will want to watch kids’ movies, necessarily, or horror. The idea is to just have fun with this and make it a way to stay in the spirit every day as we go through the month leading up to Halloween.
So, without further ado, my suggested list of 31 movies broken down by genre:
There’re, probably unsurprisingly, many movies for children of various ages that are set on or around Halloween. I’ll list some of the ones I like the most and watch with my kids every year here.
- It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown – it wouldn’t be Halloween without Linus out in that pumpkin patch waiting for the Great Pumpkin
- Monster House – a very different take on a haunting which I appreciated
- The Nightmare Before Christmas – is it a Halloween movie or a Christmas movie? My answer – both. Definitely both.
- Halloweentown – you can’t go wrong with a movie that has witches and a Halloween-themed town
- Twitches – this movie has everything: witches, twins separated at birth, alternate realities, and Halloween
- ParaNorman – not explicitly Halloween, but it’s got ghosts and zombies so it’s still great this time of year
- The Addams Family – one of my kids favourites, we always watch this one at some point in October
- Ghostbusters – the original is a staple for Halloween-themed fun movies, if only to sing the theme song
- Ghostbusters (remake) – for contrast the remake of Ghostbusters is a fun watch as well
- Mr. Boogedy – this 1980’s gem can be found online now. How can a movie about a family who moves to a town called ‘Lucifer Falls’ into a house haunted by a vengeful puritan spirit and his victims not be worth watching? More hilarious than scary, but definitely worth a watch.
- Fright Night – I admit not exactly a terrifying film, but entertaining and a great watch this time of year. Classic 80’s vampire movie that plays on the genre’s tropes.
Halloween Horror Movies
Some of these are Halloween-specific or themed, some are just good horror movies to watch around this time of year. I personally really like horror as a genre so some of these are just movies I try to rewatch in October, but they will generally have a theme either explicitly of Halloween, of relating to ghosts, or the dead.
- Halloween (original) – kind of a staple horror movie for the season but worth watching as a classic
- Trick’r’Treat – an interwoven narrative about the horrific consequences of breaking the ‘rules’ of Halloween
- The Haunting – what starts out as a psychological experiment turns into a real haunting
- House on Haunted Hill – remake of the Vincent Price original with a different storyline and a lot more blood
- Ghost Ship – salvage crew finds a cruise ship that’s been missing for decades but things take a sharp turn
- The Ring – probably best summarized as ‘be careful what you wish for’
- The Others – one of the more unique ghost movies out there
- Idle Hands – alright this is actually a horror-comedy but it’s set on Halloween and it’s very entertaining
- Poltergeist – a family dealing with a very haunted house and a psychic child
- Event Horizon – genuinely terrifying events on a space ship that may have been to hell. Liberate tutemet
- Interview With A Vampire – it’s not Halloween without vampires
Movies With Witches
In fairness some of the children’s movies also have witches and some of these movies aren’t strictly Halloween. It’s a bit fuzzy getting this all into categories, but these are always on my list of movies to watch this month so I’m including them here as well.
- Hocus Pocus – it’s cheesy, it’s campy, it’s ridiculous and it’s probably one of my favourite Halloween movies
- Sleepy Hollow – the one with Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci. A debatable point but I’m including it here because it’s great this time of year and I’d argue has two very different kinds of witches in it
- The Craft – a classic film with a little bit of everything
- Practical Magic – two sisters from a family of witches living with the family curse. Also bonus zombie (briefly anyway)
- The Blair Witch Project – Probably more apt in the horror category but I do have a lot of empathy for the witch in the story
- The VVitch – puritan witchcraft. Wouldst thou like to live deliciously?
- The Good Witch – and for something completely different, a Halloween-themed movie about a good witch who moves to a small town
- Warlock – playing with tropes of 17th century witch hunting and diabolism – the warlock is straight out of the pages of a witch hunter’s manual – nonetheless a good watch for October
Finally the 31st movie I’d like to suggest is my personal favourite, The Crow. It revolves around events that occur on Devil’s Night, the night before Halloween and has strong themes of love and redemption alongside revenge, death, and tragedy.