Best Halloween Movies

By Isabella Brady 

When it comes to fall, Halloween movies prove quite essential to fully enveloping one in the holiday. Below are some of my favorites of both family and horror movies for the spooky season.

Family Movies 

Hocus Pocus 1993 [PG]

A Halloween classic, Hocus Pocus enlivens the legendary tale of the Sanderson Sisters of Salem, and introduces them in the modern day context. The comedic storyline celebrates the traditions behind the eerie holiday, and a hilarious renewal to the ancient figures. Overall, the movie provides a feel good atmosphere to start off the Halloween season. 

Hubie Halloween 2020 [PG-13]

A lighthearted comedy, Adam Sandler’s obnoxious role in Hubie Halloween has brought laughs to thousands over the seriousness of quarantine. Although some criticize the corny nature of the movie, for those who want an escape from serious horror films, Hubie Halloween is a hilarious honeymoon from typical seasonal movies.

The House with a Clock it its Walls 2018 [PG]

In a creative triumph which unites fantasy with mystery and comedy, The House with a Clock in its Walls proves a genuinely original film which spurs laughter and apprehension in all audiences. The story follows the ten-year old protagonist Lewis in his journey of magic and self discovery when he moves in with his peculiar uncle Jonathan. To the final scene, families are captivated by the heartfelt journey and unimaginable adventures which await the young boy in a celebration of adolescence and curiosity.

Goosebumps (1+2) 2015 & 2018 [PG]

Masterfully walking the edge, Goosebumps proves a thoughtfully crafted interpretation of R.L. Stine’s popular book series that the whole family can enjoy. Unleashing the world of Stine’s monsters, the movie narrates the tumultuous world of teens Zach and Hannah as they struggle to return the literary creations to their intended realm in R.L. Stine’s books. Providing a family friendly atmosphere, the movie allows adults and children to simultaneously enjoy a creepy holiday film.


Ma 2019 [R]

Starring Octavia Spencer, Ma is my all time favorite among many successful horror films. Exploring the impacts of mental health and past traumas, the suspenseful film uproots Sue Ann’s sad childhood, as she struggles to be accepted as an adult; with high schoolers. As society creates its own monsters, “Ma’s” open door to these partying teenagers rapidly deteriorates to irrational vengeance once her suspicious behavior and violence alienates herself among her newfound ‘friends’. Evoking deep seated fear, the unpredictable plot and suspense leave the audience on edge until the very end.

Ready or Not 2019 [R]

On the happiest day of her life, Grace’s marriage to the man of her dreams and newfound family are shattered when the Le Domas family insists on playing hide and seek –with crossbows. Hunted, Ready or Not compares one’s expectations with harsh reality in a test of true loyalty and strength. Truly unpredictable, the unique horror film satisfies viewers in every regard, from shocking sequences, to flashes of humor, all audiences will be at the edge of their seats rooting for Grace’s survival until the first climax …and the next.

Happy Death Day 2017 & Happy Death Day 2 U 2019 [PG-13] 

In a dark interpretation of Groundhog Day, the Happy Death Day franchise outlines the protagonist, Tree’s new harsh reality. Over many days, or ‘day’ her repeated murder by an eerily masked figure lead her to track and investigate the mysterious case which quite literally leaves her restless. In a suspenseful film with frequent comedy, Tree discovers herself and those she will hold closest to her. Ironically a lighter hearted horror film, Happy Death Day proves a good balance for mixed audiences while upholding the Halloween feeling. 

Sinister 1+2 2012 & 2015 [R]

A horrifying and original take on the boogeyman, Sinister introduces a young family’s move to a beautiful house with a haunting legacy. As father and writer Ellison Oswald investigates the mass murder of the previous inhabitants, he encounters tapes which disturbingly capture gruesome deaths of countless families. Exposing his children to the dangerous entity Baghuul, Ellison must fight to ensure his family does not become the next victims. As a lover of horror films, I highly recommend this one for anyone who wants to challenge themselves this Halloween.

Truth or Dare 2018 [PG-13] 

In a dramaticized horror film, Truth or Dare encompasses an original idea which an innocent game can kill you. Led by a group of college students exposed to a demonic entity, the fates of themselves and the world rest on who they invite to play the deadly game. With an unsettling plot, the suspense makes the film truly captivating. From its innocent exposition to witty resolution, the movie proves a great social movie for those who want to experience mild fear this Halloween.

Here are some of my other favorite modern horror films. Enjoy!

  • Halloween 2018 [R]
  • Us 2019 [R]
  • Escape Room 2019 [PG-13]
  • Child’s Play 2019 [R]
  • Get Out 2017 [R]
  • It 2017 [R]
  • It Chapter Two 2019 [R]
  • The Invisible Man 2020 [R]
  • The Conjuring 2013 [R]
  • A Quiet Place 2018 [PG-13]
  • Fantasy Island 2020 [PG-13]
  • Brightburn 2019 [R]
  • Prom Night 2008 [PG-13]
  • Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark 2019 [PG-13]
  • Hereditary 2018 [R]
  • The Turning 2020 [PG-13]
  • The Curse of La Llorona 2019 [R]
  • Birdbox 2018 [R]