Top Ten Best Movies to Watch on Halloween

Laine Gamrath, Staff Writer

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Halloween is fast approaching, which means everyone is making plans for the night of October 31, whether it be trick-or-treating with younger siblings, handing out candy in your neighborhood, or piecing together an elaborate group costume with friends for a party. One thing that is never planned, however, is what movie to watch. You always end up scrolling through Netflix with no one agreeing on a title. To make that decision a little bit easier, here are the top ten best movies to watch on Halloween.


  1. The Sixth Sense

The Sixth Sense follows the relationship between a young boy, Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment), and his psychologist, Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis). The exposition of the play reveals that Malcolm, a renowned child psychologist, had only failed once with a patient — that patient having committed suicide in front of him. Cole was his first patient back on the job as he tries to overcome his failure. Although closed off and rude at first, Cole finally opens up and tells Malcolm his secret: he can see dead people, and they speak to him.

The movie continues through many twists and turns, ups and downs, and ends with a plot twist no new viewer will coming. This movie, though graphic at some points, is not quite as scary as it is thought provoking. It isn’t a “play in the background” kind of movie, but if understood, the end is guaranteed to shock and surprise all.


  1. Coraline

Coraline opens to present a young girl with the title name just as she moves into a new house. With a curious mind and parents who don’t have their priorities set on their only child, Coraline begins to explore her new apartment complex, and meets all her eccentric neighbors. This includes a kid named Wybie, who gives her a doll that looks eerily like herself. The doll leads Coraline to a secret door, which opens into an alternate reality of her own, except it is somehow her ideal version of her life. The “Other World” becomes increasingly unsettling, however, as Coraline investigates more and more about her “Other Mother” and the world she has created for her “daughter.”

Even though this movie is geared towards younger children and may seem much shallower than the aforementioned movie, Coraline will entice all as viewers experience the abnormalities along with the main character. Many people love it and many people love to hate it, but Coraline is one almost everybody can enjoy and understand as well as have fun with their friends.


  1. IT (2017)

It takes place in the fictional town of Derry, Maine, a small town with many secrets. After the mysterious disappearance of his younger brother Georgie, Bill Denbrough tries to solve the mystery of what happened with his friends while constantly evading Henry Bowers, the town bully, and his gang. As he and his friends dig deeper, they discover a mysterious being, which they call “It,” that uses what each kid fears most in order to feed on the children in their town every 27 years. As the friends try to stop It once and for all, they face the struggles of family, friendship, and love, as well as, of course, their worst fears.

This certainly is a horror movie, not for the faint-hearted, but even with the amount of jump scares and creepy visions, It is one that many horror movie and Stephen King fans will enjoy. If you’re up for paying attention to more than the horror aspect, the backstory of the kids and It’s relationship to the rest of the Stephen King Universe is actually something very interesting to look into.


  1. The Conjuring

The Conjuring opens on the Perron family; a husband, a wife, and their five daughters, as they move into their new farmhouse in Harrisville, Rhode Island. As soon as they move in, strange events start to take place, resulting in the death of their dog originally, and eventually leading to them hiring the demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren (same demonologists from Annabelle). As the investigation continues, the events escalate, leading to supernatural possessions and gory details.

The Conjuring is certainly the most horrific of the movies on this list, as you never know who the main characters can trust, and who really is the good character. If you and your friends are into the classic scary movie, complete with blood, ghosts, and the occasional visit from hell, then this is the movie for you.


  1. Beetlejuice

Beetlejuice is a Tim Burton movie about Barbara and Adam Maitland, who, when driving home from town, swerve to avoid a dog and end up dead in a car accident, which they find out from the Handbook for the Recently Deceased that they find in their home. Their pushy realtor sells the house to an eccentric family; the husband a former real estate developer, the wife a contemporary sculptor, and their daughter, Lydia, a goth teenage girl. The Maitlands want the new homeowners out of their house, and with the promised help of an untrustworthy demon “bio-exorcist” named Betelgeuse (pronounced Beetlejuice), they plan to run the family out of the house for good.

This movie is described as a “fantasy-comedy-horror” genre, completing the stereotypes of most Tim Burton movies. A common classic that has been turned into a Broadway musical, many of your friends may have already seen it, but it’s always a good pick for a more lighthearted comedic watch than some of the darker movies aforementioned.


  1. Scream

In this classic 90s horror movie, a murderer is on a killing spree in the town of Woodsboro, California. The killer, who seems to be targeting teenage girls, calls them and threatens and teases them over the phone as they sneak into the victim’s house and attempt to kill them, all while wearing a mask — later referred to as “Ghostface.” As the teens in the town cope in different ways and the local news reporters scramble to find out the truth, many attempted killings and gruesome fights ensue.

Scream is a fun horror-movie-appreciation session that isn’t as scary for the more easily frightened of the group, as the outdated special effects counteract the gory scenes in the film. A true classic for everyone, Scream is one that everyone should enjoy, whether you’re laughing through the action filled scenes or trying to figure out who the murder is yourself.


  1. Halloweentown

Halloweentown is a true Halloween-themed movie about a girl named Marnie and her two younger siblings who are mysteriously never allowed to participate in the normal Halloween activities. Gwen, their mother, is apprehensive as her mother, Aggie, visits them like she does every year. After hearing a suspicious conversation between her mother and grandmother, Marnie decides to follow her grandmother to her home. It turns out to be a home for monsters, witches and wizards called Halloweentown, resulting in her finding out that her grandmother, mother, and herself are all witches. As Marnie learns more about who she is, she helps her grandma solve the mystery of the disappearing citizens of Halloweentown, connecting with her whole family along the way.

If you love Disney Channel Original Movies, then this is the movie for you and your friends. Certainly not a scary movie, this themed children’s movie is sure to leave your whole group with feelings of your childhood, pretending to be a witch or a vampire while trick-or-treating in your childhood neighborhood. Choose this movie if you want some lighthearted fun movie time with your friends.


  1. The Nightmare Before Christmas

In The Nightmare Before Christmas, Jack Skellington, the “Pumpkin King,” finds himself growing tired of his same Halloween routine every year, and ventures out of Halloween Town to find Christmas Town, the town complete with gifts, elves, and reindeer. In order to bring a little spontaneity into the world of Halloween, Jack tries to take over Christmas, enlisting the help of his secret love, Sally, and many other residents of his town. As the plan increasingly spirals downward, Jack finds himself wondering what went wrong as he deals with the military, Santa Claus, and the Boogeyman as he attempts to save his newfound holiday.

Another Tim Burton movie, The Nightmare Before Christmas is different than any other typical Halloween movie, as it not only combines the holidays Halloween and Christmas, but it is also a stop motion musical. A children’s classic really for all ages, this movie is a popular one among the true fans of their childhood memories.


  1. Hocus Pocus

In Hocus Pocus, three witches that were on death row in Salem, Massachusetts in 1693 cast a curse that will allow them to be resurrected under certain conditions, after a kid named thackery Binx is transformed into a cat while trying to thwart their plans. 300 years later, in 1993, Max Anderson, a kid trying to impress his girlfriend on Halloween, resurrects the witches and he and his friends embark on a mission to save their town from the witches, who plan to take all the souls from the town’s children.

This movie, though seemingly scary, is actually a fantasy comedy that involves a human in the form of a cat, never-ending dance parties, and three women from the 1600s trying to acclimate to the 20th century. A movie guaranteed to make all laugh, Hocus Pocus is a true Halloween movie for all ages.


  1. Halloween

Halloween opens with the Michael Myers, a mental patient who killed his sister when he was six, and his psychiatrist, Dr. Samuel Loomis, who finds that Michael has escaped from the sanitarium at which he was being held. Michael drives to his hometown and starts to stalk Laurie Strode, an unsuspecting teenage girl. Through many close encounters and near misses, Loomis works to find the patient he lost in order to save the citizens of Haddonfield, Illinois from the murder on the loose.

The original slasher Halloween movie, Halloween (with the name to fit) is the classic jump scare movie that will have you looking over your shoulder once it’s over. Despite the seemingly mediocre special effects, as the movie was made in 1978, this movie is truly a classic in this holiday’s collection of films, a quality choice for all parties.

Well there you have it, the ten best movies to watch on Halloween! Most of these movies are on Netflix, at your local library, or available for rent on various cable services. Have a great Halloween, Lake Forest!