We’re coming to the end of the year, which means it is time for many people’s favourite holiday, the 2023 Halloween! While each one gets in the spooky mood for the holiday in their own way, there is one thing we can all agree on: there is no such thing as a great Halloween without a good horror film! Lucky for us who were waiting for the 2023 Halloween, we’ve had an abundance of quality scary films this year!
In 2023, one of the genre’s most controversial directors, M. Night Shyamalan, returned to horror cinema with his film Knock at the Cabin, while the ever-reliable Stephen King received another adaptation with the arrival of The Boogeyman, in which director Rob Savage brought to life a classic tale from King’s short story collection Night Shift.
For the 2023 Halloween films list, we have some real gems for a good time of scares. In recent years, things have changed for the genre; we’re no longer scared of the same things; we expect more from the cinema. Also, the world is so terrible that it takes more than a possessed, head-turning little girl to make us shiver.
Our eyes have grown accustomed to the same old scares, and filmmakers know it. That’s why, in the last few years, directors have tried to do different things that try to surprise us, and many of them have succeeded.
Best 2023 Halloween Films To Watch!
With so many horror films that came out in 2023, there is a plethora to choose from, so without further ado, to enjoy a scary 2023 Halloween, here is our list of the best horror films released in 2023!
There is no better way to start our list of scary films for 2023 Halloween than with this one! Gerard Johnstone’s M3gan was among the first horror films to be released in 2023, with a story conceived by none other than legendary horror director James Wan. The film features an all-star cast of Allison Williams (Get Out) and Violet McGraw (Doctor Sleep) in the two lead roles, while musician and actress Jenna Davis voices the AI antagonist Megan.
The film follows Gemma (Allison Williams), who is now Cady’s (McGraw) trusted tutor after the death of her niece’s parents in a car accident. In order for Cady to better adapt to her new environment, she brings home a prototype artificial intelligence doll called “Megan”, whose main function is to care for and “protect” her new owner. However, things start to go awry when Megan overrides her programming and stops at nothing to keep Cady safe.
The Offering is another perfect title for those who are looking for demon-themed horror films for 2023 Halloween. The film is one of those films that base their scary plots on different religious traditions. While the new horror films’ storylines have their flair, the classic old demon-themed films still manage to touch us deeply as they rework customary traditions and rituals to transform these traditions into something absolutely terrifying.
At the centre of The Offering, we find a man in debt up to his neck. After returning to his father’s house with his pregnant wife, he tries to trick the elderly parent into paying off his debts by convincing him to sell the funeral home he owns.
However, the protagonist does not realise that in doing so, he will awaken an evil spirit living in the basement of the building. What makes this story even more original is its setting: the funeral parlour is, in fact, reserved for the Chassidic community; the evil creature, therefore, belongs to Jewish folklore.
Evil Dead Rise
The lovers of the great horror sagas can enjoy the Evil Dead Rise for 2023 Halloween, yet another chapter in the series of films inaugurated by The Evil Dead in 1981. At the centre of this story, in which we no longer find Bruce Campbell’s mythical Ash (who is, however, a producer together with Sam Raimi), is young Beth, visiting her older sister Ellie, a single mother of three.
Once again, unleashing horror on the protagonists will be a terrifying book made of human skin, which, once read and opened, will awaken insatiable demonic forces. Evil Dead Rise has everything it takes to be appreciated by horror fans: blood spilt in spades, violence galore and a captivating story that fits well into the historical horror tradition of The Evil Dead.
Knock at the Cabin
What’s a better way to enjoy the 2023 Halloween than watching the new horror film from the author of cult hits such as The Sixth Sense, Signs and The Village? Knock at the Cabin is based on the successful novel The House at the End of the World. Lovers of M. Night Shyamalan’s cinematography will not fail to enjoy this story that looks to answer questions like the importance of faith, the existence of God, and what one is willing to do (and destroy) for the sake of one’s loved ones.
At the centre of the narrative is a family whose everyday life is abruptly interrupted by the arrival of a group of disturbing individuals. What do the newcomers want? For one of them to sacrifice himself to prevent the imminent end of the world!
If you are feeling nostalgic and need some-how a horror classic with an urban twist for the 2023 Halloween movie night, then Scream VI is what you are looking for!
In the film, we follow those who made it out alive after the Ghostface murders as they make it to New York City, trying to start a new life, or so they hoped! The film is a whodunnit disguised as a slasher that makes the most of its urban setting in New York City and manages to entertain without complexes… but without too much fanfare.
The Pope’s Exorcist
Among the titles that entertained us most (assuming you can use that word for a horror film) this year is The Pope’s Exorcist, a film centred on an unprecedented (and gigantic) Russell Crowe as the famous Father Gabriele Amorth.
The well-known exorcist priest will have to solve a case of possession in Spain, but one that has its roots in the dark secrets of the Vatican. It is one of the most violent and terrifying cases the man has ever faced during his career and one that will take him beyond all his limits.
The Pope’s Exorcist is the perfect story for those looking to spend their 2023 Halloween with a possession-themed horror, in which a funny and entertaining Crowe gives his best (speaking Italian too!) in a role in which we have never seen him before.
Not all of us are looking for a terrifying film for the 2023 Halloween, so if you are one of those who need a not-so-scary Halloween film, then we highly recommend Renfield! This film plans to balance the line between comedy and thrashy horror.
The film follows Renfield (Nicholas Hoult), who is tired of the monotony of his life and of working for Count Dracula (Nicolas Cage). He lives in the hope of better prospects, but he still can not manage to change his life. Finally, Renfield finds a good reason to leave this life behind when he falls in love with traffic cop Rebecca Quincy (Aquafina). However, his betrayal unleashes Dracula’s wrath, and things take an ugly/ comic turn!
It may not be the most must-see horror of the year among all the new releases, but films with Nicolas Cage have long since become a separate genre with their own playful energy.
The indie horror film Skinamarink was released in February, and it immediately became a social media sensation. What makes this film a great option for 2023 Halloween is its novelty; it doesn’t use the composition that horror fans are accustomed to, as the entire film consists of rustling deserted plans and liminal spaces of one locked house.
The camera is fixed under the roof, near the walls, staring into the void, hidden in children’s toys, lying idly on the floor and capturing the blue darkness of the night while the microphone records rustles and quiet sounds, enveloping the viewer in a long-forgotten experience of a childhood fear of the dark.
Two children are left alone at night: their dad has disappeared, and all the windows and lights are gone from the house. They decide to switch on the television and stare at the screen. We hardly see the children, but we occasionally hear them whispering.
Almost nothing happens in this film, but perhaps this is where its artistic value comes into play; the long static shots catch the eye, and the texture of the frame motivates the experience of horror. This strange, genre-unfriendly emptiness and solitude brings back vague memories from childhood when every corner of the room seemed to be a haven for monsters during sleepless nights.
Insidious – The Red Door
There is a special place for horror sagas in the minds of any horror film fan, and among the most successful recent horror sagas is definitely the Insidious film franchise, perhaps a little less emblazoned sister of The Conjuring, but still created by the visionary James Wan.
For this new and dark adventure, the Lambert family makes its return to the scene: years after the terrifying events that saw Josh (Patrick Wilson), Dalton (by now a young adult) will once again be haunted by evil presences.
What the Lamberts encountered so many years earlier in the Elsewhere is determined not to leave them alone and is ready to disrupt their quiet lives. The scary 2023 Halloween film marks the directorial debut to Patrick Wilson, who returns once again in the role of the tormented breadwinner.
Talk to Me
Greeted with incredible acclaim on its US release, Talk to Me is considered by many admirers of the genre to be the best (and most terrifying!) horror film of the year. The debut film by brothers Danny and Michael Philippou features a cast including Sophie Wilde, Alexandra Jensen, Joe Bird, Otis Dhanji and Miranda Otto.
At the centre of the story of this perfect 2023 Halloween treat is a group of teenagers who discover they can communicate with the afterlife via a mysterious embalmed hand. Things get extremely frightening for them when they come across something diabolical that follows them into everyday life.
Horror queen Mia Goth returns to the screen after phenomenal roles in X and Pearl with Brandon Cronenberg’s sci-fi film. The film follows the writer James (Alexander Skarsgard) and a rich girl (Cleopatra Coleman) who arrive at a luxury hotel on a fictional island and meet an intriguing resident (Mia Goth) who calls the characters for a ride with her and her suitor to a secluded beach.
But on the way back, on a dark night, James runs over a man and is faced with a twisted choice that reveals the dark society of hedonists who enjoy the spectacle of death.
This film is hard to describe in two sentences—maybe in a couple of decades, Infinity Pool will be considered a textbook horror and an unquestioned classic of the genre. The young Cronenberg managed to combine avant-garde and political thought, surrealism and body horror expression in his film, while cinematographer Karim Hussain offered virtuoso aesthetic solutions in the construction of space and psychedelic experience.
Infinity Pool is an out-of-the-box choice for the 2023 Halloween movie night with its talented crew, hypnotic soundtrack by Tim Hecker, and an all-star cast that made sure that the film surprises the audience scene after scene.
No Will Save You
The Disney+ film is a fine piece of work combining alien abductions with the home invasion genre. The film has been very well received, and it was a big hit with subscribers of the platform.
At the centre of this story, we find Brynn, a young woman living segregated at home after a traumatic event in her past. One night, someone breaks into her home: it is not, however, thieves, but alien invaders that she must face completely alone.
No Will Save You is a well-crafted and original story in which the level of tension is always rising. It is perfect for thrill-seekers for the 2023 Halloween!
Spend your 2023 Halloween with Rosario Dawson, Owen Wilson, Winona Ryder, Jared Leto, Danny DeVito, and Jamie Lee Curtis, who are just a few of the performers in the second (the first dates back to 2003) film adaptation of Disney’s world-famous theme park film Haunted Mansion!
The film follows a scary mother who hires a historian, a psychic, a priest, and a tour guide to help her kick out the ghosts she found in her newly bought mansion.
The project dates back as far as 2010, with Guillermo Del Toro in charge of the direction until 2013, when he decided to step aside to take up a screenplay position. The project was rewritten in 2020 by Katie Dippold because Del Toro’s version was deemed too scary for a Disney product.
The direction passed into the hands of director Justin Simien in 2021, and the Disney-branded production sets its theatrical release date for the first half of August.
The Nun 2
The next instalment in the popular Conjurverse is none other than The Nun 2. In the eponymous sequel to The Nun, several years have passed since Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga) experienced a confrontation with Valak (Bonnie Aarons), a powerful demon in the guise of a nun. They thought they had defeated him, that they had put an end to the evil that corroded him, but that darkness has remained dormant, waiting for its moment. As the young woman takes refuge in an Italian convent, the nightmare repeats itself.
The film is considered by many as one of the best spin-offs in the Conjurverse thanks to its variety of situations and its boldness in dispatching people, something David Sandberg’s film occasionally dares to do. It’s a proper old-fashioned horror film for a spooky 2023 Halloween!
There is no better way to end our list of the best 2023 Halloween films than with this new adaptation of the one and only Stephen King. To understand this film version of The Boogeyman, we have to go back to 1973 when barely 26-year-old Stephen King published the short story ‘The Boogeyman’ in a magazine called Cavalier. The work would later be included in 1978 in the King of the Thrill’s first anthology of short stories entitled ‘Sometimes They Come Back’.
Fifty years later, with Rob Savage directing and the same producers of the Stranger Things series, the film adaptation of The Boogeyman comes to life. In the story, we follow two girls who, after the loss of their mother, find themselves in the face of something much more sinister than grief!
Halloween 2023 is guaranteed to be a great one, thanks to the many spine-chilling films that were produced in 2023. We can even say that the entire horror industry has been revived by new energy in 2023, giving us plenty to enjoy any time of the year, not only in 2023 Halloween.