Are you staying home this Halloween? Perhaps you are planning to gather your friends or loved ones for a Halloween movie marathon night. If so, then you need some classic Halloween movies for some good old spooky fun.
Lucky for you, our following list of 25 classic Halloween movies has everything you could possibly need. From bone-chilling classics like “The Exorcist” to more lighthearted family fun gems such as “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”, this list will meet all your demands for a fun Halloween night-in. So get in some comfy Halloween costume, get your popcorn and Halloween snacks ready, and settle in for a night of jump scares and chills!
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a true Halloween classic. First released in 1975, the movie has become a cult classic, with fans dressing up as the characters and participating in special screenings known as “shadow casts.”
The movie tells the story of Brad and Janet, two innocent bystanders who are drawn into the world of Dr Frank-N-Furter, a mad scientist who has created a perfect man named Rocky. As Brad and Janet become caught up in Frank’s world, they are forced to confront their own desires and fears.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a visually stunning film that is filled with memorable songs and iconic performances. It is one of the most popular classic Halloween movies of all time, and its popularity shows no signs of waning.
Starring: Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, and Barry Bostwick.
Hocus Pocus (1993)
Hocus Pocus is a Halloween classic movie that tells the story of three witches who are resurrected on Halloween night. The witches, played by Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy, are determined to enslave all the children in the town of Salem. However, they are eventually thwarted by a teenage boy and his sister.
Hocus Pocus is a fun and funny movie that is perfect for a traditional Halloween night. It also has a message about the importance of family and friends.
Starring: Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy, Omri Katz, Thora Birch, and Vinessa Shaw.
On December 20, 1996, a classic horror movie was released that would go on to become a classic Halloween special and one of the most popular horror films of all time. That movie was “Scream.”
The movie tells the story of a group of teenage friends who are stalked and murdered by a masked killer. “Scream” was praised for its clever use of suspense and its willingness to poke fun at the horror genre. It also featured some of the most iconic death scenes in cinematic history.
Today, “Scream” stands as a classic Halloween movie and a timeless example of what can be accomplished when creativity and talent come together.
Starring: David Arquette, Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, Matthew Lillard, Rose McGowan, Skeet Ulrich, Jamie Kennedy, and Drew Barrymore.
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
A Nightmare on Elm Street is a classic Halloween movie that has been frightening audiences for decades. The movie tells the story of Freddy Krueger, a vengeful spirit who terrorizes a group of teenagers in their dreams. Krueger is unique among movie villains because he is able to exploit his victims’ fears and turn their dreams into nightmares. As a result, the characters in the movie are constantly looking over their shoulders, unsure of when Krueger will strike next.
This sense of unease and terror is what makes A Nightmare on Elm Street such an effective horror movie. It’s not just the jump scares that make audiences scream; it’s the feeling that Freddy could be waiting for them around every corner.
Starring: John Saxon, Ronee Blakley, Heather Langenkamp, Amanda Wyss, Nick Corri, Johnny Depp, and Robert Englund.
Friday the 13th (1980)
Friday the 13th is one of the most iconic horror movies of all time. The film follows a group of teenage camp counsellors who are terrorized and killed by an unknown assailant. While the movie was initially panned by critics, it has since become a cult classic, with many fans citing its graphic violence and suspenseful storytelling.
In recent years, Friday the 13th has been selected for preservation in the National Film Registry, further solidifying its status as a classic Halloween movie. Thanks to its enduring popularity, the movie has spawned a large franchise, including numerous sequels, novels, and even a video game. Whether you love it or hate it, there’s no denying that Friday the 13th is one of the most influential horror movies ever made.
Starring: Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Harry Crosby, Laurie Bartram, Mark Nelson, Jeannine Taylor, Robbi Morgan, and Kevin Bacon.
The Shining (1980)
The Shining is a classic horror movie that was released in 1980. It tells the story of a family who moves into an isolated hotel, only to be terrorized by a malevolent force. The movie is famous for its eerie atmosphere, its unforgettable scenes, and its use of suspenseful music to create an unsettling feeling of dread. It is also notable for its unique ending, which has been the subject of much debate and analysis.
Whether you love it or hate it, there is no denying that The Shining is one of the most iconic classic Halloween movies.
Starring: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers, and Danny Lloyd.
Halloweentown is a 1998 American made-for-television Halloween fantasy comedy film directed by Duwayne Dunham. It is the first instalment in the Halloweentown series and stars Kimberly J. Brown, Debbie Reynolds and Luke Benward.
The film follows thirteen-year-old Marnie Piper as she discovers she is a witch and her grandmother Aggie is a witch as well. Together they travel to Halloweentown where they begin to learn more about their craft and also battle an evil that plans to take over Halloweentown. Halloweentown has become a classic Halloween movie loved by many who watch it every year around Halloween time.
Starring: Debbie Reynolds, Judith Hoag, Kimberly J. Brown, Joey Zimmerman, and Emily Roeske.
Edward Scissorhands (1990)
Every year as Halloween approaches, people begin to dust off their copies of Edward Scissorhands, Tim Burton’s classic 1990 film about a man with scissors for hands. For many, the movie is an essential part of the Halloween season. However, Edward Scissorhands is more than just a Halloween movie; it is also a touching and thought-provoking tale about love, acceptance, and loneliness.
The film tells the story of Edward, a young man who is taken in by a kind-hearted woman after he is abandoned by his creator. Although Edward is initially feared by the townspeople, they eventually come to accept him and even come to depend on him for his unique talents. However, when Edward falls in love with the woman’s daughter, he must confront the fear and prejudice that still exists within the town.
Edward Scissorhands is a classic film that continues to resonate with audiences today. It is a tender and moving story about love and acceptance, with an unforgettable performance by Johnny Depp in the title role. If you haven’t seen it yet, make sure to add it to your list this Halloween season.
Starring: Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Anthony Michael Hall, Dianne Wiest, Kathy Baker, Alan Arkin, and Vincent Price.
Halloween is a classic 1978 horror movie directed and co-written by John Carpenter. The movie tells the story of Michael Myers, a masked killer who returns to his hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois to murder teenage babysitter Laurie Strode (played by Jamie Lee Curtis).
Although it was made on a shoestring budget, Halloween was a huge box office success, grossing over $70 million dollars worldwide. It is often credited with popularizing the slasher genre and helping to launch the careers of both Carpenter and Curtis. Halloween has spawned numerous sequels and imitators, but it remains one of the most influential horror movies ever made, and naturally, a classic Halloween movie.
Starring: Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, P. J. Soles, and Nancy Kyes.
Child’s Play (1988)
Child’s Play is a 1988 American horror film directed by Tom Holland and written by Don Mancini. It is the first film in the Child’s Play franchise. The film follows Charles Lee Ray (played by Brad Dourif), a serial killer who dies in a toy store and uses voodoo magic to transfer his soul into a “Good Guys” doll, AKA “Chucky”, which then ends up in the possession of a young boy named Andy Barclay (played by Alex Vincent).
The film was released on November 9, 1988, and grossed $44 million at the box office. It received mixed reviews from critics but has since become a Halloween classic movie. The film spawned seven sequels, as well as a reboot in 2019.
Starring: Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon, Alex Vincent, Dinah Manoff, Tommy Swerdlow, Jack Colvin, and Brad Dourif as the voice of Chucky.
The Exorcist (1973)
The Exorcist is a classic Halloween movie that has been terrifying audiences for decades. The story follows the possession of a young girl named Regan, and the desperate efforts of her mother and two priests to save her. The Exorcist is not only one of the most successful horror films of all time but also one of the most controversial.
The film’s graphic depiction of violence and demonic possession sparked protests and even death threats from religious groups. Despite the controversy, The Exorcist remains an essential part of the horror genre, and its impact can still be felt today.
Starring: Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Lee J. Cobb, Kitty Winn, Jack MacGowran, Jason Miller, and Linda Blair.
Ghostbusters is a 1984 American supernatural comedy film directed and produced by Ivan Reitman and written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis. The film stars Bill Murray, Aykroyd, Ramis, Rick Moranis, Sigourney Weaver, Annie Potts, and Ernie Hudson. It follows the Ghostbusters, a team of paranormal investigators who start a ghost-catching business in New York City. Ghostbusters was released in the United States on June 8, 1984. The film grossed $242 million in the United States and more than $295 million worldwide.
The American Film Institute ranked Ghostbusters 28th in its list of 100 funniest American films of all time. The Library of Congress selected the film for preservation in the National Film Registry in 2015. Ghostbusters is considered to be one of the best comedies ever made and one of the best films of the 1980s. It has been credited with popularizing the use of special effects in comedy films and helping to revitalize the horror-comedy genre. The film has spawned two sequels: Ghostbusters II (1989) and Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021). A reboot was released in 2016. So, when you are making a movie playlist for Halloween, you can’t skip this classic Halloween gem.
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
The Silence of the Lambs is one of the most famous and successful horror films of all time. Based on the novel by Thomas Harris, the film tells the story of Clarice Starling, an FBI trainee who is tasked with catching a serial killer known as “Buffalo Bill.” In order to catch him, she must seek out the help of another inmate at a maximum security prison, Hannibal Lecter.
The film was directed by Jonathan Demme and starred Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins. It was a critical and commercial success, winning five Academy Awards, including Best Picture. The Silence of the Lambs has since become a classic Halloween movie and is considered one of the best horror films ever made.
Starring: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn, and Ted Levine.
Carrie is a classic Halloween movie that has terrified and captivated audiences for generations. The story follows Carrie White, a shy and bullied high school student who discovers she has special powers. When her classmates tease her one too many times, she unleashes her fury on them in a gruesome and bloody massacre.
Carrie is a masterful blend of horror and suspense, with moments of shocking violence offset by periods of quiet tension. Stephen King’s novel is brought to life by director Brian De Palma in one of the most iconic and influential horror films of all time. While it may not be the most original movie out there, Carrie remains a timeless classic that is sure to send chills down your spine.
Starring: Sissy Spacek, Amy Irving, Betty Buckley, Nancy Allen, William Katt, John Travolta, P.J. Soles, and Piper Laurie.
Paranormal Activity (2007)
One of the most classic Halloween movies of all time is Paranormal Activity. The movie was released in 2007 and directed by Oren Peli. It tells the story of a young couple who are being terrorized by a demonic spirit in their home. The movie is shot in a found footage style, which adds to the sense of realism and fear.
The movie was extremely successful upon its release, grossing over $107 million at the box office. It has since become a cult classic, with many people watching it every year during the Halloween season. If you’re looking for a scary movie to watch this Halloween, Paranormal Activity is a great choice.
Starring: Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat, Mark Fredrichs, Amber Armstrong, and Ashley Palmer.
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
The Blair Witch Project is a 1999 American independent supernatural horror film written, directed, and edited by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez. The film tells the story of three student filmmakers—Heather Donahue, Michael C. Williams and Joshua Leonard—who hike into the Black Hills near Burkittsville, Maryland in 1994 to document the legend of the Blair Witch. They disappear, and their video camera is found a year later; the footage is pieced together to tell their story.
Executively produced by Gregg Hale and Robin Cowie, The Blair Witch Project premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 25, 1999; it was theatrically released in the United States on July 16. Although it was largely unnoticed by audiences upon its initial release, its popularity gradually grew after it was released in video later that same year.
The Blair Witch Project had a lasting effect on the found footage genre: it spawned numerous imitators and became one of the first commercially successful independent films of all time. Along with The Sixth Sense (1999), it helped revitalize interest in horror films during what had been considered a less-than-fruitful period for the genre.
Starring: Heather Donahue, Michael Williams, and Joshua Leonard.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
The Nightmare Before Christmas is one of the most beloved Halloween classics of all time. The movie, which was released in 1993, tells the story of Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloweentown, who becomes bored with his job and decides to kidnap Santa Claus. While the movie may be geared towards children, it has some truly dark and twisted moments that adults can enjoy as well.
In addition to its memorable characters and catchy songs, The Nightmare Before Christmas has some genuinely creepy visuals that make it a must-watch for any fan of Halloween movies. Whether you’re looking for a fun family movie or a dark horror flick, The Nightmare Before Christmas is sure to please.
Starring: Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O’Hara, William Hickey, Glenn Shadix, and Paul Reubens.
The Haunted Mansion (2003)
The Haunted Mansion is a classic Halloween movie that has been terrifying and delighting audiences for generations. The plot follows a family who is trapped in a haunted house and must find a way to escape. Along the way, they are pursued by ghosts, ghouls, and other spooky creatures.
The film is filled with suspense, scares, and laugh-out-loud moments, making it the perfect choice for a fun and fright-filled Halloween movie night. While the movie may be over 40 years old, it remains one of the most popular Halloween films of all time. So if you’re looking for a scary good time this Halloween, be sure to check out The Haunted Mansion.
Starring: Eddie Murphy, Terence Stamp, Wallace Shawn, Marsha Thomason, and Jennifer Tilly.
Casper is a 1995 American comedic fantasy film directed by Brad Silberling, in his feature film directorial debut. It stars Christina Ricci, Bill Pullman, Cathy Moriarty, Eric Idle, and Amy Brenneman. The plot follows a young girl (Ricci) who communicates with the ghost of a boy (voiced by Malachi Pearson) who died in the 1950s.
Casper was released on May 26, 1995, by Universal Pictures and received mixed reviews from critics but was a box office success, grossing $287 million worldwide on a $55 million budget. This classic Halloween movie was followed by two direct-to-video sequels, Casper: A Spirited Beginning (1997) and Casper Meets Wendy (1998). In addition, the characters of Casper and Wendy appeared in various stage productions and in other media.
Starring: Christina Ricci, Bill Pullman, Cathy Moriarty, and Eric Idle.
Beetlejuice is a 1988 American comedy horror film directed by Tim Burton, produced by The Geffen Film Company and distributed by Warner Bros. The plot follows a recently deceased couple (Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis) who become ghosts haunting their former home, and an obnoxious, devious demon known as Beetlejuice (Michael Keaton) from the Netherworld who tries to scare away the new living tenants (Winona Ryder and Jeffrey Jones) for his own amusement.
Beetlejuice was a critical and commercial success upon its release, grossing over $74 million from a budget of $15 million. It won the Academy Award for Best Makeup and three Saturn Awards: Best Horror Film, Best Makeup, and Best Supporting Actor for Keaton. The success of the film spawned an animated television series that ran from 1989 to 1991, and a stage musical based on the film opened on Broadway in April 2019.
Starring: Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Jeffrey Jones, Catherine O’Hara, Winona Ryder, and Michael Keaton.
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is a classic Halloween movie that first aired in 1966. The movie follows the adventure of Charlie Brown and his friends as they go trick-or-treating, carve pumpkins, and wait for the arrival of the “Great Pumpkin.”
While the movie is light-hearted and fun, it also features some memorable moments, such as Linus’s speech about the “Great Pumpkin” and Snoopy’s battle with the Red Baron. In addition to being a Halloween classic, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is also one of the most beloved Peanut specials. To this day, it continues to delight children and adults alike.
Starring (Voicing): Peter Robbins, Christopher Shea, Sally Dryer, and Kathy Steinberg.
The Sixth Sense (1999)
The Sixth Sense is a 1999 American supernatural horror film written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. The film tells the story of Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment), a young boy who sees dead people, and Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis), a child psychologist who tries to help him.
The Sixth Sense was a critical and commercial success, grossing over $670 million worldwide and receiving six Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture. It is often cited as one of the best films of all time. Shyamalan won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for the film. The Sixth Sense is frequently cited among the top classic Halloween movies of all time.
In October 2008, Empire magazine named The Sixth Sense the greatest horror film of all time. In October 2013, Total Film named The Sixth Sense as the greatest horror film since 1980. In 2014, the American Film Institute ranked The Sixth Sense as the ninth-best American film in history.
Starring: Bruce Willis, Toni Collette, Olivia Williams, and Haley Joel Osment.
One of the all-time classic Halloween movies is Psycho. Released in 1960, it was directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starred Anthony Perkins. The movie was based on the novel by Robert Bloch, which was loosely inspired by the true story of Ed Gein.
Psycho was a groundbreaking film in many ways, including its use of point-of-view shots, montages, and even its famous shower scene. It was also one of the first films to use music to create a sense of dread and foreboding. The movie was so successful that it spawned several sequels, prequels, remakes, and even a television series. If you’re looking for a truly good old chilling experience this Halloween, then you can’t go wrong with Psycho.
Starring: Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, John Gavin, Martin Balsam, John McIntire, and Janet Leigh.
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is one of the most classic Halloween movies of all time. The original movie, released in 1974, was directed by Tobe Hooper and starred Marilyn Burns, Paul A. Partain, and Edwin Neal. The movie follows a group of friends who are visiting the grave of one of their grandparents in Texas. However, they quickly find themselves under attack by a family of cannibals, who kill and eat their victims.
The movie is notable for its graphic violence, which led to it being banned in several countries. It was also nominated for several awards, including the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Drama. Despite its controversial nature, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is considered a horror classic, and its impact can still be felt today.
Starring: Marilyn Burns, Paul A. Partain, Edwin Neal, Jim Siedow, and Gunnar Hansen.
The Ring (2002)
One of the most classic Halloween movies of all time is The Ring. The movie was released in 2002 and directed by Gore Verbinski. It stars Naomi Watts as a journalist who investigates a cursed videotape that kills whoever watches it after seven days.
The movie was a remake of a Japanese film of the same name, and it was extremely successful, grossing over $250 million worldwide. It also spawned a sequel, The Ring Two, which was released in 2005. The Ring is considered to be one of the best horror movies of all time, and it has left a lasting impact on popular culture. If you’re looking for a scary movie to watch this Halloween, you can’t go wrong with The Ring!
Starring: Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson, David Dorfman, Jane Alexander, and Brian Cox.
So there you have it, 25 classic Halloween movies that are sure to get you and your friends in the Halloween spirit. Don’t forget to let us know in the comments which of these Halloween classics will make the list for your next movie night. And for more suggestions for your Halloween movie night, be sure to check out our post on the best horror movies on Netflix!
Happy watching & Happy Halloween!