In between tricks and treats, I love indulging on my favorite Halloween movies. Something about dark costumes and a spine-chilling score makes the perfect accompaniment for the weather this time of year. I’m always on the hunt for underrated, scary movies to add to my list. But the point of scary movies isn’t to scare us; we watch scary movies to fulfill our desire to overcome fear. Here is a list of films to help you overcome your fears this Halloween:
I watched this film for the first time this year and I couldn’t believe I hadn’t seen it before. It is the perfect teen, Halloween movie without the cliché love interest. It follows a cult of young witches as they discover the extent of their powers. It is revealing not only of the dangers of power but also of the nature of teenage girls. The best part may be the costumes; you can’t go wrong with great 90s fashion.
This film is definitely the most “horror” film on this list. It was released in the late 60s and revolutionized the genre of horror. It is a masterpiece of suspense and mystery. Mia Farrow is absolutely mesmerizing, her performance is beautifully understated and perfectly saturated. You might want to keep the lights on for this one.
The Twilight Zone
This one is a TV series from the 50s and 60s that ran for more than eighty episodes. I used to binge watch this with my brother until we couldn’t watch it anymore. Each episode stands alone as an original, completely developed story. The show combines science-fiction, horror, and comedy. Episodes that stick in my mind are “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street”, “The Masks” (pictured), and “Living Doll”. Rod Serling’s chilling words will echo in your mind long after you finish an episode.
The Corpse Bride
I remember analyzing this film in my middle school art class. This film is simply a masterpiece. Understanding that the movie is made out of puppets and stills is enough to make you worship Tim Burton. The most amazing parts to me are the scenes where a piano is being played, which is a common motif throughout the film. It’s a great story with a great original soundtrack and the perfect PG Halloween movie.
Another Tim Burton masterpiece, this movie is admittedly more funny than scary. I fell in love with this movie for the comically contrasting sets and costumes. The story follows outcast Edward as he ventures into the suburbs and discovers human nature. Completely loveable and innocent, he is the perfect character. Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder will forever be the best spooky couple.
Again, this is more of a comedy than a horror, but ghosts are always relevant to Halloween. I grew up on this film, singing the theme song as the giant, marshmallow monster ravages the streets of New York City. It is a classic 80s movie featuring the one and only Bill Murray. If you haven’t seen this, grab some pumpkin spiced snacks and invite your friends over.
Rocky Horror Picture Show
I watched this for the first time this year in a theater and discovered a whole new world. There truly is an entire culture with this film at its core. It’s very cheesy and chaotic but in the best way. You’ll be singing Sweet Transvestite in the car before you know it. Tim Curry as Frank-N-Furter (pictured) might be THE Halloween costume. There are usually midnight showings of this film at theaters on Halloween; this is where you’ll get the true Rocky experience.
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
This is another film I grew up watching with my family. Young Drew Barrymore, a lovable alien, and an award-winning score, what else do you need? If you like Stranger Things, you’ll love this movie. It is a beautiful story about friendship and youth and being comfortable in the unknown. It is considered one of the greatest films of all time. It’s also the easiest last-minute costume: just throw on a red hoodie and bike around town with a blanket in your basket.
Megan is studying film at New York University and is planning on going into screenwriting. She is a big believer in dessert, 80s movies, the Beatles and naps. She spends most of her time seeking out vegan cafes, thrift shopping, and taking photos.