10 Best Halloween Themed Horror Movies

Hayrides, candy, carnivals, and horror movies. At one time, Halloween may have been about human sacrifice and witchcraft, but today it’s all about having fun and watching some flicks. And what better way to do that than to cue up some Halloween themed horror movies? After all, Christmas shouldn’t have all the movie fun. Here are our top 10 picks of movies that are just perfect around this glorious holiday.

10. Satan’s Little Helper (2004)

A child unknowingly becomes the “helper” of a masked lunatic on Halloween night. The video box to this one made it seem a bit hokey, but it’s actually a pretty well-made slasher with gore, suspense, and tongue planted firmly in cheek.

9. Trick ‘R Treat (2007)

Anthology films are never done better than in the horror genre, and this is one of the best. Each story takes place on Halloween night, and while there are some uneven moments, it’s ultimately a fun and atmospheric ride.

8. All Hallows’ Eve (2013)

This and Trick ‘R Treat are the perfect double feature. Both are horror anthologies taking place on Halloween night, but this one uses the creepiest clown this side of Stephen King’s It to tie it all together. Shocking finale in its ferocity as well.

7. Mischief Night (2013)

Suspenseful and eerie, this gem was overlooked by most horror audiences. It centers on a blind girl being terrorized by a hooded madman on the night before Halloween.

6. Frayed (2007)

Got to be honest. Without going back and re-watching this one, I can’t remember if it takes place on Halloween, but it’s perfect for the holiday because it is so reminiscent of John Carpenter’s original Halloween. If this would have been the remake instead of the Rob Zombie failure, then I would have been perfectly happy with it. It hits a lot of the same setups, but takes on a life of its own the way every great remake should. The ending will leave you thinking about it for days.

5. Sleepy Hollow (1999)

The Headless Horseman and his flaming pumpkin? This is must-watch-on-Halloween material if we’ve ever seen it. You can tell Tim Burton’s directing was made for the horror genre. Too bad he doesn’t do more of them. Great Horseman scenes in this one.

4. Pumpkinhead (1988)

This backwoods grim fairy tale/revenge flick strikes the perfect tone for Halloween, complete with a pumpkin-headed demon that will take revenge for you at a terrible price. Lance Henriksen is terrific as are the creature effects overseen by the late great Stan Winston.

3. Halloween II (1981)

To paraphrase film critic Janet Maslin, if Halloween II hadn’t been a sequel to the original, it would have been good enough to deserve its own sequel. The hospital adds the right touch of isolation and claustrophobia, and Michael Myers is particularly terrifying, though some of the realism that made him scary in part one has been lost. Still a great flick and a must on any list of the top Halloween themed horror movies.

2. Halloween (1978)

The original and best! If part two wasn’t so good, I would prefer this to be the only film in the series. That’s because they got exponentially stupider after part three. This, however, is filmmaking perfection. Long, slow, suspenseful builds. Music that sends shivers up your spine. Great Halloween atmosphere. And that sense of permeating, unstoppable evil that haunts the film’s final shots. A masterpiece.

1. Dark Night of the Scarecrow (1981)

Yes, it’s a made-for-TV film, but it’s a darn good one. Great cast includes Larry Drake (Dr. Giggles), Charles Durning (When A Stranger Calls), and Lane Smith (Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman). Dark Night of the Scarecrow can be a tad hammily acted in places, but the straight-forward revenge tale warrants repeat viewings thanks in part to the masterful performance of Durning as the head villain. Even though you want the victims to get what’s coming to them for killing poor Bubba while he hid from them in a scarecrow costume, the movie does such a fine job of building suspense and a sense of foreboding. There is intrigue here. Is it really Bubba exacting revenge from beyond the grave or something even creepier? A fantastic finish in the pumpkin patch seals the deal for this being No. 1 on our list of Halloween themed horror movies.

Which picks would you have included, and do you agree/disagree with the ordering? Sound off in our comments section, and for more movie fun, check out our 6 Movie Endings That Will Leave You Speechless.

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