I know what you’re thinking, why wouldn’t you watch Halloween on the actual holiday of Halloween? Well, you could. I mean there are several in the franchise that you could choose from. But if you’re a fan, you’ve probably seen all 11 (yes, there are eleven which includes the two Rob Zombie versions and the newest Halloween film which came out in 2018) films more than once by now and may be wanting something different this year. So if this is the case, here are two lists for you…
If you like horror movies, these are my top five movies to watch this Halloween:
This franchise is my second favorite horror movie series. In the first film, it starts off with two men locked in a room and they need to figure out why they are there and how to get out. They are both chained to the room and are supplied with a hacksaw to free themselves. Could you do it? Cut off your foot to survive? That’s the root of this entire series: how far would you go to live? Do you really appreciate your life? Filled with gore and painful traps, any movie in this film will give you all the Halloween feels as you shudder and cringe at what Jigsaw has in store for his targets.
2. The Collector
Made by the same twisted minds that brought the Saw movies to life, The Collector is similar to Saw yet the complete opposite: in Saw the victims are meant to get out of the traps and emerge having a new appreciation for life, in The Collector, the traps are meant to keep the victims in the house. Imagine waking up in your home surrounded by traps that will kill you if you try to leave? Shudder.
3. Would You Rather
Would you rather give yourself an electric shock or deliver one to a stranger whom you’ve just eaten a meal with? Would you rather stab someone or whip someone else? This twisted game is played after a seemingly normal dinner party with the contestants all hoping to win a large amount of money. How far would you go to get yourself out of debt?
If you’re into gore, this one’s for you. Brought to you by Rob Zombie, this is one my favorite of his films. Kidnapped, five people are forced to take part in a violent game of survival on Halloween. Is there a better way to spend the holiday?
5. Hell Fest
Hell Fest is a horror theme park that travels during the Halloween season. Unfortunately, a serial killer is traveling with it and finding his victims at the park, but the guests just think it’s all part of the show.
What if you don’t like scary movies, but still want to enjoy the Halloween vibes? No problem. Here’s a list for you, too:
1. The Nightmare Before Christmas
It has often been asked if this film should be watched around Halloween or around Christmastime. The answer is both! Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King, has become tired of Halloween. How is that possible? Watch Jack as he tries to introduce his neighbors to a new holiday: Christmas. This is also family-friendly, so you don’t have to wait until the kids are asleep to give this one a go.
Halloween falls a few days before Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead in English. This film follows Miguel as his family tries to celebrate the holiday and as he travels to meet his great-great-grandfather. While there are some liberties taken and the portrayal of the holiday isn’t one hundred percent accurate, it is quite well done. If you don’t know anything about the Day of the Dead this would be educational viewing for you. And if you choose to celebrate the holiday yourself, you can extend your Halloween vibes into November.
3. The Worst Witch
This is one of my top 5 made-for-TV-movies and sadly, not many seem to remember it exists. It aired in 1986 and stars a young Fairuza Baulk as Mildred as she tries to not be the worst witch at an academy for witches. With a Halloween celebration coming up, the Grand Wizard (Tim Curry) is set to visit, but there is a plan to destroy the school. Can Mildred save the day?
4. Death Becomes Her
This movie features a love triangle featuring Meryl Streep, Bruce Willis, and Goldie Hawn. Madeline (Streep) and Helen (Hawn) are lifelong rivals for Ernest’s (Willis) affections. The bad blood boils over as they plot to harm each other. There’s only one problem: they both have discovered the key to youth and immortality. It’s not all a horror story though. It’s also labeled as a comedy.
5. Hocus Pocus
This is another fun, family friendly movie. Set on Halloween, there are costumes, witches, and a black cat. How could you go wrong? Haven’t heard of it? Here’s a summary: Three hundred years ago, the Sanderson sisters practiced dark magic and were executed. When Max accidentally brings them back to life, he, his crush, and his sister have to save present day Salem.
If you can’t find these films on your favorite streaming service or on-demand through your TV provider, I would suggest looking at your local library. People often forget this can be a place to borrow movies for free.
Did any of your favorite films make the lists? What would you add? Tell us in the comments.
Lead pic: IFC Films, Disney, Saban Films, Disney/Pixar