Top 10 Best Halloween Movies

by Adam Hughes

It’s that time of year again. Parties are being planned, two-dollar stores are becoming infested with crappy plastic decorations, and the gentle warmth of spring is in the breeze … alright, maybe not that last one, not this year, but still - Halloween is fast approaching, which means I am officially allowed to talk obsessively about horror movies without anyone accusing me of being weird. Sorry, everyone!

Whether you’re a certified horror aficionado or a newcomer to the genre, there is no better way to get into the holiday spirit than settling in for a good old-fashioned horror movie marathon - preferably with the lights off, the doors locked, and a bowl of popcorn at the ready. To help you out, I have compiled a list of movies both old and new, rated on their scare factor, their general quality, and the likelihood that they’ll haunt your mind for days after watching in order to create the perfect ranking. 

Alright, time to get spooky!

10. Bodies, Bodies, Bodies (2022)

Bodies, Bodies, Bodies is a great movie for anyone new to the horror movie scene, or for those who love a good ol’ horror-comedy. This tongue-in-cheek modern stab at the classic slasher format, with its quintessential group of young adults making poor decisions during a hurricane party, may not be high in genuine scares, but it’s still one hell of a ride. It has humour, it has mystery, it has Pete Davidson - what more can you ask for?

Available to stream on Prime Video and Apple TV

9. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

Let’s take it back to where it all began, with one of the classic horror heavyweights. Texas Chain Saw Massacre was made in the ‘70s, and it certainly shows, but the movie still stands the test of time, managing to lure you in with even more stupid kids taking a road trip through the American South and keeping you trapped there. Surprisingly free of blood for a movie with chainsaws in the title, it relies instead on a tasteful handful of jumpscares along with a relentless build-up of suspense and can’t-look-away horror that will leave you uncomfortably aware of why Leatherface has become a horror movie icon.

Available to stream on Shudder

8. Zodiac (2007)

This one is for all the true crime girlies out there. While not technically a horror film, Zodiac earns its place on the list for its gripping exploration of one of most terrifying mysteries of the 20th century: the Zodiac killer, the figure who stalked San Francisco in the ‘80s and whose identity remains a mystery to this day. While you will get through this film with nary a jumpscare in sight, don’t be lulled into a false sense of security - the all-too-real subject matter and sinister atmosphere make it an anxiety-inducing watch, not to mention that One scene that still gives me shivers whenever I think about it (if you know you know).

Available to stream on Binge

7. Creep (2014)

Before I get drawn and quartered for including a found footage film on this list, let me play devil’s advocate and say that the genre has gotten a bad rap. It has many hidden gems, and Creep is one of them. Being hired to film a home movie for a terminally ill man to gift to his unborn son is an uncomfortable enough experience, and the film takes it and runs, balancing out all its jumpscares with moments where the horror is inescapably, dread-inducingly present, unable to be escaped and unable to be looked away from. 

Available to stream on Netflix

6. The Babadook (2014)

Australia often gets overlooked for its horror films, but The Babadook is a prime example of why that’s a mistake. Following a struggling single mother and her troubled young son who find themselves being haunted by a sinister storybook creature, the film will have you hold your breath at the beginning and not let go until the very end. The claustrophobic atmosphere is almost nauseating, leaving you feeling unsettled long after the credits roll, and scares are not ones you’ll soon forget.

Available to stream on Netflix, Prime Video, and Paramount+

5. The Mist (2008)

You didn’t really think I was going to get through this list without including a story from the king of horror, Stephen King, himself, did you? The Mist, a film about residents of a small town who wind up trapped in a convenience store when a mysterious mist holding otherworldly dangers suddenly appears, is not one of King’s more well-known books, but in my opinion, it’s one of his finest movie adaptations, with an altered ending that the author says he wishes he’d come up with himself. There’s a respectable amount of blood, monsters, and existential horror in that film, but I guarantee it’ll be the ending that’ll keep you up for nights.

Available to stream on Stan and Prime Video

4) Train to Busan (2016)

Korean horror just hits different. Train To Busan is a masterful take on the somewhat-tired zombie genre in many ways, not least of all because it’s set in the narrow confines of a train. It balances all the blood splatter and body horror that one would expect from a zombie film with a cast of characters that you’ll genuinely root for, and another ending that will leave you staring blankly at the screen once you’ve finished.

Available to stream on Prime Video and SBS

3. The Ritual (2018)

Is there anything scarier than repressed trauma? Well … possibly getting lost in the woods with signs of a creepy cult chasing you around, but The Ritual takes those two horrors and marries them together in a stomach-churning folk horror that’ll make you think twice about ever going hiking in the woods again. 

Available to stream on Netflix

2. Nope (2022)

It would be remiss of me to make this list without including a film from Hollywood’s newest horror giant: Jordan Peele. Nope is a masterclass in genre-blending, mixing creature-feature horror, sci-fi, comedy, and even neo-Western into a breathless narrative about two siblings on a UFO hunt that you’ll still be pulling apart in your head weeks after seeing it. Brace yourself for some serious mood whiplash - one minute you’ll be laughing, the next you’ll be lying on the floor, questioning how a merciful God could create a world like this.

Available to stream on Netflix and Binge

  1. Hereditary (2018)

Maybe it’s predictable. Maybe it’s on everyone’s rec list. I don’t care. Hereditary is being hailed as a modern-day horror classic for a goddamn reason. Not dissimilar to The Babadook and The Ritual in the way that it utilises supernatural horror to plunder the depths of trauma, this film’s exploration of a family falling apart at the seams after a horrific death will have you more afraid of the life-ruining immensity of grief than of any ghost. 

Available to stream on Netflix

So there we have it! Happy watching, and Happy Halloween! 

Adam Hughes is a third year Arts/Law student, who's great passions in life are spending too much time reading and complaining about bad writing in TV shows. Ask him to explain the ins and outs of Star Trek lore at your own risk.

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