The Best Halloween Movies for a Spooky Night In

halloween movies
Source: @jlgarvin

Spooky season is here, and we can’t think of a better way to ring in Halloween than cozying up to watch our favorite festive movies over the next month. From films you can watch as a family with the kiddos, to throwback classics, to scary movies to watch in the dark (without the little ones!), and everything in between, we’ve rounded up the very best flicks to view during a spooky night in.

So grab your blankets and your bag of candy corn, because this is the movie marathon you’ve been waiting to watch all season. Scroll down for 24 of our best Halloween movie recs!


Halloween Movies for Kids


Hocus Pocus 2 (PG)

We all probably stayed up way past our bedtimes to watch 1993’s Hocus Pocus to our heart’s content (and our parent’s annoyance) as kids. In the original movie, the three Sanderson witch sisters are resurrected and stir up some trouble as Dani and her crew try to stop them. Fast forward 29 years, and the Sanderson sisters—AKA Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy—are back and looking for revenge. It’s up to three high school students to stop them from wreaking havoc on Salem before All Hallow’s Eve.

Where to Watch: Disney+


It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (G)

If you’re looking for a movie that will melt your heart and then put it back together again, this one is for you. The Charlie Brown movies are known for their wholesome messages that resonate to people of all ages (and this one is no different). Join the Peanuts gang to celebrate Halloween and wait for the Great Pumpkin this fall—it’s one that will leave you reaching for the tissues and feeling the comfort of yet another genuine moment in Peanuts history.

Where to Watch: AppleTV


Halloweentown (PG)

Wanting magic powers is pretty much a rite of passage in every childhood—and the reason why this movie continues to be so timeless. Prepare for a night with Marnie as she follows her grandma (played by Debbie Reynolds) to explore a world of warlock and witches. As fun as it is family-oriented, Halloweentown brings together everything we love about this holiday in a way that only a ’90s movie could. For more, watch the sequels: Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge, Halloweentown High, and Return to Halloweentown.

Where to Watch: Disney+


The Nightmare Before Christmas (PG)

This classic 1993 Tim Burton film follows Pumpkin King Jack Skellington who’s bored of the same old scare routine in Halloween Town when he stumbles upon the magic of Christmas Town. Spooky songs and now-famous characters (i.e. Sally, voiced by the incomparable Catherine O’Hara, Zero the dog, and Oogie Boogie—who might be a little bit scary for your littlest ones) round out this magical film. If you’re a big fan, also check-out season one of the Disney+’s original series Prop Culture for some behind-the-scenes fun.

Where to Watch: Disney+


Casper (PG)

Our favorite friendly ghost is back on our radar this fall and the child within us couldn’t be more excited. Kat (Christina Ricci, whom you’ll see a lot on this list) and her father move into a mansion to find Casper and his three not-so-friendly ghost uncles. The dynamic of humans and ghosts is far from the usual, but you don’t have to ask us twice to revisit this movie. We’re all eyes and ears as Kat and Casper embark on a journey that proves to us that it’s sometimes the most unexpected friendships that create the best memories. For more Casper, we also love 1998’s Casper Meets Wendy starring Hilary Duff!

Where to Watch: Peacock


Double Double Toil and Trouble (G)

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen were the twins to be and we’ll watch every single one of their movies if we want to—especially this Halloween special. The twins play a pair of sisters who set out to rescue the one aunt who can help their family from debt—but are met with the discovery that she needs rescuing herself (since she’s stuck inside a magic mirror, of course). The plot is magical, the teamwork between siblings is enduring, and the feeling of happiness you’ll receive from this movie is worth every second.

Where to Watch: AppleTV


Hotel Transylvania (PG)

This adorable movie follows Count Dracula (voiced by Adam Sandler), the owner of the Hotel Transylvania, where the world’s monsters come to relax and get away from humans. When he invites a group of friends to the hotel to celebrate his daughter Mavis’s 118th birthday (yep, you read that right), a human boy named Jonathan unexpectedly shows up and causes chaos. Can Drac prevent Mavis from falling for Jonathan? And what happens when the hotel guests figure out there’s a human among them?! Your kiddos are sure to love this cute flick. For more, watch the sequels: Hotel Transylvania 2, Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, and Hotel Transylvania: Transformania.

Where to Watch: Hulu


The Haunted Mansion (PG)

Based on the classic Walt Disney World attraction, this movie stars Eddie Murphy as a relator who, along with his family, becomes trapped in a haunted mansion. To break the home’s curse and be set free, the family must join forces with a supernatural psychic named Madame Leota. Though the film has some scenes that may be scary for little kids, this is a fun Halloween flick for older kids, especially if they know the Disney ride. Plus, look out for the remake starring Rosario Dawson, Owen Wilson, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more coming in 2023!

Where to Watch: Disney+


Throwback Classics


Beetlejuice (PG)

In this popular Tim Burton film, a recently-deceased couple (played by Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin) become ghosts in their home and realize their greatest threat is the human family who now lives there. Of course, the only way to take back their home is to ask a witty ghost named Beetlejuice (Michael Keaton) to scare the humans away once and for all. With the entertaining twist of the living haunting the dead, this movie is one that will have you laughing at the silly moments and forgetting all the scary ones.

Where to Watch: Peacock


Ghostbusters (PG)

When you’re looking for some comedic relief during the month of Halloween, who are you gonna call? GHOSTBUSTERS! Our list wouldn’t be the same without the mention of this enjoyable take on a team of parapsychologists (played by Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Harold Ramis) who start up a ghost-hunting business in the middle of New York City. For more, watch the sequel, Ghostbusters II, and the 2016 reboot, Ghostbusters: Answer the Call, featuring an all-female cast.

Where to Watch: Hulu


The Addams Family (PG-13)

This 1991 dark comedy follows couple Gomez and Morticia Addams (Raul Julia and Anjelica Huston, respectively) and their two children, Wednesday (Christina Ricci) and Pugsley (Jimmy Workman). When the macabre, aristocratic family reconnects with a long-lost relative (or so they thought) named Fester Addams (Christoper Lloyd), they form a bond—but it turns out that Fester is really the adopted son of a loan shark and is trying to swindle the family out of their vast fortune. Though there have been many Addams Family movies and TV shows over the years, this one remains a favorite, especially for ’90s kids.

Where to Watch: Paramount+


Shaun of the Dead (R)

Here’s the reality about zombie movies—not everyone likes them, but the people who do absolutely love them. If you’re in this category of people, you’re no stranger to the scenes of gore and survival. To lighten the mood, Shaun of the Dead is as hilarious as any zombie movie can get. Meet Shaun (played by Simon Pegg), your typical guy who is trying to get his life together, love his girlfriend, make his parents happy, and stay alive during a zombie apocalypse (so all things that we have to deal with at some point, it’s fine).

Where to Watch: Peacock


Sleepy Hollow (R)

As another well-known Tim Burton film, this 1999 movie (starring Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci) invites us into Sleepy Hollow, a quiet village with some secrets and a series of murders (by a headless horsemen). Join a police constable as he investigates the homicides and attempts to make sense of the seemingly supernatural occurrences that are happening around the town. It’s a creepy mystery with a touch of eerie that keeps you engaged and hoping for the answer—and wishing the movie would never end.

Where to Watch: Hulu


Scream (R)

The original movie of any series is always special and Scream is no exception—it’s the iconic film that raised the standard for all slasher movies and then coined itself as one of the most successful ones to date. Scream follows a group of high school teens who are targeted by Ghostface, a killer with a scary costume and a knife to go with it. This movie re-awakened the horror genre of the ’90s and is still satisfying to watch years later—plus, it has a great cast with Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, and Drew Barrymore. For more, watch the sequels: Scream 2, Scream 3, Scream 4, and 2022’s Scream.

Where to Watch: Hulu and Paramount+


Practical Magic (PG-13)

Sisters (and witches) with magical powers—played by two of our favorites, Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock—can’t fall in love without cursing the men they’re dating. If you love the 1990s and the idea of a spooky rom-com, this one is for you!

Where to Watch: HBOMax


Edward Scissorhands (PG-13)

If you’re a Tim Burton fan, you’ve probably seen this ’90s movie time and time again—but there’s just something about Edward’s sweet romance with Kim that just keeps us coming back. Edward, an “artificial humanoid,” was created by an elderly inventor who died before Edward (played by Johnny Depp) was completed, leaving him with sharp scissor blades for hands. When a friendly Avon saleswoman stops by Edward’s house one day, she takes him home and introduces him to her family and teenage daughter, Kim (played by Winona Ryder), whom he soon becomes enamored with.

Where to Watch: Disney+


Scary Movies (Adults Only!)


Carrie (R)

This classic horror movie stars a young Sissy Spacek as shy 16-year-old high school student Carrie. Based on Stephen King’s first published novel, the story follow Carrie as she’s bullied and mocked by her peers—until she realizes she has telekinetic powers and begins to retaliate against her classmates. There have been several remakes of Carrie since the ’70s, but the original remains the best one.

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video


The Conjuring (R)

Nothing makes scary movie lovers excited and everyone else terrified like introducing a horror film and following it up with the fact that it’s based on true events. Meet: The Conjuring. The plot is all you want in a scary movie—it has ties to the famous haunted Annabelle doll, involves uncomfortable pauses in dim lighting, and follows a paranormal investigation held by two demonologists (played by Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson). Even though this movie won’t ruin your life, it might make you never want to hear someone clap again. Nonetheless, you’re in for a good scare (even if you close your eyes through it).

Where to Watch: HBO Max


Sinister (R)

Just when you thought haunted houses were enough to scare you, Sinister is released and tells the story of a true crime writer (Ethan Hawke) who moves into a new home with his family—only to find terrifying Super 8 footages of home murders. Commence the creepiness of children drawing on walls, the mystery of what’s behind the footages, and the overall storyline that will have your adrenaline race a little faster each time you remember it.

Where to Watch: Peacock


The Silence of the Lambs (R)

Where to Watch: Hulu and Amazon Prime Video

A psychological thriller that shocked the country, Silence of the Lambs is a classic movie that sheds light on the behavior of serial killers and puts emphasis on the fact that detail is everything. The story follows an FBI trainee (played by Jodie Foster) who steps into the mind of the infamous Hannibal Lector (Anthony Hopkins), a cannibalistic serial killer, in hopes to gain new perspectives to catch another serial killer. Silence of the Lambs is one of those movies that will haunt you, long after viewing.


IT (R)

Where to Watch: HBO Max

With the remake of this Stephen King classic hitting theaters a few years back, we had to add it to our list. Whether you decide to watch the original or see the updated version (starring Bill Skarsgård as terrifying clown Pennywise and Stranger Things‘ Finn Wolfhard), we’re going to just go ahead and state that anything that lurks in the gutters is not joking. IT will amaze you, disturb you, and live up to all the horror and suspense that everyone keeps talking about. Float on, friends. Ready for more Pennywise? Watch It Chapter Two next!


Halloween (R)

Michael Myers is back for the 11th time (yes, seriously) in this 2018 installment of Halloween starring Jamie Lee Curtis, who originated her iconic role of Laurie Strode for the first time back in 1978. This time around, Michael is being transferred to a maximum-security prison after spending 40 years in a psychiatric hospital, but escapes after the bus transporting patients crashes. With Michael on the loose on October 31, it’s only a matter of time until he makes his way to Laurie’s secluded house in the words and terrorizes her family—again. For more, watch the 2021 film Halloween Kills and 2022’s Halloween Ends, which was just released. And, you can always go back and watch all the earlier Halloween films, too.

Where to Watch: HBO Max


A Nightmare on Elm Street (R)

Another Wes Craven classic (see Scream above for more from Craven), A Nightmare on Elm Street is considered one of the greatest horror films ever made—and for good reason. In the flick, several Midwestern teenagers become victims of Freddy Krueger, a killer who preys on high schoolers in their dreams and then kills them in real-life.

Where to Watch: HBO Max


The Ring (PG-13)

In The Ring, Naomi Watts plays a journalist named Rachel Keller who is investigating a cursed videotape that appears to kill its viewers within a week of watching. After Rachel watches the tape herself, the clock is ticking for her to unravel the mystery of this sinister video and its disturbing images.

Where to Watch: Paramount+

This article was originally published in 2018 and has been updated for timeliness. 

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