Essential Movies to Watch this Halloween

There’s nothing better than watching horror movies in the fall around Halloween time. If you’re into the notion of a bucket list, plenty of iconic horror movies exist for you to cross off. In this case, we’ll discuss a few essential movies to watch this Halloween!

Keep in mind, this list won’t feature every classic; that’d be impossible. These are just a few classics I enjoy watching this time of year. There’s a little bit of everything here, from slashers to family-friendly films to classics, so let’s discuss what we got!

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

LoglineFive friends head out to rural Texas to visit the grave of a grandfather. On the way, they stumble across what appears to be a deserted house, only to discover something sinister within—something armed with a chainsaw.

While there aren’t too many entries in the franchise that are worth watching, the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre holds up to this day and is one of the best slashers to come out. It’s terrifying, shot brilliantly, and birthed a horror icon.

Jaws (1975)

LoglineWhen a killer shark unleashes chaos on a beach community off Cape Cod, it’s up to a local sheriff, a marine biologist, and an old seafarer to hunt the beast down.

Many have said that Jaws is the greatest movie of all time, and it makes sense why. The film is perfect in many ways, and its influence is undeniable. It has a great pace and manages a story that could fall off very quickly but doesn’t. There’s a reason so many people love Jaws.

Halloween (1978)

LoglineFifteen years after murdering his sister on Halloween night, 1963, Michael Myers escapes from a mental hospital and returns to the small town of Haddonfield, Illinois, to kill again.

What’s more obvious than watching Halloween on Halloween? It’s hard to count how many Halloween movies are out there nowadays, but none are close to the original in how great it is. It’s shocking, iconic, and has everything to love and expect from a horror movie. It still holds up; you must watch it if you haven’t already!

Scream (1996)

LoglineA year after the murder of her mother, a teenage girl is terrorized by a masked killer who targets her and her friends by using scary movies as part of a deadly game.

Like Halloween, Scream is a franchise that’s elevated above other horror franchises, with horror fans considering it as a classic/must-watch entry. While I don’t love it as much as Halloween, the appeal is undeniable, and there’s a lot to love, especially if you’re into the mystery side of horror.

Coraline (2009)

LoglineAn adventurous 11-year-old girl finds another world that is a strangely idealized version of her frustrating home but has sinister secrets.

If blood isn’t your thing, or you’re looking for a scarier film to watch with your kids or younger siblings, check out Coraline. Plenty of older gen Zs and millennials look back on Coraline fondly, and here’s to hoping it has the same appeal as it did in the late 2000s.

The Shining (1980)

LoglineA family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter, where a sinister presence influences the father into violence. At the same time, his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from both the past and future.

The Shining is perfect. I don’t care how straightforward that answer may seem because there’s much to love about the movie. Whether you’re talking about the performances, direction, cinematography, or story, you can’t deny the film’s genius.

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)

LoglineThe Peanuts gang celebrates Halloween while Linus waits for the Great Pumpkin.

Many people have traditions around Halloween time, and It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is a nearly 60-year tradition that plays an infinite amount of times around the holiday. Even if you don’t have television, I’m sure it’s available on streaming somewhere.



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