1. Halloween (1978)
You can’t go wrong with a classic like this one. It was an independent film that quickly went mainstream because of its captivating plot. For those who haven’t seen it, it is about a serial killer (Michael Myers) who escapes from a psychiatric facility that he has been in since he was a young child because he murdered his teenage sister. After escaping, he begins to stalk new victims in his hometown on Halloween. The direct sequel to the original Halloween came out Oct. 19, 2018.
2. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
This Tim Burton masterpiece has its own spooky qualities, despite it being claymation as opposed to real actors. It features the pumpkin king of Halloweentown named Jack Skellington, who has become bored of his day-to-day life. Jack is accidentally transported to Christmastown, where everything is brighter in color and full of joy, which he very much enjoys. He ultimately decides he wants to take over as Santa Claus and control Christmastown, and the film goes from there. It’s a bit of a shock that this movie (as well as Coraline) was only given PG ratings.
3. Hocus Pocus (1993)
This Disney movie is a cult classic. It stars the fictional Sanderson sisters from 1693 in Salem, Massachusetts. The three witches are caught and hanged in 1693 for killing a young girl, but not before Winifred Sanderson casts a spell to bring the sisters back when a virgin lights the Black Flame Candle during a full moon on Halloween. 300 years later (which was deemed present-day in 1993) protagonist Max lights the candle as a way of mocking the tale of the Sanderson sisters and inevitably brings them back. Max, his little sister and crush Allison must kill the witches for good before they kill any more children. Hocus Pocus is a great spooky comedy.
4. A Quiet Place (2018)
A very recent addition to the list is this thrilling, heart-racing, edge-of-your-seat movie starring John Krasinski. In a post-apocalyptic future, most of humanity has been wiped out by frightening creatures who kill those who make noise. The movie follows the Abbott family as they struggle to survive against the seemingly invincible creatures. The jump scares in this one are intense.
5. The Conjuring (2013)
For those who haven’t seen this horror movie like me, even the trailer is terrifying. Based on a true story, The Conjuring is about a family who moves into a remote, abandoned farmhouse in Rhode Island. They soon realize the home must be cursed and that a demonic spirit is possessing the girls. After the family learns of the home’s disturbing past, the events grow horrifyingly worse.