Halloween Movie Guide for the 2018 Season

It’s getting to be that time of year! Have you found yourself sitting down over the past few weeks, looking out at pumpkins and gourds and drinking hot apple cider, and wishing you had the perfect Halloween movie to kickstart the season? Well, look no further! Below are some of the most quintessential movies for the Halloween season.

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

A true classic in every kid’s Halloween repertoire; this Charlie Brown special is still a lot of fun to watch, even when you know you’re a little too old to be enjoying it. Charlie Brown dresses up as a ghost with way too many eyes, Lucy dresses up as a witch, and Snoopy dresses up as a World War I flying ace. There is a Halloween party, and Linus and Sally wait in a pumpkin patch for the fictional Great Pumpkin.

Hocus Pocus

Basically, three witches from the days of the Salem Witch Trials are awoken from a curse and plan to use the lifeforce of the people in modern-day Salem, Massachusetts to become immortal. There are elaborate costumes, a lot of cauldron brewing and bubbling, broomstick flying with all the quality special effects of the 90s, and even a black cat.


There’s actually a Halloweentown II and III that could have been added to this list, but the first Halloweentown movie encompasses all of the trick-or-treating, friendly monsters, and otherworldly dimensions that you might want in a Halloween movie. The main character, Marnie, discovers that there is a world of witches and ghosts and vampires that has been hidden from her for years, but that she is fated to belong to.


Bonus Round: Tim Burton movies

Director and producer Tim Burton is known for the creepy, haunting atmosphere of his films, whether live action or animated. As a good number of the movies on this list were directed by Burton, I think he’s deserving of his own category.


A couple who live together happily in their small town is killed one day when they accidentally drive off a bridge and are fated to remain in their house as ghosts. To make matters worse, the house is soon purchased by a family who wants to completely renovate and redecorate it. As the ghosts attempt to haunt the family to make them leave, hilarious hijinks ensue, but in true Tim Burton fashion, there are quite a few disturbing scenes as well.


Another Frankenstein-esque movie, this time with the plot of the story being a boy bringing his dog back to life. The movie is filled with the happy messages of reunion and family, but the animation style and subject matter add a sufficiently creepy tone.


Coraline is billed as a children’s movie, but there are some parts of it that are as disturbing as a horror movie. It’s animated in an unsettling, disjointed way, and is arguably creepier than the book that it’s based on. The main character, Coraline, moves into an old, Victorian house with her mom and dad, and soon discovers a passageway connecting her world to an alternate dimension, where she has an “Other Mother” and “Other Father.” The fact that these “Other Parents” have buttons for eyes should be one of the first signs that this world is not as marvelous as it first seems.


Extra Bonus Round: actual horror movies

If you’ve watched all the movies on this list, and find yourself feeling that they’re not sufficiently... horrifying, here are a few quintessential Halloween horror movies that are sure to haunt your nightmares for at least a week.

The Exorcist

This is among some of the better-known horror movies, and for good reason; ideas of demonic possession and exorcism have haunted people’s minds for centuries. If excessive blood and body horror bother you, though, then maybe steer clear of this one.

Halloween (1978)

The title pretty much says it all; if you’re looking for a Halloween horror movie, you’ve found it. The story is that Michael, a young man who murdered his sister on Halloween night when he was six, escapes from the sanitarium where he was being held and goes on a killing spree. There are a few good jump scares, a lot of suspense, and an ambiguous ending that will leave you wanting a sequel.

The Shining

A man decides to bring his family along when he takes a position in an empty hotel as a caretaker over a long winter. Doesn’t sound scary enough for you yet? There are creepy identical twin girls that repeat the mantra “come play with us,” and a mysterious room that the entire family is warned to stay away from.  

Of course, these are only a few of the many Halloween movies that have been produced over the past decades. But they are some of the spookiest, most fun, and long-lasting, as well! So settle down with some trick-or-treating candy and enjoy!


Image Credit: Feature Image, Grey Smith