The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
The month of October ignites mental images of several different things: trees awash with vibrant reds and oranges, a nice cup of hot chocolate, cozy blankets and — the biggest thing — Halloween. While it’s common knowledge that this highly-anticipated holiday practically defines the entire month as a whole, there’s only one way to ring in the fun fright the right way with the best seasonal fall activity: watching movies. From bone-chilling thrillers about creepy crawlies to warm Disney Channel Original movies, here are six old and new films and series that are perfect for the spooky season.
Ranging from kid-friendly to downright creepy, these movies are must-sees for Halloween and have been out for several years. While everyone loves to keep up with the latest films, it’s important to never forget the classics that placed films at the forefront of the Halloween experience.
- The Shining
This classic horror film emerged from the mind of producer and director Stanley Kubrick as his adaptation of Stephen King’s psychological thriller novel, The Shining. Everyone knows the iconic “Here’s Johnny!” bathroom scene in which actor Jack Nicholson forcefully breaks down a door with an axe and peers through it, crazed and lost to his madness. A Halloween-themed movie night simply would not be complete without The Shining.
Every kid that grew up during the golden era of Disney is familiar with the nostalgia and quirky, yet magical nature of this film. Everyone knows the story, but on the off-chance that one doesn’t, this film follows a trio of children who unknowingly come from a long line of witches. Their beloved grandmother Aggie resides in Halloweentown, a mystical world filled with supernatural creatures like vampires, demons and witches all living together in harmony. If horror films and thrillers aren’t the moves this Halloween, consider cozying up with a PSL and watching this feel-good Disney Channel Original.
- The Conjuring
Everybody knows about Annabelle, right? This hair-raising film chronicles the plight of a family who moves into a house cursed by the evil doll, Annabelle. In a series of hexes, exorcisms, and decades-old demonic spirits, The Conjuring rose to the top of most horror movie lovers’ watchlists despite only being released in 2013.
- Only Murders in the Building
While not necessarily Halloween-themed, this brand new Hulu series starring Selena Gomez, Steve Martin and Martin Short has the opportunity to quickly be deemed a new classic as it perfectly captures the spirit of the spooky season through an engaging yet slightly comedic murder mystery. This series revolves around three murder podcast fanatics who actually discover a murder in their building and start their own podcast, capturing the process of the trio slowly but surely cracking the case. However, things quickly start turning freaky. Blackmail, hush money and lies all spin a web around this gripping series.
- The Haunting of Hill House
Although it feels like it was released on Netflix just yesterday, this 2018 supernatural television series not only contains plenty of heebie-jeebies inducing horror, but also psychological impact. With the plot revolving around the haunting of Hill House, hence the name, it leaves a deeply traumatized family that is forced to move forward and live their lives while dealing with the aftermath of the haunting they went through. This popular series is a loose interpretation of a novel by Shirley Jackson that possesses the same name.
Slotted for an Oct. 25 release right on time for Halloween in 2019, Countdown revolves around a series of people who discover a mysterious app that shows a timer that tells the handler when they will die. If that wasn’t scary enough, there are also rules attached to the app – one cannot try to extend the amount of time on their timer, otherwise, they get eliminated through strange, almost demonic forces. With plenty of traditional horror tropes like gore and the occasional jumpscare, Countdown is the perfect trope-y yet solid thriller that won’t leave a person with nightmares afterward.
And that’s about it! When the ghouls and goblins come out to play, at least you’ll be cozy and safe inside with a fuzzy blanket and one of the movies or series on this list!