Movies to Watch on Halloween When COVID-19 Prevents You From Partying

Halloween is fast approaching, but due to the pandemic these halloween movies will become your new form of spooky celebration. Different moods for different folks, so this top ten list encompasses all tastes.

10. For the Gremlins (or Anyone Who Needs to Laugh With a Glass of Pinot Grigio): Hocus Pocus

Kathy Najimi, bette Midler, and Sarah jessica Parker in costumes standing side by side in Hocus Pocus
From Left to Right: Larry, Moe, and Curly (image credit: Disney)

Most people will watch this movie once a year and then refuse to acknowledge it outside of the month of October. However, when those leaves start to fall, best believe your mother, girlfriends, and gay pals will whip their crusty DVD copy of Hocus Pocus out and bring out three cases of boxed wine. For good reason, of course, because this Disney tale of resurrected witches Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Carrie Bradshaw is a laugh and a half. 

9. For a Good Creature Feature: The Descent

One of the abt monsters standing in front of one of the leads, with a batlike appearance and grey, oily skin
Those monsters have some serious gingivitis. (image credit: Celador Films)

The Descent is possibly one of the most terrifying creature features out there. The film excels at building up to the creature reveal with other cave-diving horrors and gets you attached to the characters before they get ripped apart by monster teeth. You’ve got badass women leads, bat monsters, and unresolved trauma! What could be better than that?

8. For Sci-fi Lovers: Alien

The tail of the alien reaching for an unsuspecting victim
He’s coming in for a sneak attack. (image credit: 20th Century Fox)

While Alien has nothing to do with Halloween, it is one of the best films in existence and delivers great questions about mortality that are scarier than all the monsters in these other movies. Plus, it’s Sigourney Weaver. It also has amazing suspense, which every good horror movie needs.

7. For Free Phone Consultations: Scream

Halloween wouldn't be complete without these two bloddied knuckleheads from screen, pictured here mocking Sidney
These killers are not social distancing. (image credit: Dimension Films)

Slashers are always a good time, even the bad ones. Scream is a perfect Halloween watch because it is self-referential in its cliches and capitalizes on everything that draws people to slashers. It is a jack-of-all-trades horror movie. Suspense, black comedy, and great kills add up to great popcorn fodder.

6. For Found Footage Buffs: The Blair Witch Project

One of the main characters facing a corner in a black and white camera shot
What are you staring at, bro? Does the grout need to be redone? (image credit: Haxan Films)

I don’t care what anyone says, this film rejuvenated the found footage genre. The genius marketing leading up to its release, including a Scooby-Doo shoutout, really added to the “authenticity” of the film. The actors perform well and really sell it. Watch this on Halloween if you’re looking to feel disturbed for the next few hours.

5. For Some Halloween Brain Food: Night of the Living Dead

This film is perfect for Halloween viewing, just look at those zombies shuffling about
Some of the first representations of stereotypical zombies may seem lackluster by today’s standards. (image credit: Image Ten)

Zombie movies have a lot to owe to George Romero. This black and white flick follows a single night of zombified terror and has a lot of cultural context surrounding it. It launched a whole genre of films and is seen as the definitive zombie movie. Watching it on Halloween would only make sense.

4. For Those Who Want to See Tim Curry in Fishnets: The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Magenta, Frank, Riff Raff and Columbia all center frame
Frank-N-Furter looks like a whole meal in this shot. (image credit: 20th Century Fox)

This is the film to watch if you have friends and you like yelling at a screen. This film is for the outcasts and for those who disrupt convention. It’s also for fierce queens and anyone that likes great music. A cult classic, The Rocky Horror Picture Show is peak Halloween camaraderie.

3. For Camp Counselors: Friday the 13th

Two counselors, one of them being kevin Bacon, worried about their safety
When did teenagers become perfect slasher targets? (image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

If you want a classic slasher with the whole sex, blood, and screams shtick, go to Friday the 13th. This is the slasher you watch at a 50s drive-in with your significant other and hope you don’t get chopped up afterwards. It’s also got a great twist and a Scooby-Doo style reveal. For great jumpscares and a nostalgic feel, this is your Halloween pick.

2. For True Halloween Aficionados: Trick R Treat

Halloween has a mascot now: this little kid with a sack on his head
How can you dislike this cutie? (image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

Ah, Trick R Treat, where the ultimate Halloween fables get brought to life in the most gruesome of ways. This collection of interwoven Halloween horror tales features great black comedy, the most badass party scene backed by Marilyn Manson and Anna Paquin. Come on.  

1. For the Other True Halloween Aficionados: Halloween

Michael Myers from Halloween doing his best to look spooky
This man is the stuff of nightmares. (image credit: Compass Internation Pictures)

Other than it literally being called Halloween, Jamie Lee Curtis really stands out as a final girl and the Halloween backdrop is perfect for the awesome suspense and scares this classic delivers. The score and cinematography is top notch and we get decent to great acting performances all around. If you only have time for one movie on Halloween night, you can’t go wrong with John Carpenter’s Halloween.

Agree with our list? Disagree with our list? Sound off in the comments below.

By John Castro

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