13 Top Horror Movies for Halloween


Halloween is upon us! Everyone’s  favourite excuse to dress up, shed their persona and enter a world of ghouls and ghosts. So what better way to celebrate Halloween and push your home theatre to the limits with our top horror movies for Halloween! With that being said, here’s a list of my 13 top horror movies (in no particular order).

13 Top Horror Movies for Halloween

1. Trick ‘r Treat (2007)

Tagline: “Poison, Drowning, Claw, Or Knife. So Many Ways To Take A Life.”

Director: Michael Dougherty

Stars: Dylan Baker, Brian Cox, Anna Paquin

Plot: Trick r’ Treat tells four interlinked tales on Halloween night: A high school principal with a killer secret ; a college girl who meets someone special;  teenagers who pull a terrible prank and a woman’s struggle with her Halloween obsessed husband.

Why It’s Awesome: Trick ‘r Treat delicately balances genuine horror with a good deal of humour. The interconnected stories is clever, allowing you to see movie events play out from different angles. This unique twist is why it earned a position in my top horror movie list.

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2. The Exorcist (1973)

Tagline: “The Devil Inside”

Director: William Friedkin

Stars: Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Linda Blair

Plot: A teenage girl is possessed by a supernatural being and her mother seeks the assistance of two priests to save her.

Why It’s Awesome: An absolute classic horror movie – everything from the creepy music to the simple yet disturbing makeup helps tell a terrifying tale. Whilst not as scary as some modern films, it still manages to freak many people out. And I’d probably be shot if it didn’t appear on my top horror movies list, so there’s that.

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3. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)


Tagline: “Sleep Kills”

Director: Wes Craven

Stars: Heather Langenkamp, Johnny Depp, Robert Englund

Plot: A killer invades the dreams of his victims – the children of those that killed him

Why It’s Awesome: The original horror movie that gave people a reason to fear going to sleep. The blending of the supernatural with many people’s actual nightmares made this awesome piece of cinema a classic and earned a position on our top horror movie list.

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4. Drag Me to Hell (2009)

Tagline: “Even nice people can go to hell”

Director: Sam Raimi

Stars: Alison Lohman, Justin Long, Ruth Livier

Plot: When a loan officer evicts an old women, she finds herself cursed by the supernatural. While she tries to save herself, the evil forces have other plans.

Why It’s Awesome: This is a movie that brings on a genuine fear of being cursed. The helpless feeling of the victim, combined with Sam Raimi’s trademark humour makes this a modern classic and a spot on our top horror movie list.

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5. Dawn of the Dead (1978)

Tagline: “When there’s no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth.”

Director:  George A. Romero

Stars: David Emge, Ken Foree, Scott H. Reiniger

Plot: With a zombie outbreak taking over the city, a team of people seek shelter in a shopping mall.

Why It’s Awesome: Combining a swarm of zombies in an enclosed space with no escape makes a fascinating nightmare scenario. Combine that with a brooding soundtrack and you have a zombie classic. Brings meaning to the saying “shop ’till you drop”!

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6. Halloween (1978)

Tagline: “The trick was to stay alive.”

Director: John Carpenter

Stars: Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tony Moran

Plot: A psychotic murderer institutionalized for murdering his sister escapes and stalks a young girl and her friends.

Why It’s Awesome: Introducing us to psycho Michael Myers, Halloween ratchets up the horror with a realistic killer and cast of victims, creepy soundtrack and clever camera work. A must-see that earns its place on my top horror movies list.

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7. Alien (1979)

Tagline: “In space no one can hear you scream.”

Director: Ridley Scott

Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt

Plot: When a ship receives a distress call from an unexplored planet, the crew searches for survivors. When they depart, something deadly has decided to join their ranks.

Why It’s Awesome: Ridley Scott’s 1979 classic is amazing in its overwhelming feeling of dread and isolation. Plus, it introduced us to the now iconic alien which has been terrifying us for many years since.

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8. Psycho (1960)

Tagline: “Exploring the blackness of the subconscious man!”

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Stars: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh

Plot: When a secretary steals money from her employer’s client, she goes on the run. She then arrives at the Bates Motel, a remote motel run by a young man ruled by his mother.

Why It’s Awesome: Hitchcock’s classic is still terrifying to this day and it’s breed of horror holds up remarkably well. And who can forget the iconic shower scene? That alone would be enough to get onto our top horror movies list.

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9. Tucker and Dale vs Pure Evil (2010)

Tagline: “Evil just messed with the wrong hillbillies.”

Director: Eli Craig

Stars: Tyler Labine, Alan Tudyk

Plot: Tucker & Dale go on a vacation to their new mountain cabin whilst a group of preppy college kids fear for their lives.

Why It’s Awesome: This movie is hilarious – a perfect combination of macabre humour, romance and gore. Tucker and Dale are likeable, the deaths are memorable and gore plentiful. A definite favourite on my top horror movies list.

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10. Friday the 13th (1980)

Tagline: “Fridays will never be the same again.”

Director: Sean S. Cunningham

Stars: Betsy Palmer, Kevin Bacon

Plot: Camp counsellors are hunted and killed while trying to reopen a summer camp where a child drowned.

Why It’s Awesome: Echoing John Carpenter’s Halloween, Friday the 13th is an entertaining slasher movie in its own right. Plenty of tension, shocks and gore. Friday the 13th also is the first appearance of the iconic  “Jason” hockey mask – a horror icon and a staple of many Halloween costumes and pranks alike.

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11. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)


Tagline:  “Who will survive and what will be left of them?”

Director: Tobe Hooper

Stars: William Vail, Paul A. Partain

Plot: A group of friends visiting their grandfather’s country house in are terrorized by a chainsaw wielding psycho and his family.

Why It’s Awesome: Leatherface is a terrifying killer and still remains one of the most disturbing horror characters in history. Plenty of gore and a brutal assault on the senses.

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12. The Shining (1980)

Tagline: “The Horror is driving him crazy”

Director: Stanley Kubrick

Stars: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd

Plot: A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil force starts to interfere with their lives.

Why It’s Awesome: Apart from being a cult classic, this movie has a genuine feeling of foreboding terror. Plenty of memorable scenes and quotes that have been copied and parodied alike. I love the classic “Here’s Johnny!” shot!

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13. Beetlejuice (1988)


Tagline: “Say it once… Say it twice… But we dare you to say it THREE TIMES”

Director: Tim Burton

Stars: Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Michael Keaton

Plot: Recently deceased ghosts hire a “bio-exorcist” to remove the new owners of their former house.

Why It’s Awesome: Quirky, fun and unique, Burton’s Beetlejuice is another cult classic. Plenty of macabre humor combined with a surreal cast of characters. Even though it’s not truely a horror file, I couldn’t leave this off the top horror movies list for Halloween.

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What are your top horror movies for Halloween? Let us know in the comments!

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