My favorite 31 things to watch at Halloween

by bynnod | created - 05 Aug 2011 | updated - 16 Sep 2011 | Public

These are the movies, television specials and cartoons that get me in the mood for Halloween. I only list a franchise once, so any sequels (or remakes) are included in that listing.

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1. Halloween (1978)

R | 91 min | Horror, Thriller

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
78 Metascore

Fifteen years after murdering his sister on Halloween night 1963, Michael Myers escapes from a mental hospital and returns to the small town of Haddonfield to kill again.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tony Moran, Nancy Kyes

Votes: 177,773 | Gross: $47.00M

2. Hocus Pocus (1993)

PG | 96 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy

6.8
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After three centuries, three witch sisters are resurrected in Salem, Massachusetts on Halloween night, and it is up to two teenagers, a young girl, and an immortal cat to put an end to their reign of terror once and for all.

Director: Kenny Ortega | Stars: Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy, Omri Katz

Votes: 70,856 | Gross: $39.51M

3. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

R | 100 min | Comedy, Musical

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
58 Metascore

A newly engaged couple have a breakdown in an isolated area and must pay a call to the bizarre residence of Dr. Frank-N-Furter.

Director: Jim Sharman | Stars: Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, Richard O'Brien

Votes: 114,536 | Gross: $139.88M

4. Dracula (1992)

R | 128 min | Horror

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
57 Metascore

The centuries old vampire Count Dracula comes to England to seduce his barrister Jonathan Harker's fiancée Mina Murray and inflict havoc in the foreign land.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins, Keanu Reeves

Votes: 159,118 | Gross: $82.52M

5. Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994)

R | 123 min | Drama, Horror

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
59 Metascore

A vampire tells his epic life story: love, betrayal, loneliness, and hunger.

Director: Neil Jordan | Stars: Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Antonio Banderas, Kirsten Dunst

Votes: 258,657 | Gross: $105.26M

6. The Crow (1994)

R | 102 min | Action, Drama, Fantasy

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
71 Metascore

A man brutally murdered comes back to life as an undead avenger of his and his fiancée's murder.

Director: Alex Proyas | Stars: Brandon Lee, Michael Wincott, Rochelle Davis, Ernie Hudson

Votes: 146,958 | Gross: $50.69M

Okay, the is traditionally a movie I watch on the night before Halloween.

7. Psycho (1960)

R | 109 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

8.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
97 Metascore

A Phoenix secretary embezzles $40,000 from her employer's client, goes on the run, and checks into a remote motel run by a young man under the domination of his mother.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin

Votes: 480,655 | Gross: $32.00M

8. It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966 TV Special)

Not Rated | 25 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The Peanuts gang celebrates Halloween while Linus waits for the Great Pumpkin.

Director: Bill Melendez | Stars: Peter Robbins, Christopher Shea, Sally Dryer, Cathy Steinberg

Votes: 12,659

9. Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Not Rated | 96 min | Horror

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
87 Metascore

There is panic throughout the nation as the dead suddenly come back to life. The film follows a group of characters who barricade themselves in an old farmhouse in an attempt to remain safe from these bloodthirsty, flesh-eating monsters.

Director: George A. Romero | Stars: Duane Jones, Judith O'Dea, Karl Hardman, Marilyn Eastman

Votes: 97,365 | Gross: $0.09M

10. Trick or Treat (1952)

8 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

After Donald plays a cruel Halloween prank on his nephews, the 3 team-up with a witch and her broom to teach him a lesson about 'tricks and treats.'

Director: Jack Hannah | Stars: June Foray, Clarence Nash, Thurl Ravenscroft

Votes: 739

It is included on the DVD of The Black Cauldron, but the Walt Disney short Donald Duck's Trick or Treat has been a favorite of mine since I listened to the record version of the story as a child.

11. The Halloween That Almost Wasn't (1979 TV Short)

30 min | Short, Comedy, Family

7.0
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Upset by rumors that Halloween may end, Dracula calls his mild-mannered monsters together and delivers an ultimatum - either regain their frightening image, or leave his Transylvania castle forever.

Director: Bruce Bilson | Stars: Judd Hirsch, Mariette Hartley, Henry Gibson, Jack Riley

Votes: 328

Incredibly campy and fun made for TV Halloween special. Renamed "The Night Dracula Saved the World" when it was released on VHS in 1992.

12. Trick 'r Treat (2007)

R | 82 min | Comedy, Horror, Thriller

6.8
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Five interwoven stories that occur on Halloween: An everyday high school principal has a secret life as a serial killer; a college virgin might have just met the guy for her; a group of teenagers pull a mean prank; a woman who loathes the night has to contend with her holiday-obsessed husband; and a mean old man meets his match with a demonic, supernatural trick-or-treater.

Director: Michael Dougherty | Stars: Anna Paquin, Brian Cox, Dylan Baker, Rochelle Aytes

Votes: 69,426

Not for the faint of heart. The unwritten rule that "children will not be harmed in a horror movie" is thrown out the door.

13. Ghostbusters (1984)

PG | 105 min | Action, Comedy, Fantasy

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
71 Metascore

Three former parapsychology professors set up shop as a unique ghost removal service.

Director: Ivan Reitman | Stars: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Harold Ramis

Votes: 301,336 | Gross: $238.63M

14. Young Frankenstein (1974)

PG | 106 min | Comedy

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  
80 Metascore

An American grandson of the infamous scientist, struggling to prove that he is not as insane as people believe, is invited to Transylvania, where he discovers the process that reanimates a dead body.

Director: Mel Brooks | Stars: Gene Wilder, Madeline Kahn, Marty Feldman, Peter Boyle

Votes: 125,658 | Gross: $86.30M

15. Scream (1996)

R | 111 min | Horror, Mystery

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
65 Metascore

A year after the murder of her mother, a teenage girl is terrorized by a new killer, who targets the girl and her friends by using horror films as part of a deadly game.

Director: Wes Craven | Stars: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Skeet Ulrich

Votes: 243,329 | Gross: $103.05M

The entire trilogy is good, but this is the best and helped to restart the slasher genre.

16. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997–2003)

TV-14 | 44 min | Action, Drama, Fantasy

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A young woman is forced to fulfill her destiny of fighting vampires and demons with the help of her friends all the while struggling to live a normal teenage life of heart break and drama.

Stars: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nicholas Brendon, Alyson Hannigan, Anthony Head

Votes: 110,831

Especially the season 2, 4, and 6 Halloween episodes, Buffy Vs Dracula, and the musical episode, "Once More With Feeling".

17. The Worst Witch (1986 TV Movie)

G | 70 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy

7.2
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Mildred is one of the young girls at a prestigious witch academy. She can't seem to do anything right and is picked on by classmates and teachers. The headmistress of the school, Miss ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Young | Stars: Diana Rigg, Charlotte Rae, Tim Curry, Fairuza Balk

Votes: 2,113

Great cast, campy fun, and the occasional musical number. This was (allegedly) the inspiration for the Harry Potter series.

18. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

R | 91 min | Horror

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
78 Metascore

Several people are hunted by a cruel serial killer who kills his victims in their dreams. While the survivors are trying to find the reason for being chosen, the murderer won't lose any chance to kill them as soon as they fall asleep.

Director: Wes Craven | Stars: Heather Langenkamp, Johnny Depp, Robert Englund, John Saxon

Votes: 169,078 | Gross: $25.50M

The newer version was also good.

19. The Exorcist (1973)

R | 122 min | Horror

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  
82 Metascore

When a girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter.

Director: William Friedkin | Stars: Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Linda Blair, Lee J. Cobb

Votes: 309,411 | Gross: $232.91M

20. The Simpsons (1989– )
Episode: Treehouse of Horror (1990)

TV-PG | 30 min | Animation, Comedy

8.3
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The Simpsons move into a cursed house, then are abducted by aliens, before Homer is ensconced in a tale by Edgar Allen Poe.

Directors: Wesley Archer, Rich Moore, David Silverman | Stars: Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith

Votes: 2,213

And all of the subsequent Treehouse Of Horror episodes that followed.

21. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

R | 118 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

8.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
85 Metascore

A young F.B.I. cadet must receive the help of an incarcerated and manipulative cannibal killer to help catch another serial killer, a madman who skins his victims.

Director: Jonathan Demme | Stars: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Lawrence A. Bonney, Kasi Lemmons

Votes: 1,014,926 | Gross: $130.74M

22. Scary Movie (2000)

R | 88 min | Comedy

6.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
48 Metascore

A year after disposing of the body of a man they accidentally killed, a group of dumb teenagers are stalked by a bumbling serial killer.

Director: Keenen Ivory Wayans | Stars: Anna Faris, Jon Abrahams, Marlon Wayans, Carmen Electra

Votes: 202,542 | Gross: $157.02M

and it's sequels

23. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1982 TV Movie)

140 min | Musical, Drama, Thriller

8.5
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Sweeney Todd returns to London to uncover the past, along the way meeting Mrs. Lovett, and begins to start his life of crime.

Directors: Terry Hughes, Harold Prince | Stars: Angela Lansbury, George Hearn, Cris Groenendaal, Sara Woods

Votes: 3,102

The original

24. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

PG | 115 min | Family, Sci-Fi

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
91 Metascore

A troubled child summons the courage to help a friendly alien escape Earth and return to his home world.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore, Peter Coyote, Dee Wallace

Votes: 312,132 | Gross: $435.11M

Have to watch the original cut, before it was made too PC for our own good. Besides aliens and flying bikes, it takes place on Halloween.

25. Casper (1995)

PG | 100 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy

6.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
49 Metascore

A paranormal expert and his daughter bunk in an abandoned house populated by three mischievous ghosts and one friendly one.

Director: Brad Silberling | Stars: Bill Pullman, Christina Ricci, Cathy Moriarty, Eric Idle

Votes: 97,340 | Gross: $100.33M

26. Men in Black (1997)

PG-13 | 98 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
71 Metascore

A police officer joins a secret organization that polices and monitors extraterrestrial interactions on Earth.

Director: Barry Sonnenfeld | Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith, Linda Fiorentino, Vincent D'Onofrio

Votes: 445,201 | Gross: $250.69M

And MIB 2

27. An American Werewolf in London (1981)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Horror

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
60 Metascore

Two American college students on a walking tour of Britain are attacked by a werewolf that none of the locals will admit exists.

Director: John Landis | Stars: David Naughton, Jenny Agutter, Joe Belcher, Griffin Dunne

Votes: 75,030 | Gross: $30.57M

28. Goblin (2010 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 92 min | Fantasy, Horror

4.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.1/10 X  

Every Halloween, a small hamlet in the deep woods is visited by a fierce goblin, intent on capturing infants and brutally murdering anyone in its path.

Director: Jeffery Scott Lando | Stars: Gil Bellows, Tracy Spiridakos, Camille Sullivan, Donnelly Rhodes

Votes: 1,088

29. Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)

Not Rated | 118 min | Comedy, Crime, Thriller

8.0
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A drama critic learns on his wedding day that his beloved maiden aunts are homicidal maniacs, and that insanity runs in his family.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: Cary Grant, Priscilla Lane, Raymond Massey, Jack Carson

Votes: 58,402

Besides being a macabre comedy, it takes place on Halloween too.

30. Elvira: Mistress of the Dark (1988)

PG-13 | 96 min | Comedy, Horror

6.4
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Upon arriving in a small town where she has inherited a rundown mansion, a famous horror hostess battles an evil uncle, and townspeople who want her burned at the stake.

Director: James Signorelli | Stars: Cassandra Peterson, Phil Rubenstein, Larry Flash Jenkins, Damita Jo Freeman

Votes: 9,970 | Gross: $5.60M

No Halloween collection can be complete without Elvira...

31. Bugs Bunny's Howl-oween Special (1977 TV Short)

25 min | Animation, Short, Family

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The company of Bugs Bunny and scary creatures going crazy at Hallow's Eve.

Directors: David Detiege, Friz Freleng, Chuck Jones, Abe Levitow, Robert McKimson, Maurice Noble | Stars: Mel Blanc, June Foray

Votes: 158