100 Great Halloween Movies

by dmh2-163-619355 | created - 18 Sep 2011 | updated - 18 Sep 2011 | Public

These are the films which I feel best embody the spirit of the Halloween season. Not the scariest or best of the horror genre, but the films with the right mood and atmosphere for the holiday.

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1. Creepshow (1982)

R | 120 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Horror

59 Metascore

An anthology which tells five terrifying tales based on the E.C. horror comic books of the 1950s.

Director: George A. Romero | Stars: Hal Holbrook, Leslie Nielsen, Adrienne Barbeau, E.G. Marshall

Votes: 37,034 | Gross: $19.73M

2. Phantasm (1979)

R | 88 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

72 Metascore

A teenage boy and his friends face off against a mysterious grave robber known only as the Tall Man, who keeps a lethal arsenal of terrible weapons with him.

Director: Don Coscarelli | Stars: A. Michael Baldwin, Bill Thornbury, Reggie Bannister, Kathy Lester

Votes: 28,119 | Gross: $11.99M

3. Halloween (1978)

R | 91 min | Horror, Thriller

81 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, Illinois to kill again.

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

Votes: 202,874 | Gross: $47.00M

4. Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Not Rated | 96 min | Horror

89 Metascore

A ragtag group of Pennsylvanians barricade themselves in an old farmhouse to remain safe from a bloodthirsty, flesh-eating breed of monsters who are ravaging the East Coast of the United States.

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

Votes: 103,974 | Gross: $0.09M

5. Beetlejuice (1988)

PG | 92 min | Comedy, Fantasy

70 Metascore

The spirits of a deceased couple are harassed by an unbearable family that has moved into their home, and hire a malicious spirit to drive them out.

Director: Tim Burton | Stars: Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Michael Keaton, Annie McEnroe

Votes: 228,414 | Gross: $73.71M

6. Trick 'r Treat (2007)

R | 82 min | Comedy, Horror

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: 73,444

7. House on Haunted Hill (1959)

Not Rated | 75 min | Horror, Mystery

A millionaire offers $10,000 to five people who agree to be locked in a large, spooky, rented house overnight with him and his wife.

Directors: William Castle, Rosemary Horvath | Stars: Vincent Price, Carol Ohmart, Richard Long, Alan Marshal

Votes: 20,031

8. The Evil Dead (1981)

NC-17 | 85 min | Horror

71 Metascore

Five friends travel to a cabin in the woods, where they unknowingly release flesh-possessing demons.

Director: Sam Raimi | Stars: Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Richard DeManincor, Betsy Baker

Votes: 167,881 | Gross: $2.40M

9. Pumpkinhead (1988)

R | 86 min | Fantasy, Horror

After a tragic accident, a man conjures up a towering, vengeful demon called Pumpkinhead to destroy a group of unsuspecting teenagers.

Director: Stan Winston | Stars: Lance Henriksen, Jeff East, John D'Aquino, Kimberly Ross

Votes: 17,695 | Gross: $4.39M

10. Young Frankenstein (1974)

PG | 106 min | Comedy

80 Metascore

An American grandson of the infamous scientist, struggling to prove that his grandfather was 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: 132,081 | Gross: $86.30M

11. Fright Night (1985)

R | 106 min | Horror, Thriller

A teenager discovers that the newcomer in his neighborhood is a vampire, so he turns to an actor in a television horror show for help dealing with the undead.

Director: Tom Holland | Stars: Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdale, Amanda Bearse, Roddy McDowall

Votes: 52,637 | Gross: $24.92M

12. The Return of the Living Dead (1985)

R | 91 min | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi

66 Metascore

When two bumbling employees at a medical supply warehouse accidentally release a deadly gas into the air, the vapors cause the dead to rise again as zombies.

Director: Dan O'Bannon | Stars: Clu Gulager, James Karen, Don Calfa, Thom Mathews

Votes: 48,299 | Gross: $14.24M

13. Friday the 13th (1980)

R | 95 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

22 Metascore

A group of camp counselors are stalked and murdered by an unknown assailant while trying to reopen a summer camp which, years before, was the site of a child's drowning.

Director: Sean S. Cunningham | Stars: Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Jeannine Taylor, Robbi Morgan

Votes: 103,952 | Gross: $39.75M

14. Horror of Dracula (1958)

Not Rated | 82 min | Horror

Jonathan Harker begets the ire of Count Dracula after he accepts a job at the vampire's castle under false pretenses.

Director: Terence Fisher | Stars: Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Michael Gough, Melissa Stribling

Votes: 18,455

15. Hellraiser (1987)

R | 94 min | Horror, Thriller

57 Metascore

An unfaithful wife encounters the zombie of her dead lover; the demonic cenobites are pursuing him after he escaped their sadomasochistic underworld.

Director: Clive Barker | Stars: Andrew Robinson, Clare Higgins, Ashley Laurence, Sean Chapman

Votes: 91,121 | Gross: $14.56M

16. Evil Dead II (1987)

R | 84 min | Comedy, Horror

69 Metascore

The lone survivor of an onslaught of flesh-possessing spirits holes up in a cabin with a group of strangers while the demons continue their attack.

Director: Sam Raimi | Stars: Bruce Campbell, Sarah Berry, Dan Hicks, Kassie Wesley DePaiva

Votes: 133,981 | Gross: $5.92M

17. Jeepers Creepers (2001)

R | 90 min | Horror, Mystery

49 Metascore

A brother and sister driving home through isolated countryside for spring break encounter a flesh-eating creature which is in the midst of its ritualistic eating spree.

Director: Victor Salva | Stars: Gina Philips, Justin Long, Jonathan Breck, Patricia Belcher

Votes: 101,909 | Gross: $37.90M

18. Frankenstein (1931)

Passed | 70 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

An obsessed scientist assembles a living being from parts of exhumed corpses.

Director: James Whale | Stars: Colin Clive, Mae Clarke, Boris Karloff, John Boles

Votes: 57,938 | Gross: $12.00M

19. Re-Animator (1985)

Unrated | 105 min | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi

73 Metascore

After an odd new medical student arrives on campus, a dedicated local and his girlfriend become involved in bizarre experiments centering around the re-animation of dead tissue.

Director: Stuart Gordon | Stars: Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbott, Barbara Crampton, David Gale

Votes: 48,981 | Gross: $2.02M

20. Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983)

PG | 95 min | Fantasy, Mystery, Thriller

In a small American town, a diabolical circus and its demonic proprietor prey on the townsfolk.

Director: Jack Clayton | Stars: Jason Robards, Jonathan Pryce, Diane Ladd, Royal Dano

Votes: 7,539 | Gross: $8.40M

21. Children of the Corn (1984)

R | 92 min | Horror, Thriller

45 Metascore

A young couple is trapped in a remote town where a dangerous religious cult of children believe everyone over the age of 18 must be killed.

Director: Fritz Kiersch | Stars: Peter Horton, Linda Hamilton, R.G. Armstrong, John Franklin

Votes: 42,184 | Gross: $14.57M

22. Saw (2004)

R | 103 min | Crime, Horror, Mystery

46 Metascore

Two strangers, who awaken in a room with no recollection of how they got there, soon discover they're pawns in a deadly game perpetrated by a notorious serial killer.

Director: James Wan | Stars: Cary Elwes, Leigh Whannell, Danny Glover, Ken Leung

Votes: 348,457 | Gross: $56.00M

23. Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986)

R | 86 min | Horror, Thriller

30 Metascore

Tommy Jarvis goes to the graveyard to get rid of Jason Voorhees' body once and for all, but inadvertently brings him back to life instead. The newly revived killer once again seeks revenge, and Tommy may be the only one who can defeat him.

Director: Tom McLoughlin | Stars: Thom Mathews, Jennifer Cooke, David Kagen, Kerry Noonan

Votes: 32,683 | Gross: $19.47M

24. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)

R | 88 min | Horror, Thriller

34 Metascore

Ten years after his original massacre, the invalid Michael Myers awakens on Halloween Eve and returns to Haddonfield to kill his seven-year-old niece. Can Dr. Loomis stop him?

Director: Dwight H. Little | Stars: Donald Pleasence, Ellie Cornell, Danielle Harris, George P. Wilbur

Votes: 38,519 | Gross: $17.77M

25. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

R | 91 min | Horror

76 Metascore

The monstrous spirit of a slain janitor seeks revenge by invading the dreams of teenagers whose parents were responsible for his untimely death.

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

Votes: 182,675 | Gross: $25.50M

26. House of 1000 Corpses (2003)

R | 89 min | Horror

31 Metascore

Two young couples traveling across the backwoods of Texas searching for urban legends of murder end up as prisoners of a bizarre and sadistic backwater family of serial killers.

Director: Rob Zombie | Stars: Sid Haig, Karen Black, Bill Moseley, Sheri Moon Zombie

Votes: 68,675 | Gross: $12.63M

27. The Howling (1981)

R | 91 min | Horror

68 Metascore

After a bizarre and near deadly encounter with a serial killer, a television newswoman is sent to a remote mountain resort whose residents may not be what they seem.

Director: Joe Dante | Stars: Dee Wallace, Patrick Macnee, Dennis Dugan, Christopher Stone

Votes: 27,529 | Gross: $17.99M

28. Spider Baby or, the Maddest Story Ever Told (1967)

Not Rated | 81 min | Comedy, Horror

A caretaker devotes himself to three demented siblings after their father's death.

Director: Jack Hill | Stars: Lon Chaney Jr., Carol Ohmart, Quinn K. Redeker, Beverly Washburn

Votes: 5,276

29. The House That Dripped Blood (1971)

GP | 102 min | Horror

55 Metascore

An anthology of four horror stories revolving around a mysterious rental house in the U.K.

Director: Peter Duffell | Stars: John Bryans, John Bennett, John Malcolm, Denholm Elliott

Votes: 4,199

30. Pet Sematary (1989)

R | 103 min | Horror, Thriller

38 Metascore

After tragedy strikes, a grieving father discovers an ancient burial ground behind his home with the power to raise the dead.

Director: Mary Lambert | Stars: Dale Midkiff, Denise Crosby, Fred Gwynne, Brad Greenquist

Votes: 79,149 | Gross: $57.47M

31. Sleepy Hollow (1999)

R | 105 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery

65 Metascore

Ichabod Crane is sent to Sleepy Hollow to investigate the decapitations of three people, with the culprit being the legendary apparition, The Headless Horseman.

Director: Tim Burton | Stars: Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Miranda Richardson, Michael Gambon

Votes: 303,396 | Gross: $101.07M

32. Psycho II (1983)

R | 113 min | Crime, Horror, Mystery

54 Metascore

After twenty-two years of psychiatric care, Norman Bates attempts to return to a life of solitude, but the specters of his crimes - and his mother - continue to haunt him.

Director: Richard Franklin | Stars: Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, Meg Tilly, Robert Loggia

Votes: 20,747 | Gross: $34.73M

33. Army of Darkness (1992)

R | 81 min | Comedy, Horror

57 Metascore

A man is accidentally transported to 1300 A.D., where he must battle an army of the dead and retrieve the Necronomicon so he can return home.

Director: Sam Raimi | Stars: Bruce Campbell, Embeth Davidtz, Marcus Gilbert, Ian Abercrombie

Votes: 149,797 | Gross: $11.50M

34. Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Not Rated | 75 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

Mary Shelley reveals the main characters of her novel survived: Dr. Frankenstein, goaded by an even madder scientist, builds his monster a mate.

Director: James Whale | Stars: Boris Karloff, Elsa Lanchester, Colin Clive, Valerie Hobson

Votes: 38,722

35. Braindead (1992)

R | 104 min | Comedy, Horror

54 Metascore

A young man's mother is bitten by a Sumatran rat-monkey. She gets sick and dies, at which time she comes back to life, killing and eating dogs, nurses, friends, and neighbors.

Director: Peter Jackson | Stars: Timothy Balme, Diana Peñalver, Elizabeth Moody, Ian Watkin

Votes: 86,009 | Gross: $0.24M

36. Near Dark (1987)

R | 94 min | Action, Crime, Drama

76 Metascore

A small-town farmer's son reluctantly joins a traveling group of vampires after he is bitten by a beautiful drifter.

Director: Kathryn Bigelow | Stars: Adrian Pasdar, Jenny Wright, Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton

Votes: 29,688 | Gross: $3.37M

37. Scream (1996)

R | 111 min | Horror, Mystery

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: 258,335 | Gross: $103.05M

38. The Fog (1980)

R | 89 min | Horror, Thriller

55 Metascore

An unearthly fog rolls into a small coastal town exactly 100 years after a ship mysteriously sank in its waters.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh, John Houseman

Votes: 56,537 | Gross: $21.38M

39. Pit and the Pendulum (1961)

Not Rated | 80 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

In the sixteenth century, Francis Barnard travels to Spain to clarify the strange circumstances of his sister's death after she had married the son of a cruel Spanish Inquisitor.

Director: Roger Corman | Stars: Vincent Price, Barbara Steele, John Kerr, Luana Anders

Votes: 11,104 | Gross: $2.00M

40. From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)

R | 108 min | Action, Crime, Horror

48 Metascore

Two criminals and their hostages unknowingly seek temporary refuge in a truck stop populated by vampires, with chaotic results.

Director: Robert Rodriguez | Stars: Harvey Keitel, George Clooney, Juliette Lewis, Quentin Tarantino

Votes: 257,628 | Gross: $25.75M

41. The Wolf Man (1941)

Not Rated | 70 min | Horror

72 Metascore

A practical man returns to his homeland, is attacked by a creature of folklore, and infected with a horrific disease his disciplined mind tells him can not possibly exist.

Director: George Waggner | Stars: Claude Rains, Warren William, Lon Chaney Jr., Ralph Bellamy

Votes: 20,622

42. It (1990)

TV-14 | 192 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

In 1960, seven pre-teen outcasts fight an evil demon who poses as a child-killing clown. Thirty years later, they reunite to stop the demon once and for all when it returns to their hometown.

Stars: Richard Thomas, Tim Reid, Annette O'Toole, Harry Anderson

Votes: 101,288

43. In the Mouth of Madness (1994)

R | 95 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

53 Metascore

An insurance investigator begins discovering that the impact a horror writer's books have on his fans is more than inspirational.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Sam Neill, Jürgen Prochnow, Julie Carmen, David Warner

Votes: 52,725 | Gross: $8.95M

44. The Fly (1986)

R | 96 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

79 Metascore

A brilliant but eccentric scientist begins to transform into a giant man/fly hybrid after one of his experiments goes horribly wrong.

Director: David Cronenberg | Stars: Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis, John Getz, Joy Boushel

Votes: 142,830 | Gross: $40.46M

45. Cemetery Man (1994)

R | 105 min | Comedy, Horror

A cemetery man must kill the dead a second time when they become zombies.

Director: Michele Soavi | Stars: Rupert Everett, François Hadji-Lazaro, Anna Falchi, Mickey Knox

Votes: 18,367 | Gross: $0.25M

46. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

R | 118 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

85 Metascore

A young FBI 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: 1,114,224 | Gross: $130.74M

47. From Beyond (1986)

R | 85 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

A group of scientists have developed the Resonator, a machine which allows whoever is within range to see beyond normal perceptible reality. But when the experiment succeeds, they are immediately attacked by terrible life forms.

Director: Stuart Gordon | Stars: Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton, Ted Sorel, Ken Foree

Votes: 19,000 | Gross: $1.26M

48. Prince of Darkness (1987)

R | 102 min | Horror

50 Metascore

A research team finds a mysterious cylinder in a deserted church. If opened, it could mean the end of the world.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Donald Pleasence, Lisa Blount, Jameson Parker, Victor Wong

Votes: 31,843 | Gross: $14.18M