Because, obviously. John Carpenter’s seminal slasher is still just as creepy and affecting 39 years after it was released. Sure it has spawned 9 follow-up films that have ranged from the mediocre to the despicable, but there’s high hopes that David Gordon Green’s upcoming installment will help to right those wrongs.
[Photo: Compass International]
Widely regarded as one of the best ever Stephen King adaptations, “Pet Sematary” was originally dismissed by critics, despite faring well at the box office. It has since garnered a cult audience, with director Mary Lambert’s ability to build dread and creepiness particularly praised, even if it is a little dated.
[Photo: Paramount Pictures]
“Trick ‘r’ Treat”
Michael Dougherty’s anthology horror film meanders from one story to the next, with the common element in each of them being Sam, a haunting trick-or-treater dressed in disgusting orange pyjamas with a sack over his head. Each of its tales plays with Halloween traditions and legends, which has only seen its reputation increase around this time of the year in the decade since its release.
[Photo: Warner Bros Pictures]
“The Amityville Horror”
While it is technically set two weeks after Halloween, “The Amityville Horror” still deserves to be on this list simply for being truly tense and unsettling. The key to the its success is its undeniably incredible cast of Margot Kidder, James Brolin, Rod Steiger and Murray Hamilton, who sell every scare and ounce of terror with gusto.
[Photo: American International Pictures]
It’s not entirely clear if “The Exorcist” is set at Halloween or not, but considering what goes down in William Friedkin’s iconic pop culture phenomenon, it would make much more sense if it was. Plus, even if it isn’t, you never need a reason to watch “The Exorcist.” It is simply that good.
[Photo: Warner Bros]
“Ginger Snaps” is most definitely set at Halloween, while there’s also a good chance that it slipped under your radar, too. Released all the way back in 2000 to critical acclaim, it failed to ignite at the box office. However, its intriguing subtext and genuine scares and jolts only enhanced its reputation, and it is still one of the most underrated horror films of the 2000s.
[Photo: Motion International]
Again, there’s no denying that “Hocus Pocus” is set at Halloween, the only concern here is whether or not it is actually scary. That all depends on your age and disposition, but it is such a hoot to watch unfold, with Bette Midler particularly delightful, that it is just a must around this time of the year.
[Image: Buena Vista Pictures]
A touching but still unsettling supernatural horror, “The Changeling” is buoyed by a sterling performance from George C. Scott, whose character John Russell moves cross country to a secluded home in Seattle after the death of his wife and daughter. But his guilt over the trauma soon sees him communicating with ghosts, and soon enough all kinds of unpleasantness starts to occur.
[Photo: Associated Film Distributors]
The combination of Tobe Hooper from “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” and Steven Spielberg works an absolute treat in “Poltergeist.” Because even though at its heart it is a fairy tale, which lulls you closer and closer into its storytelling, it is so petrifying and spooky that you also can’t help but constantly turn your head away from it.
Rather than eclipsing its legacy, the truly awful recent “Flatliners” remake has only helped to underline just how entertaining, haunting and utterly superb the original is. Which is completely understandable when you consider that its cast includes Kiefer Sutherland, Julia Roberts, William Baldwin, Oliver Platt and Kevin Bacon.
[Photo: Columbia Pictures]
Now that we’ve finally arrived in October, fright enthusiasts across the United States are busy getting their outfits, tricks and treats ready for Halloween at the end of the month. Just don't forget the Halloween movies.
But while dressing up as David S Pumpkins, Donald Trump, Wonder Woman, or Pennywise The Dancing Clown and then scaring the bejesus out of your friends, family and neighbors is the culmination of your Halloween activities, there are many different ways to get into the spirit of the holiday before that point.
The most fool-proof way to get into the mood for Halloween is to be scared witless yourself by one of the myriad of horror movies that Hollywood has released over the last couple of decades. But rather than just sticking on the film that has scared you the most in your life, regardless of the time of year that it is set, Halloween will really seep into your bones and make you tremble if you spend the next few days and weeks watching horror movies that are actually set in and around October.
Thankfully, Hollywood has released plenty of films of this ilk over the years. And with plenty of time left until Halloween is actually upon us you can still work your way through the best of them. Take a gander through our gallery at the top of the page to see our picks for the top 10 Halloweeen movies actually set at Halloween that you need to watch in the build-up to or actually on October 31.
Forewarning, though, doing so will almost certainly result in you being crippled by nightmares for days, weeks, maybe even years afterwards. If you actually do become blighted by this impediment then we also have the cure for you, too. Because all you need to do is watch the below, and you’ll soon be dreaming of David S Pumpkins instead.