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Ten movies to make you scream, laugh and gasp this Halloween season

By Myles Wolf Originally Published on October 29, 2021

Halloween is only 24 hours long, so don’t waste two hours of it watching the horrifically awful horror films that are out in theaters right now. Instead, save your money and check out one of the films on this list.

“The Babadook” (2014)

See this with a large group of friends; the screams will be legendary. “The Babadook” boasts excellent use of lighting and sound, as well as impressive psychological depth—but you can just watch it for the scares if you prefer.

“The Lighthouse” (2019)

My heart wouldn’t stop pounding watching “The Lighthouse,” a bizarre film about two crazy, angry men trapped on an island. Distinctively artsy and extremely suspenseful, see the picture that got Robert Pattinson his role in the upcoming Batman movie.

“Candyman” (2021)

As scary as this movie is, the real terror of “Candyman” lies in the unspeakable horrors of white violence.

“A Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984)

Stay up to watch this movie if you dare—just don’t fall asleep. “A Nightmare on Elm Street” has an excellent premise, spectacular special effects and enough blood to fill your dorm room.

“Halloween” (1978)

Don’t be so sure that the suburbs are safe; a masked murderer may lurk just around the corner. While slightly dated and slow to get moving, director John Carpenter’s clever editing and camera angles keep “Halloween” suspenseful even today.

“Edward Scissorhands” (1992)

No Halloween list is complete without a Burton film. “Edward Scissorhands” is dazzling, touching and gothic, the perfect sentimental movie for Halloween.

“The Haunting” (1963)

Don’t trust your eyes, ears or hands while watching “The Haunting,” one of the most monumental and underrated horror classics ever created. The directing choices and superb acting will manipulate your senses in a way that no other film has before.

“The Nightmare Before Christmas” (1993)

While technically a Christmas movie, the fantastic animation and opening song are spooky enough to make “The Nightmare Before Christmas” an honorary Halloween movie.

“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” (1975)

The songs are so catchy that they’ll never leave your head. Not only does “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” challenge horror film conventions like no other movie before, but it’s also easily the most LGBTQ-inclusive film on the list.

Watch it on Hulu and Amazon

And if you’re still dying to hit theaters…

“Antlers” (2021)

“Antlers” is the only horror film that is currently worth seeing in the theater. The movie has problems with narrative cohesion and staying power, but it’s designed interestingly, competently photographed and has a decent premise.


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