When it comes to October, and Halloween, I’m a bit of a scary movie fanatic. My husband and I own almost every scary movie ever made—and every year, we get a bit optimistic and try to make a list of all of them with the plan to watch one every day until Halloween. This never happens because the idea of me staying awake through an entire movie every night is incredibly low, but we can dream.
This year, we’re going to keep it simple with just our favorites—which got me thinking, what are my favorite scary movies? What are my must-watches every year? These are them—I highly recommend these movies to everyone who loves being scared.
1. Trick or Treat
This is, hands down, my favorite movie to watch right before Halloween or on Halloween. It’s so good! I love the vignette style; I love the stories; I love how they are all intertwined by the end. It’s just a good ol’ fashioned, spooky Halloween movie: a little gory at times (I look away; I can handle scary, but not gory), but overall really, really fun.
My husband gave me such side eye for including Coraline, but here’s my logic: This movie is terrifying. Forrest keeps bringing me the case and asking to watch it, but I won’t let him. The concept of having your eyes replaced by buttons? That’s scary. There are some scary scenes in this movie! I love watching it throughout October, because it’s the right amount of Autumnal, spooky, and whimsical. Just like Autumn itself.
3. Cabin in the Woods
Another movie that doesn’t get the credit it deserves, I absolutely love this movie. I love that it is scary, while also spoofing horror films, while also being very, very funny at times. I also love that the end is so totally an end: the world ends! Nothing good happens! It’s such a fun, goofy movie to watch close to Halloween and my husband and I always end up having long conversations about the same things (such as the recurring mermaid joke).
This is such a classic movie. Jamie Lee Curtis plays the perfect, slightly nerdy babysitter with frankly awful friends; the kids are bumblingly awful; and the killer is immortal. It’s perfect! Even after watching it a hundred times at least (it’s perfect for watching on Halloween), there are still parts that scare me, like when the killer is standing in the bedroom wearing the sheet and glasses.
An absolute 90s classic and one of my favorites. I own all 5 of the Scream series; you read that right, I own all 5 of them. This movie had such an impact on me as a kid and I still find myself idolizing Sidney. (And also, this was the movie that introduced me to Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, one of my absolute favorite bands of all time.) Scary, goofy, and nostalgic all at once. Plus, this movie gave us a revitalized Drew Barrymore career; I mean, what a gift.