Here are five top creature features to turn your Halloween watchlist into the ultimate fright fest
It’s Halloween, and everybody is entitled to one good scare. But with so many horror movies available to stream these days it’s hard to decide which creature feature to watch. After all, many of us have young monsters to consider. So, I thought I’d compile a list of must-see Halloween movies guaranteed to have us on the edge of our seats. This list isn’t aimed at any demographic in particular, it is more of a compilation of what I’ll be watching tonight. So join me as I drop a few classics for your consideration. Obviously, Michael Myers will be involved. After all, what would Halloween be without John Carpenter’s iconic boogeyman? But rest assured fear fans because this list will cast a wide net.
Attempting to whittle my favorite horror flicks down to just five has been a daunting task. And despite omitting several of the best movies ever made, I think I have my final five. Do bear in mind that this list is fluid and changes depending on what mood I’m in but as the adage says; form is temporary…class is permanent.
The top spot on this list is always reserved for Michael Myers. John Carpenter’s 1978 classic is quintessential Halloween fare and can never be ignored. From its chilling soundtrack to its impeccable usage of dimly lit suburban streets, Halloween has it all. And of course, it introduced us to the finest horror villain of all time Michael Myers. His chilling white mask is synonymous with All Hallows Eve, and despite having a plethora of sequels and reboots, John Carpenter’s brilliance has never been replicated. So sharpen your kitchen knife, send the babysitter home, and watch the carnage unfold in the film that started it all.
Hocus Pocus (1993)
You just can’t have All Hallows Eve without the Sanderson Sisters. It’s hard to believe that this box office flop has become a quintessential part of the holidays. But with magical performances from Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy it is easy to see why so many of us have taken it to our hearts. Updating the Salem Witch mythology is always a daunting task. But with a wonderful story from Mick Garris and Neil Cuthbert, the film excels. Kids of all ages will be singing “I’ll put a spell on you” by the time the credits roll in a family thrill ride big on fun. So, warm up the popcorn and settle in for some seasonal spooky fun to send the kids to bed happy.
Sleepy Hollow (1999)
All Hallows Eve was made for Tim Burton movies. From Beetlejuice to Edward Scissorhands, Burton’s movies are notoriously macabre. Even The Nightmare Before Christmas delivers a seasonal scare or two. So when Burton took on the Sleepy Hollow legend and gathered an all-star cast to bring his vision to life, he delivered a masterclass. Led brilliantly by Johnny Depp, the movie features Christopher Walken as the infamous headless horseman. Instead of leaning into lighter fare, Burton goes full bore to ensure heads are removed in grizzly detail. The result is a chilling watch that deserves its place on the list. It may not be fit for younger viewers, but it’s a guilty seasonal pleasure with enough jump scares to appease every horror fan.
The Frighteners (1996)
Although Peter Jackson’s spooky spectacular has no connection to All Hallows Eve, it never fails to impress. Michael J. Fox is a local conman haunted by the ability to see and communicate with spirits. Together with his band of ghost conmen, Fox’s Frank Bannister works his way around town offering fake exorcisms. But when a ghostly apparition begins a reign of murderous terror, Bannister is the last line of defense. With its creepy tone, dim and forlorn setting, and another brilliant score by Danny Elfman, The Frighteners is a rare gem. The perfect fright flick for All Hallows Eve.
The Thing (1982)
John Carpenter’s second film on the list is a true horror icon. Arguably the greatest reboot of all time after Alien, The Thing is the stuff of legend. From its creepy isolation setting, to its haunting score by Ennio Morricone, the creature feature sets the tone for a chilling spectacle. It’s one of those rare guilty pleasures that ticks every box. Frequently funny, always chilling, and never boring, Carpenter’s hallmarks are there for all to see. The foreboding atmosphere and terrifying creatures are tempered by a legendary performance from Kurt Russell. And this perfect recipe delivers the quintessential horror movie. It may not be a Halloween flick, but it is effortlessly one of the finest movies ever committed to film.
Of course, this list is speculative. There are other wonderful creature features worthy of claiming a spot on this list. And my watchlist changes every year. Other icons like The Exorcist, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, Creature From the Black Lagoon, and An American Werewolf in London are all worthy of a place on the list. As are The Fog, The Howling, Scream, and any of the Evil Dead movies. And there have been some wonderful new horror titles worthy of a place on next year’s watchlist.
Titles like Five Nights at Freddy’s, The Exorcist: Believer, Evil Dead Rise, Talk to Me, Haunted Mansion, The Boogeyman, The Black Phone, Doctor Jekyll, and M3gan have all made their case recently. Even Shudder has joined the party with notable contributions from Hell House LLC Origins: The Carmichael Manor, Creepshow Season 4, and Raven’s Hollow. So, the Halloween night watchlist is packed to the brim with wonderful titles ready to have us on the edge of our seats.
But which of these titles will be making your Halloween night watchlist? What are your top five creature features? Sound off in the comments and share your top five. Subscribe to our newsletter at the top of our homepage to stay up-to-date with all the latest movie news and reviews from Future of the Force.
Phil Roberts is the Owner, Daily Content Manager, and Editor-In-Chief of The Future of the Force. He is passionate about Star Wars, Batman, DC, Marvel, Star Trek, Indiana Jones, Ghostbusters, King Kong, and the Ray Harryhausen movies. Follow him on Twitter where he uses the force and babbles frequently!