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Top Halloween Horror Movies

By Charles Hopkins Published 08/8/2006 | Kids & Teens

Nothing is quite as much fun as hunkering down in your living room with a big bowl of popcorn and a half dozen horror films. This is especially true at Halloween, when the popcorn can be augmented with all the sweet and tasty treats that were collected during early evening trick-or-treating. Depending on your tastes and the ages of your family members and/or friends, there are plenty of great movies to choose from.

Perhaps you enjoy good old-fashioned black and white thrillers for your Halloween viewing pleasure. Thanks to the digital technology of today, you can easily enjoy the very same movies that thrilled your grandparents years ago in the movie theaters.  In the comfort of your own living room, you can enjoy Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff in their prime. Some of the best horror films from Hollywood's Golden Age would include Frankenstein, Dracula, The Invisible Man, Secret of the Mummy's Tomb and Bride of Frankenstein.

If your preference is a little more modern without getting into the horror movie spoofs of the Fifties, you can progress on to a truly classic horror film from the 1960's: Night of the Living Dead, produced and released in 1968. Directed by George Romero and filmed entirely in black and white, the movie is set in a rural Pennsylvania area. Something has caused bodies to reanimate and prey on the living. Considered very graphic for it's time, the movie is able to cast a chilling feel over it's audience without using any of the standard monster tricks of earlier films. Although Night... has been remade twice since 1968, many people consider this first low budget offering to easily be the best and most thrilling of the bunch.

Also released in 1968, Mia Farrow made her name in Rosemary's Baby, about a young modern wife who finds herself the center of attraction to a coven of devil worshippers, who are convinced the baby she is carrying is the child of Satan himself.  As the movie progresses, the tension builds as Rosemary's life is turned upside down. So great is the emotional pull of the movie that even the strongest skeptic in things spiritual may pause and think "but what if...?"

With the advent of the television movie, the three major networks of the time began to offer up some of their own scary outings around Halloween. Some of these have proven so popular that they are now available on DVD. If you want to go back to your growing up years, one of the scariest of the TV movies to dig out would be Satan's School for Girls, produced for ABC in 1972. Complete with mysterious deaths, a leading lady who just wants to get out, and a hero doing his best to save her, this one had a twist at the end that was completely unexpected. Even all these years later, this movie can still send chills down your spine.

The decade of the Seventies brought what many consider the second Golden Age of horror films. Leading off  in the first half of the decade was The Exorcist, possibly the single most graphic horror release up to that time. Revolving around the demonic possession of a young girl, the film clearly demonstrates how even the most devout among us struggle with issues of good and evil. Condemned by some religious groups at the time, this movie continues to thrill audiences even today.

No recommendations for Halloween horror films would be complete without mentioning the original Halloween, released in 1978. Wending it's way through a night of blood and murder, this movie set the standard for dozens of other lesser films over the next several years, and itself spawned a number of sequels. 

Whether your taste runs from classic movie greats to more recent slasher style films, there are plenty of great movies to choose from at Halloween. Just remember to surround yourself with friends; you know what can happen when you are all alone.