10 Great Films to Watch on Halloween
We are just a couple of weeks away from the big day, no, not Christmas or Birthdays, but Halloween - - the day to celebrate all things scary.
Halloween wouldn't be Halloween without a couple of scary films to watch, so I have gathered what I believe to be 10 worthy scary films, some suitable for children (and the whole family) to watch, but the majority are for adults to watch.
I have loved Halloween ever since I was a young child, the trick-r-treat and dressing up like your favourite monster, its all quite exciting as a young child. Not that I do any of that any more, but I still carry on the tradition of watching scary films each year on Halloween.
Some of the films listed, I have seen multiple times, so I can reassure you that they are all scary-enough to get your heart racing. Although, I have seen all of these films and can vouch for them all being perfect for Halloween viewing.
To make the list more interesting, I have added a "scream rating" rather than a normal rating, to add a bit of flare to the list. Beside each of the films I have added a basic story outline, a short review, the name of the key actors and director, as-well-as a "scream rating" for each of the films. I was going to give them a "scream-dar" (a radar, but for sensing the scariness of a film), but I opted for the "scream rating", as I thought this would be easier to understand.
Here's the countdown of the 10 best films to watch on Halloween, in random order, starting with those films suitable for children (and the whole family), down to the films suitable for teenagers (aged 15 and above) and adults.
6PM to 8PM (Family-Friendly)
All of these films have a PG (Parental Guidance) rating.
#10 - Hocus Pocus (1993)
Director: Kenny Ortega
Stars: Sarah Jessica Parker, Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy
In a Nutshell: After three centuries, three evil witches are brought back to life on Halloween night, and two bright teenagers, a young child, and an immortal, talking black cat must get rid of the witches, once and for all.
Short Review: A great family film, children will enjoy, as there is a strong feeling of Halloween throughout the film, as it is set on Halloween night. Certainly child-friendly, as there are some funny bits, some scary bits (for children), and some interesting characters. The acting is good, the storyline is great (for children's viewing), and it paces well, from start-to-finish.
"Hocus Pocus" (1993) Film: Currently available to stream instantly on Netflix Instant (UK).
"Scream" Rating (How Scary?...): 8/10 (for children), 1/10 (for adults)
#9 - ParaNorman (2012) [Animation]
Directors: Chris Butler, Sam Fell
Stars (Voices of...): Kodi Smit-McPhee, Anna Kendrick, Christopher Mintz-Plasse
In a Nut Shell: A young boy finds a mysterious book, then finding himself and a group of friends, taking on ghosts and zombies, to save his town.
Short Review: The first animation film (with a descent budget) I have seen introduce zombies (in a child-friendly way) that is pretty entertaining to watch. A great animated film introducing adventure and comedy to delight any child or adult, and happens to be perfect for watching on Halloween (due to the battle between a young group of friends and zombies).
"Scream" Rating (How Scary?...): 7/10 (for children), 1/10 (for adults)
#8 - Monster House (2006)
Director: Gil Kenan
Stars (Voices of...): Mitchel Musso, Sam Lerner, Spencer Locke
In a Nut Shell: Three teens living on the same neighbourhood find out that their neighbours house is alive.
Short Review : A great monster film, coming at the idea from a different angle, being that of a living scary house. This film is perfect for the whole family to watch on Halloween.
"Scream" Rating (How Scary?...): 5/10 (for children), 1/10 (for adults)
#7 - Hotel Transylvania (2012) [Animation]
Director: Genndy Tartakovsky
Stars (Voices of...): Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Andy Samberg
In a Nut Shell: When a young boy comes to a hotel owned by Dracula, a getaway for ghouls, ghosts and monsters, the boy falls for Dracula's teen-aged daughter, causing Dracula's overprotective side to come up with a plan to get rid of the boy (out of the hotel and away from his daughter).
Short Review: A refreshing animated family, comedy film showcasing every monster there is, being something we haven't before seen in a descent budgeted animated film. Perfect for the whole family to watch on Halloween.
"Scream" Rating (How Scary?...): 4/10 (for children), 1/10 (for adults)
8PM to 10PM (Adults-Only) (Less Scary)
All of these films have a 15 (and above) rating, except one, "Scream" (1996), which has an 18 (and above) rating.
#6 - Scream (1996) (Although, The Whole Film Series is Worth Watching, 1996-2011)
Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, David Arquette
In a Nut Shell: A masked killer goes around killing high-school students in a small town, creating their own real-life horror film, using all-new "rules".
Short Review: By far, the best teen-horror film I have ever seen with originality, feeling like a breath of fresh air when watching the film. The most memorable and exciting one-liners are all in this film, bringing a sense of intrigue after seeing the film for the first time. Certainly a must watch for teenagers (aged 15 and above) and adults on Halloween night.
"Scream" (1996) Film: Currently available to stream instantly on Netflix Instant (UK).
"Scream" Rating (How Scary?...): 6.5/10 (for adults)
#5 - Insidious (2010) (Parts 1 and 2, As You Can't Watch One Without the Other, 2010-2013)
Director: James Wan
Stars: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Ty Simpkins
In a Nut Shell: As their son lye's in a coma, a family must prevent evil spirits from a realm (bordering between life and death) from entering into his sons body.
Short Review: The "afterlife" is something we have all pondered over at some point or another, making this a must-watch horror film, as it takes a gamble at what evil may lurk in "limbo" (the border between life and death). This is the start of something amazing in the "horror" genre, as these days horrors seem to trip over themselves trying to make us (the audience) scream, however they usually fail in doing so, although, thankfully "Insidious"
succeeded in its efforts.
"Insidious: Chapter 2" (2013): Currently available to stream instantly on Netflix Instant (UK).
"Scream" Rating (How Scary?...): 6.8/10 (for adults)
#4 - The Conjuring (2013)
Director: James Wan
Stars: Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Ron Livingston
In a Nut Shell: When paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren go to a family's home to rid it of spirits, these spirits turn out to be darker than they had ever encountered before, leaving the Warren couple (investigators) to help the family living in the farmhouse, whilst they are being terrorised by the dark spirits.
Short Review: A paranormal nightmare, as ghosts have never before looked so scary, as "The Conjuring" shows just how powerful and scary ghosts can really be. "The Conjuring" has the same director who directed "Insidious", so expectations were high, but luckily he pulled off the impossible, by creating another horror film which was again, as-scary-as-hell.
"Scream" Rating (How Scary?...): 7/10 (for adults)
10PM to 12AM (Adults-Only) (More Scary)
All of these films have a 15 (and above) rating, although, these are more scary.
#3 - Silent Hill (2006)
Director: Christophe Gans
Stars: Radha Mitchell, Laurie Holden, Sean Bean
In a Nut Shell: Based on the video-game. When a young girl goes missing, her mother goes in search for her in a desolate town called Silent Hill.
Short Review: This is a scary horror film like no other that I have ever seen, as it takes all the the unimaginable things from hell (from someone's imagination) and throws them into the living world. It is a scary film, you'll want to see again and again, just for the thrill of watching it.
"Scream" Rating (How Scary?...): 7.4/10 (for adults)
#2 - The Strangers (2008)
Director: Bryan Bertino
Stars: Scott Speedman, Liv Tyler, Gemma Ward
In a Nut Shell: A young couple are terrorised in their home, as three masked home invaders terrorise them, pushing them to the brink.
Short Review: Playing off the fear (and based on true events) we all have of home invaders breaking into our homes. As in this terrifying film, a couples secluded home is broken into, as they are terrified half-to-death. I couldn't believe my eyes, whilst watching the film, as although I was (and still am) fully aware that the film isn't real, it still felt tremendously real. A horror film without too much blood and gore, focusing on the suspense to really make you jump. If you can handle it, this is a great film to watch on Halloween.
"The Strangers" (2008) Film: Currently available to stream instantly on Netflix Instant (UK).
"Scream" Rating (How Scary?...): 8.8/10
#1 - The Ring (2002)
Director: Gore Verbinski
Stars: Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson, Brian Cox
In a Nut Shell: When a videotape is watched, it causes the people who saw the tape to mysteriously die, exactly 7 days later. A young journalist, Rachel, investigates the videotape and the mysterious deaths, after her niece dies, 7 days later after seeing the videotape.
Short Review: "The Ring" was the first "real" scary film I have ever seen, which may cloud my opinion of the "Scream" rating, however, it is truly a scary film with a capital "S". Having seen the film now countless times, it never ceases to make me jump, even though I know what's coming.
"Scream" Rating (How Scary?...): 9.4/10
Silent Hill (2006) Official Trailer - - Enjoy!
The Strangers (2008) Official Trailer - - Enjoy!
The Ring (2002) Official Trailer - - Enjoy!
These were my "top 10" films to watch on Halloween, offering some suitable for children and others suitable for adults-only.
Happy '2014' Halloween to all!
If you have any thoughts or questions, then please leave them in the comments box below, as I will make sure to reply as-soon-as-possible, as I am interested to hear your thoughts.
Thank-you for reading
"I do the research, so that you don't have to"
Your friendly movie, games writer: Craig Easom