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Classic Halloween Movies Everyone Should Watch!

Updated on July 6, 2015

Great Places to Watch these Classics!

  • Netflix!
  • Buy them on DVD (many online sales and in store sales on horror movies in the fall)
  • SyFy Channel
  • the movies will be on more frequent the closer to Halloween you get!

Halloween is all about the scary stuff. The cool air of fall sends chills down your spine, as leaves gently fall around you in silence. Jack o lanterns glow bright to ward off evil spirits and we wear masks on all hallows eve to trick the spirits into leaving us alone... and also to get some candy!

One of the corner stones of the modern day Halloween season are the scary horror films. Film as been around for about a century and with that longevity has come a number of classic halloween films that everyone should see. Below is a list of some of the great halloween classics that you definitely need to watch this fall season!

These are not the only classics available to watch but it's a good start for those who are new to the horror genre. So grab a blanket, make some popcorn and prepared to be scared as you watch these halloween classics!

Psycho (1960)

Psycho, a Alfred Hitchcock film, released in 1960, is a great classic Halloween movie. Although it doesn't have anything to do with Halloween, the suspense of this thriller is perfect for the season. Then again any Hitchcock film could be great for the halloween season!

What makes this film a classic is the way it's filmed as well as the revolutionary plot twist, which i will try not to give away. the infamous shower scene was the first of its kind in film and is still brilliant! As for the plot twist, it is another first for the movie industry and was brilliant. The transition of perspective that the audience experiences is amazing. This thriller is a must for the Halloween season and always will be.

Although the film was remade shot for shot in 1998 with Anne Heche and Vince Vaughn, I still recommend watching the original 1960 Psycho!

House on Haunted Hill (1959)

House on Haunted Hill, released in 1959, starring Vincent Price and Night of the lIving Dead released in 1968, are two older films that I would consider classics. The starring role of Vincent Price in House on Haunted Hill is worth the watch alone. House on Haunted Hill gives a good mix of crazy killer or supernatural killer and will keep you guessing throughout the movie. Night of the lIving Dead is a movie many people have heard of and is one of the father's of zombie movies, for this reason and the spawn of other zombie movies this film is a classic.

House on Haunted Hill was also remade in 1999 with Geoffrey Rush (aka Captain Barbossa from Pirates of the Caribbean). The remake was pretty good, but nothing beats the original.

Meanwhile, there has been countless Night of the Living Dead sequels through out the years. Some have been fairly cheesy but you may find them entertaining none the less.

Vincent Price is at his best in this wonderful horror classic House on Haunted Hill
Vincent Price is at his best in this wonderful horror classic House on Haunted Hill | Source


The next movie I choose for this list is Beetlejuice, which was released in 1988 and directed by Tim Burton. This film may not seem like a classic to many but it definitely has a cult following. This black comedy puts a new spin on the afterlife and some unusual characters. It even spawned a cartoon television show. I personally love this movie, hence why it is on my list of classics!

Beetlejuice might even have a sequel in the near future. The famous ghost with the most from the 1980's may finally be returning to the big screen. After 27 years since the original premiered, rumor and movie news about possible sequel to the cult classic has been ramping up! It has been reported that Tim Burton has been looking at scripts and the original Beetlejuice, Michael Keaton, who just won an oscar is totally for playing the role again!

"It's Showtime!" Beetlejuice's infamous words!
"It's Showtime!" Beetlejuice's infamous words! | Source


Another ghost movie is Poltergeist, released in 1982, this one has become a classic because of how they redefined a haunted house. The movie overall is excellent and enjoyable, although a little creepy, to watch. Many consider this a classic and i'm sure it can stand on its own; however the surrounding circumstances on set and with the actors really pulls in more peoples interests. The unusual happenings surrounding the film is seen as a curse and has been attributed by culture as the cause of a number of deaths to the actors!

Poltergeist is the most recent film to be remade, it was released in 2015. I have yet to see this remake but haven't heard much about it after it's release. Not many remakes are as good as the originals!

Halloween/Halloween II

Finally the perfect classic Halloween movie, that actually surrounds its plot with the holiday is John Carpenter's Halloween and Halloween II. I suggest you watch both because the sequel starts off right where the last one ends. These movies were released in 1978 and 1981 and features the daughter of the main character of Psycho, Jamie Lee Curtis. This film has murder, sex, Halloween, and most importantly a masked killer that just doesn't seem to die. These films are classics because it has set precedents for many films that followed, whether they are good or not is your opinion. What is for certain, Halloween wouldn't be Halloween with out these movies!

Once again, these movies have been remade in recent years by the disturbingly talented Rob Zombie. In his remakes, the audience dives deeper into Michael Myers, the killer behind the mask! I wouldn't say these remakes are bad, they're just a different style and are worth watching. However, they'll be as great as the original!

Jamie Lee Curtis followed in her mother's footsteps to become a "Scream Queen" thanks to her role in Halloween (1978)
Jamie Lee Curtis followed in her mother's footsteps to become a "Scream Queen" thanks to her role in Halloween (1978) | Source

Which Classic Halloween Film is your Favorite?

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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I was looking for a list to go by so I’d know what movies to rent and not. I’ve decided that I won’t be going out for Halloween so of course, I still want to be scared out of my mind and the good thing is that I came across this list to steer me in the right direction. I found all the movies I wanted to rent at Blockbuster and using my Blockbuster Movie Pass with DISH Network allows me to rent without any hassles. Thank goodness I work at DISH Network and now new and existing customers can check it out!

    • BWD316 profile imageAUTHOR

      Brian Dooling 

      7 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks for the comments FloraBreenRobison, horror tends to do better with lower budgets, probably because they dont rely on special effects, i've been finding the older films quality so much better then many of the recent films. although as you noticed i had to throw Beetlejuice in there, i like it so much i consider it a classic lol

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image


      7 years ago

      Psycho might not be a Halloween-themed movie, but it is great for Halloween night-any Horror film is appropriate for Halloween and I included it in my list of classic Hollywood films hub, as well as the Vincent Price film. I was focusing on the studio system era, so Night of the Living Dead was too recent for me to include- but it is another example of films that made on a low budget and no green screen effects that are far scarier than assuming the audience needs everything shown to them to be scared out of their wits. I much prefer these horror films.

      The other film I've seen on this list is Beetlejuice. It's a good choice for people who want to watch a comedy for Halloween.


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