The Best Movies to Watch to Celebrate the Halloween Season

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the views of her campus.

This article was written by a student writer from Her Campus at Rutgers.

One of my favorite things to do is relax and watch seasonal movies during Halloween. In anticipation of the spooky holidays, I’ve put together a list of the best movies to watch this season that will please everyone!


Even though horror movies are available all year round, their popularity always changes during the Halloween season. I may be a fan of horror films myself, but I know they may not be for everyone. However, if you are like me and want an adrenaline rush, this is for you!

Friday the 13th

  • This is always one of the first horror movies that comes to mind during the Halloween season. Original Friday the 13th forever left its mark on the 80s summer camp slasher style that we still adore to this day. (Even better: October 13th falls on a Friday this year!)

It (2017)

  • This 2017 remake of the classic 1990 horror film about Pennywise the Clown is one of the rare cases where I (personally) think the remake is better than the original. This features an amazing cast and perfectly balances elements of comedy and horror, especially Bill Skarsgård’s terrifying performance as Pennywise.


  • Stephen King is one of the most prominent horror writers working today, and film adaptations of his novels are expected to exceed all expectations. Shine, the story of the Torrance family living in the haunted Overlook Hotel does just that. Combining paranormal and slasher elements, this film is sure to thrill you.

Cozy night in

If a relaxing night is more your thing, these options are perfect for you. Whether you decide to invite friends over or chill out alone, these movies are great for curling up on the couch with a warm drink and a cookie.


  • Coraline this is, without a doubt, the most visually stunning film on this list. It has a creepy atmosphere, a gripping plot and amazing sculpting! The scenes where Coraline travels to the Other World have such beautiful effects and settings. You won’t want to look away!

Hocus pocus

  • When I think about Hocus pocusI always think about how my classmates and I watched it during Halloween parties in elementary school. I’ve always loved witchy things, so the Sanderson sisters and the Salem, Massachusetts setting make this the perfect Halloween movie for a cozy night in! (The sequel was released on Disney+ last year, so be sure to check that out as well!)

The nightmare before christmas

  • Tim Burton has starred in many iconic films in his time, but I think the top of this list has to go to The nightmare before christmas! The Halloween villager designs are amazing and the movie has such a fun soundtrack! There is still some serious debate about whether this will be a Halloween movie or a Christmas movie, but I think it’s the perfect movie to watch during both seasons!

Beetle juice

  • This 1980s movie is so iconic that a Broadway musical was filmed in 2024, with a sequel planned for release! Winona Ryder as Lydia and Michael Keaton as Beetlejuice couldn’t have been better casting choices as they bring a memorable and endearing charm to these quirky characters.

Many of these movies and many more are showing all month long as part of Freeform’s 31 Nights of Halloween!

Binge Sagas

With these movie series you can have some creepy marathons all day long! These sagas have stood the test of time and are iconic to this day.


  • Halloweentown The franchise is one of my earliest Halloween memories and I still watch them to this day! I loved watching Marnie and her siblings embrace the legacy of Cromwell’s witches and seeing all the weird Halloweentown residents they meet along the way. Moreover, how could the film go wrong with an iconic actress like Debbie Reynolds?


  • “Do you like scary movies?” If yes, then you undoubtedly know about Scream franchise and the Ghostface name that has endured for over 20 years. If you like slasher thrillers and feel nervous, watching the six films in the saga will definitely help!


  • These movies may not be all that scary, but they are nonetheless always a lot of fun to watch during the Halloween season. They feature an all-star cast with big names like Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver and Rick Moranis, plus a catchy theme song that’s always on everyone’s Halloween playlist!

This season, be sure to take some time for yourself and take a break from midterms by watching some of these movies. I hope everyone has a fun month and makes lots of great memories!

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