My Top Ten Movies for Halloween


I mentioned the other day that I don’t do haunted houses, not because I don’t like the gore or the horror (granted, they are not my favorite). But because I don’t like the process of being startled. Don’t sneak up behind me. Don’t jump out to scare me. Don’t even throw me a suprise birthday party.

Still, I love the fun of Halloween. I’m not going to get into the whole Halloween is evil and Christians shouldn’t participate argument. If you feel that way, then by all means stay true to your convictions.

To quote the elder Mr. Baggins, “It was just a bit of fun.”

All that being said, I do enjoy some Halloweenish movies. Here’s a list of my favorites in no particular order. They’re not all officially Halloween stories. But they all have some element of scary or pumpkins or monsters.

This is not a list of the “best” movies. This is a list of my favorites.

Your spookage may vary.

Young Frankenstein


Far and away one of my all time favorite movies. It’s hysterically funny and oh how we miss Madeline Kahn, Marty Feldman and Peter Boyle.

Rocky Horror Picture Show


It’s campy. It’s bawdy. It’s a cult classic. Truth be told after the first 30-45 minutes (after the Time Warp), I have a tendency to get bored. Still, it’s a favorite.

Little Shop of Horrors


Face it. I could play the plant. And Steve Martin IS my childhood dentist.



Worth it simply for the Banana Boat Song.

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown


It’s not Halloween without this. Sure it was a television special and not a movie. But it’s pure Halloween gold.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets


Any of the Harry Potter movies could be on a favorite Halloween list. They’re filled with witches and wizard and all kinds of creatures. I chose this one because of the Death Day Party.



This was one of the “gotcha” movies I managed to see in the theater. Big mistake. My friend and I spent most of the movie with our feet up in our seats. Spiders! [***shudder***]. It’s probably the one movie on this list I have no desire to ever see again.  Except maybe the scene with the cat.  That was awesome.

Sweeney Todd


How could you not love a movie with Johnny Depp, Alan Rickman and the amazing Helena Bonham Carter. Truth be told, I prefer the stage version, but this is an awesome movie.



Included for “Night on the Bald Mountain.”

The Birds


The Birds also made my Top Ten Movies from the 1960s list. I wrote “The Birds was the first movie I remember seeing that really creeped me out. In a fascinating, can’t take my eyes of it kind of way. Don’t think flocks of birds didn’t creep me out for a long time after that. With Tippi Hedren, Suzanne Pleshette and Jessica Tandy.”


    • Francesco on October 31, 2013 at 11:37 am

    It’s a nice list, Michael. Many of those fall on one or more of my own lists. My favorite Halloween film is the original 1963 version of THE HAUNTING, directed by Robert Wise. It’s based on the queen mother of all ghost stories, THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE by Shirley Jackson. It’s in black and white. It’s not “splatter porn”; in fact, there is no blood in the film. Outside of one shot, there are no real special effects. Still, this movie gets inside your head and starts playing games. Another big plus is that it actually follows the book – something that the hapless remake from the late 1990’s failed to do.

    Now, I’m off to the pumpkin patch to await the yearly arrival of the Great Pumpkin. I’ve got a feeling that I’m finally going to see him THIS year!

    • Mike on October 31, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    Thanks Francesco,

    I was reminded earlier about E.T. But I’m not sure it would make my top ten. I do think, however, that I might replace Fantasia with “The Ghost and Mr. Chicken.” You just can’t beat a good Don Knotts movie.

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