Best Scary Halloween Films

We’re busy carving our pumpkins because it’s scare time again! We love nothing more than Halloween. It almost- we said almost- over takes our Christmas excitement.

Besides dressing up for the occasion- that includes dogs of the office too- and handing out sugary snacks to our neighbours’ excited children, we also enjoy kicking back with some scary movies to bounce us back into that spooky space. 

Winnie and Lottie Halloween

halloween with MS Team

Here’s our top picks of the best Halloween movies, ever made:

The original Fright Night (1985) is Mark’s favourite. This cult classic, directed by Tom Holland, stars Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdale, Amanda Bearse and Roddy McDowall.

Teenager Charley Brewster (William Ragsdale) is a horror-film junkie. So it’s no surprise that, when a reclusive new neighbour, Jerry Dandridge (Chris Sarandon), moves in next-door, Brewster becomes convinced he is a vampire. It’s also no surprise when nobody believes him. However, after strange events begin to occur, Charlie has no choice but to turn to the only person who could possibly help: washed-up television vampire killer Peter Vincent (Roddy McDowall).

fright night

In 2011 the movie is remade with Imogen Poots, David Tennant and Colin Farrell. And even a Bollywood version in Hindi has been released!

Beetlejuice (1988) is Louise’s top pick and a family classic, directed by the strikingly original Tim Burton. It stars Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Michael Keaton, Annie McEnroe and Winona Ryder.

When a recently-deceased ghost couple find their newly vacant home invaded by an obnoxious family, they hire a sleazy ghost who gets rid of humans to help them. This 1988 fantasy is very dark even though it was marketed as a family film.

beetlejuice poster

Some serious themes in this outrageous film: a young married couple come to grips with the fact that they’re dead, and a teenager contemplates suicide. Some of the imagery is very creepy, and there’s some fruity language, as well as smoking, drinking and a reference to Valium.

A miniature Beetlejuice finds a whorehouse in a model-sized city; some women invite him inside. Beetlejuice even kisses Barbara without consent and lifts her skirt to take a peek underneath. An afterlife waiting room abounds with people in various states of deadness, including some gory-looking ones that imply very violent deaths. Main characters were chased by giant striped worms in a desert. A character shrivels up like a mummy in a matter of seconds which is all a testament to Burton’s genius mind.

Hocus Pocus (1993) is Sarah’s favourite and a great one for a Girl’s Night in. Directed for Disney by our colleague Kenny Ortega, it stars: Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy and Omri Katz.

hocus pocus posterAfter three centuries, three witch sisters resurrect in Salem, Massachusetts on Halloween night. Salem is famous for its witch trials in the 1690s that resulted in the execution of twenty people, fourteen of them women, believed to be witches.

After recently moving to Salem, teenager Max Dennison (Omri Katz) explores an abandoned house with his sister Dani (Thora Birch) and their new friend, Allison (Vinessa Shaw). After dismissing a story Allison tells as superstitious, Max accidentally frees a coven of evil witches (Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy) who used to live in the house. Now, with the help of a magical cat, the kids must steal the witches’ book of spells to stop them from becoming immortal.

In case you’re wondering what Hocus Pocus actually means, it’s from an ancient language. Now magicians use, these ‘magic’ words when bringing about some sort of change, or casting a spell. It was once a common term for a magician, juggler, or traveling entertainer.

Practical Magic (1999) is Maria’s potion of choice, by director Griffin Dunne. It stars Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman as two witchy sisters trying to do the right thing…

Sally (Bullock) and Gillian Owens (Kidman), are born into a magical family, but have mostly avoided witchcraft themselves. But when Gillian’s vicious boyfriend, Jimmy Angelov (Goran Visnjic), dies unexpectedly, the Owens sisters give themselves a crash course in real magic. With policeman Gary Hallet (Aidan Quinn) growing suspicious, the girls struggle to resurrect Angelov. They unwittingly inject his corpse with an evil spirit that threatens to end their family line.

practical magic posterThe Thing (1982) is camera-man Andrew’s must-see. Director of The Thing ,John Carpenter, is a action and horror film veteran. It stars: Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David and Richard Masur.

The story has a crew in Antarctica finding a neighbouring camp destroyed while all its crew are dead. Whatever killed them is nowhere to be found, unless it’s hidden in plain sight.

The Thing posterScary Movie (2000) is Mia’s- Sarah’s teenage daughter who came in to help us in her half-term- top choice.

Scary Movie is a unique American horror comedy film, by director Keenen Ivory Wayans. It is a parody of the horror, slasher and mystery film genres that totally works. Several mid- and late-’90s films and TV shows are spoofed. The script is primarily based on the ’90s hit horror films Scream (1996) and I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997). It enjoyed huge commercial success.

scary movie posterIf after watching these great films in celebration of this year’s Halloween, you want to cast a spell, we recommend this classic from the Witches in Shakespeare’s Macbeth:

Double, double toil and trouble; 

Fire burn and caldron bubble. 

Fillet of a fenny snake, 

In the caldron boil and bake; 

Eye of newt and toe of frog, 

Wool of bat and tongue of dog, 

Adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting, 

Lizard’s leg and howlet’s wing, 

For a charm of powerful trouble, 

Like a hell-broth boil and bubble. 

Double, double toil and trouble; 

Fire burn and caldron bubble. 

Cool it with a baboon’s blood, 

Then the charm is firm and good.

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