Spooky Halloween Movies for a Multitude of Preferences

Kiri-Anna Kingsbury Lee, Contributing Writer

Looking for a movie to watch this spooky season but hate jumpscares? Love a good murder mystery but hate fake blood? Look no further! This comprehensive assortment has a film for everyone, from family-friendly favorites to classic horror.

Animated and Family Friendly:
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1996)
5/5 Falcons
Yet another iconic festive installation of the Charlie Brown universe, this Peanuts special is sure to please, featuring favorites such as Charlie and Sally Brown, Linus, Lucy, and of course, Snoopy. The film has a modest running time of 25 minutes, perfect for a casual, festive, lonesome, or social screening.

Hardly Halloween but Surely Timeless:
Addams Family Values (1993)
5/5 Falcons
True, this movie is not exactly a Halloween classic, but it’s bizarre, convivial, and certainly qualifies as a spooky festive film nonetheless. Joan Cusack shines as Debbie Jalinsky (from the agency!): a mass murderer of her rich and brief husbands. While you’re at it, make sure to watch The Addams Family (1991), an earlier installment with a very different plot.

Tame yet Riveting Whodunit:
Knives Out (2019)
4.5/5 Falcons
This star-studded cast does not disappoint in this complex murder-turned-suicide mystery in New England. Ana de Armas is a consistent force and carries the film’s humorous tone with the help of an unexpected array of actors, including Marvel favorite Chris Evans and seasoned spooky star Toni Colette. Scoring an impressive 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, this near-seamless dark comedy is not to be missed.

Very Halloween and Wonderfully Spooky:
Scream (1996)
4.5/5 Falcons
Halloween horror does not get more classic than the iconic Ghostface killing teenagers in the area, taunting them over the phone, and setting the entire town on edge. Scream is the highest grossing slasher film ever made. Part of what makes this film so memorable is the ending—a dramatic and unexpected reveal that puts whodunit mysteries to shame. Though the Scream franchise houses many movies (including various sequels and remakes), Scream (1996) remains the most timeless, and certainly a must see. Warning: many jumpscares.

Moderately Disturbing and Downright Demented:
Hereditary (2018)
5/5 Falcons
Again, the masterful and legendary Toni Colette in possibly her best role to date: a grief-stricken artist and mother, who, upon discovering the unexpected and gruesome death of a family member, begins to experience supernatural events. What starts rather dismal steadily begins to incorporate witchcraft, cults, and no shortage of decapitation. This film is certainly not for the faint of heart or easily spooked, but a must-watch horror film for those seeking to dramatically spark the spooky spirit.