The best Halloween movies in 2021 and where to watch them
Richard Howard • October 25, 2021if( has_post_thumbnail( $post_id ) ): ?>
Halloween is nearly here, and anyone with even a passing interest knows that bingeing a few scary movies is one of the best ways to get hyped for the big day. Of course, there are some classics that simply never get old and are a must-watch year after year. But if you’re like us, you seek out at least one new nugget with some unexpected jump-scares each year. Been tardy at making your list? Have no fear (yet). Here are the best Halloween movies in 2021.
The Omen (1976, R)
We worry that this stone-cold classic may be slipping through the cracks, so we’ll use it to kick things off. To be honest, the plot sells itself. It’s a movie about a guy who’s pretty sure his son is the Antichrist, but can’t get anyone to believe him. Well, that’s not quite accurate—a couple of people believe him, and then terrible, terrible things happen to them. Oh, and in real life, the cast and crew were cursed on and off-set. We’re talking plane crashes/automobile accidents/explosions/tiger attacks cursed. You’re welcome.
The Ring (2002, PG-13)
While hipsters will inevitably spend the entirety of the movie complaining about how much better the Japanese original is, The Ring is a solid watch. Thanks to excellent direction, a perfect soundtrack and quite the performance by Naomi Watts, you may just find yourself giving one of your favorite household electronic devices a wide berth after watching this one.
Halloween (1978, R)
Considered by many as the original slasher film, John Carpenter’s Halloween is an all-around winner. Many of the tropes you still see in horror movies to this day either originated or were perfected here. The number of sequels it spawned is almost hilarious, but hey, we wouldn’t ignore a goldmine either. The Rob Zombie remake ain’t bad, but we’d argue that Halloween is first in the triumvirate of movies that are required watching on that spookiest of celebrations.
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984, R)
While it wasn’t his first film, and he’d go on to make many more horror classics, this is without a doubt Wes Craven’s crowning achievement. If you haven’t seen it yet, please don’t try the remake first. The original’s ability to blend dreams with reality creates a mind-bending feel you have to experience. And hey, if you’re too tough to be scared by this masterpiece, you’ll certainly be entertained by a 21-year-old Johnny Depp in his first movie role, wearing the world’s most 1980s outfits while in the world’s most 1980s bedroom.
Friday the 13th (1980, R)
Hey, we’re just making sure the next generation becomes familiar with what horror gold looks like. Frequent Wes Craven collaborator Sean S. Cunningham created this franchise, and while it wasn’t critically lauded, any true horror fan has a special place in their heart for the original film. Hats off to Mr. Cunningham for giving the lazy amongst us a perfect Halloween costume every year that requires zero effort: the closest old-school hockey goalie mask.
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966, G)
Who says all Halloween movies have to be scary? This is a great one to watch with the little ones to get them into the spirit without giving them the heebie-jeebies. If you don’t have kids and haven’t watched it since being a child yourself, we’d highly recommend it. Nothing fills the Halloween heart like a fun story featuring Snoopy and a healthy dose of 1960s animation.
A Quiet Place (2018, PG-13)
We’re 100% putting the film that Jim from The Office directed and co-wrote on this list. Don’t @ us. With a brilliant and unique concept, the fact that its execution was also top-notch makes this award-winning film a sure-fire future classic.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993, PG)
Another classic that’s kid-safe. Based on a poem Tim Burton wrote years earlier, the film combines arresting stop-motion animation, a clever storyline and earworm musical numbers to create a fun Halloween romp for the whole family.
The Invisible Man (2020, R)
You’ve probably realized that we tend to be wary of remakes of the best Halloween movies. However, The Invisible Man is an exception. We won’t try to compare it to the 1933 film that’s been added to the National Film Registry. Still, this 2020 remake was brilliantly done. The direction is undeniably eerie and Elizabeth Moss puts in an astounding performance. Perhaps most interestingly, however, the film cleverly and poignantly explores the real terror of abusive relationships.
Beetlejuice (1988, PG)
The film every dark fantasy comedy wishes it was. The wonderfully weird tale of a recently deceased couple, the surprisingly bureaucratic world of the afterlife and a devious poltergeist played to perfection by Michael Keaton, Beatlejuice surprised everyone when it became a smash hit. Director Tim Burton specifically went for a cheap B-movie look with the visual effects, and, perhaps thanks to this, the hilariously bad makeup and effects only serve to make the film more endearing.
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