10 Best Movies Set On Halloween Night

There's more to Halloween than Michael Myers...

31 Rob Zombie
Saban Films

The days shorten, the leaves begin to fall, the dead walk with early feet... and Haribo sales hit the roof. We're coming up to Spooky Season, Halloween's with us again and at this time of year, horror fans are spoilt for choice.

There are hundreds of movies set on Halloween night and while it seems like an obvious night to set a horror movie on, the festival is now more synonymous with sticky fingered toddlers or adults in ridiculously expensive fancy dress than pagan celebrations of the dead.

It's also a popular setting for movies because the celebrations can act as clever red herrings for filmmakers; kids in costumes, bobbing for apples is the last place you'd expect a serial slasher or a self respecting demon to show up and horror movies have used that to an advantage, with the relative innocence of the party covering a multitude of crimes, allowing the killer to blend in with the crowd in their own disguise.

That said, we know all too well that horror films like to catch us unaware, so here are the best movies set on, or featuring Halloween night - thrillers, ghost stories, spooky anthologies, serial killers, dead men in rabbit costumes and 80s straight to video-nasties...

10. 31

31 Rob Zombie
Bow + Arrow Entertainment

Let's kick this off with something weird and wonderful from the mind of Rob Zombie, rock god and the man held responsible for dragging, ironically, the Halloween franchise to near extinction. His work, while not necessarily being Oscar worthy material, is high octane, blood soaked America-gone-hideously-wrong stuff of legend.

31 is a brutal movie - a group of carnival workers (including Zombie regular and full time squeeze Sheri Moon Zombie) Charly, Venus, Panda, Levon and Roscoe travel cross country on Halloween 1976, when they are attacked by a mob and taken to an abandoned building populated by three weirdos wearing aristocratic clothes, powdered wigs and make up, known as Sister Dragon, Sister Serpent and their leader, Father Napoleon-Horatio-Silas Murder.

The performers are forced to play '31,' a sadistic game of kill-or-be-killed lasting 12 hours. Cue murderous clowns, buckets of blood and a deadly betting game with few survivors.

As Phil Hoad from The Guardian puts it, 31 is "a cinematic J├Ągerbomb: definitely not good for you, but gets the job done." Zombie gives us another seventies set riff on slasher classics and has now churned out enough gore-fests to churn a few stomachs too. Malcolm McDowell seems to get all the best/worst films these days and he is on usual full intensity here, along with Richard Brake as the perfectly named 'Doom-Head.'

Contributor
Contributor

A lifelong aficionado of horror films and Gothic novels with literary delusions of grandeur...