10 Scariest Horror Movies Set At Halloween

To get you in the *spirit* of things just in time for All Hallows’ Eve.

Dark Night Of The Scarecrow

As the leaves turn crisp, the cold weather sets in, and Starbucks starts pimping out their pumpkin spice latte once again it can only mean one thing – the most wonderful time of the year will soon be upon us. No, not Christmas Day, but October 31st.

Halloween really is the perfect time of year to indulge in a horror movie or two (at the very least), but surprisingly few horrors are actually set on the day itself - and good Halloween horrors are even harder to find. Maybe it’s because John Carpenter kind of cornered the market early on, or perhaps filmmakers see it as too cliched a backdrop for a horror movie, like setting a scary film on an already scary occasion would feel too gimmicky or obvious.

But there are some quality Halloween horrors out there – movies that revel in the tropes and traditions of the holiday all the while scaring our collective pants off and providing plenty of gore – so read on for the very best Halloween-set movies the horror genre has to offer. All treats, no tricks.

10. Halloween

Dark Night Of The Scarecrow
Compass International Pictures

It may be an obvious choice, but it’d be remiss not to include John Carpenter’s slasher classic somewhere on this list – it is the definitive Halloween movie, after all.

Any horror fan worth their salt knows the movie inside out, but just to recap for any genre newbies out there: Halloween follows deranged killer Michael Myers who escapes from an asylum where he’s been imprisoned for the last 15 years for stabbing his sister to death as a child. He returns to his suburban hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois to wreak terror on Halloween night specifically targeting babysitter Laurie Strode (scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis in her debut role) and her friends.

Surprisingly non-gory for a slasher, Carpenter’s classic relies more on good old tension and scare factor brought about by its chilling theme music (composed by Carpenter himself), unnerving long takes and claustrophobic POV shots punctuated by heavy breathing and – of course – that menacingly featureless mask the ever-lurking Michael Myers wears.

It’s undeniably creepy even forty years after its original release and stands the test of time as the best babysitter-in-peril horror to date.


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