League Topic:  Here Comes Halloween !

Well, my fellow Nerds and Nerdettes, it’s that time of year again. 

The days grow shorter, the nights cooler, and the wisp of decaying leaves and mold linger in the air. 
I’m getting giddy just thinking about it!

The perfect time of year for some spooky entertainment.
Below, is a list of my favorite movies to watch leading into Halloween. Not all of them are specifically related to the season, but all help me to get into the Halloween spirit.
From Cheesy to Classic – here’s a list of my favorites:

-House (1986)

  Roger Cobb is a Vietnam vet whose career as a horror novelist has taken a turn for the worse when his son Jimmy mysteriously disappears while visiting his aunt’s house.

 rated – R   
93 min
CHEESY – Very.
SCARY –  Meh. 
FACT – Richard Moll (Bull from Night Court) is in it! And the Greatest American Hero – William Katt. And Norm – George Wendt! It’s actually not that bad of a film. Typical 80’s B-horror movie. Some comedy as well.

-Poltergeist (1982)

  The Freeling family is stalked and terrorized by a group of ancient ghosts that are attracted to the youngest daughter, Carol Anne.


rated – PG  
114 min
SCARY –  Quite
FACT – I’ve seen this film over 30 times – and never get bored with it. A true classic. Kid eating trees, Kid eating televisions, kid eating braces. Hmm.. I’m sensing a pattern here. Oh, and the dude who peels off his own face! Ugh. A must watch during the Halloween season.    

-Killer Klowns From Outer Space (1988)

Aliens who look like clowns come from outer space and terrorize a small town. (Yeah, that about sums it up.)

rated – PG -13
88 min
CHEESY – Off the Charts
SCARY– If you are afraid of clowns – very!
FACT – It’s a cult classic horror / sci-fi movie. A must see. I mean, come on… they kill people with popcorn and put them in cotton candy pods! 

-Pet Sematary (1989)

Behind a young family’s home in Maine is a terrible secret that holds the power of life after death. When tragedy strikes, the threat of that power soon becomes undeniable.

rated – R
103 min
SCARY –  I’d say yes.
FACT – It’s Stephen King, so you know it’s a good ride. I still cringe when Zelda comes on the screen.  Burn it! Burn it with fire! Sometimes, dead’s better.

– Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983)

In a small American town, a diabolical circus and its demonic proprietor prey on the townsfolk.

rated -PG
95 min
CHEESY – Little bit
SCARY –  More creepy than scary.
FACT – I know Disney made this film, but it really left an impression on me as a kid. I was terrified of Mr. Dark and the Autumn people. It’s the perfect Halloween movie. Creepy circus, clowns, freaks, spiders, and a demonic carousel. What more do you want!

-The Witches (1990)

A young boy stumbles onto a witch convention and must stop them, even after he has been turned into a mouse.


rated -PG
91 min
CHEESY – A bit.
SCARY – Nightmare fuel for little kids.
FACT – Honestly one of the creepiest/best kids horror films I’d ever seen. That’s why it’s great for Halloween! And, you know… witches.

– The Monster Squad (1987)

Dracula plans to rule the world and seeks the help of other legendary monsters. However, a bunch of kids uncover the devious plan and prepare for a counter strike.


rated -PG-13
82 min
CHEESY– Off the charts.
SCARY – Not at all.
FACT – The perfect Halloween movie for kids. Yeah, it’s PG-13 but seriously, it’s pretty lighthearted. I would show the kids this way before Poltergeist. Unless you’re afraid of them learning that Wolfman’s got nards?

– From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)

Two criminals and their hostages unknowingly seek temporary refuge in an establishment populated by vampires, with chaotic results.

rated -R
108 min
CHEESY – On purpose
SCARY – Funny scary.
FACT – This is a fun horror film. Every time it comes on tv I find myself watching it. It’s really two movies, sort of running off in a different direction by the second half. But, that’s why it’s fun. Def not a kids movie.

– Zombieland (2009)

A shy student trying to reach his family in Ohio, and a gun-toting tough guy trying to find the Last Twinkie join forces to travel across a zombie-filled America.


rated -R
88 min
CHEESY – On purpose.
SCARY – For a girl?
FACT – I went to the theater not knowing what to watch one day, and picked this. I came out loving it. A great comedy/horror film. Woody Harrelson at his best.

– Army of Darkness (1992)

A man is accidentally transported to 1300 A.D. where he must battle an army of the dead and retrieve the Necronomicon so he can return home. 

rated -R
81 min
CHEESY – More than you can handle, baby.
SCARY – Not so much.
FACT – The cult classic of cult classics. This movie is absolute B-movie gold. I love it. I watch it every Halloween season. Sometimes more than once. I demand you watch it. Now. Do it. Don’t make me get my boomstick!

– Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983)

Four horror/sci-fi segments directed by four famous directors which are their own versions of classic stories from Rod Serling’s landmark television series.

rated -PG
101 min
CHEESY – Done well.
SCARY – For a kid.
FACT – Another horror movie I couldn’t get enough of as a child. Lot’s of creepy creatures and twists and turns. And the infamous “Man on the wing of this plane!” episode is re-done with John Lithgow.

– The Addams Family (1991)

Con artists plan to fleece the eccentric family using an accomplice who claims to be their long lost Uncle Fester.


rated -PG-13
99 min
CHEESY – On purpose.
FACT – Okay, so maybe it’s not a horror movie, but what’s more Halloween than the Addams family?! I actually enjoy the sequel as well. Def a fun film for the whole family to watch together as it gets closer to Halloween.

– A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)

In the dreams of his victims, a spectral child murderer stalks the children of the members of the lynch mob that killed him.

rated – R
91 min
CHEESY – Good cheesy.
SCARY – Yeppers
FACT – Look, if I have to tell you who Freddie is, then it’s time to grab this movie and watch it. Dressing as Freddie for Halloween is still popular. The perfect Halloween season film to view with friends or your significant other. 1…2…. Freddies coming for you….

– Friday the 13th (1980)

Camp counselors are stalked and murdered by an unknown assailant while trying to reopen a summer camp that was the site of a child’s drowning.

rated – R
95 min
CHEESY – Good cheesy.
SCARY – Yeppers
FACT – Look, if I have to tell you who Jason is, then it’s time to grab this movie and watch it. Dressing as Jason for Halloween is still popular. The perfect Halloween season film to view with friends or your significant other. Cha cha cha…. jason jason jason.

– Halloween (1978)

A psychotic murderer institutionalized since childhood for the murder of his sister, escapes and stalks a bookish teenage girl and her friends while his doctor chases him through the streets.

rated – R
91 min
CHEESY – Good cheesy.
SCARY – Yeppers
FACT – Look, if I have to tell you who Michael Myers is, then it’s time to grab this movie and watch it. Dressing as Michael Myers for Halloween is still popular. The perfect Halloween season film to view with friends or your significant other. ((Insert creepy piano theme song here))

– Young Frankenstein (1974)

Dr. Frankenstein’s grandson, after years of living down the family reputation, inherits granddad’s castle and repeats the experiments.

rated -PG
106 min
CHEESY – It’s Mel Brooks.
SCARY – Nope.
FACT –  Another funny Halloween movie. I like that we can get at least one Mel Brooks film on this list, and it’s perfect for Halloween. There’s so many gags that I catch new ones every time I watch.  

– The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Jack Skellington, king of Halloweentown, discovers Christmas Town, but doesn’t quite understand the concept.

rated -PG
76 min
SCARY – Nope.
FACT –  Some people might argue this is a Christmas movie, but I disagree. This is a Halloween movie thru and thru, and a must watch for the season. THIS IS HALLOWEEN. THIS IS HALLOWEEN. HALLOWEEN. HALLOWEEN.

– The Gate (1987)

Three young children accidentally release a horde of nasty, pint-sized demons from a hole in a suburban backyard. What follows is a classic battle between good and evil.

rated – PG-13
85 min
CHEESY – Oh god yes.
SCARY – For kids.
FACT –  This is one of those real cheesy 80’s horrors. Stephen Dorff makes his acting debut in this film. I was a bit creeped out by it as a kid, but loved watching it, and did quite often. A perfect young teen film.

– Psycho (1960)

A Phoenix secretary steals $40,000 from her employer’s client, goes on the run and checks into a remote motel run by a young man under the domination of his mother.

rated – PG-13
85 min
CHEESY – Nope.
SCARY – Yep.
FACT –  This is straight up classic horror. If you never saw it, you must. Many know it, but never actually watched it. Get some popcorn, turn off the lights, get a drink, and prepare yourself for some classic scary fun.

– Scream (1996)

A killer known as Ghostface begins killing off teenagers. One girl and her friends find themselves contemplating the “Rules” of horror films as they find themselves living in a real-life one.

rated -R
111 min
CHEESY – A bit
SCARY – Sure.
FACT –  This movie harkens back to the classic slasher films of the past. It was made in a time when such films had faded and it helped to bring back the genre. I really liked it and def deserves to be on the list.

 – The Stuff (1985)

A delicious mysterious goo that oozes from the Earth is marketed as the newest dessert sensation. But the sugary treat rots more than teeth when zombie-like snackers begin infesting the world.

rated -R
93 min
CHEESY – Oh yeah
SCARY – Meh.
FACT –  This film is listed as a horror and comedy. When I was younger I didn’t see it as funny. I was kind of creeped out by it. But when I got older I could see how silly it was. Though there are some graphic scenes.

– Childs Play (1988)

A single mother gives her son a beloved doll for his birthday, only to discover that it is possessed with the soul of a serial killer.

rated -R
87 min
CHEESY -You betcha
SCARY – Not so much.
FACT –  We all know Chucky, the insane doll that likes to curse like a sailor and carries a big knife. This movie falls into the “Wow, this is really weird, but I can’t stop watching.” category. Def a good B-movie horror for the season.
– The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

Five friends visiting their grandpa’s old house are hunted down and terrorized by a chainsaw wielding killer and his family of grave-robbing cannibals.

rated -R
83 min
SCARY – Hell yes.
FACT –  I’ll be honest, this movie still gives me chills. It’s just so strange and disturbing. And that 70’s movie grittiness makes it even more unsettling. Bring an extra pair of diapers and prepare to sleep with the lights on for a few weeks.
– Clue (1985)

Six guests are invited to a strange house and must cooperate with the staff to solve a murder mystery.


rated -PG

94 min
CHEESY – Oh yes
FACT –  Most of us have played the game, but I love the movie much more. It’s so silly and the acting is great. It’s the perfect Halloween movie to watch with the family. A spooky old mansion, bad thunderstorm, murder, mystery, and hi-jinks. 
– The Burbs (1989)

Settling in for some time off in his suburban home, Ray Peterson’s (Tom Hanks) vacation becomes a horror when the Klopeks, a suspiciously odd family, move in down the block.

 rated – PG 
102 min
CHEESY -Indeed
SCARY –  Meh. 
FACT – One of my favorite horror/comedies. Tom Hanks and Princess Leia… I mean… Carrie Fisher, are in this classic 80’s style film. It plays off the “what are those creepy neighbors up to” vibe anyone growing up in the suburbs can relate to. And, the whole family can enjoy it.
– Beetlejuice (1988)

A couple of recently deceased ghosts contract the services of a “bio-exorcist” in order to remove the obnoxious new owners of their house.

 rated – PG 
92 min
CHEESY – Tim Burton
SCARY –  Maybe kids?
FACT –  People seem to either love or hate this film. I loved it when I was a kid, and it def has that Halloween vibe. It’s also Tim Burton and Michael Keaton at the height of their careers. I try to watch it every Halloween! 
– The legend of Sleepy Hollow (1949)

In a small town, a brewing romantic rivalry with a local tough and a school-teacher culminates in a terrifying ride in the night.

 rated – None (G?)
34 min
SCARY – A bit
FACT –  Also known as “The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad”, this is a staple of my Halloween viewing. It’s old school Disney, back when they did their best to scare children… and they were good at it. The perfect movie for mentally setting the mood for the coming Halloween. A must for the season!
 There are films that I’m sure I either forgot, or simply never had the pleasure of watching. If you have any, let me know. I’m always up for a new film! 
Nerd Out With Me

17 thoughts on “Tig’s Favorite Halloween Movies”

  1. This is a great list. I am personally not horror movie fan. But, some of my favorites made your list. I love Monster Squad, The Addams Family, Nightmare Before Christmas, and the original Pyscho.

  2. I have been meaning to make a comment on this. I love this list! Witches was so great. And The Gate! That movie freaked me out as a kid. I was certain someone was living in the walls of my house too. I had so much fun reading this. A truly perfect list of movies!

  3. When you're done watching Army of Darkness (or Evil Dead 3) don't forget to check out Evil Dead 2!

    The Evil Dead remakes are just awful, not at all funny, just gross and disgusting with no comic relief.

  4. Nothing But Trouble is a weird, Halloweeny movie that people tend to forget. All I remember about it was that crazy and deadly roller coaster.

    I also love Little Shop of Horrors, Arachnophobia, Ernest Scared Stupid, and Tremors, just to name a few.

  5. What a great list! I'm particularly fond of House (went trick-or-treating as Big Ben one year) and The Gate. The only ones I haven't gotten to are Witches and The Stuff. Your to-the-point ratings and synopses are perfect.

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