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Top 10 Tuesdays: Halloween Horror Films

It’s only fitting that we should do a Halloween themed Top 10 this week to help you gear up for the up coming holiday, so I thought I would delve into my Horror Film Repertoire and compile the most quintessential  films to watch around this Spooktacular Season.

These are not to be confused with the best films in the entire Horror genre, but some (including myself), would argue that a few of these picks would rank among the upper echelon. These are the films that embody the holiday and can really get us in the mood for a good scare.

That being said- pop some corn, dim the lights, and get ready to scream your way through this list!

The Top 10 Halloween Horror Films

By HardCandiMandi


Dawn of the Dead (2004)

101 min|Action, Horror, Thriller|March 19, 2004
7.3Rating: 7.3 / 10 from 211,683 usersMetascore: 59R
A nurse, a policeman, a young married couple, a salesman, and other survivors of a worldwide plague that is producing aggressive, flesh-eating zombies, take refuge in a mega Midwestern shopping mall.

Had to Rep the Zombies in this list and this is definitely one of my all time favorite Zombie flicks. This has all the flesh eating and bad ass take outs possible. The monsters look amazing and the tension built up is incredible all the way to the end.



Hellraiser (1987)

94 min|Horror, Thriller|September 18, 1987
7.0Rating: 7.0 / 10 from 86,703 usersMetascore: 57R
An unfaithful wife encounters the zombie of her dead lover; the demonic cenobites are pursuing him after he escaped their sadomasochistic underworld.

One of the scariest trips into Hell by far here with Pinhead himself. This movie is as old as I am, but holds up to a Horror standard set by the 80’s incredibly well. The world building is amazing and is alarmingly easy to get caught up in. One of the most iconic Horror characters ever created, and definitely one of the deadliest!


Scream (1996)

111 min|Horror, Mystery|December 20, 1996
7.2Rating: 7.2 / 10 from 246,588 usersMetascore: 65R
A year after the murder of her mother, a teenage girl is terrorized by a new killer, who targets the girl and her friends by using horror films as part of a deadly game.

“Do you like scary movies?” If you are reading this list, I hope so! This is one of my absolute favorite Horror films. Just enough gore to make the stakes high and just the right amount of “Who done-it” to keep you guessing until the end. The rules established in this flick are also something to remember if you want to survive! All that plus some super cool death scenes- Scream had to make this Top 10.


Saw (2004)

103 min|Crime, Horror, Mystery, Thriller|October 29, 2004
7.6Rating: 7.6 / 10 from 335,219 usersMetascore: 46R
Two strangers, who awaken in a room with no recollection of how they got there, soon discover they're pawns in a deadly game perpetrated by a notorious serial killer.

By far one of the most gruesome on this Top 10-but its notorious October release date makes it a must for setting the Halloween mood. Crazy contraptions, clever set ups, and a couple of seriously creepy characters makes up for an intense Horror ride. As much as you would like to forget some of these death traps, I’m sure a few of these scenes you won’t be able to scrub from the memory bank.


The Exorcist (1973)

122 min|Horror|December 26, 1973
8.0Rating: 8.0 / 10 from 313,411 usersMetascore: 82R
When a teenage girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter.

This flick tackled something that terrifies to the bone. Demonic possession is always such a traumatizing thing to witness. It rarely ends well and is always messy! This film set a standard for not just all other films about possession, but the entire Horror genre. Linda Blair was fantastic and unforgettable in this iconic role.


Sleepy Hollow, La légende du cavalier sans tête (1999)

105 min|Fantasy, Horror, Mystery|November 19, 1999
7.4Rating: 7.4 / 10 from 293,047 usersMetascore: 65R
Ichabod Crane is sent to Sleepy Hollow to investigate the decapitations of 3 people with the culprit being the legendary apparition, the Headless Horseman.

This is Tim Burton in his element through and through. the story is one of the first Halloween stories we learn as children, and Burton was able to paint this historic piece with the most beautiful macabre strokes possible. All of the actors were top notch and created a vivid tale much more intricate than the Disney version we see in school as children. Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci were at the top of their game and were supported by some wonderful characters brought to life by some incredible actors. Not to mention Christopher Walken as the scariest character he’s ever portrayed! The look and feel had Halloween written all over it-complete with perfect Jack-O-Lantern placement throughout. 


Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)

128 min|Horror|November 13, 1992
7.5Rating: 7.5 / 10 from 162,435 usersMetascore: 57R
The centuries old vampire Count Dracula comes to England to seduce his barrister Jonathan Harker's fiancée Mina Murray and inflict havoc in the foreign land.

This film is a classic. Gary Oldman is stunning as Vlad and his supporting cast are impeccable. Coppola brought this incredible story from the pages to the silver screen superbly. The blood and scares were just right, and the creature transformations looked amazing.


A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

91 min|Horror|November 16, 1984
7.5Rating: 7.5 / 10 from 172,212 usersMetascore: 78R
Several people are hunted by a cruel serial killer who kills his victims in their dreams. While the survivors are trying to find the reason for being chosen, the murderer won't lose any chance to kill them as soon as they fall asleep.

My second Johnny Depp pick, but also one of the top Horror characters ever created. Everyone knows Freddie and his iconic look ( complete only with his weapon of choice-his glove).  Some of the best kill scenes in the Biz matched only by his killer wit.


Friday the 13th (1980)

95 min|Horror, Mystery, Thriller|May 9, 1980
6.5Rating: 6.5 / 10 from 97,210 usersMetascore: 19R
A group of camp counselors are stalked and murdered by an unknown assailant while trying to reopen a summer camp which, years before, was the site of a child's drowning.

One of the longest running, and most popular Halloween costumes -ever! Jason is a force to be reckoned with and he just won’t stop killing campers! We all get that spark of fear on Friday the 13th, and this un-killable killing-machine is a large part of the reason why! 


Halloween (1978)

91 min|Horror, Thriller|October 27, 1978
7.8Rating: 7.8 / 10 from 180,964 usersMetascore: 78R
Fifteen years after murdering his sister on Halloween night 1963, Michael Myers escapes from a mental hospital and returns to the small town of Haddonfield to kill again.

The title says it all. Had to put this flick at the top spot for obvious reasons. Jaime Lee Curtis in break out roll, which led her to be dubbed “The Scream Queen,” showed us all why baby sitters should be scared! Michael Myers is one of the all time scariest and most well known Horror characters ever created, even to this day. It definitely gave us a new reason to be scared of Halloween.


If I were to add other films outside of the genre, a few more kid friendly films would have made my “Must See Halloween Films” list, so I’ll add them here as Honorable Mentions:

Hocus Pocus

Monster Squad

Halloween Town

Ernest Scared Stupid



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