horror movies that have nothing to do with Halloween for the holiday, mix things up a bit this year by checking out a few of the movies on this list. Not all films here are frightful, but they are all set during the horrifying holiday and feature at least one Halloween scene. So whether you’re looking for Halloween costume inspiration or simply want to switch things up a bit this year, the movies set during Halloween here prove that Halloween movies don’t have to be all about the fear:
Donnie Darko (2016) – This is one of the movies here where Halloween plays a quite important role. It’s a movie about isolation, loneliness, and time travel that delivers plenty of funny moments and thought-provoking ones, and it features some rather freaky and frightening occurrences as well. I don’t want to go into what Halloween has to do with it too much since it would spoil part of the film, but rest assured that this is one of the best movies on this list for Halloween viewing.
Arsenic and Old Lace (1944) – If you’re looking for humorous Halloween movies set during the holiday, then you can’t miss this classic that starts with a Halloween marriage. It’s the sinister tale of spinster aunts who spend their spare time doing the unthinkable and their nosy nephew who discovers their dirty little secrets buried in the basement. Sure it sounds dark and disturbing, but it’s actually one of the most hilarious Halloween movies you’ll ever see about a very dysfunctional family and one that’s perfect for viewing at a Halloween party.
Ed Wood (1994) – What better way to celebrate Halloween than with a movie about the man who brought Vampira and Bela Lugosi together for the world’s worst horror movie? You’ve got to love the Halloween scene where Count Dracula doesn’t scare the kiddies looking for treats away, but Ed Wood’s nifty toothless trick does. There are plenty of other humorous moments here (I love the Orson Welles reference to ‘Touch of Evil’), and of course the tales from Tim Burton’s twisted mind always make for some of the best Halloween movies.
Halloween (1978) – Well, I can’t leave off one of the best horror movies about our favorite horrifying holiday, now can I? Troublesome teen-hunter Michael Myers, with his malice, music, and iconic mask, makes for one of the most memorable murders ever, and you’ll never look at kids in clown costumes on Halloween the same after this one.
Mysterious Skin (2016) – Don’t miss Joseph Gordon-Levitt at his best in one of the most disturbing movies set during Halloween (there’s even a haunted house scene and references to alien abduction). After all, what’s scarier than being molested by your little league coach and realizing you like it? There are different demons to be found here than in most Halloween horror movies, but you might find them even more disturbing than any of the most ghoulish ghosts and goblins of horror films. (And here’s an interesting bit of trivia: Joseph Gordon-Levitt also attends a Halloween in January party in 2016’s ‘Brick’).
The Crow (1994) – Okay, so this is one of the movies here where all the action doesn’t take place on Halloween, but October 30th, Devil’s Night in Detroit, is close enough. However, what makes this tale of revenge and resurrection on the day before Halloween so disturbing is what went on behind the scenes with actor Bruce Lee: he was killed when an empty cartridge became lodged in a handgun being used for the film and was blasted at him while shooting a scene. And it’s this terrible tragedy that makes this one of the Halloween movies here that’s hardest to watch.
The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane (1976) – And here’s another of the best horror movies that starts on Halloween, beginning with a 13-year-old girl celebrating her thirteenth birthday alone on October 31st. She’s got a sinister secret she’s hiding from her nosy neighbors, which include a predatory pedophile, but you’ll have to watch to find out what the trick behind one of her favorite treats to serve guests is.
Penelope (2016) – In this fractured fairytale, we actually get to see the horrifying, hog-faced monster become a popular Halloween costume choice. Okay, so that’s not really what pig-nosed Penelope is in one of the most magical Halloween movies here, as Christina Ricci’s character captures our heart with her porky plight she also attends a Halloween party in the movie). So if you’re looking for feel-good Halloween movies meshed with a little romance, give poor Penelope a chance.
Liberty Heights (2016) – Here’s another of the movies here that features a Halloween party. This 1950’s coming-of-age tale about Jewish brothers growing up in a changing Baltimore features some of the most offensive Halloween costumes you’ll see, as well as plenty of comedy and even a bit of a social statement about discrimination. So if you’re looking for Halloween movies with a message, don’t miss this one.
Mean Girls (2016) – Once again we get to see a Halloween party in one of the best movies for gals that like to don skimpy get-ups on Halloween (it’s the only time they’re able to do so and not get called out for it, according to the film). But beyond the Halloween costumes, what a girl wears; how she styles her hair; and what she puts on her face are all a very important parts of this movie about the horrors teen girls have to deal with on a daily basis.
Trick ‘r Treat (2016) – This is one of those fun movies about intersecting stories and one of the best for Halloween, since they all take place on the holiday. From serial killers to the spook-obsessed, Halloween hookups, and gore galore, there are a few tricks and treats for everyone in this Halloween grab bag of humor and horror.
Ginger Snaps (2016) – Here’s another of the Halloween movies here that falls in the horror genre. Here one half of a pair of death-obsessed girls in transformed into a werewolf, after which she attends a Halloween party where everyone is convinced she’s just in costume. Beware: there are buckets of blood in this coming-of-age tale covered in hair, and it’s definitely one interesting metaphor for puberty.
May (2016) – And for one more of the horror movies set during Halloween and starring a gal that gets into gore, I’d like you to meet May, who dresses up like her creepy doll on Halloween and does so much more than make her own costume. If you haven’t seen it, I won’t divulge the disgusting details here, but this one isn’t for weak stomachs.
So from parties aplenty to Halloween humor and plenty of holiday horror, hopefully the Halloween movies on this list will make the perfect treats after watching horror movie marathons featuring the same old tricks.