The Best Classic Halloween Movies for a Frightful Date Night

From funny and nostalgic to down-right terrifying, here are the best Halloween movies
Sixth Sense and Hocus Pocus halloween movie posters collage
Photos: Amazon
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Brittany Barber
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Brittany Barber
The Knot Contributor
  • From top movie picks to celebrity scoops and travel advice, Brittany writes on a wide range of topics for The Knot.
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Updated Sep 13, 2023
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As the leaves begin to fall and the nights grow longer, the mystifying season of Halloween approaches, bringing with it a time-honored tradition of thrilling cinematic delights. The best classic Halloween movies have the power to transport us to worlds where the supernatural reigns, where things that go bump in the night become our closest companions and where our deepest fears are brought to life on screen.

Whether you're seeking family-friendly fun, horror movies or psychological thrillers, here's a curated list that promises to satisfy all your Halloween date night cravings found across streaming services like Netflix or Amazon. So, grab your pumpkin-spiced snacks and prepare to be bewitched, entertained, and at times, utterly terrified with the 67 best Halloween movies ever.

The Knot's Halloween Movie List for 2023

Movie posters for The Addams Family and Scream halloween movies
Photos: Amazon

From spooky and scary to funny and nostalgic, here are the best Halloween movies to watch on date night.


For slasher Halloween movies, the original Halloween is the perfect pick. It transports viewers back to the genre's roots by expertly introducing the iconic Michael Myers, all while setting a template for countless horror films to come.

Release Date: October 25, 1978 | Watch Trailer

Hocus Pocus

Hocus Pocus halloween movie poster
Photo: Amazon

Hocus Pocus is a beloved 90s Halloween movie that combines humor, fantasy and a pinch of spookiness for a fun and entertaining movie night for all ages.

Release Date: July 16, 1993 | Watch Trailer


Following the misadventures of a recently deceased couple, this darkly comedic and visually imaginative Tim Burton film is known for its quirky characters and off-beat humor.

Release Date: March 30, 1988 | Watch Trailer


If you and your significant other enjoy classic psychological thrillers, then Psycho is a great film to throw on around Halloween. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, this movie continues to captivate audiences with suspenseful storytelling and groundbreaking cinematography.

Release Date: September 8, 1960 | Watch Trailer

The Exorcist

The Exorcist is the perfect Halloween movie to watch on date night if you're fans of supernatural horror. Known for its unsettling scenes that continue to haunt viewers since its release, this one's a must-watch.

Release Date: December 26, 1973 | Watch Trailer

The Shining

The Shining halloween movie poster
Photo: Amazon

The Shining is a top-notch horror film directed by Stanley Kubrick, known for its eerie atmosphere and psychological tension — making it perfect for getting into the spooky spirit of Halloween.

Release Date: May 23, 1980 | Watch Trailer

A Nightmare on Elm Street

This film introduces the famous Freddy Krueger, a menacing villain who haunts teenagers' dreams. It's one heck of a suspenseful cinematic experience, which is perfect for watching around Halloween.

Release Date: November 16, 1984 | Watch Trailer

Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th is the start of the classic horror franchise, directed by Sean S. Cunningham. This spooky story revolves around a group of camp counselors who are stalked and brutally murdered by an unseen assailant.

Release Date: May 9, 1980 | Watch Trailer

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

This terrifying film follows a group of friends who encounter a family of cannibals, including the infamous Leatherface, while on a road trip through rural Texas. It's perfect to watch on a Halloween date night if scaring yourself silly is the goal.

Release Date: October 1, 1974 | Watch Trailer

The Addams Family

The Addams Family is a darkly comedic movie directed by Barry Sonnenfeld that offers a great blend of macabre humor and eccentricity. It revolves around the bizarre and delightfully dysfunctional Addams family, who ooze Halloween spirit every day of the year.

Release Date: November 22, 1991 | Watch Trailer


This lighthearted Halloween movie revolves around a friendly ghost named Casper, who spends his days in a haunted mansion with his three not-so-friendly uncles. When a paranormal therapist (Bill Pullman) and his daughter (Christina Ricci) move into the mansion, all kinds of fun antics ensue.

Release Date: May 26, 1995 | Watch Trailer


Ghostbusters halloween movie poster
Photo: Amazon

When it comes to classic halloween movies, Ghostbusters is a great one for date night. It follows three eccentric parapsychologists who battle paranormal forces to save New York City. It combines comedy with supernatural themes, which makes it an excellent choice to watch during spooky season.

Release Date: June 8, 1984 | Watch Trailer


This film follows the Freeling family as they experience paranormal activity in their suburban home. While the plot itself is eerie and suspenseful, the production of Poltergeist and its sequels are also said to be cursed due to the untimely deaths of four cast members. Spooky, huh?

Release Date: June 4, 1982 | Watch Trailer

The Haunting

If you love psychological horror, The Haunting is a great film to watch on Halloween. It follows a group of people who gather in a supposedly haunted mansion to study paranormal activity, leading to increasingly terrifying and unexplained events that test their sanity.

Release Date: September 18, 1963 | Watch Trailer

The Omen

This supernatural horror movie from the 70s is centered around a wealthy man who gradually discovers that his adopted son is the Antichrist, leading to a series of horrifying events.

Release Date: June 6, 1976 | Watch Trailer


This self-aware and satirical slasher film follows a group of high school students who are targeted by a masked killer. It pays homage to classic horror tropes while providing plenty of scares and suspense, which is the perfect vibe for a Halloween date night.

Release Date: December 20, 1996 | Watch Trailer

The Silence of the Lambs

If you're looking for a psychological scary movie to watch this Halloween, look no further than The Silence of the Lambs. It revolves around an FBI trainee (hello, Clarice), who aims to catch a serial killer with the help of an incarcerated, cannibalistic psychopath.

Release Date: February 13, 1991 | Watch Trailer

The Sixth Sense

The Sixth Sense halloween movie poster
Photo: Amazon

This spooky movie follows a young boy who can see dead people and a child psychologist who helps him navigate his paranormal abilities to uncover an unsettling plot twist.

Release Date: August 6, 1999 | Watch Trailer

The Blair Witch Project

The Blair Witch Project is centered around a group of filmmakers who venture into the forest to investigate a local legend. It's presented as if it were a documentary compiled from the footage shot by the characters, making it feel eerily realistic.

Release Date: July 30, 1999 | Watch Trailer

Edward Scissorhands

What better time than Halloween is there to watch this classic Tim Burton film? Starring Johnny Depp, this movie is about a gentle but misunderstood artificial humanoid with scissor-like hands who is brought into a suburban neighborhood.

Release Date: December 7, 1990 | Watch Trailer

The Conjuring

For a spine-tingling Halloween movie night that'll keep you and your date on the edge of your seats, watch The Conjuring. Its compelling storytelling and well-crafted scares make it a must-see during spooky season.

Release Date: July 19, 2013 | Watch Trailer

The Babadook

Watch The Babadook for its gripping and psychological horror that explores the depths of grief and motherhood, offering a chilling and thought-provoking cinematic experience.

Release Date: October 17, 2014 | Watch Trailer

It Follows

It Follows is a horror film about a supernatural entity that relentlessly pursues its victims. It's suspenseful, scary and a perfect film to watch together on a spooky date night.

Release Date: March 27, 2015 | Watch Trailer


If you love a horrifying story plot and exceptional performances, Hereditary is one unsettling experience you'll have a hard time forgetting. It explores the disturbing effects of a family's dark secrets, psychological distress, and ultra-spooky supernatural forces.

Release Date: June 8, 2018 | Watch Trailer

A Quiet Place

A Quiet Place halloween movie poster
Photo: Amazon

Cuddle up together for a night of spook with this terrifying movie. The story follows a family who must live in near-silent isolation to survive in a world overrun by noise-sensitive creatures.

Release Date: April 6, 2018 | Watch Trailer

The Witch

For a chilling period horror film to watch on Halloween, The Witch (starring Anya Taylor-Joy) is a great one to watch. Set in 17th-century New England, the story revolves around a Puritan family's descent into paranoia and supernatural terror as they confront a malevolent presence in the woods.

Release Date: January 27, 2015 | Watch Trailer


Based on Koji Suzuki's 1991 novel of the same name, Ringu is a Japanese horror film about a cursed videotape that causes death to anyone who watches it. It's uber chilling and has heavily influenced the horror genre — particularly the popular Ring franchise.

Release Date: January 31, 1998 | Watch Trailer


Halloweentown halloween movie poster
Photo: IMDb

This family-friendly Halloween movie follows the adventures of a young girl who discovers her magical heritage and helps save a hidden town of Halloween creatures. It's a super cute Halloween movie to throw on during date night, especially if you've got little ones around.

Release Date: October 17, 1998 | Watch Trailer

The Witches of Eastwick

This dark comedy-fantasy film is about three women (played by Cher, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Susan Sarandon) who discover their supernatural powers and become involved with a charming but sinister man (played by Jack Nicholson).

Release Date: June 12, 1987 | Watch Trailer

The Others

This suspenseful supernatural thriller follows a woman (Nicole Kidman) who believes her house is haunted, leading to a series of chilling revelations about her family.

Release Date: August 10, 2001 | Watch Trailer


For the best classic halloween movies, look no further than Nosferatu. Loosely based on Bram Stoker's Dracula, you'll appreciate this silent film's iconic portrayal of Count Orlok, which set the standard for vampire imagery in cinema.

Release Date: March 15, 1922 | Watch Trailer

The Hallow

This gripping horror film combines Irish folklore with an eerie vibe and tense storytelling, which is the perfect combo for an All Hallows' Eve movie night.

Release Date: June 26, 2015 | Watch Trailer

The Witches

The Witches halloween movie poster
Photo: Amazon

When it comes to witch movies, it doesn't get much better than The Witches. This movie tells the story of a young boy who stumbles upon a group of witches who are plotting to turn all children into mice. Watch it for its dark, whimsical charm and Anjelica Huston's captivating performance as the Grand High Witch.

Release Date: February 16, 1990 | Watch Trailer

Sleepy Hollow

This dark fantasy film, directed by Tim Burton, stars Johnny Depp as Ichabod Crane, a detective investigating a series of beheadings in the haunted town of Sleepy Hollow.

Release Date: November 17, 1999 | Watch Trailer


Based on Mary Shelley's novel, this classic Halloween movie follows the story of Dr. Henry Frankenstein as he creates a living creature from dead body parts, leading to tragic consequences.

Release Date: November 21, 1931 | Watch Trailer


If you're planning on dressing up as a vampire this Halloween, you should definitely watch the film that set the standard for Dracula portrayals.

Release Date: February 14, 1931 | Watch Trailer

Interview with the Vampire

This dark and captivating film (based on the Anne Rice novel of the same name) follows the life of a vampire named Louis (played by Brad Pitt), as he tells his story to a journalist (Christian Slater).

Release Date: November 11, 1994 | Watch Trailer

The Craft

This supernatural teen drama would be a super fun movie to watch on your Halloween date night, especially if you love a 90s throwback. The story follows four high school students who form a coven and harness their newfound witchcraft powers for personal gain.

Release Date: May 3, 1996 | Watch Trailer

The Cabin in the Woods

For a horror movie that'll keep you entertained from start to finish, The Cabin in the Woods is a great one for Halloween. It follows a group of friends who head to a remote cabin for a weekend getaway, only to find themselves entangled in a mysterious and sinister experiment.

Release Date: April 13, 2012 | Watch Trailer

El Orfanato (The Orphanage)

Here's a haunting Spanish horror movie that tells the story of a woman who returns to her childhood orphanage with her family, only to uncover dark secrets and supernatural mysteries.

Release Date: October 11, 2007 | Watch Trailer

Practical Magic

Practical Magic halloween movie poster
Photo: Amazon

This heartwarming Halloween movie follows the story of two witchy sisters (played by Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock) who must confront the consequences of their magical abilities.

Release Date: October 16, 1998 | Watch Trailer

The Grudge

This horror film revolves around a malevolent spirit that haunts a cursed house, causing terror and death to those who enter.

Release Date: October 22, 2004 | Watch Trailer

Train to Busan

Train to Busan is a gripping South Korean zombie thriller that follows passengers on a train as they fight for survival during a sudden zombie outbreak. With intense action and chilling social commentary, you'll definitely want to add this one to your list of spooky movies to watch this Halloween.

Release Date: May 16, 2016 | Watch Trailer

Mary and The Witch's Flower

This adorable animated film is about a young girl named Mary who discovers a magical flower, which grants her incredible powers. As she embarks on a thrilling adventure, she must use her newfound abilities to confront a mysterious world of witches and secrets.

Release Date: July 8, 2017 | Watch Trailer

The Evil Dead

This cult classic movie follows a group of friends who unwittingly summon demonic forces while staying in a remote cabin, leading to a nightmarish battle for survival.

Release Date: April 5, 2013 | Watch Trailer

The Amityville Horror

Based on a true story, this horror film follows a family who moves into a haunted house in Amityville, New York, and experiences terrifying supernatural events.

Release Date: July 27, 1979 | Watch Trailer


Based on Stephen King's novel, It is about a shape-shifting monster that preys on children in a small town. It offers a gripping and nostalgic coming-of-age story, chilling scares and an exceptional performance by Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise.

Release Date: September 8, 2017 | Watch Trailer

Paranormal Activity

This creepy horror film is presented through home security footage, making the supernatural events that occur seem real. It's a great one for a Halloween date night, especially if the paranormal particularly freaks you out.

Release Date: October 16, 2009 | Watch Trailer

The Monster Squad

This nostalgic Halloween movie has to be one of the best Halloween movies ever to come out of the 80s. It's about a group of kids who must battle classic movie monsters like Dracula, Frankenstein's monster and the Wolfman and is a must-watch if you like lighthearted throwback films.

Release Date: August 14, 1987 | Watch Trailer


Based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, Carrie tells the story of a shy and tormented high school girl with telekinetic powers who seeks revenge on her bullies. If you haven't seen the iconic prom scene from this movie, make a point of throwing it on this Halloween.

Release Date: November 3, 1976 | Watch Trailer


Insidious is a supernatural horror film that follows a family as they confront malevolent entities in their home, diving into the realm of the paranormal.

Release Date: April 1, 2011 | Watch Trailer


Barbarian halloween movie poster
Photo: Amazon

This new cult classic horror movie follows a young woman (Georgina Campbell), who arrives at her rental home to find it occupied by a man she doesn't know (Bill Skarsgård). Despite her hesitations, she stays the night, only to realize that there's a whole lot more to be afraid of than she initially thought.

Release Date: September 9, 2022 | Watch Trailer

Hotel Transylvania

This animated Halloween movie follows Dracula, the owner of a hotel for monsters, as he plans a lavish birthday party for his daughter. When a human unwittingly stumbles into the hotel, chaos ensues, and Dracula must keep the human's presence a secret.

Release Date: September 28, 2012 | Watch Trailer

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

When it comes to classic Halloween movies, this animated Halloween special following the Peanuts gang is hard to beat.

Release Date: October 27, 1966 | Watch Trailer

Child's Play

Child's Play is a horror film about a possessed doll named Chucky who terrorizes a young boy and his family. It offers a thrilling mix of suspense, gore and dark humor, making it a classic in the horror genre.

Release Date: November 9, 1988 | Watch Trailer


This new horror film follows a group of actors who set out to make an explicit movie in the quiet Texan countryside. When the elderly couple hosting the group discovers what they're up to, the situation takes a turn for the worst.

Release Date: March 18, 2022 | Watch Trailer

Trick 'r Treat

This Halloween-themed anthology horror film weaves together interconnected stories set on Halloween night in a small town. It combines dark humor, suspense and traditional horror, making it a great pick for your Halloween movie date night.

Release Date: December 9, 2007 | Watch Trailer


This spooky movie follows a couple who adopts a mysterious 9-year-old girl, Esther (Isabelle Fuhrman), only to discover that she has a dark and dangerous secret.

Release Date: July 24, 2009 | Watch Trailer

Les Yeux sans Visage (Eyes Without A Face)

This French horror film directed by Georges Franju tells the macabre story of a brilliant surgeon who abducts young women to steal their faces for his disfigured daughter. Super freaky.

Release Date: January 11, 1960 | Watch Trailer

Death Becomes Her

Starring Goldie Hawn and Meryl Streep, this dark comedy follows the lives of two women who discover a secret potion that grants them eternal youth, leaving them to deal with unexpected consequences.

Release Date: July 31, 1992 | Watch Trailer

The Haunted Mansion

The Haunted Mansion halloween movie poster
Photo: Amazon

This family-friendly Halloween flick follows a real estate agent and his family as they enter a mysterious, haunted mansion to rescue his wife's spirit from an ancient curse.

Release Date: November 26, 2003 | Watch Trailer


This classic Italian horror film follows a young American dancer who joins a prestigious ballet academy in Germany, only to uncover a sinister and supernatural secret within its walls.

Release Date: February 1, 1977 | Watch Trailer


This intense horror movie follows a true-crime writer who uncovers disturbing home videos while researching a murder case. You and your date are sure to be snuggling up together after this one.

Release Date: October 12, 2012 | Watch Trailer

The Halloween Tree

Arguably one of the best classic Halloween movies ever, The Halloween Tree is an animated film adaptation of Ray Bradbury's novel, exploring the origins and significance of Halloween. It follows a group of friends on a supernatural journey to save their friend's soul.

Release Date: October 2, 1993 | Watch Trailer

The Crow

The Crow is a dark and visually stunning film about a man who returns from the dead to avenge his own murder and the rape and murder of his fiancée.

Release Date: May 11, 1994 | Watch Trailer

Under the Shadow

Under the Shadow is a gripping Iranian horror film set during the Iran-Iraq War, following a mother and daughter haunted by a malevolent supernatural entity in their war-torn apartment.

Release Date: October 7, 2016 | Watch Trailer

Les Diabolique

This classic French film follows a twisted plot of murder and suspense at a boarding school, featuring brilliant performances and shocking twists that keep you on the edge of your seat this Halloween.

Release Date: January 29, 1955 | Watch Trailer

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