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The 14 Best Halloween Horror Movies (That Aren’t ‘Halloween’)

sam in Trick r Treat

It’s not that Halloween as a franchise is overrated (at least not to me) or boring to talk about during October. There’s just more horror movies out there set on or about Halloween. Expanding your palette every so often can be enriching, honestly. Especially when we’re not without options for holiday themed horror movies.

Horror that’s set on Halloween is like the perfect bowl of candy: it hits the spot in a way that only happens once a year. Plus, it’s meta as fuck to watch a horror movie that’s set during Halloween—on Halloween night. Again, you don’t need to turn to the obvious choice that is Halloween (1978). There are many options out there that’ll satisfy you. Please bear in mind (I’ll keep saying this), there are many movies I haven’t seen. So if certain ones don’t end up on this list, it’s nothing personal.

Supernatural horror

possessed angela in Night of the Demons
(International Film Marketing)

Dealing with supernatural forces or events on Halloween is pure irony. Though who cares? Sometimes we just need to watch some horror about people getting possessed. Or maybe a demon is making their lives a living hell. Either way, supernatural horror can range in tone just like any other subgenre. And maybe you want a bit of supernatural flavor this Halloween. Maybe a little campiness like Night of the Demons (1988) will satisfy you. If not then the following may do the trick!

  • Pet Sematary (1989)
  • Ginger Snaps (2000)
  • Sinister (2012)
  • Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019)
  • Pet Sematary (2019)


dawn posing with art the clown
(Dread Central Presents and Epic Pictures Group)

Again, not a single Halloween film will end up on this list. Not even the Rob Zombie remakes! Meaning we must rely on other slasher films to fill the space for the list. Believe me, there are some decent slashers set on or about Halloween as a season. And they are all fun one way or another. A movie like All Hallows’ Eve (2013) might work for you. Otherwise, here are some slashy fun times movies.

  • Terrifier (2017)
  • Hell Fest (2018)
  • Haunt (2019)

Miscellaneous movies

evil clowns in Hell House LLC
(Fbi Films)

This is my candy bowl to you because this section is a mash up of subgenres. Rather than continue to separate everything, I’m giving you the rest of my recommendations below. From found footage to psychological thrillers, we’ve got it all below for your viewing pleasure!

  • Hocus Pocus (1993)
  • May (2002)
  • Trick r’ Treat (2007)
  • The Houses October Built (2014)
  • The Guest (2014)
  • Hell House LLC Trilogy (2015-2019)

(featured image: Warner Bros.)

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Vanessa Maki (she/her) is a queer Blerd and contributing writer for The Mary Sue. She first started writing for digital magazines in 2018 and her articles have appeared in Pink Advocate (defunct), The Gay Gaze (defunct), Dread Central and more. She primarily writes about movies, TV, and anime. Efforts to make her stop loving complex/villainous characters or horror as a genre will be futile.