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Let’s Talk About the 6* Best Horror Musicals Out There!

*Plus a few bonuses!

Audrey 2 in little shop of horrors

Spooky season is my favorite. Yes, it’s because it’s Scorpio season, and yes, it’s because I was born during what I still consider the spooky times, but it’s also because there is something so fun about the brilliance of the frights and haunts that we often find during Halloween times.

My favorite comes in the form of horror musicals. Not often do we see a fright-filled show, but those we do have are classics in the world of musicals, so let’s take a look at what shows you can turn on to get your spooks going!

This list includes only musicals that have been made into movies or were filmed to begin with, because you can’t go out and see a staged musical right now. Sorry! (If you want recommendations for spooky stage shows, I’ll gladly make a list, but we’re all stuck inside so watch these spooky movie musicals for now!)

1. Little Shop of Horrors 

rick moranis in little shop of horrors

(Warner Bros.)

Seymour Krelborn was just a man who worked at Mushnik’s Flower Shop when he suddenly was the proud owner of a strange and mysterious plant: Audrey II. As the show goes on, Seymour realizes that Audrey II’s lust for blood is too much for him to handle, and he has to grapple with the idea of getting his dreams handed to him because of Audrey II’s promises or try to escape this life and live “somewhere that’s green” with his love, the original Audrey.

2. Repo the Genetic Opera

Repo the Genetic Opera

(Lionsgate)

The twisted world obsessed with genetically modifying your appearance comes to life in Repo! The Genetic Opera. Yes, the Graverobber is hot, and yes, Giles from Buffy is there as a sad dad, but it’s also a dark cult musical that is so strange that you can’t help but want to watch it again and again to try to understand why this show is so appealing. (I do often find myself just singing the below song to myself, so maybe that’s why?)

3. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Sweeney Todd

(Warner Bros.)

Sweeney Todd was betrayed and sent away from his family and into imprisonment just so Judge Turpin could could end up with Todd’s wife, Lucy. Determined to have his vengeance against Turpin, Todd returns to a different London and has to find his way in this darker world by murdering those who come to his barbershop so that Mrs. Lovett can use their … well … meat.

This may be my favorite Stephen Sondheim show, and while the Tim Burton movie is … not great, there are other filmed versions out there to watch, as well, because Sweeney Todd has been done time and time again.

4. Phantom of the Opera 

Phantom of the Opera

(Warner Bros.)

Okay look, this is not my favorite show. This is not a show I enjoy. But it is a show that has the spooky vibes and does, sadly, have some really fun songs to sing along to—like “The Point of No Return,” which is … probably the hottest the Phantom is in the entire show. But the Phantom of the Opera is based on the story of a phantom living in the underground of the Paris opera house and haunting a young, up and coming singer named Christine Daaé.

But Christine, who is in love with Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny, is captivated by the Phantom because she believes that he is a connection to her father in some way.

5. The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Rocky Horror Picture Show

(20th Century Fox)

Dr. Frank-N-Furter brought us all into the world of his crew from the planet Transylvania. On the night of his great creation, Brad and Janet find themselves stuck in the woods and brought into this strange new world when all they were trying to do was use the phone to call someone to help them. It is truly the defining film of the “cult classic” label (in my opinion) and one of the most interesting cultural phenomenons to look into.

6. The Nightmare Before Christmas

The Nightmare Before Christmas

(Touchstone Pictures)

Jack may be the Pumpkin King and trying to understand Christmas, but this IS the season when we can finally start to watch The Nightmare Before Christmas over and over again. Jack wants something more than his typical Halloween town life, and he discovers all the different holiday towns and stumbles into Christmas town. There, he decides that he wants to be Santa and must find a way to bring his own version of Christmas to life. And guess what? It’s scary!

What is your favorite horror-esque musical? Let us know in the comments below!

*Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog could be considered as well, but it isn’t HORROR in my opinion, so consider accordingly.

**Heathers, American Psycho the Musical, and Carrie are all great shows that do not have filmed versions, but I highly suggest listening to their cast recordings for all your frightful needs.

(image: Warner Bros.)

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Rachel is an I, Tonya stan who used to have a poster of Frank Sinatra on her wall as a kid. She loves superheroes, weird musicals, and wants Robert Downey Jr. to release a new album. She is Leslie Knope and she's okay with that. At least she gets to live in New York City though!