With a full moon on October 31 this year (yes, really!), Halloween is gearing up to be extra spooky! Of course, we aren’t going to wait until then to get into the spirit of the season—we fully plan to watch Halloween movies starting … now. As temperatures begin to drop, leaves swirl in the air and the chill of Halloween seeps in, there’s nothing better than bundling up in front of the fire with a mug of something delicious and plugging in to our all-time favorite movies. Pass the candy corn, because something wicked this way comes.

Hocus Pocus (1993)

Ok, we know this is on absolutely every Halloween movie list, but only because it’s THAT GOOD. A film that has truly become synonymous with the season, Hocus Pocus is a must-watch every October. Set in Salem, Massachusetts, the film stars Better Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy as three sister witches hell-bent on living forever. We love Halloween icons. This film has it all: magic, ghosts, a crumbling New England graveyard, veiled Macbeth references, and a talking cat. What more could you possibly want from a Halloween movie?

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

The entire Harry Potter movie series is Halloween binge-worthy, but if you don’t have time for a marathon and have to pick just one this Halloween, we’d go for HP and the Prisoner of Azkaban. This is arguably the creepiest movie of the series and is packed with all the tricks and treats the wizarding world has to offer. Who among us hasn’t felt chilled to the bone by creepy dementors, wanted to sample butterbeer, or dreamed of studying at Hogwarts? A shrieking shack, suspected killer on the loose, giant spiders, and of course, lots of magic round out this perfect Halloween fantasy.

Knives Out (2019)

The newest film on our list, Knives Out had to make the cut (pardon the pun). We love this tricked out Agatha Christie-inspired caper starring Ana de Armas, Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, and a whole host of eccentric suspects trying to solve a murder—or cover it up. This film is less spooky, more whodunit, but it centers around the death of a crime novelist in a classic Victorian house, so it definitely fits in our Halloween playbook.

Practical Magic (1998)

For some lighthearted witchy fun, Practical Magic is a go-to rom com. It stars Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock as two sisters who come from a long line of witches. Unfortunately, their family has a curse: any man who falls in love with them will drop dead. Watch as they try to overcome their curse while fighting against the stereotypes of their small town in this spellbinding movie.

Death Becomes Her (1992)

If Halloween movies aren’t normally your cup of tea, allow us to introduce you to this black comedy that’ll never get old … and neither will its leading ladies, Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn. After being promised eternal youth, the narcissistic pair drink a potion to reverse the aging process. After their untimely deaths, they realize the potion also grants immortality … and all the (hilarious) caveats that come with it!

Happy Death Day (2017)

This film is what happens when you take Groundhog Day and mix it with a slasher comedy. Follow in the footsteps of a sorority sister who gets murdered and then wakes up to relive the same day … only to die again. She finally realizes the only way to stop this endless loop is to figure out who her killer is before they kill her again. At times scary, at times hilarious, this film is perfect for Halloween, as is its sequel, Happy Death Day 2U (2019).

A Quiet Place (2018)

Last on our list is the scariest film we’ll mention, but it’s definitely worth a watch. Starring Emily Blunt and her real-life hubby, John Krasinski, this blockbuster takes place in a world where giant monsters roam the land and hunt by hearing. The only option for humans is to live in silence if they want to survive. Lots of harrowing interactions ensue, so our advice is don’t watch this one late at night!
Photo by Ganapathy Kumar