All scary movies are fair game during spooky season, but there’s just something about spending Halloween watching a film that takes place on the actual holiday that hits differently. It feels like you can better immerse yourself in the story when you know your calendar is turned to the same page as that of the characters you’re watching. John Carpenter’s Halloween is an obvious choice, and Amazon Prime’s new movie Totally Killer is pretty popular this year; but these are certainly not the only horror movies whose events occur on October 31st. Here are 6 scary movies that take place on Halloween!
1. Scream VI (2023)
Tara attends a Halloween party early on in the movie, but it’s the background characters who are dressed up for the holiday that really contribute to the horror. Ghostface remains a popular Halloween costume, which means half the commuters on the New York City subway are dressed as him. This makes it dangerously easy for the real killer to blend in with the crowd, and gives us what I believe is one of the most unnerving scenes in the franchise. Scream VI has a runtime of 2 hours 2 minutes and is available for streaming on Paramount+.
2. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019)
Telling ghost stories with friends is a Halloween tradition as old as the holiday itself. But this activity doesn’t typically involve the monsters from those stories coming to life and hunting you down. The stories that the characters in this movie read are from a real horror story anthology, so maybe this Halloween you can read the full collection for yourself and see if any of the stories come true for you. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark has a runtime of 1 hour 48 minutes and is available for streaming on Peacock, Tubi, Hulu, and Prime Video.
3. Hell Fest (2018)
A horror-themed pop-up carnival is a perfect destination for Halloween night. However, when the same carnival was previously the site of a grisly murder that went unnoticed because everyone just thought it was part of the festival and assumed both murderer and victim were actors, perhaps guests should be a little more wary. It’s been a few years since I’ve gone to Six Flags Great Adventure’s Fright Fest, but after watching this movie, I see this event in a whole new light. Hell Fest has a runtime of 1 hour 30 minutes and is available for streaming on Peacock and PLEX.
4. House of 1000 Corpses (2003)
What are some of your family’s Halloween traditions? Trick-or-treating? Carving pumpkins? Watching scary movies? What about forcing lost teenagers to dress up in rabbit costumes before brutally murdering them? Yeah, me neither, but who am I to yuck the Firefly Family’s yum? House of 1000 Corpses recently made a brief return to theaters for its 30th anniversary as part of Fathom Fright Fest, but in case you missed it, the movie is available for streaming on Tubi and Pluto TV. It has a runtime of 1 hour 29 minutes.
5. Ginger Snaps (2000)
Anyone with a uterus knows that menstruation is far more brutal than even the scariest of horror movies. Now add lycanthropy to the mix and you’re guaranteed one bloody Halloween! On the bright side, it doesn’t get much cooler than having a real live werewolf at a Halloween party. There are plenty of options for watching this film: it is available for streaming on Pluto TV, Tubi, Peacock, Sling TV, The Roku Channel, Redbox, Vudu, Crackle, Prime Video, and PLEX, most of which are free and require no subscription! Ginger Snaps has a runtime of 1 hour 48 minutes.
6. The Exorcist (1973)
Hailed as one of the scariest movies of all time (especially when it was released in the 70s), many people don’t realize that part of The Exorcist takes place on Halloween. Blink and you’ll miss it, but Chris MacNeil walks past a group of eager trick-or-treaters early in the movie, which tells us that Regan became possessed right around Halloween time. This tidbit makes her possession all the more haunting. The 50th anniversary edition of The Exorcist returned to theaters for two days earlier this month as part of Fathom Fright Fest, but in case you missed it, the original version is available for streaming on Max. It has a runtime of 2 hours 2 minutes.