To celebrate the news of exciting Halloween themed indie horror Honeyspider, we’ve selected some of our favourite horror movies set around Halloween.
10. Halloween III: Season of the Witch
All of the Halloween movies are set at Halloween, but the third one deserves a mention, because it isn’t about Michael Myers killing babysitters. Instead, it’s about the mysterious Silver Shamrock company, which appears to be manufacturing evil masks. At the time, it didn’t go down well with audiences expecting a slasher, but it’s acquired a cult following since.
9. Hocus Pocus
No, it’s not a horror movie but it is a lot of fun and pretty scary as a kid. Watching the witches adjust to modern life is entertaining, particularly when they repeatedly fail to understand Halloween costumes – and it’s so campy and over the top that it’s great Halloween fun for the whole family.
8. Donnie Darko
Donnie Darko remains one of the most interesting indies of the early 00s; fizzing with ideas, perfectly cast, and a wonderful air of melancholy to go with its dark humour and existential musing. The crucial events of the film all take place on Halloween night, as Donnie figures out why the cellar door is important and finally meets Frank properly.
May is a twisted, affecting tale of a lonely young woman. Ostracised and misunderstood throughout the film as she struggles to connect with Jeremy Sisto, who claims to “like weird” bur really doesn’t, May finally sets out to create the perfect friend on Halloween night. For all the dark comedy and visceral shocks, May is emotional and deeply sad and perhaps one of the best horrors of the 00s.
6. Satan’s Little Helper
Gleefully dark humor marks this story of a delusional boy who befriends a serial killer on Halloween, thinking he’s a character from a video game. The killer is dressed as Satan, and the boy gladly signs on as his “helper,” aiding in what he thinks are fake deaths but which turn out to be quite real.
5. Idle Hands
When a lazy pothead finds his under-used left hand has become possessed by the devil, he cuts it off. Cue Addams Family-style chaos as the severed hand goes on a killing spree. Idle Hands is more of a comedy than a horror movie, but it has some great gory moments, including the scene where The Offspring are murdered at the local high school’s Halloween party, and there are plenty of great costumes on show.
4. Night of the Demons
Ridiculous caricatures, lame dialogue and cheesy acting only enhance the campy fun of this 80s gorefest. A group of teens decide to throw a Halloween party at an old haunted house (of course!).Unsurprisingly a demon from Hell possesses a pair of partygoers, turning them into hideous, fanged demons. Like a Halloween haunted house, Night of the Demons is certainly not an intelligent film, but it is a very good fun one.
3. Ginger Snaps
A pair of brooding teen sisters with an unhealthy bond and a hilariously morbid fascination with death sneak out one night and are attacked by a werewolf. Ginger is bitten and begins to turn but is able to attend a Halloween party partially turned (including a tail), because everyone thinks she’s in costume. The film cleverly parallels Ginger’s transformation to going through puberty, and has been one of the more original werewolf offerings in recent years.
Perhaps controversially, we’re putting Halloween at the number two spot. But it’s still one of the greatest horror movies ever made. The faceless menace of Michael Myers, the fragile strength of Laurie Strode, the chilling soundtrack and those unmistakable long takes would make Halloween one of the defining films of the horror genre. Often imitated but never bettered, it’s stood the test of time and remains a chilling and hypnotic masterpiece.
1. Trick R Treat
While I’m not sure it’s a better film than Halloween, Trick R Treat is the best Halloween atmosphere. It’s brimming with the seasonal spirit: the wicked are punished, false faces are revealed, and long-buried secrets come bubbling to the surface. The film is perfectly cast, with Dylan Baker as a murderous principal, Brian Cox as a bitter recluse and Anna Paquin as an innocent teen with a dark secret, while pumpkin-head-ed Halloween rule-keeper Sam is a fantastic creation.