Screams, Chills, and Thrills: The Top 10 Halloween Movies to Haunt Your Night


Cassidy Petroccione

Senior Staff Writer

As the leaves begin to fall and the air turns crisp, a spooky season descends upon us. So, what better way to embrace the spirit of Halloween than by indulging in some bone-chilling cinema? Whether you’re a horror fanatic or just looking for a good scare, The Bottom Line has compiled a list of the top 10 Halloween movies that are sure to send shivers down your spine and leave you with nightmares that linger long after the credits roll. From timeless classics to modern masterpieces, this list is your guide to the most thrilling, chilling, and enduring tales of horror ever captured on the big screen. 

10. “The Exorcist” (1973)
Where to watch: Max
This truly terrifying, supernatural film broke ground by creating a benchmark for modern horror movies. “The Exorcist” boasts powerful performances, specifically by Linda Blair as the possessed child Regan MacNeil, and Ellen Burstyn as her concerned mother. Their acting elevates the movie beyond mere scares, making the film dramatically eerie. With iconic scenes of head-spinning and projectile vomiting, this masterpiece will make you never want to play with an ouija board again. It may not seem scary because of its outdated effects and simple plot, but just watch and you will find out. 

9. “Creep” (2014)
Where to watch: Netflix
“Creep” is a found footage horror film of a videographer finding a job on Craigslist to record a dying man’s last words, which takes an unsettling turn into a disturbing roam. The film’s plot focuses on interactions between two main characters, Aaron and Josef. This character-driven film builds suspense with jump scares and uncomfortable scenes where viewers are placed in Aaron’s shoes. The movie’s low budget quality adds to its authenticity, making it feel like an intimate and raw experience. With a running time of just over an hour, “Creep” is an intense experience that keeps the audience gripping the edge of their seat from start to finish. 

8. “Disturbia” (2007)
Where to watch: Hulu
This hair-rising movie is a homage to Alfred Hitchcock’s classic film “Rear Window,” (1954) which is known as the greatest suspense thriller. If you appreciate thrill, adventure, and mysteries and are suspicious of your own neighbor, “Disturbia” is a must-see. The film follows teenage Kale Brecht, played by Shia LaBeouf, while under house arrest, entertaining himself by observing his neighbors in their everyday lives. Eventually, he becomes suspicious of his neighbor across the street, believing that he is murdering innocent women. If you enjoy suspenseful mysteries, then this one is worth watching. 

7. “The Shining” (1980)
Where to watch: Max
This classic is perfect if you’re searching for a disturbing psychological horror film. The film is based on Stephen King’s novel “The Shining,” offering viewers the chance to experience King’s story through Stanley Kubrick’s unique lens. He brings the movie to life by casting Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance, who delivers one of the most iconic and unsettling portrayals of a character. “The Shining” dives into a man who has gone manic and begins to terrorize his family. The storyline leaves the audience room for interpretation and discussion, making it a film that continues to provoke your imagination. It is an interesting, yet memorable film to watch when you want to be left in the dark. 

6. “The Conjuring” (2013)
Where to watch: Max, Hulu
Inspired by true events of real-life investigations by paranormal seekers Ed and Lorraine Warren, the film creates a chilling and suspenseful atmosphere through jump scares, body horror, and intense sounds to keep your palms sweating. “The Conjuring” takes place in a classic, isolated haunted house, adding to the film’s eerie and foreboding setting. Each scene explores spiritual and supernatural themes that dive into exorcism and demonic possession. These features make the ultimate thought-provoking horror experience for your spooky season.

5. “The Strangers” (2008)
Where to watch: Netflix
This is another film inspired by true events, but focused on the fear of home invasion. The movie’s setting is minimalistic, relying on a simple premise: an isolated cabin in the mountains. This simplistic location heightens the reaction of fear because it invites evils into a familiar, relatable setting. Especially when the silence is cut unexpectedly with the sound of a Merle Haggard song, which makes a chilling and uncomfortable experience for viewers. The movie plays on your primal fears and will ensure your doors are locked. 

4. “Scream” (1996)
Where to watch: Max, Hulu
An iconic “whodunnit” horror film that reinvented the slasher genre. The film is filled with jump scares and humorous dialogue that picks on the clichés of horror tropes. These fun tropes will distract you in one scene and then put you face-to-face with the iconic Ghostface. “Scream” is gory and will make your heart beat fast because you never know where the villain is going to jump out of next or who they are. This movie will make you second-guess picking up a call from an unknown number and whether your doors are locked, again. 

3. “Halloween II” (1981)
Where to watch: Peacock
Directed by Rick Rosenthal, “Halloween II” is the sequel to the iconic 1978 horror classic, “Halloween,” and picks up right where the first film left off. (Of course, I would recommend watching the first one before streaming this one.) This suspenseful film is set inside a hospital where the scream queen herself, Jamie Lee Curtis, is being followed by the famous villain, Michael Meyers. He is one of the most iconic and enduring characters in horror. “Halloween II” is a great film to kick off your Halloween marathons as it takes place during the spooky season. 

2. “Sinister” (2012)
Where to watch: Hulu
At number two, it is the most chilling and psychologically disturbing horror movie available. This film excels in creating negative space for the audience to imagine their fears in the dark and unsettling atmosphere. “Sinister” is about a father who found disturbing home footage of children partaking in a series of detailed gruesome murders from the past. It builds tension slowly and uses silence, eerie soundscapes, and uncomfortable visuals to make the blanket on your lap useful for your eyes. This film is one of the most frightening and disturbing two hours you will ever encounter. 

1. “Halloween” (1978)
Where to watch: Shudder
One of the best spooky season movies to watch is where the scream queen got her name. This movie created the world of Halloween movies because it is still talked about today. The film’s slow, deliberate pacing, along with John Carpenter’s haunting background music, creates an atmosphere of unease and fear. Because the boogie man, Michael Meyers, always walks slowly, this film makes you question what’s lurking behind you whenever you’re wandering alone at night. “Halloween” is the perfect movie to watch instead of going trick or treating. But if you’re a babysitter, make sure you lock your doors at night. 

So, grab your popcorn, dim the lights, and sit down for an adventure through these dark, eerie, and terrifying Halloween movies.