Some scary and not so scary things to watch on Halloween

Written By Jake Dabkowski and Dan Russo

With Halloween fast approaching, we’ve prepared a list of scary movies worth watching, as well as some less scary, spooky alternatives. The scary ones were chosen by Dan Russo, and the spooky ones were chosen by Jake Dabkowski, with their roles reversing for two bonus entries at the end.

Scary: The VVitch

Robert Eggers’ debut feature is one of the coolest period pieces I have ever seen. This movie features meticulous attention to detail and reverence for the folklore of old, while being a movie that keeps your mind racing. I’m talking all-natural candlelit lighting and dialogue so accurate to the 1600s that you have no choice but to put the subtitles on.

Every single actor puts in a performance of a lifetime, and you need that with dialogue so antiquated. The movie features a fledgling Anya Taylor-Joy, who thought she would never work again after this film. Watch this one if you are interested in the occult or have seen Eggers’ other films The Lighthouse and the Northman. This one is my personal favorite of his. The film is currently streaming on HBO Max.


Spooky: Kiki’s Delivery Service

Hayao Miyazaki’s Kiki’s Delivery Service is no doubt one of the greatest movies ever made. The film follows Kiki, a young witch who leaves her home behind to move to a big city. Once in the city she starts a flying delivery service, delivering packages on her broomstick.

The film deals with some pretty nuanced themes, notably depression and burnout, but Miyazaki delivers these themes in an inspiring and hopeful way. Watching this film will get you in the spooky spirit, but will also cure your depression. The film, as well as the entirety of the Studio Ghibli filmography, is available on HBO Max.


Scary: 28 Days Later

28 Days Later feels like an apocalyptic log. This movie can be credited with starting the zombie revival of the late 2000s and early 2010s. A movie about making do with what you have, this movie achieves a level of voyeuristic realism like few others. The audio peaks and breaks, and blood splatters the lens of the 2002 camcorder this movie was filmed with.

28 Days Later captures humanity and the best people can be, as well as the worst that people can be. Sometimes in zombie media, the real monsters are the humans. 28 Days Later is a fever pitched exploration of that idea and is 100% worth your time. Get a low quality DVD of this movie for proper immersion and prepare to have A.M. 180 by Grandaddy stuck in your head for months. The film is currently streaming on HBO Max. 


Spooky: Adventure Time’s “Slumber Party Panic” and “From Bad to Worse”

While Adventure Time never had a propper Halloween special (the custom of All Hallow’s Eve appear to have died out by the time of the land of Ooo), the show would occasionally do a spooky episode around October. In fact, the very first episode of the show “Slumber Party Panic” featured a near zombie apocalypse, an apocalypse that almost happened again during season three’s “From Bad to Worse.”

These episodes are great if you’re looking for some light, spooky fun to put on. They (just like the rest of the show) are perfect for if you have had a long day and are just looking to relax, or if you are looking for something chill to put on in the background. These episodes, as well as the rest of the show, are streaming on HBO Max and Hulu.


Scary: The Blob (1988)

There’s no word to describe this movie other than “insane.” This remake does the original film justice, while using the improved technology and 1980s social climate for a more exciting plot. There’s a lot of fun interplay between this film and the old version as they differ quite a bit from one another. This makes watching both in the same night a very fun affair.

 If the special effects were any better it’d be a John Carpenter flick. If you love Stranger Things, this movie has a lot of that sci-fi conspiracy flavor that Stranger Things is good at. Totally worth a watch if you’re in the mod for some 80s cheese and have seen all of the heavy hitters. The film is available for rent on Video On Demand services.


Spooky: Goosebump’s “Monster Blood” and “More Monster Blood”

R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps books have no doubt become literary classics that rival Moby Dick, Shakespeare, and the Bible. When Canadian television station YTV adapted the books to a live action series, they were fighting an uphill battle. While they masterfully adapted “Monster Blood” from the book Monster Blood, they opted to write an original story “More Monster Blood” as the follow up.

Both episodes are incredibly cheesy and fun-filled, as well as filled with terrible effects. These effects are so bad that it makes the rest of the show fun. The titular monster blood devours anything in it’s path, growing its gelatinous size throughout both episodes. “More Monster Blood” is somewhat controversial, as the episode features the monster blood taking over a commercial airplane and the passengers have to band together to stop it. Because of the setting, the episode was temporarily banned from the airwaves in the early 2000s. Now the episode, as well as the rest of Goosebumps, is streaming on Netflix. 


Bonus Scary: House (1977)

Japanese commercial director Nobuhiko Obayashi’s House is one of the craziest movies I have ever seen in my entire life. To describe it here would be very difficult, but it is a masterpiece. I give the film five bags of popcorn out of five, as well as a bonus two sodas. The film is currently streaming on HBO Max.


Bonus Spooky: The Blob (1958)

This movie opens with a Saturday morning cartoon style theme song. Steve McQueen makes his acting debut as a high school student and looks like he’s 40 years old. Half of the plot is completely unrelated to the Blob. When the titular Blob finally shows up, it looks like some strawberry jelly someone spilled on the floor. This movie scared my dad for a week after he saw it. This is the B movie of all movies, and I love it so much. The film is currently streaming on HBO Max.