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Top 10 Halloween Films

Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike License. Image credit: Insomnia Cured Here

We’ve compiled a series of frightening films for you here at The Yorker, so if you don’t feel like donning your cape or searching for your witches hat we have the perfect film selection for a spooky night in. Sit back, attempt to relax, and let these Halloween horrors unfold!

Paranormal Activity

Regardless of your opinion on the film’s worth, it’s hard to deny that the rippling bed covers, the rattling pans and the creaking doors do not freak you out. Paranormal Activity provides the viewer with the feeling that ghastly ghouls can occupy anywhere, it doesn’t just have to be a old tumbled down house. It can be a very modern house, a house not unlike your own…

Lilli Hender

The Nightmare Before Christmas

This film for some reason is always associated with Christmas (maybe it’s the title…) rather than Halloween yet Jack is first and foremost the Pumpkin King and his residence is Halloween Town. It’s a terrible shame to waste such characters as Oogie Boogie and Doctor Finklestein at this frightening time of year. A stunning stop motion musical, perfect for All Hallows’ Eve and getting you in the mood for Christmas too.


Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike License. Image credit: Bruno Chatelin
Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike License. Image credit: Bruno Chatelin

Sweeney Todd

The Demon Barber of Fleet Street: Tired of your usual ‘psychopath slashes total strangers for no apparent reason’ Halloween fare? From the shadows of Victorian London emerges a wronged ex-convict out for revenge, and brandishing a sharp silver razor. Classic Tim Burton (and one of his best), brace yourself for a darkly humorous and remarkably well-sung adaptation of Sondheim’s musical complete with actual plot, plenty of gore and dubious meat pies.

Lydia Brecknell

The Blair Witch Project

A film that plays on everyone’s most powerful fear: having a runny nose and not having a tissue to smite that snotty beast. But seriously this film, if you let it, will crawl under your skin and then some by using the simple idea that the sense of being followed is really frightening.

Ben Sayer

Troll Hunter

A film that plays on everyone’s second most powerful fear: being a Christian in Norway. Troll Hunter manages to offer scares and laughs a plenty in this tale of what happens when university students start investigating a series of illegal bear killings by a strange poacher. A great one for any aspiring YSTV member who wants to go into investigative journalism.



A silent film born from German Expressionism, F. W. Murnau’s Nosferatu is Count Dracula’s first screen appearance (though he’s called Orlock for copyright reasons). Modern eyes might look on the acting styles as comically exaggerated, but there’s no denying the creeping power of Max Schreck’s performance. Angular, skeletal and eerie, the halting approach of his malevolent shadow will set even the most skeptical on edge.

Jasmine Sahu

Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike License. Image credit: Insomnia Cured Here
Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike License. Image credit: Insomnia Cured Here

Blue Velvet

David Lynch’s disturbing classic may not be a horror film but it provides a truly terrifying performance from Dennis Hopper. Within every scene lingers a dark sense of foreboding that will leave you wanting to bury your head in a pillow. Whenever I listen to Roy Orbison the memories return.

Stephen Thorne

The Exorcist

As terrifying today as it was when it first arrived in cinemas, The Exorcist remains the pinnacle of all films about possession. It also spawned countless myths and legends about production on the film which – for the purpose of this being a Halloween list – are all true!


Rosemary’s Baby

I’m glad I will never have to go through pregnancy, especially after seeing Mia Farrow’s maternity from hell (literally). Roman Polanski’s claustrophobic tale uses many horror staples but none more effectively than the sensation of being a prisoner in your own home. La la la la la la…



The fact that it’s Stephen King and is a homage to horror comic books makes this a perfect Halloween experience. From cockroaches crawling out of people’s eyes to voodoo dolls: Creepshow suits all of your Halloween needs.