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Top 10 Horror Movies That Take Place On Halloween!

If history has taught us anything, it’s that HALLOWEEN is the best damn holiday in which to set a horror film. John Carpenter’s 1978 classic set that bar higher than any other, turning a feebly budgeted shoe-stringer into a massive box-office colossus, subsequently spawning seven chapters, two retreads, and now a 40-year continuation story. But you know what? Michael Myers has become so synonymous with HALLOWEEN horror flicks, rightly so, that it’s very easy to overlook the countless other horror flicks that happen to take place on Halloween. On Halloween, not near or around, as this would extend to include another towering trough of titles. No need to fret or sweat though yo, we’ve got you covered.

Aside from the obvious inclusion of HALLOWEEN and its overt October 31st timelines (the original and HALLOWEEN III: SEASON OF THE WITCH in particular), we’re fixing to dose y’all with a double-fistful of kickass horror films that, at least in some major way, take place on Halloween night. Off bat, we apologize for the omissions, and salute in honorable mention to such classic 80s flicks as SILVER BULLET, PET SEMATARY TWO, HOUSE II: THE SECOND STORY, to newer Halloween-time fare like HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES, THE HOUSES OCTOBER BUILT, THE FUNHOUSE MASSACRE, et al. Without further adieu, enjoy our Top 10 Horror Movies Set On Halloween below!

#10. TALES OF HALLOWEEN (2015) 

In the ominous omnibus TALES OF HALLOWEEN, the whole of which is greater than the sum of its parts, Halloween is feted so heartedly and so diversely, that we decided to get this f*cked up party started by giving this newer release some unabashed love. 10 tales in all, roughly 3-5 minutes apiece, which range from monstrous face-eating pumpkins, sadistic children, and nagging neighbors in dueling front-lawn haunts to sick slasher send-ups, suburban street gangs, killer clowns, and much more. Neil Marshall, Lucky McKee, Darren Lynn Bousman, Mike Mendez and Paul Solet are just half of the directorial names involved, with two of its standout tales coming via John Skipp, Andrew Kasch and Adam Gierasch. This is the perfect jump-off point to establish the Halloween spirit moving forward!

#9. FLESHEATER (1988) 

To be clear, there are much better movies that feature far less HALLOWEEN action than FLESHEATER, which brilliantly takes place around a haunted hayride on Halloween day. But because director Bill Hinzman so deftly capitalized on the holiday – the pumpkin patches, fog machines, creepy costumes and hayride itself – we thought it’d be a proper inclusion for those who’ve not seen the film before. Straight up, this good old Halloween zombie fun! The plot? After a farmer takes a gang of teens into the secluded woods for the haunted hayride, he stumbles on a tree trunk hiding a box with accursed seal. The farmer stupidly breaches the seal, is devoured by Flesheater, turned into a zombie, then joins Flesheater in fiendishly gouging the unsuspecting teens on at a time.

#8. MAY (2002)

Lucky McKee’s wickedly wondrous indie horror curio MAY is among the weirdest, most off-kilter character studies ever committed to celluloid. So the fact that its deadly denouement happens to go down during Halloween only reinforces what a trippy treat this film remains to be. Angela Bettis stars as the troubled titular May, an awkward young woman so lonely she resorts to killing people, hack them to pieces, and use their assorted gory body parts to create a patchwork companion…the perfect friend. The film bubbles to a blistering boil on Halloween night, when May dons a homemade costume resembling her friend and proceeds to slit throats, stab chests, using the final pieces of the victims’ body parts to finalize the puzzle that is Amy (anagram of May), Maynkenstein’s Monster!

#7. GINGER SNAPS (2000)

While much of the splendid allegorical horror yarn GINGER SNAPS does not take place on Halloween, the crucial climax of the movie undoubtedly does, and given the overall quality of the flick, we couldn’t conscionably omit it from the spiked punch. Remember, on Halloween, Brigitte is attacked by Jason, who has already been infected by her vicious vampiress sister, Ginger (Katharine Isabelle). Later that day, Brigitte learns Ginger has gorily felled both her guidance counselor and the witless school janitor. All of these revelations lead to a shocking showdown between the siblings in their childhood bedroom on Halloween night, culminating in a heartbreaking and bone-clattering finale.

#6. LADY IN WHITE (1988) 

How many of you have even heard of LADY IN WHITE? Well, can’t blame you if not, as the film lost $3 million upon its paltry release in 1988. Still, this is very worthy Halloween-set horror flick you should all check out. Starring young Lukas Haas as a young boy, who, as the film opens, recounts a psychically scarring event that took place as a boy on Halloween in 1962. The entire film then serves as a fulcrum around said event, and the menacing mythos of Lady in White, a serial child murderer, who begins to form a tenuous bond with the little boy after continuing to haunt him. The movie is chock full of atmospheric dread, a brooding tone and deeply disturbing child endangerment.

#5. THE LITTLE GIRL WHO LIVES DOWN THE LANE (1971)

Hell yeah, let’s hear it for a high-quality horror flick that used October 31st as a major plot-point years BEFORE Carpenter did it with HALLOWEEN. Throw in the precocious Jodie Foster and Martin Sheen and you can see why THE LITTLE GIRL WHO LIVES DOWN THE LANE has cracked the Top 5. Go out and peep this minor classic if you haven’t already, as it has some authentic thrills and chills that transcend the horror genre. The plot starts on Halloween night, which happens to be Foster’s character’s 13th birthday. When a nosey neighbor swings by in an attempt to find her glasses in the cellar, she witnesses something horrifying and ends up dead. Foster must hide the body, which leads to a series of mysteriously macabre events you will not see coming. Great piece of 70s obscura!

#4. THE GUEST (2014) 

Man oh man, THE GUEST sure made an evil impression, didn’t he?! In a story that sets Halloween as a spooky, atmospheric backdrop to the murderous milieu of “David Collin” (Dan Stevens), a so-called fellow soldier of fallen comrade Caleb Peterson. When David shows up to Caleb’s house vowing to protect the family in honor of his fallen friend, mysterious murders begin plaguing the idyllic suburban town. We slowly learns ol’ Davey boy has far more sinister shenanigans up his sleeve, as he’s systematically orchestrating the warlike wounds that ultimately take the lives of many. What I love here is how Halloween is not the focus of the story at all, but a pitch-perfect environment in which to set a tale of terrifying menace.

#3. DARK NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW (1981) 

Yup, believe it or not, a TV movie has cracked its way onto the podium with the awarded bronze medal. Truly, if you take away nothing from this her litany, please go find and watch DARK NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW, a movie that not only uses the holiday to great effect, but boasts genuine hair-raising chills along the way. The story finds a mentally impaired man wrongly accused of killing a little girl whom he actually saved from a dog attack. After being shot dead, the sick f*cker comes back to life, dons a freaky-ass scarecrow outfit, and proceeds to exact revenge on those who did him wrong. This is a really great, unheralded halcyon-day Halloween-time horror gem that everyone ought to treat themselves to come this October 31st.

#2. TRICK R TREAT (2007) 

Before he did similar with Christmas in KRAMPUS, Michael Dougherty gifted us with not only one of the best horror anthologies in recent memory, but definitely one the most vivid and visceral depictions of HALLOWEEN in TRICK R’ TREAT. Five distinct but intrinsically linked tales – all set on the same HALLOWEEN night – include a high-school principal moonlighting as a serial murderer, a group of teens whose cruel prank comes back to bit them, a virgin who may have just met the guy of her dreams, a woman competing with her Halloween-loving husband, and crusty old codger who squares off with a demonic trick-or-treater. Very few films capture the vibes, essence and ambience of Halloween in the way Dougherty does.

#1. NIGHT OF THE DEMONS (1988) 

NIGHT OF THE DEMONS has everything you’re looking for in a harrowing Halloween-time horror haunt. Directed by Kevin Tenney, the promising premise of ten teenagers throwing a booze-and-sex addled party in a funeral parlor on Halloween night does not disappoint, and so palpably revels in the festive decorations and spooky festoonery the holiday inherently displays, and which adds instant atmospheric production value, that very few Halloween-set horror flicks eclipse it. When an evil force awakens and possesses Angela (Amelia Kinkade), the whole party turns into a nasty and nightmarish hunting ground full of fog, flickering lights, brutal bloodshed, gory guts, and Linnea Quigley’s sexy pink panties!

Tags: Hollywood

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