Halloween Movies to Watch This October
As autumn sets in and Halloween approaches, it’s the season for all things eerie. Beyond the costumes and candies, Halloween movies bring a special kind of thrill to the festivities. In this article, we’ll take you on a journey around the world to explore the variety of chilling tales inspired by this holiday. We’ll discover how different countries and cultures interpret the spooky season through their films, proving that Halloween’s spirit transcends borders. Whether you are looking for something to watch to help you improve your language skills, or you’re just a fan of horror, we have some treats for you. So, get your popcorn ready, dim the lights, and join us as we embark on a global cinematic adventure in search of the spookiest Halloween stories.
Funny Halloween Movies
One Cut of the Dead (2017, dir. Shin’ichirō Ueda)
“One Cut of the Dead” is a Japanese zombie comedy film directed by Shinichiro Ueda. Released in 2017, the film quickly gained notoriety for its unique take on the zombie genre. The story follows a low-budget film crew attempting to shoot a zombie movie in an abandoned, reportedly haunted building. But, as the film unfolds, the lines between reality and fiction become blurred in a surprising and hilarious manner.
What sets “One Cut of the Dead” apart is its clever use of single takes, humour, and a heart-warming behind-the-scenes story. This indie gem has become a cult favourite for its innovation and unexpected twists. The film offers a fresh perspective on the zombie horror genre.
Shaun of the Dead (2004, dir. Edgar Wright)
“Shaun of the Dead” is a British horror comedy film directed by Edgar Wright. The film cleverly combines elements of romantic comedy and zombie horror to create a unique and hilarious cinematic experience. The story follows Shaun, a slacker who finds himself in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. With his best friend Ed by his side, Shaun sets out on a mission to rescue his loved ones and seek refuge in his favorite local pub, the Winchester. The film’s witty humor, endearing characters, and satirical take on zombie tropes have made it a beloved cult classic.
“Shaun of the Dead” is not only a zombie movie. It is also a heartfelt exploration of friendship, personal growth, and the everyday struggles of life. Due to its phenomenal success in the UK, a number of phrases and lines from the film are frequently quoted nearly 20 years later.
Anna and the Apocalypse (2017, dir. John McPhail)
“Anna and the Apocalypse” could be considered a Halloween movie as much as a Christmas film. The film is a unique blend of several genres, including comedy, horror, and musical.
The story follows Anna Shepherd (played by Ella Hunt), a student living in a small Scottish town. She wakes up one day to find herself in the middle of a zombie apocalypse during the holiday season. Along with her friends and fellow students, Anna must fight off hordes of zombies while trying to reach safety and reunite with her father. The film incorporates musical elements. Occasionally, characters break into song and dance numbers as they navigate the zombie-infested town.
Scary Halloween Movies
Ringu (1998, dir. Hideo Nakata)
Directed by Hideo Nakata, “Ringu” is a Japanese horror film that spawned a wave of J-horror. Introduced the world to the creepy, long-haired ghost girl, Sadako. The story revolves around a cursed videotape that, once watched, results in the viewer receiving a phone call with a sinister message: they have seven days left to live. The film is renowned for its eerie atmosphere, slow-building tension, and unforgettable imagery. The success of this original led to an American remake, The Ring, which has since seen multiple sequels.
The Orphanage (2007, dir. J.A .Bayona)
Directed by J.A. Bayona and produced by Guillermo del Toro, “The Orphanage” is a Spanish horror film. It combines psychological horror with supernatural elements. It follows a woman who returns to the now-abandoned orphanage where she was raised, along with her husband and adopted son. Strange events and a search for the truth about her past lead to a spine-tingling and emotional journey..
Upon its premiere at Cannes Film Festival, The Orphanage received huge acclaim. So much so that the audience gave it a 10-minute standing ovation.
A Tale of Two Sisters (2007, dir. Kim Jee-woon)
Directed by Kim Jee-woon, “A Tale of Two Sisters” is a South Korean horror film that packs an unsettling punch. It is best known for its intricate storytelling and chilling atmosphere. The film tells the story of two sisters who return home after spending time in a mental institution. Upon their return they encounter disturbing and supernatural occurrences within their family home. The movie is a psychological horror masterpiece, known for its twists and intense psychological horror elements.
Top Halloween Movies on Netflix
Under the Shadow (2016, dir. Babak Anvari)
“Under the Shadow” is set in Tehran during the 1980s, in the midst of the Iran-Iraq War. The story revolves around Shideh (played by Narges Rashidi), a mother and former medical student. As her husband is drafted into the war, Shideh must care for their young daughter, Dorsa, in their apartment in a war-torn and haunted building.
Strange and terrifying occurrences begin to happen in their apartment, and Shideh becomes convinced that an evil supernatural force, known as a Djinn, is targeting her and her daughter. The film explores themes of motherhood, the psychological toll of war, and the claustrophobic dread of life in a war zone.
Saw (2004, dir. James Wan)
“Saw” is the first installment in the long-running Saw franchise. The film is known for its gritty, low-budget aesthetic and its focus on psychological horror and brutal, inventive traps.
The story centers around two men, Adam Stanheight (played by Leigh Whannell) and Dr. Lawrence Gordon (played by Cary Elwes). The film starts as they wake up in a grimy, dilapidated bathroom. They are chained at opposite ends of the room and soon discover that they are the captives of a sadistic serial killer known as Jigsaw. Jigsaw’s fame comes from his placing of his victims in elaborate, deadly traps. Jigsaw then offers them a chance at survival, but only by forcing them to make agonizing choices.
“Saw” is notorious for its intense and graphic scenes of gore and torture, as well as its iconic puppet mascot. The film’s success led to numerous sequels and cemented its status as a prominent franchise in the horror genre.
#Alive (2020, dir. Il Cho)
This South Korean zombie flick adds something new to the genre. #Alive‘s use of social media and modern technology within the story brings a new sense of realism to the aged zombie genre.
The story follows the main character, Joon-woo (played by Yoo Ah-in). A young man who finds himself trapped in his apartment in Seoul as a mysterious virus outbreak turns people into flesh-eating zombies. He’s cut off from the outside world with no means of communication except for the internet and social media. As he documents his survival on social media, he also connects with a fellow survivor, Yoo-bin (played by Park Shin-hye), in a nearby apartment building.
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Top Halloween Movies on Disney+
28 Weeks Later (2007, dir. Juan Carlos Fresnadillo)
“28 Weeks Later” is a 2007 British-American horror film and serves as the sequel to the 2002 film “28 Days Later.” The movie is set in a post-apocalyptic London which has been ravaged by the Rage virus. This virus turns infected individuals into violent, zombie-like, bloodthirsty killers. After a military-led effort to repopulate and secure the city, chaos reignites when the virus unexpectedly resurfaces. Caught in the mayhem, 4 survivors fight their way across London in an attempt to survive. The film delves into themes of fear, containment, and the collapse of society in the face of an uncontrollable pandemic
Mirrors (2008, dir. Alexandra Aja)
“Mirrors” is a 2008 American supernatural horror film directed by Alexandre Aja, starring Kiefer Sutherland. The story revolves around a former NYPD officer, Ben Carson, who takes a job as a night security guard in a burned-down, eerie department store. As he tries to uncover the mysteries behind the strange occurrences in the building, he discovers that malevolent supernatural forces manifest through mirrors.
“Mirrors” offers a blend of psychological and supernatural horror, with a focus on the distorted reflections that haunt its characters. “Mirrors” is a loose remake of the 2003 Korean horror “Into the Mirror”.
Dark Water (2005, Walter Salles)
“Dark Water” is a 2005 American supernatural horror film directed by Walter Salles and starring Jennifer Connelly. The film is a remake of the 2002 Japanese film of the same name. It tells the story of Dahlia, a separated mother who moves with her daughter to a rundown apartment in New York City. They soon begin to experience mysterious and unsettling occurrences. Dahlia becomes convinced something inhuman is with them in their building. Unexplained water leaks and a water-stained children’s backpack lead her to think something malevolent resides in the water system.
Top Halloween Films on Hulu
The Babadook (2014, dir. Jennifer Kent)
“The Babadook” is a 2014 Australian-Canadian psychological horror film directed by Jennifer Kent. The movie revolves around Amelia Vanek, a grieving widow struggling to raise her young son, Samuel. However, Samuel is plagued by fear and obsessed with monsters. After a mysterious children’s book titled “Mister Babadook” appears in their home, the story takes a sinister turn. The book describes a menacing creature, the Babadook, that becomes increasingly real as the film progresses. This realism is accentuated as Amelia grapples with her own unresolved grief and Samuel’s escalating fears.
The film is a masterful exploration of the psychological toll of grief, the bonds between a mother and child, and the blurred lines between reality and imagination. “The Babadook” is praised for its atmospheric tension and compelling performances, particularly from Essie Davis as Amelia, making it a standout in contemporary horror cinema.
Titane (2021, dir. Julia Ducournau)
“Titane” is a 2021 French-Belgian psychological body horror film directed by Julia Ducournau. The film tells the unsettling story of Alexia, a young woman who has a deep, lifelong connection with automobiles due to a childhood car accident. After a series of bizarre events and encounters, she undergoes a radical transformation. She both physically and mentally, takes on the identity of a missing boy.
The film explores themes of identity, sexuality, and the collision between the human body and machine. “Titane” is known for its shocking and graphic imagery, unconventional narrative, and intense performances, particularly from lead actress Agathe Rousselle. It won the prestigious Palme d’Or at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, cementing its reputation as a thought-provoking and unconventional work of art in the horror genre.
Only Lovers Left Alive (2013, dir. Jim Jarmusch)
“Only Lovers Left Alive” is a 2013 British-German vampire drama film directed by Jim Jarmusch. The film follows the eternal and world-weary vampire lovers, Adam and Eve, played by Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton, respectively. They are cultured and artistic beings who have survived for centuries but are becoming increasingly disillusioned with the modern world. Living in different parts of the world, they reunite in Detroit and embark on a journey through the nocturnal cityscape.
The film is a unique take on the vampire genre, exploring themes of art and immortality. All the while looking at enduring love, set against a backdrop of a beautifully curated soundtrack. “Only Lovers Left Alive” is renowned for its poetic and atmospheric storytelling, making it a distinctive and intellectually engaging entry in the vampire genre.
Top Halloween Movies to Watch
Whether you are a fan of zombies, vampires, or just general spookiness, there are plenty of Halloween movies to watch this year. What’s more, a large number of the top Halloween movies in the world can actually help you learn a language while you watch! And it isn’t just films that this can apply to. You can watch some of the greatest TV series from Korea and Japan, as well as Portuguese, French, and Spanish-speaking countries and other countries thanks to streaming services. Put your subtitles on for the first watch and then rewatch without and see how much dialogue you can pick up and understand alongside a language course with Cactus.
Whether you are a fan of zombies, vampires, or just general spookiness, there are plenty of Halloween movies to watch. What’s more, a large number of the top Halloween movies in the world can actually help you learn a language while you watch! And it isn’t just films that this can apply to. You can watch some of the greatest TV series in Korean and Japanese, as well as Portuguese, French and Spanish. All from the comfort of your house. Put your subtitles on for the first watch and then re-watch without it. See how much dialogue you can pick up and understand alongside a language course with Cactus.
With 25 different languages to choose from to study with us, and a world of films and TV series to watch, lazy evenings on the sofa can help you reach fluency. So this Halloween, combine some spooky watching with a language course and get your language-learning journey off to a creepy start!