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Tis’ the season.
It’s that time of year again. Pumpkin spice lattes have hit menus, spooky make up tutorials are once again going viral, and yes, we’re all still arguing about what the best halloween films of all time are.
While the possibilities for celebrating the big day are endless – from carving pumpkins, to lighting up one of the best luxury candles for optimum cosiness – nothing quite beats a night snuggled down with some of the best Halloween films to have ever graced our screens – from cult classics, to all-out gore fests.
Between old-school favourites like Hocus Pocus and Halloween, to some downright terrifying new releases, the only problem is that there are just so darn many to choose from. And then there’s the ongoing debate as to what exactly qualifies as a Halloween film. Does Harry Potter count? (Yes, it certainly does.) And does something that doesn’t strictly involve broomsticks or black cats make the grade? (Again, 100% yes.)
If you’re stuck for inspiration, don’t sweat it. Because team Marie Claire are here to help.
Here are our top recommendations for your best Halloween night in yet…
The best Halloween films, according to team MC
The Lost Boys
Recommended by Holly Rains, Digital Editor
“The seminal 80s film was single handedly responsible for repositioning vampires as Hot Young Things. Highlights include a young Kiefer Sutherland, a topless Saxophone player, and a climactic bloodbath so extra it makes Carrie look like she suffered a paper cut.”
Recommended by: Penny Goldstone, Digital Fashion Editor
“It’s not at all scary but it wouldn’t be Halloween without Sarah Jessica Parker (pre SATC fame) and Bette Midler singing I Put A Spell On You and prancing around in corsets!”
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Recommended by: Jenny Proudfoot, Digital Features Editor
“I am not a horror film person AT ALL – so I tend to go for a classic Harry Potter and even then it’s still touch and go. I’m not going near the first film because of Professor Quirrell and what’s under his turban and I can’t be dealing with the Half Blood Prince because of creepy young Tom Riddle!”
Recommended by Fiona Embleton, former Acting Senior Digital Beauty Editor
“Absolutely has to be the 1978 original Halloween with Jamie Lee Curtis. It’s a slasher film that doesn’t rely on blood and gore – its genius lies in its simplicity and a ridiculously scary cat and mouse game. The ‘now you see him, now you don’t’ cinematography means you’ll watch half of it through your fingers!”
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Recommended by Jadie Troy-Pryde, Digital Lifestyle Editor
“Before you @ me, this definitely counts as a Halloween film because the lead character is literally a pumpkin man from a place called Halloweentown. It’s a fun, spooky nostalgic classic and it just so happens that you can watch it in the run-up to Christmas, too. Side note: did anyone else have a crush on Jack Skellington? Just me? Okay.”
Recommended by Lucy Abbersteen, former Junior Digital Beauty Editor
“I’m pretty rubbish with all-out horror films, so creepy thrillers like this are much more my thing. Set at a psychiatric facility on the eponymous Shutter Island, Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo play partners investigating the disappearance of inpatient Rachel Solando. Surprise, surprise, a huge storm hits and they’re stuck on the island for a few days with no choice but to throw themselves into the case. No spoilers, but there are some very clever twists involved before an ending you’ll want to discuss.”
Recommended by Niamh McCollum, former Features Assistant
“In a hedonistic world of flashy business cards and restaurant reservations (Dorsia!!), Christian Bale plays a New York investment banker who is charming, funny and – oh, also a blood thirsty psychopath. Get ready to frantically switch between cracking up and throwing your hands over your eyes in horror.”
Carry On Screaming
Recommended by Maria Coole, Contributing Editor
“A classic British comedy and as it’s a Carry On film – certainly an eye-opening glimpse into a #metoo-free world. But please forgive it for that as it parodies creepy horror movies superbly with its pantomime hammy acting and stars two all-time late great actors Fenella Fielding and Kenneth Williams.”