Horror fans know they can always rely on the Halloween and Scream franchises for a creepy fix, but there are plenty of other, fairly obscure entries in this genre. Here are just a few.
The Guest (2014)
Dan Stevens effortlessly transitioned from the gentlemanly Matthew Crawley on Downton Abbey to playing a seriously jacked, dangerously handsome stranger who charms his way into an unsuspecting family’s home around Halloween. With a sexy soundtrack and callbacks to 1980s films like The Stepfather and, strangely, The Terminator, this overlooked gem is worth checking out.
Runner-up: Trick 'r Treat (2007)
In this darkly funny anthology, a tiny monster with a sweet tooth connects several Halloween night tales full of vengeful spirits, killer candy, and seductive party girls.
Horror With Heart
Lady in White (1988)
After being locked in a school cloakroom by bullies on Halloween night, a little boy witnesses the ghostly re-enactment of a brutal murder before being attacked by a dark figure — and that’s just the beginning. Set in the 1960s, the movie adds innocence to its genuinely terrifying supernatural mystery by seeing it all through the eyes of a child (played by a young Lukas Haas).
Runner-up: Ginger Snaps (2000)
Two morbid teen sisters get more than they bargained for in this modern feminist take on the werewolf myth.
Monster House (2006)
This computer-animated romp gives off Spielberg vibes — it was executive produced by the director — with a story about three young friends who battle a man-eating house. Kids will love the balance of goofiness and spookiness, but there are plenty of in-jokes for adults as well.
Runner-up: Garfield’s Halloween Adventure (1985)
Clocking in at under 30 minutes, this bite-sized animated Halloween special comes complete with memorable musical numbers performed by longtime Garfield voice talent, Lorenzo Music, and soul/R&B legend, Lou Rawls.