10 movies to get you into the Halloween spirit

"Halloween" by jomudo is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

October is the time for pumpkin carving, trick-or-treating, costume wearing and most importantly, movie watching. If you enjoy Halloween in any way shape or form, you probably also watch movies inspired by the holiday.

Here’s a list of 10 movies to celebrate this spooky season with, compiled by A&E writer Vivica Dunlap.

1. “Psycho” (1960)

If you want a classic horror movie, look no further than “Psycho.” Alfred Hitchcock plays up the suspense in a film about a young woman named Marion who ends up at a hotel while on the run. She meets a young man still under the influence of his mysterious mother. With an effective use of shadows and music, Hitchcock puts the audience at the edge of their seat with a film that has managed to stay in the American subconscious after all these years.

Embed from Getty Images

2. “Coraline” (2009)

Despite being an animated film, “Coraline” is not a children’s movie. This stop motion cult classic fills the audience with dread as a young girl finds herself in an idealized version of her life that is not what it appears to be. “Coraline” is widely praised for its darker tones and use of 3D technology, which at the time of its 2009 release was still relatively new. This film is worth a watch if you enjoy a simple aesthetic and more Burtonesque style inspired by renowned director Tim Burton.

3. “The Shining” (1980)

Set in an eerie hotel on a mountain, “The Shining” is about an alcoholic writer named Jack who goes mad and starts trying to kill his wife and child. Stanley Kubrick’s attention to detail creates a snow-ridden landscape that isn’t what it seems at first glance, leaving the viewer questioning the reality of the film itself.

Embed from Getty Images

4. “Nope” (2022)

Just released this July, “Nope” is brought to you by Jordan Peele, director of hit horror films like “Get Out” and “Us.” This film brings its audience on a wild science-fiction ride out West. Starring Keke Palmer and Daniel Kaluuya, Peele combines old and new elements into this horror flick that will have you saying “Nope.”

5. “Hereditary” (2018)

Talk about bone chilling. “Hereditary” is packed with jump scares and is one of “Midsommar” Ari Aster’s first directorial debut. If you’re down for ghost stories, this film is about a strange presence that won’t stop tormenting a family and their attempt to discover the truth and survive. Aster plays on our fears, making us wonder what’s really haunting this family.

6. “IT” (2017)

As someone from the state of Maine like Stephen King, the author of the titular book, “IT” and every other Stephen King inspired movie hold a special place in my heart. A deeply personal film about trauma and trying to grow up in a small town, “IT” manages to find something that the audience can relate to, not to mention its terrifying antagonist that torments the kids of Derry, Maine.

Embed from Getty Images

7. “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” (1920)

Though not as scary as some of the other films on this list, “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” was fundamental in creating the horror genre. Part of the German expressionism movement, this movie uses shadow and light to capture the mood and create a sense of horror and dread. It is a great example of how even practical effects can have a big impact.

8. “Scream” (1996)

One of the most recognizable horror franchises, “Scream” is still relevant today, spawning many spin-offs including a TV show. As a serial killer, Ghostface starts taking down teenagers. One girl has to learn how to survive her own horror movie. This film makes fun of some classic slasher movie tropes while managing to establish a few of its own.

Embed from Getty Images

9. “The Exorcist” (1973)

One of the earlier films that was explicitly horror, this creepy flick features a young girl displaying signs of demonic possession. This film has unusual camerawork that helps elevate the story and leads the audience into a world where not everything is as it seems.

10. “Hocus Pocus” (1993)

Not a scary movie, but still a spooky one. “Hocus Pocus” features the Sanderson sisters and their mischievous antics on Halloween night. If you don’t want something scary, but still want to have some fun, then this film by “High School Musical” director Kenny Ortega is for you.