2019 was actually an extremely good year for Halloween movies, capping off an amazing decade that produced more than 60 percent of all Halloween films ever made.
I’m not just talking about scary movies that make for good viewing during the Halloween season. All of these films are actually set on or around the holiday, and they happen to be really well made and highly enjoyable.
Listed in no particular order, read on for Our Favorite Halloween Movies (and one series) of 2019!
SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK – An instant classic destined for annual October viewings, this adaptation of the iconic book series is filled with timeless Halloween fun from a more innocent time (it’s set in 1968), inspired by the Amblin films of the 1980s. It takes place on Halloween and into the days following, with winning performances, likable characters, and some really awesome practical creatures featured in the various “stories” and the main wrap around narrative, highlighted by the coolest scarecrow scene ever. Read our full review here, and then watch it on Amazon prime here.
HAUNT – Filmed way back in 2017, co-writers/directors Scott Beck and Bryan Woods’ Haunt was finally released this year, and it did not disappoint, with all the tension of A Quiet Place and some unexpected turns in what may be the best of the “killer haunt” subgenre. Contained to the titular extreme scare attraction, the film knows exactly what it is and delivers what it promises with plenty of treats and even a few tricks for horror lovers. The scene when the group of friends first realizes that the “act” is actually “real” is easily one of my favorite movie moments of the year. It is currently available to stream on Amazon Prime here. (Full review coming soon.)
TRICK – The newest masked horror icon, Trick Weaver was introduced in this fun slasher from writer Todd Farmer and director Patrick Lussier, in which the killer returns each October 31st with a different mask/costume in a different town and a new list of victims every time. It’s a creative spin on some well-worn territory and a worthy addition to the Halloween horror pantheon, setting up a franchise that is primed for sequels. Read our full review here, and then watch it on Amazon Prime here.
CANDY CORN – Writer/director Josh Hasty is primarily influenced by John Carpenter and Rob Zombie, and he wears those influences proudly in this deliberately paced, highly atmospheric horror tale of a traveling group of circus freaks led by Dr. Death, brilliantly portrayed by Pancho Moler (3 From Hell, 31), who resurrects a bullied teen on Halloween for some righteous and gory vengeance upon the cool kids who wronged him. Also starring genre icons P.J. Soles, Tony Todd, and Courtney Gaines, it is streaming now on Amazon Prime. (Full review coming soon.)
EPIC HOME HAUNTS – Director Josh Quillin won the Breakthrough Filmmaker award at the Halloween International Film Festival for this feature length documentary, a love letter to the home haunt community of Southern California. But even if you’ve never been to the area, you will no doubt find yourself inspired by the enthusiasm and sheer love of Halloween on display this moving film. You can watch it now on Amazon Prime. (Full review coming soon.)
SHARP CANDY – It’s actually a four-episode anthology series, but when watched in one sitting, it certainly works as a cohesive whole in which each segment ties in with the others in various fun ways. After world premiering at the Halloween International Film Festival in October, it’s available to watch now on Amazon Prime. (Full review coming soon.)
LANE 9 – An Official Selection at the 2019 Halloween International Film Festival, Lane 9 is a perfect short film. It is expertly crafted to produce maxim effect from a simplistic but unique story of a transient evil that takes up residence at a small town bowling alley on Halloween night in 1979. I can’t wait to see what the husband-wife team of Richard and Jessica Valentine do next.
DEAD AIR – Best Halloween Film award winner at the 2019 Halloween International Film Festival, Dead Air rocks, with a wildly fun story of an undead metal goddess back for a night of revenge. It’s irreverent, lightning paced, and visually striking, and I really hope the feature film version gets made.
I also loved Annabelle Comes Home (read our review here) and Rob Zombie’s 3 From Hell (read our review here), both of which take place around Halloween, and I’ve yet to see The Prodigy, which was released in February 2019, but will update this list if it needs to be added after it arrives on Amazon Prime on Jan. 23.
Looking ahead to 2020, I’m excited to see new Halloween-set indies They Live Inside Us from Witching Season Films, Killer Babes and the Frightening Film Fiasco from director Brett Mullen, the anthology Spine Chiller, the sequel 10/31 Part II, and the slasher Shriekshow, as well as the highly anticipated return of Art the Clown in Terrifier 2, the new Adam Sandler Netflix comedy Hubie Halloween, and of course the return of Michael Myers in Blumhouse’s Halloween Kills.
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